Posts Tagged ‘hartriver’

Peel Court Case Appeal to be Heard in August

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Excerpt from Yukon News, by Jacqueline Ronson Wednesday May 27, 2015

“The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation has joined the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun and conservation groups in their legal battle with the Yukon government over the fate of the Peel watershed.

Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale struck down the Yukon government’s plan for the Peel after a court case last summer, ruling that it did not follow the process outlined in final agreements with First Nations.

The Yukon government is now appealing that decision. The case will be heard in August.

Vuntut Gwitchin joined the other First Nations as respondents in the appeal after a court hearing on Monday.”

“Our government has concerns regarding Yukon’s conduct during the later stages of the Peel planning process. We will continue to be vigilant to protect the integrity of our final and self-government agreements, including the regional land use planning provisions.”

“Such a ruling could inadvertently and unnecessarily thwart potential further legal action in the case, he said. The Yukon Land Use Planning Council also applied to act as an intervenor in the appeal.

Both the Yukon government and the respondents opposed the motion. The judge said he will make a decision on the issue in the coming weeks. The planning council could not be reached for comment by press time.”

For the full story:

http://www.yukon-news.com/news/vuntut-gwitchin-join-peel-appeal/

 

Take Action to Protect the Peel Watershed

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.

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 bookstores (Mac’s Fireweed in Whitehorse,  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.

Ancient Peoples of the Peel

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

 

Geologic artistry in the canyon country of the Hart River.  J Peepre.

In traditional times, the rewards of life on the land were hard won. People travelled great distances to survive, carrying their livelihoods with them as they hunted, and shaping their lives to the ways of the animals on which they depended.  They fashioned all they needed—weapons, boats, cooking utensils, even boats– from stone, wood and the many different parts of caribou and other animals. Home was where the animals were—the winter hunt camps, the summer fish camps.

For the Tetl’it Gwich’in, the Peel was the centre of their world. They called it Teetl’it njik, meaning “along the head of the waters.” Tetl’it Gwich’in means “people who live at the head of the waters.” They were mountain people, hunting caribou throughout the valleys of the Richardson and Ogilvie mountains for most of the year. In summer, they descended to the Peel River and fished.

Other First Nations also travelled the mountains and valleys of this vast region during their yearly cycles. The Nacho Nyak Dun are “big river people,” and live on the banks of the Stewart River in Mayo, Yukon, south of the Wernecke Mountains. They are the most northern of the Yukon’s Tutchone First Nations, and their lives are oriented mainly towards the Yukon River, which runs roughly through the middle of Tutchone traditional territory.

But the Peel watershed has always been important to them as well. They would climb into the Wernecke and Ogilvie Mountains to snare Dall sheep as its meat was a special delicacy, and its supple soft skins were used for making children’s clothing. When barren-ground caribou wintered in the Peel watershed, the word would spread and they travelled over the mountains to hunt them. In more recent times, Nacho Nyak Dun also trapped and prospected in the Peel watershed.

Their life revolved around chinook salmon, which spawn every summer in the Stewart, a tributary of the Yukon River, which has the world’s longest run of migrating chinook salmon. In traditional times, the late summer runs of spawning salmon were immense—a natural spectacle on a par with the movement of the great herds of barren-ground caribou. At favoured fish camps, such as Fraser Falls, the Nacho Nyak set up weirs and wove funnel-shaped fish traps out of willow branches. Everyone stayed busy catching, cleaning and drying fish—setting aside large quantities of dried salmon for winter.

The seasonal round was similar for the Tr’ondek Hwech’in—“people of the river” in their Han language. They now live in Dawson City, where the annual run of salmon on the Yukon River is still a seasonal highlight. In fall the Han used to move north to hunt, trap and pick berries, and their traditional territory includes parts of the Hart River watershed and the entire Ogilvie and Blackstone river drainages.

 

(adapted from Wild Rivers of the Peel Watershed, 2008)

 

David Suzuki Calls for Peel Watershed Protection

Monday, September 19th, 2011

After an inspiring two week journey with his family and friends on the Hart River this summer, renowned Canadian scientist and conservationist David Suzuki did not hesitate to call for protection of the entire Peel watershed. We were privileged to join David and his wife, Tara Cullis on the raft and canoe trip down the Hart – a river of infinite variety with sinuous slow-moving channels and frothy fast waters, stunning castellated ridges, canyons, and sweeping forested valleys. Other family members on the expedition were daughter Sarika Cullis-Suzuki, and son, Yukon resident Troy Suzuki. The Hart is one of four major wild tributaries of the Peel recommended for protection by the Peel Watershed Land Use Planning Commission, a plan endorsed by the region’s First Nations.

