Dune Za Keyih Provincial Park & Protected Area

History

Established in 2000 as the Frog-Gataga, this wilderness park's name was translated into the Kaska Dena language and is now recognized as Dune Za Keyih. Gataga is a Sikanni aboriginal word meaning “white water”, which refers to the glacial rock that turns the river a silty light gray. The Gataga and Kechika confluence is marked by the historic section of Altse Dene Tunna (Davie Trail) named after “Old Davie”, a highly regarded native prophet. Davie was able to understand and translate the European’s language when they first arrived. The Davie Trail became the main travel route to the Klondike - a cattle drive of 500-600 head was even attempted along the Davie Trail from Vanderhoof to the Klondike (ca. 1900). The Kechika River was also used to transport furs to Lower Post. Today, the Davie Trail links the Kaska Dena reserves of Fort Ware and Lower Post.

Cultural Heritage

Dune Za Keyih Provincial Park is within the traditional territory of the Kaska Dena people.

Conservation

Dune Za Keyih Provincial Park consists of sections of three major undisturbed northern river valleys and the large confluence area of the three in the Rocky Mountain Trench. The rivers and their associated lakes are:

  • 90 km of the Gataga River Valley
  • 40 km of the Frog River Valley
  • 35 km of the Kechika River Valley
  • 12 km of the South Gataga Lakes chain
  • 30 km of the South Gataga River
This area represents three biogeoclimatic zones:
  • Alpine Tundra
  • Boreal White and Black Spruce
  • Sub-boreal White and Black Spruce

Wildlife

The area contains one of North America’s most diverse and abundant wildlife populations with an intact predator-prey system. Extensive low elevation wildlife habitat is protected within the river valleys, which results in high populations of species such as moose, wolf, grizzly bear and black bear. Stone sheep, mountain goat, elk, caribou, mule deer, and wolverine are just some of the other species found throughout the region - the wildlife viewing in a pristine wilderness setting is unsurpassed.