The Yukon government’s plan for the Peel River watershed released last week is a radical departure from the thoughtfully crafted final plan of the Peel planning commission.
The Yukon Party has failed to heed the explicit (and vocal) voice of the overwhelming majority of Yukoners. Sadly the Yukon Party has missed a golden opportunity to be applauded locally, nationally and internationally had it adopted the far-sighted planning commission recommendations in its final report.
Instead, the Yukon Party, I believe, has created uncertainty for mining and resource extraction industries and a future of litigation and acrimony for Yukoners.
I do appreciate the value of mining, wilderness tourism and land use planning. I have worked in open pit and underground mines (five years), land use and park planning (seven years), wilderness tourism (nine summers) and post-secondary trades education (22 years).
I believe the planning commission’s recommended plan provided a beacon and a model for how to both develop and protect the Peel River watershed region in a precautionary, far-sighted fashion. It left options open for future generations.
I am deeply saddened and disappointed with the Yukon Party’s decision to disregard the commission’s plan. The party has proverbially shot itself in the foot.