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July 24, 2020
A Nunavut monsoon, Arctic camels, and Yellowknife’s forgotten mini-golf course. Plus, the life and tragedies of the world’s most famous polar bear. All in this week’s Up Here newsletter.
Not a cellphone in sight. Just living in the moment. (Photo by Dave Brosha, for Spectacular NWT)

UP HERE IN THE NORTH 


Our summer special is FINALLY on the way out to subscribers, which means I can also finally share the cover with you all. Check out our new masthead! Our redesigned website should also be ready to launch in early August (just working out some last-minute glitches) so stay tuned for news on that front. 

In the meantime...


Thanks for reading,
Jacob Boon 

Editor

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COLD SNAPS

Even with this no-travel, post-pandemic summer more people are out on the land this year around Whitehorse. And they’re leaving more of a mess. (CBC)

Of course, some people are still travelling up to the Yukon for a summer holiday, which is a concern since out of all the northern jurisdictions it's the Yukon which is testing the fewest people for coronavirus. Meanwhile, two Yukoners who travelled outside the territory have already 
tested positive for COVID-19. (CBC)

At least there's good news in Nunavut, as the two presumptive cases of COVID-19 at Baffinland’s Mary River Mine both came back negative. That’s four suspected cases that turned out to be nothing. (
Nunatsiaq)

Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park outside of Iqaluit is also seeing a major jump in visitors this year, which means the park’s amenities are also seeing heavy use. “We’re taking out garbage and sewage twice a day whereas it would be three times a week in previous years.” (
CBC)

Elsewhere, Thaidene Nëné is pivoting to staycations; trying to entice NWT residents to visit Canada’s newest National Park Reserve. “A lot of people are coming out to the East Arm and enjoying our beautiful lake, our beautiful country, and our abundance of fish.” (
Cabin Radio)

I honestly don’t know how anyone’s enjoying outdoor camping during this grey, rainy summer we’ve been having. There was so much humidity and fog in Yellowknife this week, I almost thought I was back in Nova Scotia. And over on Baffin Island, a Nunavut monsoon could break weather records: “It’s like someone turned the atmospheric faucet on.” (
CBC)

There are already so many Maritimers who’ve moved up to the North. Soon, we'll probably be able to add Atlantic salmon to that population of east-coast ex-pats. A new paper looks at the potential habitat and interaction with Arctic char when, not if, Atlantic salmon make their way to warming northern waters. (
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries)

Most polar bears will disappear by 2100 says a new study that argues the reproductive failure of the ursines will begin as early as 2040 given current climate change predictions. “The researchers found that under a business-as-usual emissions scenario, polar bears will likely probably only remain in the Queen Elizabeth Islands—the northernmost cluster in Canada’s Arctic archipelago—at the end of the century.” (
The Guardian)

Researchers conducting studies in Nunavut are asked by licensing agencies and funders to incorporate Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) and meaningfully engage Inuit communities, but usually those researchers are left to interpret for themselves what that means and how it’s put into practice. A group of Inuit youth from four Nunavut communities wants to change that, and in response have developed a new set of research guidelines they're calling ScIQ: “IQ is not only knowledge that Inuit have gained over many generations; it is more holistic and includes Inuit values, customs, and principles for living our lives.” (NCR Research Press)

From John Last comes the story of Yellowknife’s long-forgotten mini-golf course. “The 19 holes were dotted with local icons from Yellowknife's now long-lost boom time—the Giant Mine headframe (
since toppled), the Centre Square Mall (now emptied), a bucket of KFC chicken (struck from the menu).” Though popular with locals and tourists, city red tape and summer vandalism (from a gang called the “Midnight Tokers”) played a role in the course's demise. (CBC)

The most iconic of all desert animals first evolved in the Canadian Arctic. Yes, camels are from the North. (
YouTube)
Screaming into the Icelandic void.

ELSEWHERE IN THE ARCTIC


A new website lets you record your screams, which are then broadcast from speakers out into the Icelandic wilderness because, let’s face it, 2020 has been a lot. (NPR)

“Just below the Arctic tundra, in the vast plains that blanket much of northern Russia, a once-unthinkable business is taking hold: soybean farming.” (
Bloomberg)

Space Force now has an Arctic Strategy. (Air Force Mag)

“It’s beyond time to end the charade and hold state officials accountable for their mismanagement, particularly of wolves and bears.” The lie—and shame—of Alaska wildlife management. (
Anchorage Daily News)

She’s been the star of BBC documentaries, National Geographic’s Predators series, and the poster child for Netflix’s Our Planet. She’s been in movies, on tv, on postcards. But her story is one of heartbreak. “Searching for Misha: the life and tragedies of the world’s most famous polar bear.” (
The Conversation)
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