I wanted to express my disappointment with the Yukon government’s land use plan for the Peel River watershed.
Despite seven years of research and consultation following a constitutionally mandated process under the Umbrella Final Agreement and Yukon land claims agreements, the Yukon government has made the choice to unilaterally ignore the proposed recommendations to protect as much as 80 per cent of northern Yukon’s 68,000 square kilometre Peel River watershed from industrial development, road development and mineral staking.
The Yukon government plan to open up to 71 per cent of the region for mineral and oil and gas staking – which will require the building of roads, bridges and possibly railroads in this wilderness. The development of one deposit could open the region to many others, as transportation opportunities lower the cost of extracting lead-zinc, uranium, copper, nickel and coal believed to be buried in the region. Transportation routes will carve up the landscape, interfere with animal migration and irrevocably tame this great wilderness.
I’m utterly flabbergasted at the shortsightedness of this government’s decision-making. It is selling out one of the last great intact ecosystems for greed and short-term job security.
How was all the research and the 2011 agreement overlooked? Are any of the decision-makers involved actually educated in life sciences? Or do these government representatives speak only for the corporations whose only understanding is “more?”