This photo first ran in the December 2014 issue of C&K magazine, now on newsstands and available for download.

18 day Peel River Expedtion down the Wind and Peel Rivers in Yukon, Canada. Part of an expedition organized by the international League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWs) to Protect the Peel. Expedition members Andy Maser, Peter Mather, Tomo Uemura, Kate Weekes, and Dona Novasky. Images also shot in the Gwich'in community of Fort MacPherson of first nations (aboriginal people) using the land in a traditional way to gather foods. The Gwich'in are working hard to protect their traditional lands, as they depend on them for the cultural and subsistence lifestyle.

Photo by Peter Mather

Aplenglow lights the clouds above Royal Mountain on the Wind River in Northern Yukon. The Wind is one of six tributaries that combine to form the greater Peel Watershed, which local First Nations use to maintain cultural traditions and subsistence livelihoods. Along with environmental groups, they have been fighting to have a portion of the mineral- and oil-rich Peel protected from development for over 30 years. A land use plan that would protect 80% of the watershed was recently rejected by the pro-mining Yukon Government, however, and the case is now before the courts with the outcome uncertain.

This summer, photographer Peter Mather and filmmaker Andy Maser paddled the Wind River on a trip supported by the international League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS). The purpose of the trip was to gather images to help in the efforts to protect the Peel, and to produce two short videos (forthcoming) about the watershed and the local First Nations people fighting for its protection.

–To learn more about the Peel, visit www.protectpeel.ca.

–See more photography from Peter Mather.

–Check out MORE PHOTOS from C&K.