Wetland Classification


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The Yukon government uses the Canadian Wetland Classification System. This provides a practical and consistent framework for the characterization and description of wetlands throughout Yukon and Canada in a way that can be used by specialists and non-specialists alike.

This classification system has five main classes of wetlands: Bog, Fen, Marsh, Swamp, and Shallow Open Water. These classes are determined by soil, vegetation, water and other ecological characteristics of the wetland. 

As wetland classes are based on obvious features of the wetlands, the divisions between classes allow them to be readily identified in the field and then delineated on maps by those with a general knowledge of wetland processes and associated characteristics.

Classification helps everyone

Classification allows proponents to communicate clearly with assessors, identify values associated with the wetland in question and develop mitigation strategies as appropriate.

The Canadian Wetland Classification System is a scientific classification and does not deal with the environmental, social or economic importance of a wetland. It is used for naming and describing various kinds of wetlands for use during environmental assessments, regulatory applications, and planning of infrastructure projects. Use of this classification system reduces the likelihood of project delays in cases where wetlands are present.

Wetland Classification Resources


Ecological & Land Classification Program

Environment Yukon

Government of Yukon

Box 2703 (V-5R)
Whitehorse, Yukon
Canada Y1A 2C6

Phone: 867-667-5281
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408 local 5281
Fax: 867-393-6405

Email: elc@gov.yk.ca