|A claim post in the Peel.|
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
|A lone snowmobile crosses the ice bridge across the Peel River.|
Monday, January 28, 2013
In a news release issued just before Vancouver’s four-day Mineral Exploration Roundup started on Monday, the two groups said the government seems to be provoking a legal battle over the Peel and “putting certainty for the mining industry at risk.”
A land use plan for the Yukon portion of the transboundary watershed is in the final stages.
After more than six years of research and consultation, the Peel planning commission – as mandated by the Yukon’s treaty, the Umbrella Final Agreement - produced a final recommended plan in 2011. It protects 80 per cent of the watershed while allowing development in the other 20 per cent.
The government doesn’t like the commission’s plan so three months ago it released a new proposal that would protect none of the watershed, instead “actively managing” industrial activity such as mining and new roads.
“The Umbrella Final Agreement, which is Yukon law, lays out clearly how the land use planning process is supposed to go,” said Yukon Conservation Society executive director Karen Baltgailis in the release.
“Yukon government cannot, at this late stage in the process, propose a brand new plan that they’ve created behind closed doors with no input from affected First Nations or the public,” she said.
Land use plans are supposed to create certainty for miners and other land users so they know where they can and cannot operate, said Gill Cracknell, executive director of CPAWS-Yukon.
“But if Yukon government rejects the democratically-produced final recommended plan and tries to replace it with ‘active management’ of industry throughout the watershed, they will be creating uncertainty,” she said.
“If the final recommended plan for the Peel watershed is accepted, 20 per cent of the Peel could see some mining activity. If the Yukon government continues on its current course, 100 per cent will most likely be tied up in the courts for years.”
The government’s public consultation on the Peel plan ends Feb. 25. Following that it will begin negotiations with the First Nation governments with land in the watershed.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
FORT MCPHERSON - The Yukon government cancelled the Peel watershed open house it had planned to hold in this community today.
It said it was too cold for its employees to make the three-hour drive from Inuvik for lunch and an afternoon meeting.
Equally cold temperatures on Tuesday didn't stop those same six officials from making the two-hour drive from Inuvik to Tsiigehtchic.
The Tsiigehtchic open house went for a few hours in the afternoon. When it was over the Yukon officials returned to Inuvik rather than carrying on down the road another 57 kilometres to nearby Fort McPherson.
They could have spent the night at the community's Peel River Inn and been ready for the community lunch and open house today.
This morning the First Nation was told the government was cancelling.
But since the food had already been prepared, the community lunch went ahead anyways. About 100 people turned up. Most didn't know the meeting had been cancelled.
Although the government has promised to reschedule its Peel open house in Fort McPherson, it didn't tell the community when that might be.
Meanwhile the Invuik open house on the Peel plan is still scheduled for Thursday. It's at the Mackenzie Hotel boardroom from noon to 6 p.m.