The Peel Watershed received a lot of public attention from both ends of the spectrum (pro-industry and pro-conservation) with the Peel Watershed Land-Use Planning Commission kind of jammed in the middle.
Most of the comments were fair and understandable, if people have tolerance and respect for others’ opinions.
I would like to respond to a couple of letters from Carl Schulze and Kristin Innes-Taylor.
The argument that the Peel Watershed is ‘the private playground for eco-companies and the numbered few who can afford it’ is not only ‘stale’ but plainly wrong. If we can take loans for expensive vehicles and homes, or travel to Hawaii, we can fly into the Peel area and make up our opinion based on what we experience. It costs between $800 or $900 one-way to fly to the mouth of the Wind or Snake River, and if single mothers, like me, can do it, everybody can – providing we really want to.
I do realize that not everybody has an understanding for intangible values that can’t be measured with dollar signs. This is a privilege for the ones who don’t measure their self-worth by the size of their wallet.
The argument that including these values indicates a religious approach (Schulze) would justify calling ignoring the opinion of the majority a dictatorship.
Furthermore, Schulze comments to ‘the internal standards of conduct’ and that ‘it’s not yesterday’s mine.’
I absolutely agree with the second statement. We are not dealing with the type of miners and prospectors anymore that Innes-Taylor describes.
These were mostly well-meaning people who stake a few claims, like one discovery claim per 60 days per valley. And I have no doubt that they helped each other.
Today we are dealing with large companies who come in and are allowed, according to the ancient Quartz Mining Act, to stake as many claims as they want and as many valleys as they want in as little time as they please.
Whether or not these companies care about individuals and are supportive of the community remains to be seen.
Schulze even resorts to the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. Principle 8 of this declaration refers to creating ‘conditions on Earth that are necessary for the improvement of the quality of life.’ I do question the benefit of extracting radioactive ore and creating an environment similar to the abandoned Uranium City mine in the NWT.
For everybody who doesn’t believe that the Wernecke exploration rush targeted uranium, here’s a quote from the MEGA Uranium web page:
“The Yukon properties comprise Pedlar (100 per cent held), Alle (100 per cent), several properties (Lumina, Igor, Bond, Dolores, Steel, Hot Dog, Bonnie, Vic, Odie, etc.) covered by the Yukon Uranium Project Agreement (YUP) with Cash Minerals, and the Pike and Murphy (85 kilometres from Whitehorse) properties which are optioned to Signet Minerals Inc. The properties subject to YUP are currently held by Mega (50 per cent) and Cash (50 per cent), but on or before January 31, 2008, Cash can elect to increase its interest to 75 per cent in any property by making a $1-million cash payment to Mega for every property selected, then completing a bankable feasibility study for each property by 2012.”
My mother finds it very interesting that the general public is not informed about these kinds of deals (Yukon Uranium Project Agreement).
It reminds her of methods used during the Nazi regime when the public was promised jobs but was denied access to information which would reveal Hitler’s long-term agendas.
My grandfather, who was very educated but a global thinker, spent time in prison just for listening to the British broadcast.
And my mother, who is 87, is concerned about the safety of the employers from the Department of Environment who dared to let the fact slip out that there was information withheld from the Peel Watershed Commission.
I have found a home and personal happiness in the Yukon and it is my duty to speak out.
And I prefer employers who allow me to have my personal opinion. I would not want to lose this right for a higher paying job.