NORTH YUKON PLANNING REGION:
LMU 10: Southern Richardson Mountains and Foothills
Sub-unit #10B: Rock River – Mount Joyal
Land Use Designation
Integrated Management Area, Zone II
Yukon public land and VGFN Settlement land (S-08A/D, S-09A/D, S-10A and S-45A)
Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Na-cho Nyak Dun and Telit Gwich’in Secondary Use Area
2,384 km2 (3.9% of Region)
Biophysical Setting (LMU 10)
Unglaciated, sparsely forested mountains and foothills along the Dempster Highway.
British Richardson Mountains and Eagle Plains.
Taiga Wooded, Taiga Shrub and Alpine (LMU #10A).
Low-mid elevation herb, shrub and coniferous forest; high elevation sparsely vegetated, herb, shrub and rock; minor amount wetland and riparian.
Porcupine River (Rock River, Vyah Kit and several tributaries to Eagle River).
Vichi tik Creek, in LMU #10B, near its confluence with the Eagle River. Non-forested uplands throughout LMU #10 are significant Porcupine Caribou Herd habitats. (CWS photo)
Cumulative Effects Thresholds
Relative to LMU Size*
Surface Disturbance (%)
Linear Disturbance (km/km2)
Current disturbance (2020)
On the ground amounts**
Surface Disturbance (km2)
Linear Disturbance (km)
Current disturbance (2020)
Room under cautionary threshold***
*These are proportional to the size of the LMU, and correspond to table 3-2 of the Approved Plan. They are measured in the % of the LMU that can be disturbed (“Surface Disturbance”) and in km/km2 (“Linear Disturbance Density”).
**These are amounts that can be measured and apply to the whole LMU and would be more familiar to project proponents and regulators. They are measured in km2 of disturbance and in km of linear disturbance (e.g., roads, trails and cutlines).
***How much more disturbance can be added to existing disturbance before the cautionary threshold is reached.
NOTE: These values are calculated for the the portion of LMU 10b outside of the Dempster Highway corridor, which is exempt from surface disturbance and linear density indicator monitoring.
Amount of disturbance relative to the cautionary theshold:
One of most significant caribou concentrated use areas in region. Porcupine herd may be present in four seasons, including fall migration, rutting, winter and spring migration.
Overall moderate moose habitat values. Seasonal habitats along rivers, with Eagle and lower Rock River valleys most significant.
Low winter habitat values. Eagle River valley mixed-wood habitats most important.
No identified sheep populations.
Potential over-wintering habitat in Eagle and lower Rock rivers.
Significant grizzly Bear habitat.
Wetlands and Lakes
Significant wetland habitats in Eagle and lower Rock River rivers, and lower Vyah Kit Creek.
Eagle and Rock rivers, Vyah Kit and Vichi tik creeks, and other tributaries to Eagle River.
Major River Corridors
Heritage, Social and Cultural Resources
VGFN Heritage Routes and Sites
No identified routes or sites.
Other Heritage and Historic Resources
Significant archaeological resources present; there are many identified sites with the highest concentrations in Rock River-Whitefox Creek area. Dempster Highway route was traditional Gwich’in travel route.
Current Community Use Areas
Dempster Highway is a multi-season use corridor; caribou harvesting most important activity.
Transportation and Access
Dempster Highway Corridor.
Seasonal caribou harvesting.
Tourism and Recreation
High values and levels of activity (regionally). Dempster Highway, Arctic Circle and Rock River Campground are most important locations. Scenic viewscapes and wildlife in this unit are considered most important part of the Dempster Highway tourism experience.
Oil and Gas Resources
Aggregate (Gravel) Resources
Many existing gravel quarries along Dempster Highway.
Special Management Considerations
- Maintaining the visual quality of mountain and sub-arctic viewscapes along this segment of Dempster Highway is a management priority.
- Potential new all-season access roads into LMU #10B from Dempster Highway corridor require careful assessment and management.
- Potential future all-season road or infrastructure access to Eagle Plains should avoid routing through this unit. If required, access points from within LMU #9 are preferred.
- Important Porcupine Caribou Herd concentrated use area during fall, winter and spring periods.
- Tetlit Gwich’in Secondary Use Area and Na-cho Nyak Dun Traditional Territory (east of Dempster Highway).
- Potential Yukon North Slope transportation corridor options from Dempster Highway may require consideration.