The Tatshenshini, North America's Wildest River, carves a low elevation corridor of life amidst the enormous ice fields and lofty peaks of the St. Elias Range. Consequently, Tatshenshini-Alsek features extraordinary biodiversity, with ecosystems ranging from sea-level to over 15,000 feet, and from coastal to sub-tundra.
Adjoining Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Wrangell-St. Elias, and the Yukon’s Kluane National Parks, it is core to the largest international expansive United Nations World Heritage Site on the planet (size). As the World Conservation Union (IUCN) has stated: "The Tatshenshini-Alsek river system in the St. Elias Mountains of Canada and Alaska is one of the world's most beautiful and magnificent."
The Tatshenshini is home to extraordinary wildlife populations, and is a stronghold for a thriving grizzly population in North America. As well, it is the only place where the rare silver-blue Glacier Bear exists in Canada. The region supports the only year round populations of Dall's sheep in British Columbia, and exceptional numbers of mountain goats, moose, wolves, eagles, falcons and trumpeter swans.
This stunning area was the site of the proposed Windy Craggy open-pit copper mine, a potentially devastating industrial intrusion. This sparked Spaces for Nature’s most high-profile campaign. Under our former name of “Tatshenshini Wild” we took the lead in creating international pressure to preserve the area. This culminated in a continental campaign that linked the top 50 environmental organizations in North America (with a combined membership of 10 million) as well as the direct involvement of then Vice-President Al Gore.
In 1993 protection was achieved through the creation of the Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park. In 1994, in recognition of its extraordinary scenic and wildlife values, Tatshenshini was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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