New and Next
Thank you for your support!
We couldn’t do it without the support from volunteers and our funding partners. In addition to our project funding, in 2019 we received a donation of $2000 from Goldcorp which we used to host several spotter’s network workshops. The great staff of Stantec volunteered their time to collect native seed which they spread afterwards at our project site at Range Point.
We had close to 100 volunteers involved in weed-pulling events. More than 200 hours were spent pulling weeds. YISC removed 3 truck loads and 59 garbage bags filled with mostly sweet-clover. Thanks to the crew of the City of Whitehorse for picking up those piles!
Conserving the Integrity of the Alsek Watershed’s Fresh Water
The Yukon Invasive Species Council is pleased to announce that the three-year project “Conserving the Integrity of the Alsek Watershed’s Fresh Water” has been founded under the ECOAction Community Funding Program. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program provides financial support to community groups for projects with an action focus to improve the environment and increase environmental awareness and capacity in the community.
This project addresses conserving the integrity of a Canadian Heritage River, the Alsek, and its tributaries. This will be accomplished by preventing the introduction of aquatic and riparian invasive species. Project activities include risk assessment, weed management, survey and public awareness building.
More specifically, high-risk access points (roadway-freshwater intersections) for Dreissena spp. (zebra and quagga mussels) and Melilotus alba (Sweetclover) into the Alsek Watershed will be identify. In addition, high use water-based recreation areas within the watershed will be identified and together with appropriate land managers (Parks Canada, Champagne and Aishihik First Nation, Village of Haines Junction, etc.) YISC will establish educational signage. YISC will also examine the extent and scope of the dumping of bilge water and fish containers from boats returning from outside of the Alsek watershed (including Haines, Alaska) into lakes around Haines Junction (Dezadeash, Kathleen and Pine).
Mowing and hand removal of sweetclover and other invasive plants will be organized and supported in cooperation with the community.
YISC also will create and deliver elementary school and youth activities on aquatic and riparian invasive species for Haines Junction and surrounding communities. Specific educational activities aim to keep Yukon’s waterways free of invasive species and include these messages:
- Before leaving an area: Drain water from boat, trailer and gear
- Remove all plant parts and mud
- Before entering another water body: Wash all your gear including waders with soapy water.
- Do not release aquarium contents into fresh water
Public awareness building is expected to take place through the whole project but strengthened in a one-day community workshop in Haines Junction on invasive species threats to the Alsek watershed. This community-specific outreach will encourage knowledge transfer in the conservation of the Alsek Watershed’s fresh water. This will facilitate behavioral changes in residents to reduce the risk of invasive species introductions and promote increased communication between YISC, local organizations and community members. The development of future water conservation partnerships is also an anticipated outcome of the workshop.
Project activities for November 2019 to March 2020 include start up meetings with stakeholders, conducting the risk assessment, bringing our education program to the school and plan for outreach and management activities for next summer.
Currently we are seeking a community liaison to implement the school program and deliver outreach events.