letter to the editor359

Hey, what about Yukon hay? In a recent telephone conversation with Caroline Thorn of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, I asked why I have never seen a…

Hey, what about

Yukon hay?

In a recent telephone conversation with Caroline Thorn of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, I asked why I have never seen a tender in the local newspapers for the purchase of hay for animals on the preserve.

Thorn advised me that the staff veterinarian said the Yukon hay was not good enough for their animals.

This comes as a great surprise to me because the three elk herds and one buffalo herd and a lot of horse people prefer Yukon hay.

The thriving deer are eating Yukon hay on our ranch and also along the Alaska Highway.

To even think that Yukon hay is not good enough for penned and fenced animals that especially don’t have to forage for their feed, but only to lay about all day for viewing, is complete nonsense.

Since this government is strenuously promoting agriculture, then I expect the Yukon Wildlife Preserve to support local agriculture, especially since all the employees and the expenses of operating and maintaining the preserve and all the animals are paid by taxpayers.

This non-support by the Yukon Wildlife Preserve has been going on for three years. As long as the government continues paying the costs and the employees continue receiving paycheques, why would they care?

Cliff LaPrairie, LaPrairie Bison Ranch, Whitehorse

Wilderness belongs

in the wild

 Much has been written lately about protection of greenspace, and there have been discussions about plebiscites and by-laws designed to protect green spaces within Whitehorse.

I would like to take this opportunity to add my 51 cents’ worth and to list my concerns, which I ask that you address.

I moved with my family to Whitehorse nearly 26 years ago for three main reasons.

First, it seemed a good place to raise a family away from the rat race of the big city down south.

Second, I discovered in Yukon a wealth of mineral and energy resources waiting to be developed, so it appeared, at the time, that Yukon and Whitehorse were poised for sustained economic growth, and hence that there would be ample economic opportunities for my growing children.

Third, I wished to nurture a love of the great outdoors, and I relished the splendid opportunities for camping, hiking, hunting and fishing within a half-hour’s drive outside the city.

My first and third expectations have been largely met, but my second definitely has not.

I have been sorely disappointed with the lack of economic growth. In fact, for the past decade, or more, there has been no economic growth at all.

We currently have an economy which is almost entirely based upon government expenditures, an economy which is clearly unsustainable.

In case you have not noticed, in the past decade most of our young people have left Yukon.

My two sons have elected to remain in Whitehorse to try and earn their living here, but they are both lonely because almost all of their friends in their age groups have left the Yukon to try and find some opportunities and pursue a career.

For the most part their only real options here are menial, low-paying jobs in the service sector or the tourism industry, or they can try and get a job with the government. So, now to outline my concerns:

Lack of developed land — fortunately, it does now appear that we can look forward to a couple of decades of sustained economic growth.

Several new mines are going into production and there is a good possibility that both the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline and a railway connecting Alaska with the rest of the continent will be built.

They may not be economic today, or even in a decade from now, but they will be built eventually.

Unfortunately, neither Whitehorse nor the Yukon government seem to be planning for the influx of the thousands of new Yukoners (and returning Yukoners) who will be arriving to take advantage of these economic opportunities.

There is an urgent need to plan for several thousand residential lots, and a few hundred commercial and industrial lots.

Whitehorse is already an overly large, sprawling city for the size of the population, and we definitely must not permit the city to encroach on the surrounding wilderness by allowing further expansion, so the only option that makes sense is that most if not all this future land development must take place within the present city limits.

The land that we have must be put to its highest and best use to the benefit of the majority of citizens, and not to bend to the wishes of the few who only have their own selfish interests at heart.

In closing, I would like to express my opinion on greenspaces within the city.

We need neighbourhood playgrounds and skating rinks for our children; we need a network of trails for skiers and cyclists and orienteering enthusiasts and for people to walk their dogs.

We need a few parks in popular areas for people to enjoy picnics and the like, such as the areas around Chadburn Lake and Hidden Lakes and Fish Lake.

We definitely do not need large areas of forested land within our built-up areas. Those that we have should be cleared and developed.

The wilderness should be kept outside the city where it properly belongs, and, wherever possible, the land inside the city, which is suitable for development, should be developed for residential, commercial and industrial use.

 

Roderic P. Hill

Whitehorse

Not against greenbelts

Re April 7 editorial:

The next time you represent my views in your editorial, I would appreciate the courtesy of a phone call from you to verify my position on the issue in question as opposed to relying on hearsay.

I do not appreciate being misrepresented.

Dan Lang

Whitehorse

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