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Protect the Peel

Working with partners, Y2Y aims to protect 80 per cent of Yukon's Peel Watershed and secure this critical core habitat.

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.)

OPPORTUNITY

Peel Hot Project Map v2

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.

THREAT

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 to develop and how much to protect. In 2005, a government-appointed independent planning commission started an in-depth consultation process with key stakeholders. Six years later, it recommended 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.

Looking out over the Peel Watershed. Image: Peter Mather
Looking out over the Peel Watershed. Image: Peter Mather
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 Yukon 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. However, the remedy written by Justice Ron Veale is for the Yukon government to return to consultations on the final recommended land-use plan, a remedy that may allow the Yukon government to modify the plan to increase development in the Peel. Learn more

The Yukon government appealed the Yukon Supreme Court’s ruling, but in November 2015 the Yukon Court of Appeal confirmed it. However, due to concerns about the weakness of the remedy, in December 2015 First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nations, along with CPAWS-Yukon and Yukon Conservation Society announced they are seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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

Donate: Make a donation to help protect the Peel. See how we use your donation dollars.

Add Your Voice: Sign-up to receive our Action Alerts and speak out about important conservation causes.

WHO WE ARE WORKING WITH

Yukon Conservation Society

CPAWS – Yukon

Related Information:

Protect the Peel

Protected & Public Land

Greater Mackenzie Mountains

GET THE LATEST: Protect the Peel News

 

Growing Criticism of the Yukon Government 's Peel Watershed Decision

— Posted on Jan 27, 2014 09:00 PM in: General News
Growing Criticism of the Yukon Government 's Peel Watershed Decision

On Tuesday the Yukon government largely rejected the recommendation from the Peel Watershed Planning Commission asking that 80% of the land be made up of conservation areas. The Yukon government opted for 29% protection.

Read More ›

First Nations Announce Peel Lawsuit

— Posted on Jan 24, 2014 09:00 PM in: General News
First Nations Announce Peel Lawsuit

First Nations will sue the Yukon government over its handling of the Peel plan. Thomas Berger, a famed expert in Canadian aboriginal law, will lead the suit, the First Nations announced Friday.

Read More ›

Yukon Government Opens Vast Wilderness to Mining

— Posted on Jan 24, 2014 09:00 PM in: General News
Yukon Government Opens Vast Wilderness to Mining

Canada's Yukon Territory announced on Tuesday that it has opened one of the largest unbroken wilderness areas in North America to mining and mineral exploration.

Read More ›

Yukon Releases Its Peel River Watershed Land-Use Plan

— Posted on Jan 20, 2014 09:00 PM in: General News
Yukon Releases Its Peel River Watershed Land-Use Plan

Plan calls for 29 per cent of land to be protected, far lower than commission called for.

Read More ›

Government Hid Peel Numbers from Public

— Posted on Aug 21, 2013 01:30 PM in: General News
Government Hid Peel Numbers from Public

The Yukon government deleted numbers from its report on the most recent public consultation on the Peel watershed land use plan.

Read More ›