Conservation

At Sila Sojourns we are committed to not only minimizing our impact on the wildlands we are traveling through, but to positively  influence the amount of wilderness that is preserved for future generations.  Our trips are designed to be informative,  about the unique natural and cultural  history of the region, as well as transformative,  through fostering a sense of connection to the land and our place within it.  We are very  concerned about the impact we, as humans, are having on the planet’s life support systems  and  the integrity of its wildlands, and feel that  one way to ensure  that there continues to be a voice FOR nature is if people continue to have profound experiences IN nature. We feel that the survival of all species, including our own, depends in part on the strength of our voices, and the depth of our love for all things wild.

We demonstrate our commitment through:

1. Adhering to leave-no-trace principles, by doing our best to leave the places we journey through in  as good or better  a condition than  when we arrived.   We recognize that a wilderness experience for many involves aesthetic considerations –  camping  at sites that feel  pristine, and  journeying  through country that  has not been altered by human activity,   as well as environmental considerations –  being able to breathe and drink  clean air and water, while reveling in the silence,  and natural sounds of the wilderness.

2.  Our involvement with CPAWS-Yukon (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Yukon chapter).  CPAWS is a national organization with 13 chapters across  the country. CPAWS-Yukon’s main focus over the last decade has been the protection of the Peel watershed, a 75,000 sq km section of the north east Yukon. The watershed consists of  6 main headwater tributaries of the Peel,  in the Yukon’s Ogilvie, Wernecke and Selwyn Muntains,  and the  Peel River itself in the lowlands of the Mackenzie River  Valley.    You can learn more at www.cpawsyukon.org  and www.protectpeel.ca.    Jill has been president of CPAWS – Yukon since 2006   and has devoted countless hours to the organization as well as specifically to this  campaign.  As well she has guided half a dozen conservation-focused trips into the Peel watershed since 2001, with conservationists, writers, photographers, and First Nations youth and elders, to help bring national and international attention to the significance of the Peel watershed.

3. Our involvement with WTAY  (Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon).   WTAY is a consortium of wilderness tourism operators in the territory.  Jill has been on the board since it’s inception early in the ’90’s, and is currently vice-president. Her focus has been  primarily on the environment  and education portfolios of the association.  She feels that tourism operators  have a responsibility to not only look after the wilderness through which they travel and depend on for their  businesses,   but also be a voice for it.  Jill  drafted the Association’s  Code of Conduct,  the best practices which all  members are meant to abide by, and continues to bring a conservation voice to the Association.  WTAY is THE voice for  wilderness tourism in the Yukon, and works closely with TIA-Yukon (Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon), and the  Yukon Government’s Department of Tourism.   As well, WTAY’s education commitment has hosted many  informative sessions on a range of topics relevant to tourism operators and the Yukon’s  outdoor community.

4.  We contribute a percentage of our income each year to local and national conservation groups.

5. We recognize that travel, by whatever means, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. We strongly encourage our guests to purchase carbon credits to help offset the impact of the emissions their travel.  One reputable Canadian company that offers this service is  LESS.   Let us know if you purchase carbon credits from any carbon reduction company and we will  split the expense with you by reducing your trip fee by half the carbon-offset cost.

6.  We adhere to  the highest standard of best practices for eco-tourism, as defined by the International Ecotourism Society

“Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:
1.  Minimize impact.
2.  Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
3.  Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
4.  Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
5.  Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
6.  Raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate.”