Snowstorms, sourdoughs, and sluices: An environmental history of the Klondike Gold Rush, 1896-1900
LE3 .A278 2007
Bachelor of Arts
History & Classics
The Klondike gold rush stood out from the other gold rushes prior to its time because it took place in a unique climate where miners had to make adjustments not only to living in the cold climate but to mining techniques as well. By studying the Klondike gold rush from an environmental perspective, it becomes obvious that the relationship between the people and the environment in the Klondike was two-fold: people had an effect on the environment through mining, deforestation, and settlement, and the environment likewise had an effect on people through the hardships of the weather and the trails to Dawson City. These hardships challenged and changed people physically and likely changed many internally as well. The Klondike gold rush had a lasting impact on people as many carried the memories of the rush with them for the rest of their lives. It had a profound impact on the environment through deforestation, diversion of water, and the destruction caused by mining on a small scale and later on a large scale with the use of dredges. The rush also affected the Yukon as it opened it up to white settlement, tourism, and mining and had a huge impact on the economy.
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