Yukon News

Tourism operators bash Cathers’ Peel plan

John Thompson Monday February 27, 2012

Mike Thomas/Yukon News


A floatplane lands on Duo Lakes in the Peel watershed area in August 2010.

The Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon has joined the chorus condemning the government’s plans to open much of the Peel watershed to development.

“To find out that the Yukon government is changing the principles at this late stage is unprecedented and a slap in the face to a public process that is mandated under the Umbrella Final Agreement,” said the association’s Christoph Altherr in a release.

“The government has also clearly ignored the wilderness tourism industry and has chosen mining as the best use of the land,” he said. “The Peel watershed is a globally significant region and critical to the future of our industry.”

Similar concerns have been expressed by conservationists, First Nations, hunting outfitters, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon, both opposition parties and members of the Peel’s planning commission.

Last week, Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Brad Cathers announced the territory would not support protection of four-fifths of the watershed.

The government has received widespread criticism for only stating this position now, rather than during the territorial election.

At that time, Premier Darrell Pasloski said taking a stance would be “irresponsible” without holding further public consultations. Yet no such consultations have been held since then.

Cathers has also balked at banning roads, as the plan proposes.

“To say that roads, airstrips and industrial development can take place in the watershed and not drastically impact the integrity of the region is absolutely ridiculous,” said Altherr.

Contact John Thompson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Gary Benson wrote:
9:16am Tuesday February 28, 2012

Problem with treaties are like residental settlments, someone else gains while the abused gets more abuse from the coporate system.  Don’t you think there is a problem being under the corporate umbrella?  The profit? clearly will not be the first nations who use the land.  A Traditional and what is defined in treaty rights are not looked at as a tenure and compansation clearly is not shared evenly as it on a corporate level.  Development clearly effects a community as a whole and voicing concerns are like a quick settlemnt.  Here today gone tomorrow.  An aboriginal right is not like a drivers license where a first nation can hunt or trap anywhere in Canada.  Treaties are made to benifit the corporate system.  There has never in life room for the small business in the corporate system.  Lives.  Once a resourse is gone so will the corporate structure.  What will happen to the community and the so called aboriginal right.  Traditional lands on a lump industrial soil is worthless once resourses are extracted.  Once the damage is done it cannot be undone.

thingsmusical wrote:
5:43am Tuesday February 28, 2012

Very well put Mr. Benson.

I believe the Na-Cho Nyak Dun are the Administration for the Traditional Area, please fogive me if I’m wrong. If I am right, I believe they settled their Final Agreement in 1993.

I still fail to see how in a space so large we couln’t find safe places to put in some access to natural resources in addition to wilderness tourism while still protecting the integrity of the sensitive areas. Honestly, I also fail to understand why the NNDFN wouldn’t welcome the option to increase their capacity to provide for their people through royalty payments, as many other FN’s around the territory do. In addition, why wouldn’t the tourist industry want some other industry to put in some access?

Could it be they don’t want the competion from people who can’t afford to pay their exclusive prices? No offence to the tourist industry but.. there are very few of you out there enjoying a pretty good buck and lifestyle. If a mine or rig goes up in a spot where you conduct regular trips, you would have every opportunity to object before it started. With today’s regulations anyone who was done with a site would need to reclaim it. All it would leave behind, providing proper government supervision with help of the NNDFN, would be access trails to remote wilderness that had already been zoned a safe area to use.



Gary Benson wrote:
3:05am Tuesday February 28, 2012

History has a way of repeating itself especially when it come to land and resourses.  Politicians/corporate officials live the lavish urban lifestyle.  To co-exist under a coporate umbrella has never been in favor of first nations people.  To co-exist in a first nations eyes is to respect traditional land so it would prosper future generations.  The Government/Corporate agenda does not see long term effect to the first nations people.  In reality Governments/Corporations wants to deal with first nations issues fairly past present and future.  This Indian problem/issue is a fact and issue of blame.  Traditional Lands and Crown Land there is no balance and who generally wins in the debate are crown lands.  Who stand to lose are first nations because the issues have not been dealt with from the point of contact.  The Indian Reserves of Canada have been riddled in poverty and no one want to even deal with the issues of over developed traditional lands.

thingsmusical wrote:
10:40pm Monday February 27, 2012

I don’t seem to remember any complaints when YTG was paying for the Yukon Geological Survey to map the “whole” territory. And, damn, they did such a great job, we have now attracted interests from all over the world. Maybe we should just burn those maps (or recycle them) and tell everyone it was just an April fools joke. Same with the effort put into the ‘Mning Recorder Maps’.

And in some strange way, I think the government told us their plans years ago when the commissioned the (YGS).

Co-exist: 1. To exist together, at the same time, or in the same place.
2. To live in peace with another or others despite differences, especially as a matter of policy.

Add a comment

Commenting is no longer available for this story. Commenting expires 21 days after publishing.