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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

 

Groups Disappointed in Yukon Government's Peel Plan

— Posted on Feb 16, 2012 10:30 AM in: General News
Groups Disappointed in Yukon Government's Peel Plan

Two separate groups say they are disappointed in the Yukon Government's announcement that it will not ban development in the Peel region.

Read More ›

Yukon Won't Ban Mining in Peel Watershed

— Posted on Feb 15, 2012 10:30 AM in: General News
Yukon Won't Ban Mining in Peel Watershed

In an abrupt about face, the Yukon Government announced that mineral exploration and development, with associated road networks, will be allowed to proceed in the Peel and that only a minority of the watershed will be protected.

Read More ›

As industry Encroaches, Yukoners Make Last Stand to Preserve Unspoiled Wilderness

— Posted on Aug 20, 2011 10:30 AM in: General News
As industry Encroaches, Yukoners Make Last Stand to Preserve Unspoiled Wilderness

Yukon government records show there were 8,431 mining claims staked in the Peel watershed at the start of this year. Star columnist, Paul Watson, tours the Peel Watershed to see what is at stake if the moratorium on mining was removed.

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David Suzuki Demands Full Peel Watershed Protection

— Posted on Aug 01, 2011 10:30 AM in: General News
David Suzuki Demands Full Peel Watershed Protection

One of Canada's most prominent environmentalists, David Suzuki, is wading into the debate over the protection of Yukon's Peel River watershed.

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Peel Planners Stick to Their Guns

— Posted on Jul 27, 2011 11:00 AM in: General News
Peel Planners Stick to Their Guns

The Peel Watershed Planning Commission's work is done. Its final recommendations, released July 25th, 2011, stick with earlier plans to protect four-fifths of the vast, Scotland-sized swath of northeast Yukon.

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