Stop Peel staking

Stop Peel staking I like to thank the Peel Watershed Land Use Planning Commission for their objective vision for the future and the in-depth work during the last few years. The members of the commission have done a great amount of research and consultat

I like to thank the Peel Watershed Land Use Planning Commission for their objective vision for the future and the in-depth work during the last few years.

The members of the commission have done a great amount of research and consultations of various user groups to complete this difficult project.

The committee has asked the Yukon government repeatedly since 2006 for a moratorium on staking new mineral claims until a final decision is made.

Many Yukon citizens have no idea of the extent of staking that has already taken place.

Exploration companies can stake as many claims as they like and that they are not required to set claim posts that are four feet tall anymore. Modern staking practices require as little as four- by four-inch claim posts and the staking of the future may conveniently happen on the internet.

Another widely unknown fact is that once the mineral claim is staked, the exploration efforts are in no way limited to one mineral.

If the company is looking for gold or copper and they discover a huge uranium deposit, the uranium may prove to be more profitable.

And if the First Nations and the public are opposed to uranium mining they might not have any options.

But the companies could ask the government for a huge compensation package depending on uranium prices.

Who would have to pay for this? The First Nations, the taxpayers or Santa Claus?

Especially the Wind River area has, according to the Peel Watershed Land Use Planning Committee, the “highest concentration of quartz claims, some iron potential, mostly moderate with some high copper/gold/uranium potential.”

Two thirds of the existing claims in the Wernecke Mountains were staked with uranium as primary commodity.

How can this happen without previous consultations?

Uranium tailings are radioactive for many thousands of years and cannot be contained safely for such a long time.

Any radioactive waste would be detrimental for all plants and animals downstream from the extraction site.

Water should be the primary concern in the Peel Watershed.

The ecosystems in this particular area are so sensitive that even slight changes of available water and water quality have a great impact on the flora and fauna.

My son and I hiked in the mountainous part of the Wind River last summer when it was extremely hot.

We could see that water was sparse even without human interference.

Any type of mining or exploration activity including camps etc., requires water.

I haven’t found any information about ground water levels or aquifers in the area. Do we want to pollute and deplete the remaining water and be responsible for devastating impact on the ecosystems down the road?

Under these circumstances it makes no sense at to allow further staking of mineral claims in the Wernecke Mountains.

Before a final decision is made it is unethical to continue staking land away under our feet in an area like the Peel Watershed.

First Nations, the public and even the companies are disregarded.

Unless negotiations behind closed doors have taken place promising companies future road access, continuation of staking activities could cause financial losses and discontentment for exploration companies.

Angela Sabo

Whitehorse

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

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

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

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Most Read