Outfitter appointed to fish and wildlife board

The Yukon government has made two appointments to the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board. Letter of invitation have gone to Craig Yakiwchuk…

The Yukon government has made two appointments to the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board.

Letter of invitation have gone to Craig Yakiwchuk and Rebecca Bradford-Andrew, Environment officials confirmed Tuesday.

Yakiwchuk is the proprietor of Lone Wolf Outfitting Ltd. The concession straddles the Big Salmon River.

Lone Wolf is the first big-game outfitting company to apply for land tenure under a controversial government policy.

The 2005 policy allows outfitter to apply for leases and licences on small parcels of land in popular remote areas, where hunting cabins and airstrips have been built.

Such leases would give outfitters exclusive rights to choice spots frequented by other outdoor enthusiasts and First Nations, without triggering the Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Act.

Yakiwchuk was unavailable for comment.

Bradford-Andrew is a program manager with the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

She was also unavailable for comment.

The 12-person management board has been shorthanded for all of 2006.

Two members resigned from the board in 2005 for personal reasons, and one resigned for health reasons, said board chair Dan McDiarmid.

The board has recently made several recommendations to Environment minister Dennis Fentie.

Only three, all commercial, have been made public: a two-on-one client-to-guide ratio for the outfitting industry, a five-day mandatory check period for quick-kill traps and neck snares, and a wilderness-tourism permit for the trapping industry, said McDiarmid.

The Yukon appointed Yakiwchuk. Bradford-Andrew was a joint appointment by the territorial and federal governments.

Normally, appointments are for five years, but Yakiwchuk’s will be shorter since he will fill in for a medical absence.

Despite the Yukon Party’s new appointment of Yakiwchuk, an outfitter, and its 2004 appointment of Shirley Ford, a game farmer, the board is not biased towards harvesting the territory’s wildlife, said McDiarmid, a veteran trapper.

“We all work as a team and we all have the same goal for the conservation and management of fish and wildlife in the Yukon.

“I don’t think there is any political agenda within the board itself. I don’t get that feeling, anyway.”

The Yukon Party government has also appointed Don Hutton, a former Yukon Party president and former assistant deputy minister at Energy, Mines and Resources, and Wayne Hrynuik, a former Yukon Party member and sport fisherman.

Ford is also an active Yukon Party member.