Energy, Mines and Resources



Our Research:

  • supports a co-operative approach to the identification of research and monitoring priorities
  • includes the development and delivery of research and monitoring programs
  • assists with sustainably managing forest resources in the Yukon


The Forest Management branch initiated a study aimed at identifying forest harvesting practices that would minimize deleterious impacts on terrestrial forage lichens in the winter range of the Carcross caribou herd. The project was designed in the summer of 2012 and laid out in the fall of 2013.

During the winter of 2014-15, variable retention harvesting will occur in three 9 ha blocks that are each divided into three treatment units (1/3 basal area removal, 2/3 basal area removal and 100% retention –nonharvested controls). The treatment units are each separated by a 100 m buffer. 

The site is lodgepole pine dominated with a minor component of white spruce and deciduous trees. The mean DBH of the coniferous trees in the study area is 16.6 cm, with a mean height of 15.9 m.

The treatment objectives of this project are:

  • To harvest 1/3 (high retention) of total basal area in three treatment units (9 ha total, approximately 630m3);
  • To harvest 2/3 (low retention) of total basal area in three treatment units (9 ha total, approximately 1050m3); and,
  • To maintain the integrity of the vegetation community beneath the snowpack during winter harvest operations.

Very little formal research has been conducted in Yukon on the relationship between canopy closure and lichen abundance in response to variable retention forest harvesting systems. The aim of this study is to provide an opportunity to conduct research to explore the relationships and provide guidance on when, where, and how to prescribe variable retention harvesting treatments in known southern lakes caribou lichen habitat. The results may assist with the development of forestry best management practices and mitigations during planning and project assessments.

Research Activities

If you would like more information on any of the projects listed below, email

Gunnar Nilsson and Mickey Lammers Research Forest

We are involved in managing a network of research forests across the Yukon. These research forests were originally established by the Government of Canada for the purposes of forest research and forest management studies. The first draft strategic plan the Gunnar Nilsson and Mickey Lammers Research Forest was released in 2004.


Historical Yukon Forestry Research  2 MB (2009)

This document contains a summary of forestry research projects initiated between 1972-1992, and the recommendations will be used to guide our future silviculture research priorities.


Effects of Historical Timber Harvesting Practices on Caribou Forage Lichen Abundance Near Marsh Lake, Yukon 1.41MB (2011)

The purpose of the “Effects of Historical Timber Harvesting Practices on Caribou Forage Lichen Abundance Near Marsh Lake, Yukon” was to look at the relationship between levels of retention and lichen abundance in historical harvesting in the Lewes Marsh area.  The next phase of this project, Phase 2, is an adaptive management study which will include an experimental design has been initiated and will be completed in early 2013.


Climate Change Research (2010)

Along with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation, University of British Columbia (UBC), and the Model Forest: Special Project Area Program, we are supporting UBC researchers who are leading a series of focus group discussions on climate change in the Champagne and Aishihik Traditional Territory. The aim of this part of the project is to gather viewpoints of resource management practitioners on alternative forest renewal strategies and if they may be undertaken in light of climate change to achieve the objectives of the plan.

The University of Northern British Columbia is currently conducting research on assessing the vulnerability to climate change and adaptive capacity of Yukon forest tree species and ecosystems. This is a 3 year project that was initiated in 2008.


Fuel Abatement Monitoring Program

In cooperation with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation and with assistance from the Research and Monitoring and Fuel Abatement Technical Working Groups, we initiated a successful pilot program to monitor the effectiveness of fuel abatement treatments in the southwest Yukon. The objectives of the pilot monitoring program were:

  • to initiate a field-based sampling program for monitoring the effectiveness of fuel abatement treatments as part of the monitoring program under the Strategic Forest Management Plan;
  • to assess the applicability of the program for community-based monitoring and the potential of the program to build local capacity;
  • to assess whether or not the fuel treatment work carried out by contractors was consistent with the site prescriptions; and
  • to assess whether or not the treatments were effective in reducing the risk of a crown fire developing in these stands.

Emerging Research Activities

We are:

  • supportive of efforts to build local forest management capacity through the communication of research results, and by encouraging opportunities for local participation in research and monitoring projects.
  • interested in research that informs the development of forest-based legislation and policy and identifying best management practices.
  • interested in research in support of implementation of strategic forest management plans, including research that supports the adaptive management of forest resources in the Yukon.
  • actively seeking feedback on research and monitoring needs and is actively encouraging new research partnerships. We are currently working towards standardizing our process for supporting researchers who express an interest in working with us, and our partners, in implementing some of our research and monitoring needs and priorities.

Research - Contact Us:

We are interested in your feedback. If you are currently conducting forestry related research or are considering initiating a research project in the Yukon, we are interested in hearing from you.

General Inquiries
Phone: 867.633.7908
Fax: 867.667.3138