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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

 

Robert Kennedy Jr. Wades into the Peel Debate

— Posted on Apr 07, 2013 10:00 AM in: General News
Robert Kennedy Jr. Wades into the Peel Debate

When Robert Kennedy Jr. came to Whitehorse to paddle the Alsek River and talk about resource extraction, a few hundred people showed up at the Yukon Arts Centre to hear what he had to say.

Read More ›

Yukon Unveils Revised Peel Watershed Plan

— Posted on Oct 24, 2012 10:00 AM in: General News
Yukon Unveils Revised Peel Watershed Plan

The Yukon government unveiled its version of a land-use plan for the Peel watershed on Tuesday, and it’s designed to accommodate more development.

Read More ›

Yukon's Gold Rush Shows No Signs of Slowing, But Environmentalists Fear for Watershed

— Posted on May 13, 2012 10:00 AM in: General News
Yukon's Gold Rush Shows No Signs of Slowing, But Environmentalists Fear for Watershed

More than 20% of the Yukon’s land mass is set aside for potential resource exploitation. This season that is expected to increase to 30%.

Read More ›

Peel Protesters Rally Outside Yukon Legislature

— Posted on May 10, 2012 10:00 AM in: General News
Peel Protesters Rally Outside Yukon Legislature

More than 100 Yukoners concerned about the Peel Watershed rallied outside the legislature Thursday on the last day of the spring sitting.

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Peel Region at Risk as Yukon Government disregards Planning Commission's Recommendations

— Posted on Mar 07, 2012 10:30 AM in: General News
Peel Region at Risk as Yukon Government disregards Planning Commission's Recommendations

To the dismay of many Yukoners, the Peel Watershed, one of the world's largest and most pristine ecosystems, may soon be opened to increased development.

Read More ›