The self-proclaimed backwoods guru has agreed to dismantle the remote — and unauthorized — stand-alone Yukon log cabin he built, lived in, and bragged about on his YouTube channel.
Matthew (Matty) Clarke also agreed to release the new video online, stating that other potential pioneers would need to get permission from the Yukon government before they could occupy public lands.
Clark is one of three people who caught the attention of government officials when they built cabins in a remote area near Ansley Creek, about 25 kilometers up the Yukon River from Dawson City, Yukon. According to the government, all of these huts were built without permission or approval on public land and within the traditional territory of Tr’ondek Khwechin.
The government asked Clarke, Simon Turigny and Chloe Sergeri to vacate and clean their cabins, and at first all three resisted or ignored the requests. Earlier this year, the government petitioned the Yukon Supreme Court to expel them.
The application to the court against Sergeri was rejected. A spokesman for the Yukon Department of Energy, Mining and Resources said her cabin had been removed and the site returned to its natural state.
Turigny, meanwhile, did not respond to an earlier subpoena, and a Yukon Supreme Court hearing has been scheduled for later this month. On Friday, a government spokesman said the hearing had been adjourned because Turigny’s hut appeared to be abandoned.
Clark agreed to dismantle his hut by January 1st, remove all his belongings from the place and restore it to its natural state. If he doesn’t, the territorial government will do it for him, and he will have to pay.
“Keeper or Steward of the Earth”
Clark’s adventures in the Yukon bushes and the legal system began two years ago, when he apparently arrived in the territory, intent on finding solitude and his own piece of paradise.
A series of YouTube videos posted by Clark last year. called Skote Outdoors — seems to tell the story of his arrival in Dawson City in 2020 to claim a mining right, and then his journey upriver to find a site and choose a site to build his home.
The videos are a mixture of step-by-step instructions for building a DIY hut, a story about northern travels, and Clark’s inspiring reflections.
“Dreams do come true, dude. Dreams come true every day boys – you just have to make them come true,” he says in one video.
Clark posted a series of six videos titled “Alone in the Yukon” showing him single-handedly chopping trees and building his log cabin in the Yukon. However, according to the Yukon government, he was never as lonely as his videos show – Sergerie and Turigny’s huts were nearby, although they were never shown or mentioned in the video.
Eventually the Yukon government found Clark’s cabin and his YouTube channel with 5,200 subscribers. And while officials last summer tried to get the YouTuber to leave the site and demolish his cabin by threatening legal action, Clark initially tried to dissuade him, claiming an honest mistake and even offering to buy the land and open a tourist site. business.
In one letter to the local government’s land manager, Clark claimed that the cabin was now his home and that he did not see himself as “a trespasser but as a guardian or manager of the land”.
Meanwhile, he continued to post new videos online last summer without mentioning his legal problems.
Now, according to the government, Clarke’s “dream come true” is boarded up and abandoned. He has a few months to take it apart and remove all his belongings from the site.
He also agreed to create and post a new video on his Skote Outdoors channel by March 31st.
“While the creative content will be his own, the video will include a statement that everyone must seek and obtain permission from the Yukon government before occupying territorial land,” the agreement, filed with the Yukon Supreme Court, says.
Meanwhile, he’s posting a new weekly series of videos on Skote Outdoors, apparently filmed last winter, that show him building a self-contained log cabin in Labrador.
Is living in the forest a crime?
While Clark was apparently focused on his new adventure in Labrador, Cergerie and Turigny reached out to local Yukon media last fall and winter to try to assert their right to stay in their Yukon cabins.
In a written statement to the media earlier this year, Sergeri complains that she and Turigny have been harassed by government officials simply for living an alternative lifestyle.
Is living in the forest a crime? Sergei wrote. “We are not asking anyone to change their lives, we just want our minority to be socially accepted and left alone.”
Turigny wrote a similar manifesto, published in local newspapers last year.
Speaking to CBC News in April, he acknowledged that his Ansley Creek cabin was unauthorized, but his problems with the law appear to have puzzled him nonetheless. He said he felt “harassed” by overzealous government officials.
“They tell me my cabin is unauthorized. Like, it’s a fact, I can’t deny it,” he said.
“My question is why? Like what’s in my hut? And at what point is it no longer acceptable? This is a shelter built of logs and moss, in which I can feel comfortable and safe in the wilderness.”
Turigny said he was ready to legitimize his cabin in some way, but no one seemed to want to help him with this.
“I really want to live in the bush and I think I should have the right to a cabin in the bush. If you want me to do it legally, then, like, let me do it legally,” he said.
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“The only reason I didn’t follow the rules is because I want to live in the woods so badly that I went and did it anyway… No one can tell me I’m wrong because deep down soul I know that I’m not doing anything wrong.”