Leaders shoot the breeze on conservation

Hunters are still free to blast caribou from the side of the Dempster Highway while Premier Dennis Fentie and First Nations chiefs work on a…

Hunters are still free to blast caribou from the side of the Dempster Highway while Premier Dennis Fentie and First Nations chiefs work on a conservation plan.

Fentie, Vuntut Gwich’in chief Joe Linklater, Tr’ondek Hwech’in chief Darren Taylor, and Na-cho Nyak Dun chief Simon Mervyn discussed conservation and the hunting restrictions during a two-hour dinner at the Edgewater Hotel on Tuesday night.

The closed-door meeting began at 7 p.m.

Emerging from the meeting, the leaders conceded the 500-metre no-hunting corridor and one-week moratorium on hunting herd leaders will not be enforced, but added their respective governments will work together on a management strategy.

“We had a very good discussion,” said Fentie.

“Tonight we agreed that our purpose and objective here must be the conservation of the herd.

“We agree that the protocol that has been developed with the Porcupine Caribou Management Board is to proceed. The protocol is an arrangement of the First Nations impacted, the government of Canada and the government of Yukon.”

Data will be compiled by the Porcupine Caribou Management Board and will be distributed to all levels of government, said Fentie.

After that, an action plan will be developed, he said.

But the hunting restrictions will not be enforced.

“I’m not a biologist,” he said. “What we’ve done in the past is implement recommendations of the board.

“That’s the past, today we’re taking a major step forward to taking measures toward conservation.

“That’s more than a couple of regulations that we’ve implemented in the past.”

There will be an increased government presence on the Dempster this season, which includes a station on the Yukon/NWT border, and any hunter who uses their gun in a dangerous manner will be grabbed by the long arm of the law, he said.

“We will enforce all matters of safety for the travelling public.

“That means there will be enforcement of shooting across the highway, of shooting out of vehicles.”

The Vuntut Gwich’in will support the new conservation efforts, said Linklater following the meeting.

“We won’t predetermine any of these processes yet. I feel what could have been a very combative situation, a very opposing situation turned out very well and very positive.”

Hopefully hunters have a better understanding of the danger shooting from the highway poses to people and the herd, said Linklater.

“Obviously the 500-metre corridor cannot be reinstated simply because of the position that has been taken now.

“We’re hoping this situation that has been created is much better information to the public in that there are concerns around the herd.”

The talks were positive for his government as well, said Taylor.

“It was productive. I can’t speak too much further on the details.

“We did agree on a process, which I think we’re all pleased with.”

Mervyn said he preferred not to comment.

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

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read