Clearcut in Takhini

Clearcut in Takhini You may want to visit Takhini North to see the large changes happening in our neighbourhood. Last week, we listened to chainsaws clearing the white spruce and lodgepole pine forest that used to separate our homes from Range Road. Thi

You may want to visit Takhini North to see the large changes happening in our neighbourhood.

Last week, we listened to chainsaws clearing the white spruce and lodgepole pine forest that used to separate our homes from Range Road. This forest clearing is in preparation for infrastructure upgrades (sewage, roads, etc.) and housing development.

As many of you know, the city has worked for many years with Takhini North residents to prepare for this time. This does not negate the fact that it is very, very difficult for many of us to watch.

Thursday, as the chainsaws were screaming in the background, I watched several yellow-rumped warblers fighting in my yard, showing territorial displays – someone has lost a home. There were also many dark-eyed juncos wandering slowly through the clearcut areas. It is likely they had started nesting in that forest prior to the cutting.

The school bus stops right in the middle of the new clearcut and three different children expressed to me their sadness about seeing the trees cut down. I watched those kids playing hide-and-seek amongst the trees this winter – the best playground any child could hope for.

City planning is a complicated issue and I won’t be able to properly address everything here. I am not opposed to infilling if it means that Whitehorse reduces its footprint on the planet and stops creating new car-dependent subdivisions on the outskirts of town. Our highest priority should be to use abandoned/vacant building sites before clearing green spaces.

I do question the level of care that has been taken to determine which of the trees needed to be cut here (some of the trees, upon inspection, were more than 50 years old). In a neighbourhood with many children, I think narrow streets are best – they encourage drivers to reduce their speed (I do recognize that city service vehicles like the convenience of wider streets).

I heard Karen Baltgailis of the Yukon Conservation Society on CBC Radio One this morning urging city residents to make comments about the Official Community Plan before Tuesday. Specifically, she mentioned the city’s wish to abolish the required referendums when greenbelt areas are being slated for development.

This is such an important topic – the voice of each citizen should be heard for every patch of forest. Peaceful neighbourhoods and quality of life are worth it.

I urge everyone to send comments to the city on this important issue. Let’s continue discussing this.

Jennifer Line


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read