Re: “Planning council criticizes territory’s Peel plans,” Yukon News, Dec. 12.
While reporting on the Yukon Land Use Planning Council’s board meeting of Dec. 7, the Yukon News stated that member Emile Stehelin was the government’s “representative” and that he was “conspicuous by his absence.”
The council would like to clarify that its members are not representatives of the parties that nominate them (Canada, Yukon and the Council of Yukon First Nations) and in no way do any of the members speak on behalf of their nominating agency. For the writer to insinuate anything from his absence is misleading. An immediate retraction is warranted.
With respect to the Peel approval process, the land claim agreements indicate that the Yukon government and affected Yukon First Nations have three decision options for the final recommended plan after consultations are complete: accept the plan as submitted, modify the plan or reject it. Presenting “conceptual” modifications before the public and First Nations consultations may be perceived as breaching the intent of the land claim agreements or the process previously agreed to in the letter of understanding on the Peel watershed regional land use planning process, signed in January by the Yukon government and affected First Nations.
Finally, the definition of wilderness and the associated map, which you identified as coming from “government land use plans from 1999,” was from the Yukon government’s 1999 State of the Environment Report.
Yukon Land Use Planning Council