The Peel Watershed Planning Commission released its much awaited final recommended land use plan today. In a bold response to earlier Yukon government criticism that the draft plan had too much protection, the Commission remained firm in recommending that 80% of the Peel watershed be protected, in two types of conservation areas. The plan calls for a large Special Management Area, a contiguous core protected area encompassing the entire Three Rivers region, including the Wind, Snake and Bonnet Plume watersheds – about 55% of the Peel watershed.
In the second type of conservation area, the Hart River is a proposed Wilderness Area, which provides for interim protection. Other watersheds, such as the Blackstone River on the western side of the Peel region, are within an Integrated Management Zone. Allowing for new industrial development in 20% of the watershed, and proposing interim protection in the Wilderness Areas, the Commission has shown a willingness to compromise. The Plan falls short of recommending protection for 100% of the watershed, as called for by First Nations and conservation groups, but remains a bold proposal of global importance.
This is a visionary plan for the Peel watershed, and, if accepted by the Yukon government, will result in one of the largest protected areas in North America. It deserves our support.
The last round of public consultations on the plan will be from mid-August until mid-September. We expect a Yukon government decision on the future of the watershed in late October, but the mandatory fall election may push that date.
To read the recommended land use plan, visit:
Globe & Mail Features the Peel Watershed, July 23
Read Bruce Kirkby’s excellent article on why Canadians need to protect the Peel watershed wilderness:
For the latest news, action alerts and background information on the campaign to protect the Yukon’s 68,000 km2 Peel Watershed, visit: www.protectpeel.ca Protectpeel is loaded with images, video and the stories behind the conservation campaign. Find out what you need to know, and what you can do, to support Canada’s largest proposed protected area.
Check out the Peel Watershed post on the National Geographic Global Action Atlas. Yes, the Peel conservation campaign has gone global!
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.