While it is clear that David and his family were moved by the natural beauty and ecological vitality of this place, and the contribution the Peel watershed could make to conservation in Canada’s North, their fellow travellers relished the lively and far-reaching conversations with Canada’s leading family for the environment. David Suzuki reminded us that, although protecting the Peel watershed is a vital imperative, it is still only one facet reflecting the urgent need to re-shape the way we think about nature, the economy, and our place on the planet.

Read Sarah Locke’s Yukon News article on the Hart River journey:

http://www.yukon-news.com/business/25018/

Watch a video with David Suzuki on the Peel (by Marten Berkman):

http://youtu.be/tOWU0pypS9M

Read the Yukon News article on David Suzuki’s perspective:

http://www.protectpeel.ca/PDF/Suzukiyukonnewsaug26.pdf

 

David Suzuki fly-fishing for grayling on the Hart River. Juri Peepre

 

To read the recommended Peel watershed land use plan, visit:

http://www.peel.planyukon.ca/downloads/FRLUP.html

Globe & Mail Features the Peel Watershed, July 23

Read Bruce Kirkby’s excellent article on why Canadians need to protect the Peel watershed wilderness:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/destinations/travel-canada/how-long-will-canadas-final-frontier-stay-wild/article2106639/

Take Action

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!

http://www.actionatlas.org/content/id/pa33B5CA1D2654818C01

 

Sarah and Troy relax on Sheep Cave Mountain, on the Hart River. 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.

Contact Us

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.

Peel Watershed Plan Calls for 80% Protection

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

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:

http://www.peel.planyukon.ca/downloads/FRLUP.html

Globe & Mail Features the Peel Watershed, July 23

Read Bruce Kirkby’s excellent article on why Canadians need to protect the Peel watershed wilderness:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/destinations/travel-canada/how-long-will-canadas-final-frontier-stay-wild/article2106639/

Take Action

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!

http://www.actionatlas.org/content/id/pa33B5CA1D2654818C01

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.

Contact Us

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.

Yukon Government Tries to Discredit Peel Watershed Land Use Plan

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

 

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.

Contact Us

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. 

 

Governments to Decide Peel Watershed’s Future

Friday, October 15th, 2010

After ten months of public comment on the Peel Watershed Land Use Plan, the final recommendations prepared by the Planning Commission will now be appraised by the Yukon and First Nations governments, with a decision expected in the new year. In a far-sighted plan, the Commission called for 80% of the watershed to be protected, including well known major tributaries such as the Wind, Snake, Bonnet Plume and Hart rivers.  Even so, the Nacho Nyak Dun and Tr’on dek Hwech’in First Nations say their goal is to protect 100% of the Peel watershed, a message that was re-enforced in well attended community meetings in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

The majority of northerners and many other Canadians, have spoken clearly and forcefully about their desire to protect the Peel watershed – this was the dominant message conveyed during 8 public events held earlier this fall, and in submissions to the Yukon government. At the Mayo meeting, Elder Jimmy Johnny said,

“It doesn’t matter how much money the mining and exploration companies bring into the Yukon, what matters is the water, the fish, the people.” (quoted by Mary Walden in http://peelwatershed.blogspot.com/ )

In response, the Yukon government has begun its campaign of fear to discredit the publicly supported conservation plan, and tout the old “multiple use” solution of industrial development “balanced” by an absolute minimum of protection. One hapless Minister went so far as to suggest singling out the tourism industry for a tax to pay for protecting wilderness – he later withdrew his remarks after a strong reaction from the community. Robert Alexie Sr., at a meeting in Ft. McPherson, offered a much more robust interpretation on the economics of conservation when he said, “If we leave that alone, if its protected, our people will be wealthy for the rest of their lives.”

Duo Lakes near the Snake River headwaters

From a ridge high above Duo Lakes, you can see the Snake River valley disappear to the North.Photo: J. Peepre

The public consultation period may be over, but the political conversation has warmed up – and the public, conservation organization, First Nations community, and tourism industry voices still need to be heard until the Yukon government finally gets the point: Yukon people and Canadians from across the land want to protect the Peel watershed! It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity for this government to create a permanent and priceless legacy for people, and for the wild life of the Yukon’s celebrated boreal mountains and waters.

To learn more and take action, visit:

http://www.protectpeel.ca/

For the latest news go to:

http://peelwatershed.blogspot.com/

New Momentum to Protect the Peel

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Public Comments on Peel Plan Due October 1

The Yukon government will accept public comment on the recommended Peel Watershed Land Use Plan until October 1st. Earlier this year the Peel Planning Commission called for 80% of the watershed to be protected using a variety of conservation tools, such as parks, wilderness areas, and habitat protection areas. (See information posts below)  While Yukon NGOs and affected First Nations generally support the plan’s direction, First Nations have stated their goal of protecting 100% of the Peel watershed.

