Fourteen per cent of the Yukon

Fourteen per cent of the Yukon The greenies are at it again, going on and on and on about the Peel Watershed. Now they say that a poll they commissioned says that 80 per cent of Yukoners are against development. I don't believe that poll for a minute be

The greenies are at it again, going on and on and on about the Peel Watershed. Now they say that a poll they commissioned says that 80 per cent of Yukoners are against development. I don’t believe that poll for a minute because of my own personal poll.

Here is my story.

I did not hear about the petition for development until five days before the due date. I decided to see if I could add to the petition, so I went out and canvassed. I got 340 signatures in that time Ð part time, by the way. I figure about 80 per cent of the people I asked were for development. That is why I don’t believe in this poll put on by the greenies.

All this aside, I can’t even figure out why we are considering withdrawing this land from development. I’ve always heard the greenies say that they are for responsible development Ð maybe they are just talking about some of the areas some of the time.

Land use by humans is about five per cent. This includes mining claims, all logging and farming, roads and town sites, etc. On the other hand, about 20 per cent of the Yukon is “protected” from development. The Peel Watershed in question is about 67,000 square kilometres or about 14 per cent of the Yukon. That is 14 per cent of the Yukon!

This seems like a completely crazy proposition to me. It is a weird idea to me that we might rope off 14 per cent of the country never to be used for anything other than tourism. Very mediocre tourism at that. Because of its remoteness, this country will not see but very few people. I don’t think more than 100 a year. It’s a hardy European that makes it to that neck of the woods.

There will never be much farming or logging in the Yukon. Tourism is on a decline and we are talking about shutting down mining.

Does this make sense?

Geoff Barrington

Whitehorse