Final consultations on the Peel Watershed Land Use Plan
CPAWS Yukon and the Yukon Conservation Society are excited to see the Peel Watershed Final Recommended Plan reach the public consultation phase. Seven years after it was released by the Commission, the public will finally have the opportunity to provide meaningful input on the Final Recommended Plan, which protects 80% of the Peel Watershed. This is an opportunity for everyone to show support for right action by government and demonstrate that meaningful consultation is important to us.
CPAWS Yukon and Yukon Conservation Society would like to see protection for as much of the watershed as possible. In our comments, we will be asking for 80% permanent protection with the release of the Final Land Use Plan.
I thought the Peel was protected already.
The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled on the Peel Watershed case. It was a huge victory, but it protected the process of land use planning – not the Peel itself. The main point of the ruling was to send the government back to the stage of final consultations, which is where the process was derailed by the previous government seven years ago. Visit www.protectpeel.ca for a full timeline.
I’m new to the Yukon – why is the Peel so important?
The Peel Watershed is a wilderness larger than Nova Scotia. In the world there are few wild places of this size left. It is mountains and rivers and lakes and plains. It has amazing boreal biodiversity. It is big enough for large animals. It is the wintering grounds for the Porcupine caribou. It is a wonderful place for wilderness tourism. And it is the homeland of the Vuntut Gwitchin, Teetl’it Gwich’in, Na Cho Nyäk Dun, and Tr’ondёk Hwёch’in First Nations.
What is the Final Recommended Plan?
The Peel Planning Commission’s Final Recommended Plan was a compromise between many different visions for the Peel Watershed. It would provide permanent protection for 55% of the watershed, interim protection for 25%, and open 20% of the watershed to industrial development. The interim protection will be revisited in about 10 years during a plan review.
CPAWS Yukon and Yukon Conservation Society would like protection for as much of the watershed as possible. In our comments, CPAWS and YCS will be asking for 80% permanent protection in the Final Land Use Plan.
I want to see as much of the Peel protected as possible. What should I comment?
We encourage you to support the Final Recommended Plan, but ask for some modifications. These include:
- Changing the 25% interim protection to permanent protection. This will bring more certainty to the region giving the Peel 80% permanent protection - what the Planning Commission had originally recommended.
- Ask the government to be specific in how it plans on implementing the final plan, and what steps it will take to ensure it is followed properly.
I think 100% of the Peel should be protected, can I say that?
Absolutely - this is your chance to have your voice heard. If you think that 100% of the Peel should be protected, then please go ahead and ask for it.
What happens after the Final Consultation?
After these consultations, the Government and affected First Nations will work together and release the Final Peel Watershed Land Use Plan. This plan will address the concerns raised during this consultation period. Yukon Government is hoping to release this plan in January 2019.
I live outside the Yukon. May I send in comments?
Yes, you may. Canada and the world, not just the Yukon, needs the Peel protected.
Photo: Peter Mather