The Yukon government needs to hear from Yukoners, Canadians and global citizens who support protecting this vital constellation of wild mountain watersheds in Canada’s boreal forest.

To take action and send your letter, visit:

 www.protectpeel.ca

For more information on the recommended plan, visit:

 www.planyukon.ca

Lone bull caribou on a ridge above Reptile Creek

Lone bull caribou on a ridge above Reptile Creek

First Nations Ask Chevron to Give Up Iron Ore Leases

Two Yukon First Nations, the Nacho Nyak Dun and Tr’ondek Hwech’in, have asked Chevron Canada and the parent company, based in San Ramon California, to recognize the First Nations’ desire to prevent industrial development in the region by giving up their large block of iron ore leases next to the Snake River, in support of protecting the watershed. The company has not responded to the First Nations repeated requests.

Earlier this year, Yukon NGOs also approached Chevron to relinquish their iron ore interests and participate in a major conservation achievement.  But this summer the company said it was not interested in giving up the leases.  The remote and inaccessible Crest iron ore deposit is unlikely to ever be developed,  and in any case is a minor asset for Chevron – what advantage does the company see in ignoring the First Nations and public conservation interest, just to maintain a risky mineral property and perpetuate the conflict?

I paddled the Snake River again this summer, and was struck once more by the sheer beauty and diversity of the watershed.  During our walks into the mountains and valleys next to the river, we watched dozens of mountain caribou, Dall’s sheep ewes and lambs, and striking two-toned  blond and brown grizzly bears feeding on the slopes.  In the Mount MacDonald area, the giant dark peaks and deep valleys mottled with luxuriant bearflower meadows are the essence of the “magic and mystery“ turn of phrase often used to evoke the spirit of the Yukon.

As the Snake River nears the edge of the mountains at Iron Creek, row upon row of castellations guard the ridges.  The valley is broad now, and to the north the low horizon marks the start of the Peel plateau.  It’s here, within habitat for sheep, caribou and grizzly bears that Chevron’s Crest iron ore deposit lies. The idea of a massive open pit mine in this place, with swaths of industrial roads cut into the valleys and along the banks of the Snake River seems impossible to contemplate.  Chevron has little to gain from developing or selling this dormant mining property, but could instead show genuine corporate leadership and contribute to protecting the beauty and life of the Snake River for all time.

Approaching the Canyon Ranges and Chevron's Crest iron ore leases

Approaching the Canyon Ranges and Chevron's Crest iron ore leases

For more information and to take action, visit:

 www.protectpeel.ca

Great Reviews and Testimonials for “Wild Rivers of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed”

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

 

Wild Rivers of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed: A Traveller’s Guide, published by Juri Peepre and Sarah Locke in June 2008, features 8 of the premiere navigable tributaries of the vast Peel watershed. This well-illustrated book describes the fascinating natural and cultural history of the region, and provides paddling trip details for the Wind, Snake, Bonnet Plume, Hart, Blackstone, Rat, Peel and Ogilvie rivers. Rounding out the book contents, readers will find poetry, essays and the ongoing Peel watershed conservation story.

For on-line orders, visit www.yukonbooks.com, or purchase from Mac’s Fireweed, Up North Adventures, or CPAWS-Yukon in Whitehorse.

Reviews & Testimonials

Canadian Wilderness, Fall 2008

“If you’ve been reading Canadian Wilderness for a few years, you’ll already know about the remote, beautiful Peel watershed. Author Juri Peepre led a CPAWS national tour in 2007 to raise awareness about the need to conserve this relatively unknown area threatened by industrial development. Peepre and co-author Sarah Locke have now produced a comprehensive guide to canoeing and hiking this spectacular area. This well-researched account of the geography, natural and human history of the watershed is recommended for those planning a trip, and for vicarious paddlers too. For more on the Peel watershed, read the Spring 2007 and Fall 2005 issues of Canadian Wilderness online at www.cpaws.org
  

The Thought Kitchen: blog.nau.com

 

“Your river notes were incredibly helpful. In fact, when we returned to Whitehorse we went straight to Mac’s Fireweed Books (which is a terrific bookstore – especially the magazine section) and bought multiple copies of your new book: Wild Rivers of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed.”

 

Brian Brett, poet, novelist and journalist, Salt Spring Island, BC

 

“I got the book, and it’s wonderful. Dense and alluring. My heart just went out to be back on the river. I still dream of returning. I feel privileged to be in the new version.”

 

See also the blog comments posted earlier.