“Environmentalists have been going backwards,” said David Suzuki when he was in Whitehorse a few days ago. Environmentalists work to protect specific areas, such as the Nahanni River or the Queen Charlotte Islands, each as a separate issue. But the main issue, he said, is for humans to stop wrecking the biosphere: the air, the water, the soil, the species diversity on which human lives depend.
I want to bring to your attention that protecting the Peel Watershed is part of protecting the biosphere. The Peel is a mostly unbroken area big enough for large animals that need wide spaces to live in or to migrate in. The size of the Peel gives animals and plants room to move and adapt when climate change makes their present location unlivable for them.
The boreal trees of the Peel and the muskeg significantly prevent carbon from being added to the greenhouse effect. The water in the Peel River and its tributaries is still clean enough for humans to drink. I have done so.
It is true that mining in the Yukon is doing well without cutting up the Peel and that there are considerable economic benefits in tourism if the Peel is kept intact, but that is not the main point.
The biosphere is our life. The economy must serve the biosphere, not vice versa.
The Yukon is facing rapid loss of intact areas.
We have a choice to protect the Peel, an area as large as Scotland. Nowhere else in Canada, the US or in most of the world do people have a choice like that. Their land has long since been chopped up and “developed.”
Please consider these thoughts when you vote in the next territorial election.
For information see www.protectpeel.ca.