Wetlands are a difficult planning issue in the Region. It is challenging to find a balanced solution that both works for the community and respects the environment when making decisions about disturbance or activity in these areas.

Wetlands are important to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and other First Nations. These are places of immense historic and cultural value where they can exercise their rights and traditional pursuits.  Since wetlands cover only about 10 to 12 per cent of the planning region, they are considered regionally scarce.

They are also known to be the site of competing land-use within the region due to the potential high mineral value that exists in some areas.  The territory’s most productive placer gold mining district (Indian River Valley) overlaps with a significant wetland complex. There are other known areas of overlap in the Region that have high potential mineral value as well as high ecological and cultural value.

The Commission acknowledges that it is at a crossroads when making recommendations on wetlands in the Region. It has developed some options for consideration and some Recommendations to the Parties.  However, the Commission strongly feels that input from the community is needed to come to a decision.


Recently, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) provided this statistical analysis to the Commission to consider as they continue their discussions regarding wetlands in the Draft Plan. The analysis breaks down the abundance of wetlands and wetland types in the region by Land Management Unit.  

Wetlands of Special Importance

Scottie Creek Wetlands (LMU#22) and Upper Indian River Wetlands (LMU #19) have been put forth by the Commission to be protected as an SMA II.  These LMUs were chosen for protection due to their high cultural and ecological value that stems largely from their extensive wetland complexes.

Limited Develoment in Wetlands
Research and Policy
Fen tradeoff graph

We want to hear from you about FENS!

The Commission is considering a development threshold for fens between 25% and 75% for this Draft Plan which would apply to most Integrated Stewardship Areas.

These options will not apply to:

  • Special Management Areas (SMAs)
  • ISAs that have specific management direction written in the Landscape Management (LMU) tables (Section 5.0).
  • Active permits

When reviewing please consider the following:

  • Think about what the fen threshold should be and its trade-offs
  • How could this work ‘in the field’?
  • Is there anything that we are missing?

Share your thoughts with us!

©2022 Dawson Regional Planning Commission