Think of the future

Think of the future Open letter to the Yukon government: For the past years, the people in the Yukon have been talking about the Peel River Watershed protection. Public consultation has shown overwhelming support for the Peel Watershed to be protected Ð

Open letter to the Yukon government:

For the past years, the people in the Yukon have been talking about the Peel River Watershed protection.

Public consultation has shown overwhelming support for the Peel Watershed to be protected Ð 80 per cent to 90 per cent of Yukoners want to see at least 80 per cent of the area protected, First Nations ask for 100 per cent protection.

Why does the Yukon government not listen to the public opinion?

Why does the Yukon government put aside the Peel Planning Commission’s recommended plan like it was never written?

We’re currently in a mining boom and the Yukon government happily supports this industry. This industry relies on nonrenewable resources and isn’t infinite. It’s a finite industry. There’ll be tons of money coming into the territory in the near future, but when all resources are used the money will stop floating in.

Hasn’t the Yukon government learned from Faro?

After the mining money is dried up, only costs are left. Despite new regulations, there will be enormous costs for the government to clean up after the industry. The environment will be diminished in value forever; the chemicals put in the ecosystem will never leave the system Ð instead they will be spread deeper into the environment.

Roads and cuttings will have a disastrous effect on all wildlife and flora currently existing in the Yukon.

What does this mean for the far future?

Tourism is important for the Yukon economy. How interesting will the Yukon be for tourists when the wilderness isn’t the wilderness anymore?

The argument can be made that it’ll be more accessible than before, thanks to all the roads put in by the mining industry.

That might be true, but roads are not part of a wilderness experience. People come to the Yukon for an off-road experience; to be able to spend days and weeks in nature without coming across roads. Yukon will look just like northern Alberta, not exactly a tourist destination.

When the Yukon cannot offer this experience anymore, what will be left of the tourism industry? They might as well stay down south, where a wilderness experience combined with development is already present. Where are we getting an economy for this territory if mining and tourism are both nonexistent?

Why is the Yukon government so arrogant to only think of short-term income? Why can’t it take into consideration that it’ll ruin the whole territory by opening it up to the mining industry?

Future generations will need to be able to live on this land just like we do now. First Nations need the land the way it is now to be able to continue their traditional lifestyle. We are in no position to take that important part of their lives away from them. We need to leave a liveable territory for First Nations’ traditions and for all future generations. This means we need to search for sustainable industries in the Yukon, and the mining industry is not a sustainable industry.

So please, Yukon government, think of your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the generations after that. Wilderness exists forever if it isn’t touched and changed and poisoned by humans. It’s self-sustaining, sustainable and makes for a good tourism industry. Think long-term; short-term is over before we know it Ð and then what are we going to do?

I vote for 100 per cent protection of the Peel River Watershed.

I moved to the Yukon from a heavily industrialized and developed place to live close to the wilderness, to be able to experience the wilderness.

There’s no money in the whole world that can replace this experience. Not for me and not for your great-grandchildren either. Keep them in mind before you make decisions that have a disastrous effect on the wilderness and the future economic system of the Yukon.

J. van Gulick

Whitehorse

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

Just Posted

An avalanche warning sigh along the South Klondike Highway. Local avalanche safety instructors say interest in courses has risen during the pandemic as more Yukoners explore socially distanced outdoor activities. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)
Backcountry busy: COVID-19 has Yukoners heading for the hills

Stable conditions for avalanches have provided a grace period for backcountry newcomers

Several people enter the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 26. The Yukon government announced on Jan. 25 that residents of Whitehorse, Ibex Valley, Marsh Lake and Mount Lorne areas 65 and older can now receive their vaccines. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Vaccine appointments available in Whitehorse for residents 65+

Yukoners 65 and older living in Whitehorse are now eligible to receive… Continue reading

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

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

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

Most Read