Dawson, unlike other land use planning regions, has a history of industrial development and a road network that resembles a spider’s web. The planning process here is going to look very different from those done in the North Yukon or the Peel. But it is not without its issues.
The work of the Dawson Regional Planning Commission was suspended in 2014.
When planning for the Dawson region resumes, the commission will need to assess conservation of the region’s natural resources, promotion of aboriginal cultural values, sustainable economic development and how to efficiently manage land, water and resource objectives. But unlike other regions such as the Peel and North Yukon, the commission will need to look at all of these ecological and cultural factors in the midst of viable, ongoing resource development.
As with any planning process, there will have to be frank discussion about what values and places are important in the region, and what tradeoffs will be acceptable to minimize land-use conflict into the future.
CPAWS looks forward to the clarity about land use planning that will be provided by the Supreme Court of Canada ruling. Once the Dawson planning process resumes, CPAWS will be working with aboriginal and local governments, local groups, business and the public to foster participation in the Dawson planning process.
Getting back on track with land use planning is important for having discussions about conservation continuing with the important task of protecting Yukon's wilderness.
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