Protect the Peel
Y2Y is working with its partners to protect 80 per cent of the Peel Watershed and secure this critical core habitat.
(Fusion.net (a cable TV provider affiliated with the ABC network) did this piece on the Peel Watershed at the end of November 2014.Since this piece aired, the Yukon Government has appealed the Supreme Court decision.)
Almost seven times larger than Yellowstone or Jasper national parks, the Yukon's Peel Watershed is one of the largest intact and unsettled wild places left on Earth. As the northern anchor of the Yellowstone to Yukon vision, this core habitat supports abundant northern wildlife populations such as grizzly bears, wolverines and caribou, which need large intact landscapes to survive. As the Earth faces climate change, the Peel Watershed could become what scientists call a "refugia"– a large, connected and naturally functioning ecosystem providing survivable conditions for species likely to become imperiled elsewhere. Learn more.
The skyrocketing price of minerals triggered a hike in mineral claims, making the Peel the wild west of staking. This type of industrial development in the form of roads and exploration for minerals, oil, and gas, threaten to fragment this stunning landscape and harm its delicate ecological balance. Learn more.
In response, the Yukon government entered a land-use planning process to determine how much of the Peel is to be developed and how much is to be protected. In 2005, a government-appointed independent planning commission started an in-depth consultation process with key stakeholders. Six years later, it recommended the permanent protection of 55 per cent of the Peel and interim protection for 25 per cent. The plan was highly supported by First Nations, Yukoners and conservationists.Despite this, the Yukon government adopted its own unilaterally-developed plan for the region, which leaves 71 per cent of the watershed open for mineral staking and industrial development, and in the remaining 29 per cent of `protected areas’, all-season roads are allowed to be develop by existing mining claimants.
Y2Y’s Yukon partners, along with two northern First Nations, who supported the planning commission’s recommendations, took this decision to the Supreme Court. The court made a historic ruling that the Yukon government’s modifications to the Peel land-use plan did not respect the land-use planning process set out in the territory’s final agreements with First Nations. In a written judgment, Justice Ron Veale said the remedy is for the Yukon government to return to consultations on the final recommended land-use plan. Learn more.
The Yukon government has since launched an appeal.
WHAT Y2Y IS DOING
Y2Y continues to support its partners in their efforts to protect 80 per cent of the Peel Watershed and highlight the continental value of the region.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Take Action: Write the Yukon Government, calling on them to protect 80 percent of the Peel.
Add Your Voice: Sign-up to receive our Action Alerts and speak out about important conservation causes.
GET THE LATEST: Protect the Peel News
Last week, the Yukon Court of Appeal heard arguments about the future of the massive Peel River watershed, and about the meaning and application of modern aboriginal treaties.
Opponents of the Yukon government's plan for the Peel River Watershed offered a twist on an old folk song Wednesday, singing "Let the river be unbroken" during a rally ahead of a major court battle next week.
An in-depth look at the legal battle over the Peel Watershed, the long-term effort by First Nations and Y2Y's Yukon partners to protect this extraordinary landscape.
About 100 supporters of the Peel Coalition met in Whitehorse last night to talk about the Yukon government's recent appeal.
The Yukon's Peel Watershed is home to the greatest constellation of wild mountain rivers in North America.