I recently read a letter by Karen Baltgailis from the Yukon Conservation Society and then read it about three more times because it went this way and that way. Then I figured it out!
She starts off by saying the greenies support responsible mining, but not in the 67,000 square kilometres (14 per cent of the Yukon) that is the Peel River Watershed, because it is pristine. I’m assuming she also does not want mining in the 20 per cent of the Yukon that is already protected or the 20 per cent that will be campaigned for by the greenies as needing future protection as it is pristine.
The rest of the letter goes on about how bad Capstone Mining is at Minto and how bad Alexco is at Keno City. She doesn’t think they are responsible and I’m sure all future mining projects and proponents will be treated the same by her.
A few years ago, the greenies started a fight with the placer miners over sediment discharge, demanding cleaner water after sluicing than the water that went in. They lost that fight and the YCS lost official status as a stakeholder in the placer meetings. This was done as they were seen as trying to stop everything rather than attempt to make things work with the committee while not recognizing the positive aspects of placer mining. Their ultimate goal was to kill placer mining; it was their way or the highway.
These same greenies are the ones that want to protect everything. These are the people that are always saying strange things like, “Mankind is a plight on the planet, a virus,” or “People should not live in the North.”
Now they have been pushing the Three Rivers campaign to protect the Peel Watershed for five years, constantly ramping up the propaganda machine that it’s pristine, unique and special, it’s this, it’s that. They are having some success as some people believe this message. It’s not really a hard sell: tell people it’s beautiful and who can disagree?
I’ll tell you one thing: If you’re standing on the highway below the old Whitehorse Copper Mine site and you walk up past the old mine, you can keep going another two miles and wind up in pristine wilderness. If you don’t believe, me check it out. It is a nice, easy walk to do.
I think there should be mining allowed in the Peel Watershed. I hope there will be several mines there with reasonable and responsible regulations for the industry and the environment.