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'My grandfather's country': New wilderness park planned in Yukon

Two Yukon First Nations have partnered with the territorial government to establish Asi Keyi, a 3,000 square kilometre wilderness park in southwest Yukon.

Asi Keyi park would be 3,000 square kilometres of mostly rock and ice

Mount Constantine and the Klutlan Glacier in the proposed Asi Keyi Natural Environment Park. (Government of Yukon)

Plans are in the works to develop a new territorial park in Yukon, but don't expect to bring your RV there. Get yourself some sturdy hiking boots instead. 

Asi Keyi, which means "my grandfather's country" in Southern Tutchone, will be a 2,984 square kilometre "natural environment park" in the territory's southwest corner, adjoining Kluane National Park.

"Most of it is rock and ice," said Jean Langlois, who is on the park's steering committee, "although there is some very nice lowland areas as well. It's essentially a remote park."

The steering committee is made up of representatives from the Yukon government, as well as the Kluane First Nation and the White River First Nation. The park boundaries were set in the Kluane First Nation's final agreement.

Committee members have established a vision and some guiding principles for the park, and they're looking for input from the public. The deadline is Sunday, but Langlois said there will be more consultations as the plan is finalized in the coming months  

"The basics are set, it's more the fine details at this point," Langlois said.

"We haven't yet determined what kind of uses we'll see in the park, but it's clearly more of a remote wilderness-type park than a roadside campground."

Langlois said decisions must still be made about infrastructure, commercial use, and what sort of access will be allowed in the park.

"Within a year from now, we should have a plan to recommend to the three governments," he said.

With files from Airplay

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