Real Yukoners favour Peel protection

Real Yukoners favour Peel protection Some people boast in letters to the editor (see Karen Simon: "Leave the Peel for Real Yukoners," Nov. 30) about how long the mining and prospecting heritage goes back in the Yukon. Simon writes: "Stakers are not only

Some people boast in letters to the editor (see Karen Simon: “Leave the Peel for Real Yukoners,” Nov. 30) about how long the mining and prospecting heritage goes back in the Yukon.

Simon writes: “Stakers are not only Yukoners, but they are also the kids and grandkids and great-grandkids of Yukoners. How many of the tourists paddling down the Peel River can say that?” (Quite a few, actually, since many of the wilderness travellers in the Peel are themselves Yukoners.)

Proportionately few Yukon stakers are from here, and of the few who are, it is irrelevant how many were born here or what their lineage is. It is also absurd to imply this somehow gives them extra rights and seniority to the land. If we are considering seniority, then First Nation Yukoners trump the prospectors every time.

After all, they have lived here for over 10,000 years. How many generations does that go back, or do they not count?

We live in a vast territory that is largely already open to development. South of the Ogilvies, there is far more staked than 30,000 people could take advantage of in a few lifetimes much less the next few years.

The final recommended plan put forward by the Peel planning commission isn’t a ploy by conservationists and First Nations to dupe miners, but a recognition that people in the territory share different values and these values should be respected.

That is why if one took the time to actually read the recommended plan they would realize that the Peel planning commission spent over seven years gathering meticulous and comprehensive research and conducting frequent, effective, and transparent consultations with stakeholders, First Nations elders, plan partners and the general public to work out a fair compromise, reflecting the needs and desires of all parties involved.

This resulted in a plan recommending only 55 per cent protection with an additional 25 per cent to be reviewed every 10 years and the remaining open to development. Mining exploration could continue on existing claims even in the protected zone. Isn’t that a definition of a conservative compromise?

More than 75 per cent of Yukoners surveyed in stratified random samples done by Datapath, an independent survey company, agreed with large-scale protection of the Peel watershed. The commission received overwhelming public support for large-scale protection in its seven years of consultations. But apparently this doesn’t work for the Yukon government.

Its new “concepts” would virtually open the entire watershed to development and road access; in other words, other than a few scraps here and there for First Nations, they want it all for industry. How does this in any shape or form, appeal to Yukoners and First Nations who value wilderness and traditional heritage? Where is the compromise in the government’s new concepts?

Thorin Loeks


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

Just Posted

Local poet Joanna Lilley is photographed at the Beringia Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 20, where she will be hosting a poetry workshop on Jan. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Poetry for the ages

Workshop set for the Yukon Beringia Centre

President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris in the State Dinning Room of the White House on Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C. The administration announced plans Jan. 20 for a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a part of the refuge considered sacred by the Gwich’in. (Alex Brandon/AP)
U.S. President Joe Biden halts oil and gas lease sales in ANWR

“Its great to have an ally in the White House”


Wyatt’s World for Jan. 22, 2021

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

The Boulevard of Hope was launched by the Yukon T1D Support Network and will be lit up throughout January. It is aimed at raising awareness about Yukoners living with Type 1 diabetes. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Boulevard of Hope sheds light on Type 1 diabetes

Organizers hope to make it an annual event

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Most Read