Tourism operators bash Cathersâ€™ Peel plan
Mike Thomas/Yukon News
The Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon has joined the chorus condemning the governmentâ€™s plans to open much of the Peel watershed to development.
â€śTo 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,â€ť said the associationâ€™s Christoph Altherr in a release.
â€śThe government has also clearly ignored the wilderness tourism industry and has chosen mining as the best use of the land,â€ť he said. â€śThe Peel watershed is a globally significant region and critical to the future of our industry.â€ť
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 Peelâ€™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 â€śirresponsibleâ€ť 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.
â€śTo 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,â€ť said Altherr.