A Brief History

 "I remember flying over this area almost 35 years ago when I was working for forestry and thinking...that's it. I was looking for a place where I could raise falcons, wild sheep and other animals... and there it was. I was really excited. It had water, cliffs, grasslands, everything all in one location and the guy who owned it was willing to sell it.” 

- Danny Nowlan, Interviewed in 2004


Late 1960s-2000: We are fortunate that the Nowlans had the vision to create this valuable resource. Danny and Uli Nowlan concentrated on propagating northern species of hoofed animals. They also bred indigenous species of falcons and raised other orphaned mammals. Many students, researchers, university students, biologists, filmmakers, photographers, artists, and visitors from all over the world enjoyed and benefited from this wonderful facility over the years that the Nowlans owned and operated the Yukon Game Farm.

2001:  The Nowlans decided to retire and put the property and animals up for sale.  Many locals feared its loss and looked for a way to turn this into a public facility.   

2002:  A group of individuals started the Friends of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve Society.  The Board of Directors of the Society comprised a group with expertise in business, economics, administration, wildlife research, education, computer technology and wildlife filming.  

2003: Successful in convincing government of the value of this facility, but unsuccessful in encouraging their financial support, the Friends of Yukon Wildlife Preserve Society was dissolved.   

Dec 2003: Yukon Territorial Government decided to purchase the assets of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve in order to preserve the lands, infrastructure and its resident breeding groups of northern species of wildlife.

April 1, 2004: Yukon Territorial Government finalized the purchase and the Yukon Wildlife Preserve began a new era. The model of working in partnership with an autonomous, non-for-profit organization, especially set up for this project and with a charitable status, received decisive support. Recognizing the work that had been done by the Friend's of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, the government invited the previous volunteer board members to participate as a working group to establish the new society.

June 12, 2004: Official opening day of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

June 2005: The Yukon Wildlife Preserve Operating Society obtained charitable status.

September 2012: The Yukon Wildlife Preserve attained Small Employee Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) with the Northern Safety Network - achieving the highest inspection score in 27 years.

September 2012: The Yukon Wildlife Preserve achieved Full, Unconditional, Accreditation with Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA-AZAC), becoming the 29th accredited zoological institution in Canada.