The same characteristics that made the Taiya and Skagway valleys attractive to Tlingit traders and gold rush stampeders also contribute to the ecological importance of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park area. Lynn Canal is a saltwater fjord that pierces deep into the heart of the coastal mountain range. The Taiya and Skagway valleys provide short pathways to glacier-free mountain passes connecting to the interior. Thus, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park area is the northernmost, interior-most conduit for ecological exchange between the coastal rainforest ecosystem and the interior continental ecosystem. It has been an important avenue for plant and animal expansions in the past, and continues to be the site of species interchanges today.
Last updated: September 25, 2019