Yukon government extends moratorium on staking in the Peel to April 2020

The moratorium was originally set to be lifted in integrated management areas on Jan. 1.

The Yukon government has extended the moratorium on mineral staking in the Peel watershed by three months to April 2020, with the goal of giving governments more time to implement the land use plan and the mining industry to adapt to it.

The government made the announcement in a press release in the late afternoon on Dec. 12, shortly after the decision was made.

The moratorium on staking in integrated management areas, which account for approximately 17 per cent of the Peel watershed, was originally scheduled to be lifted on Jan. 1.

Integrated management areas are the only areas within the Peel where mineral exploration will be possible; the remaining 83 per cent of the more than 67,000-square-kilometre region has been set aside for conservation purposes.

That moratorium will now be lifted on April 1.

Jerome McIntyre, the director of land planning with the Yukon government’s Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, explained in a Dec. 13 interview that the Jan. 1 date was picked before the plan was actually finalized.

Following finalization, an implementation committee was created, McIntyre said, and one of the first points raised was the need to develop guidelines ensuring industry would understand how exploration in the Peel would work.

“There’s normal regulatory things in place that dictate how development would occur but then you’ve got that added layer of the plan,” he said.

Implementation work has been ongoing, he said, but it became apparent that the Jan. 1 deadline would not be realistic and the committee recommended pushing the date back.

The three-month extension will give the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan’s signatories — Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, the Gwich’in Tribal Council and the Yukon government — more time to figure out how the plan’s parameters will impact industry, and then offer education to parties interested in exploration.

The Peel plan was finalized in August 2019 following years of legal battles between the Yukon government, First Nations whose traditional territories overlap with the watershed and environmental conservation groups.

McIntyre said a further extension is not anticipated.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com


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

Just Posted

Judge dismisses ‘premature’ application over legal aid funding for Pelly Crossing murder case

Deputy Justice Elizabeth Hughes says lawyers could request more hours after preliminary inquiry

Ideal conditions for Autumn Classic paddling race

More than a dozen entries race in flatwater paddling season finale

Council contemplates wage freeze for 2021

Hartland brings forward notice of motion

Raises approved for City of Whitehorse management

Deal will begin with 2.6 per cent increase retroactive to 2019

What to expect: Yukon legislature resumes Oct. 1

In March the legislative assembly quickly passed the budget before ending early

Trump tweets support for railway concept connecting Alaska and Alberta

Too early to properly evaluate the project ahead of an environmental assessment, Yukon minister says

Men charged after police see suspected crack cocaine during traffic stop

Two men are facing charges after a traffic stop in downtown Whitehorse… Continue reading

CPAWS Yukon, Yukon Conservation Society encouraged by territory’s parks strategy

The conservation manager for CPAWS Yukon and executive director of the Yukon… Continue reading

School council elections taking place the first week of October

There are 30 contested spots on school councils in the territory

Hot Hounds bikejor race serves as lone summer competition

Held in Mount Lorne, the race was organized by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon

Whitehorse operations building officially open

Staff are taking phased approach to moving in

North of Ordinary Experience Centre shutting down

COVID-19 has caused bookings for the space to become almost non-existent, owner says

Canada Games Centre could get new playground

Council to vote on contract award

Most Read