Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park

Travel Guide North America Canada British Columbia Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park

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Introduction

Tatshenshini-Alsek Park or Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Wilderness Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada 9,580 km2. It was established in 1993 after an intensive campaign by Canadian and American conservation organizations to halt mining exploration and development in the area, and protect the area for its strong natural heritage and biodiversity values.

The park is situated in the very northwestern corner of British Columbia, bordering the American state of Alaska and the Canadian Yukon Territory. It nestles between Kluane National Park and Reserve in the Yukon and Glacier Bay & Wrangell-St. Elias National Parks and Preserves in Alaska. It is part of the Kluane-Wrangell-St. Elias-Glacier Bay-Tatshenshini-Alsek park system, and in 1994 was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Geography

The Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers flow through the park in glacier-carved U-shaped valleys. These valleys through the coastal mountains allow cool, moist ocean air into the cold interior. The quick change from ocean to interior environment, frequent floods, landslides and avalanches, a varied geology and great elevation changes have together created an exceptionally diverse range of habitat conditions.

Alsek Ranges are situated there and Mount Fairweather, at 4,671 metres is the province’s highest peak. The Tatshenshini-Alsek area lies in a region of high earthquake activity. Slippages along the Fairweather and Hubbard/Boarder Faults to the west and the Denali Fault to the north cause regular quakes.

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Sights and Activities

Tatshenshini-Alsek Park supports a large grizzly bear population. A green area that cuts through a barrier of mountain and ice connects coastal and interior grizzly bear populations and provides a perfect habitat. The park is the only Canadian home of the glacier bear. This extremely rare blue-grey colour phase of the black bear is found only within the park and just over the border into the United States.

As well as bears, Tatshenshini-Alsek Park also supports Dall's sheep, and exceptional numbers of mountain goats, Kenai moose, grey wolves, eagles (bald and golden), falcons (peregrine and gyr), and trumpeter swans.

Along the coastline, sea lions and humpback whales can be seen.

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Eat/Drink

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This is version 1. Last edited at 11:09 on Jan 29, 16 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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