The Yukon government has attempted to toss out the findings of the Peel Watershed Planning Commission, saying that the conservation oriented land use plan must be re-done to make more room for mining, roads and other industrial development.
In a widely acclaimed plan released in 2009 with strong public approval, the Commission recommended 80% protection for the watershed, including well known major tributaries such as the Wind, Snake, Bonnet Plume and Hart rivers. The affected First Nations have called for 100% protection of the watershed.
The Yukon government’s vague media statement released on the eve of the holiday season, asserted that “…proposing a high level of protection for such a large portion of the region… is inconsistent with the Yukon government view of the final [First Nations land claims] agreements.” This is a bogus argument, clearly not shared by the First Nations who have spent 5 years working on a land use plan for their traditional territories that reflects the spirit and intent of their land claims agreements.
While the current government is challenging permanent wilderness protection in the Peel watershed, it has committed to extending the staking moratorium for another year, while the land use plan is finalized. Earlier during the planning process more than 10,000 mining claims were staked in the watershed, compromising the ability to create protected areas. While the government is reluctant to protect nature, it does want to protect these existing mining claims.
The Yukon government and the First Nations must now work out a final response to the Planning Commission so that a land use plan can be approved in 2011.
To learn more and take action, visit: www.protectpeel.ca
For the latest news go to: http://peelwatershed.blogspot.com/
Yukon News: http://www.yukon-news.com/news/20996/
Campsite on upper Snake River at Reptile Creek. © Juri Peepre.
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.