The wonder and beauty of the boreal winter In March 2013, Pew’s Arctic Science Director Henry Huntington headed for the boreal forest with fourfriends to explore the Canol Road, built during World War II to support a pipeline connecting the Norman Wells oilfields on the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories with the new Alaska Highway in the Yukon. Here are some of the things they saw on their 1300 km/800 mile trip.
The Yukon section of the Canolis maintained for summer use as a gravel road.
Not so on the NWT side, withthe result that we could notquite reach Norman Wells …
Even without maintenance, the road andequipment are still visible, seventy years later
The trip was wonderful, if cold (-42°C/-44°F was our low, and it was often in the -30s)
We traveledfrom the pines of the South Canol to thespruce, tamarack, willow, and poplar there and farther north
Not forgetting the ambitiousspruce high on the slopes, and willows on a high plateau
Plus lots of animals! Winter is a great time for tracks. Clockwise from upper left:wolverine, snowshoe hare, wolf,caribou, moose, porcupine, fox, least weasel
Fortunately, the bears werestill hibernating, but they left scratch marks on trees and fur in the spruce sap