Posts Tagged ‘yukon rivers canoe trip guide’

Supreme Court Response Expected Soon

Monday, June 6th, 2016

 

From www.protectpeel.ca, December, 2015

“On August 20 and 21, 2015 the Peel court case was heard at the Yukon Court of Appeal in Whitehorse. At this hearing, the Yukon Government argued that the Yukon Supreme Court ruling by Justice Ronald Veale be dismissed. The respondents (the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, CPAWS Yukon and YCS), supported through an intervention by the Gwich’in Tribal Council, defended against this appeal and argued that Justice Veale’s ruling be upheld.

On November 4, 2015 the Yukon Court of Appeal judgement was released. This ruling agreed that Yukon Government failed to honour its treaty obligations, that planning provisions in the Umbrella Final Agreement are binding on government, and that the government’s plan for the Peel Watershed is quashed. However, the remedy dictated by the Court of Appeal sends the matter back to an earlier stage in the process, which may allow government to modify the plan to increase access and development in the watershed.

On December 15, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nations, CPAWS-Yukon and YCS announced they are seeking leave to appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada. ”

 

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 (online: www.yukonbooks.com ),  Mountain Equipment Co-op (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto).

Wild Rivers is an essential companion to help you navigate all of 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. Full of wonderful stories and information, it’s a must-have campfire companion.

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.

Early Days in Campaign to Protect Peel Watershed

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

When I walked into a small Vancouver courtroom in 1992, the odds did not look good for the Bonnet Plume River. Facing the judge, a battery of stern-faced lawyers was ready to make the case for the federal government and the company that wanted to develop a mine beside the river.

Our legal team consisted of one lawyer, Stewart Elgie, with the Sierra Legal Defence Fund. He told me that our group, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, had a 50-50 chance of winning this particular fight. The case revolved around a 60-kilometre long winter road that had been bulldozed in to a large block of mining claims on the Bonnet Plume River. We had challenged the federal government’s environmental review of the project.

The Bonnet Plume was soon to be honoured as a Canadian Heritage River, thanks in large measure to the efforts of the Nacho Nyak Dun in their land claims negotiations, so at least some people out there thought this river was special. Yet the future of its clear waters and free-ranging caribou would be decided in a courtroom 2,500 kilometres away from this remote northern valley. Surely, I thought, we can’t delegate judgment on thousands of years of biological evolution and the destiny of a wild mountain river to a legal game of chance.

I had journeyed down many remote rivers before canoeing the Bonnet Plume in the summer of 1988, but I had never before experienced a watershed like this one. The aquamarine Bonnet Plume, with its sister rivers the Wind and Snake, carried in their crystal waters all the fascination of the Yukon wilderness. The space, infinite light, the escape from time itself, the never-ending gnarled and saw-toothed mountains, opened a new window on the meaning of wild.

Looking back now, I can see how that two-week journey changed my life. Growing up in a quiet town on the edge of the woods, I had always felt a kinship with nature, but here –on the Bonnet Plume — I realized that without help, extraordinary places like these would soon disappear, even in the Yukon.

In the early 1990s, when prospectors for Westmin Mining Corporation, exploring for copper, staked the flanks of the Bonnet Plume valley, they did so with the historic privileges afforded by the Yukon’s free-entry mining law, which grants powerful rights to those who first lay claim to the land. They knew they could knock down trees, bulldoze roads, dynamite, and utterly transform the land on their claims away from public scrutiny.

We wanted to take a closer look at Westmin’s operation and a generous local pilot donated the use of his two-seater Piper Cub. Soon I was up in the air, photographing the flattened spruce trees along the winter road leading to the airstrip and new mining camp. One corporation was on the verge of setting the direction for the Bonnet Plume valley. After seeing this giant scar on the landscape, I knew we could not accept surrendering this wild river to a money play in the southern penny market.  If this northern wilderness was to be diminished, where would we draw the next boundary for nature? It was time to confront the belief that mining exploration was exempt from environmental safeguards, and the only place we could do that was in the courts.

We lost that case on the weight of legal minutia, but we won an important point. The judge conceded the federal government was obliged to consider how mining could affect a Canadian Heritage River. Twelve years later, the airstrip, drill pads, and mining camp were long since abandoned — another legacy of the Yukon’s archaic frontier mining laws. The company found less copper than anticipated and metal prices dropped, so they packed up and left.  The company’s promised jobs and bright future for the Village of Mayo evaporated as quickly as the claims had been posted. For its part, the federal government realized its antiquated mining regulations, allowing for extensive exploration work without any environmental review, were no longer tenable. It dusted off long-awaited rules to improve the way mining companies carry out exploration work in the Yukon.

by Juri Peepre, excerpt from “Wild waters, sacred places” in Three Rivers: The Yukon’s Great Boreal Wilderness. Harbour Publishing, 2005.

 

Government Releases Peel Consultation Results

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The Yukon Government has released partial results from the extended public review of the proposed Peel watershed land use plan. This latest consultation wrapped up on February 25, after years of work by the Peel Watershed Land Use Planning Commission. After the widely supported recommended plan was set aside, the Yukon government released its own options for resource development and limited protection in the region.

All of the government’s land use options, developed behind closed doors, ignore the basic principles of conservation embodied in the Recommended Plan The results of the latest public review show continuing strong support for the original recommended plan as prepared by the Planning Commission—a proposal which would protect 80% of the Peel watershed.

 

To see the Yukon government’s media release and Yukon News coverage go to:

http://www.gov.yk.ca/news/13-077.html

http://www.yukon-news.com/news/32958/

To view the recommended plan and the Yukon government proposal:

http://www.peelconsultation.ca/

 

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.

 

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, Interior Books in Smithers), 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 US orders, please add $3.00 for additional shipping costs, for a total of $35.00 US. For more information, contact jpeepreatyahoodotca, or post your comment or question in this blog.

Snake River Featured in New York Times

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Alex Hutchinson features the Peel watershed’s Snake River in The New York Times, August 23, 2012. Read the story and check out his photos at:

Far, Maybe Too Far, into the Yukon

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.

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), 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, contact jpeepreatyahoodotca, 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 First Nations Guarding Peel Watershed

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Indian Country Today– With mineral prices climbing, numerous companies with mining rights and interests in the Peel Watershed are eyeing the 16.8-million-acre northern Yukon wilderness for possible development despite the remoteness that used to make it off-limits cost-wise. Thanks to the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada adopted in November 2010, four First Nations are able to stand their ground opposing such development a little more firmly.

For the complete story, visit:

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/04/yukon-first-nations-closely-guarding-peel-watershed/

 Sunset by rapids on the Bonnet Plume River.  © Juri Peepre

 

Wild Rivers of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed: A Traveller’s Guide

… is your complete source for planning a 2011 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.