Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

D. Scott Slocombe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis uses a literature review of protected areas selection, park management, comprehensive regional land use planning, and cumulative environmental effects and assessment to develop a methodology that identifies areas with concentrations of social and/or ecological values in and around northern national parks. The proposed methodology involves two stages. First, a database of values is developed by taking an inventory of social and ecological values through exxtensive literature reviews, interviews, and consultation with the public. This database is then used in the second step to determine areas with concentrations of social and/or ecological values, or “value hotspots”, using a series of tables and maps. Once developed, the methodology is tested with a case study of the Greater Kluane Region in southwest Yukon. This analysis identified twelve value hotspots that contain a high number of the study area’s social and ecological values. It is suggested that these hotspots need to be given special consideration in future planning exercises and when exploring questions surrounding cumulative environmental effects arising in and around Kluane National Park and Reserve. In light of the case study findings, some potential future applications in regional planning exercises and in cumulative effects assessments are discussed. The primary recommended planning application involves setting development thresholds or limits of acceptable change for the value hotspots so as to take a proactive stance on cumulative environmental effects. In addition, the values database would be useful in project-level environmental assessments, acting as a checklist of local values.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season