Following the December 2009 release of the recommended land use plan for the Peel Watershed which called for 80% protection, the Yukon government has decided to level the playing field. In a February 4 news release, the government said it “issued an immediate one-year interim withdrawal from mineral staking for all lands in the Peel Watershed Region in order to provide certainty during the ongoing regional land use planning process.”
This decision is an important success in the work to protect the globally important Peel watershed wilderness, home to the beautiful Three Rivers region. By withdrawing the area from new mineral staking, the government made the creation of a mosaic of large protected areas achievable – a goal supported by the majority of Yukoners, conservation organizations and First Nations.
Premier Dennis Fentie said, “This interim withdrawal ensures that the public, stakeholders and First Nations involved in the process can fully review and assess the plan on the basis of the current mineral claims in the region.” The one year withdrawal applies to mineral staking, and rights for oil, gas and coal will also not be issued in the region during this period.
Also of note, the First Nation of Na-cho Nyäk Dun, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, Gwich’in Tribal Council, and the Government of Yukon have “agreed to work collaboratively towards a number of key milestones in the planning process:”
- Plan review by governments to be completed by May 2010;
- Public consultation to be completed by October 2010;
- Response to the Planning Commission by Dec. 2010.
First Nation of Na-cho Nyäk Dun Chief Simon Mervyn said, “The Parties acknowledge that the Peel watershed is important to the region’s Aboriginal peoples and has environmental, social, cultural and economic values of tremendous importance as well as having national and international values.”
See www.peel.planyukon.ca to read the highlights of the recommended Peel Watershed plan.
Wild Rivers of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed: A Traveller’s Guide
… is your complete source for planning a trip to the Yukon’s vast north-eastern wilderness – and learning more about the natural and cultural history of this inspiring landscape. Published in 2008 by Juri Peepre and Sarah Locke, the book is available from Yukon outdoor and bookstores (Mac’s Fireweed, Up North Adventures), Mountain Equipment Co-op (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto), and on-line from www.yukonbooks.com.
Wild Rivers is an essential companion to help you navigate the Three Rivers country (the Wind, Snake and Bonnet Plume), as well as the Peel, Hart, Ogilvie, Blackstone and Rat rivers. This well illustrated field reference will be a welcome gift for your friends or family who are thinking about a future northern canoeing or hiking trip.
The book features detailed river descriptions, maps, landscape and historic photos, tips on river travel in the Peel region, and engaging descriptions of the flora, fauna, geology, human history and conservation story. For more information, see About Our Book posted in the right margin.
To order the book directly from the authors, send a cheque or money order payable to Juri Peepre, 1575 Windermere Loop Road, Windermere, BC, V0B 2L2. Price: $24.95 + $1.19 GST + Shipping = $32.00 CDN. For more information, phone 250-688-1005, or post your comment or question in this blog.