NORTH YUKON PLANNING REGION:
LMU 4: Northern Richardson Mountains and Foothills
Sub-unit #4B: LaChute River
Land Use Designation
Integrated Land Management Area, Zone II
Yukon public land and VGFN S-Site (S-16A)
Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and Tetlit Gwich'in Council (Secondary Use Area)
1,287 km2 (2.1% of Region)
Biophysical Setting (LMU 4)
Remote mountainous unit with sub-arctic conditions.
British Richardson Mountains.
Taiga Shrub, Alpine and Tundra (minor).
High elevation sparsely vegetated, herb, shrub and rock; low elevation coniferous forest and shrub; minor wetland and riparian.
Porcupine River (Bell, Little Bell and Waters rivers, headwaters of Driftwood River).
Bell River corridor in Northern Richardson Mountains is a significant Porcupine Caribou and moose habitat. (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.
Amount of disturbance relative to the cautionary theshold:
Caribou concentrated use area. Porcupine herd may be present in at least three seasons, including fall migration, rutting, and winter.
Significant seasonal habitats along LaChute River corridor.
Low - moderate winter habitat.
Status uncertain; significant sheep habitats identified in adjacent LMU #4C.
Potential over-wintering habitat in LaChute River.
Significant grizzly Bear habitat in lower LaChute River valley.
Wetlands and Lakes
Very few; lower LaChute River in vicinity of Lapierre House most significant.
LaChute River and few large tributary streams to Eagle River.
Major River Corridors
Heritage, Social and Cultural Resources
VGFN Heritage Routes and Sites
Old Crow to Ft. McPherson trail, via Salmon Cache and Lapierre House. Traditional use and culturally significant area for Gwich’in First Nations.
Other Heritage and Historic Resources
Many documented archaeological sites.
Current Community Use Areas
Limited use; most activities occur in adjacent Bell and Rock River corridors (LMUs #4C and #8B).
Transportation and Access
No existing transportation infrastructure. A conceptual access route has been identified in this unit*.
Winter travel on Old Crow – Ft. McPherson Trail; subsistence harvesting.
Tourism and Recreation
High values in southern portion of unit, adjacent to Dempster Highway. Low levels of activity.
Oil and Gas Resources
Low - moderate potential; northern margin of the Eagle Plain oil and gas basin.
Very low potential.
Aggregate (Gravel) Resources
No identified resources; river gravels or crushed rock offer potential sources.
* Source: Yukon Government, Department of Energy Mines and Resources. 2003.
Special Management Considerations
- Important Porcupine Caribou Herd concentrated use area.
- High heritage values with many documented archaeological sites.
- Old Crow – Ft. McPherson winter trail.
- Tetlit Gwich’in Secondary Use Area.
- Potential Yukon North Slope transportation corridor options may require consideration.