In Search of the Porcupine Caribou Herd Text by Doris Hausleitner Images by Peter Mather We peer out at the Yukon River from the dusty roads of Dawson City. “The smoke is definitely worse,” Jonathon concludes. “I see less of the other shore today than I did yesterday.” It is the end of June, and wildfire season has come early to the Yukon and Alaska. Aggressive fires burning north of Fairbanks have already changed our original plan—to fly into the Kongakut River in Alaska and hike to the Firth River in the Yukon with the hopes of intercepting the migrating Porcupine caribou herd. Now the fires burning between Dawson City and Old Crow and problems changing our landing permit into Ivvavik National Park are threatening to thwart our plans completely. Our team is a diverse group. I’m a wildlife biologist and instructor at a local college in southeastern British Columbia.…
The importance of the Porcupine herd to the Gwich’in people
[by Charlie Swaney and Peter Mather | photos by Peter Mather]
AS I SIT WITH GWICH’IN HUNTER CHARLIE SWANEY UNDER A CLASSIC BLUE CAMPING TARP, A RAIN DRIZZLE SILENTLY DRUMS ALL AROUND US.