Eriophorum callitrix, commonly known as Arctic cotton, Arctic cottongrass, suputi, or pualunnguat in Inuktitut, is a perennial Arctic plant in the Cyperaceae family. It is one of the most widespread flowing plants in the northern hemisphere and tundra regions. Upon every stem grows a single round, white and wooly fruit. The seed heads are covered in this cottony mass and usually disperse when the wind carries them away. They also have narrow, grass-like leaves. This plant is food for migrating snow geese, caribou and their calves. The Inuit used the seed heads as wicks in oil lamps. Clumps were placed into babies’ pants and then thrown away when soiled.
Canadian Forces Station Inuvik:
Opened on 12 March 1961 as Naval Radio Station Inuvik, replacing the former NRS Aklavik. Located 123 miles north of the Arctic Circle, NRS Inuvik served as a communications research station, part of Canada’s National Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) organization, and a search and rescue centre for the northern region. On 10 September 1963, the name was changed to Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Inuvik.
As a result of the Unification, the station was re-named CFS Inuvik in 1966.
CFS Inuvik closed on 1 April 1986, despite the objections of the Town of Inuvik. The base had a compliment of 267 personnel and at that time was the largest military installation in the northern Canada. It was feared that the closure of the base would be devastating to the town and about 700 people did end up leaving the town.
In compensation, a Forward Operating Location was established at the Inuvik Airport, a pre-deployment staging ground for CF-18 fighter jets.
The CFS Inuvik site was transferred to Department of Transport for use as a telecommunications station. Nothing remains of the station today, which was located at the end of Navy Road, north of Inuvik.