Statement on Vivian Krause at the Yukon Geoscience Forum

November 13, 2019

Over the past two decades, CPAWS Yukon has worked to conserve the Yukon’s wild spaces, including the Peel Watershed. Our staff and Board of Directors all live in the Yukon and we are passionate about this place we call home.

Every decision for our organization is made right here in Whitehorse, by our staff and board. Not once has our work been influenced by our funders, whether Canadian or international.

As part of our work, we regularly attend planning and policy meetings, where we sit across the table from people of all walks of life – and this regularly includes our colleagues from the mining sector. That is why we are disappointed to see that Vivian Krause has been invited to speak at the Yukon Geoscience Forum on November 16th.

Ms. Krause is a self-proclaimed researcher, who travels around the country spreading disinformation about the conservation sector and our funders. She presents her theories in a way that makes them seem reasonable, but once you start to dig a little you begin to realize that the facts do not support her conclusions. This is highlighted in a recent article by Sandy Garossino in The National Observer.

Before Ms. Krause arrives in the Yukon, we want to set the record straight. Here are some facts:

Fact 1: The Yukon is an attractive place for foreign investment. Each year, our resource industries attract investment from abroad, and many of the resource extraction companies working here are foreign owned. Just as the Yukon is an attractive place for investment from private enterprise, groups like CPAWS Yukon are able to attract donations from foundations, who support our vision of protecting nature, in a world where nature is disappearing.

CPAWS Yukon is grateful for the funding we receive from U.S. foundations, just as we are grateful for the donations that we receive from hard working, passionate Yukoners. We do not hide this, and our audited financials are available on our website.

Fact 2: One of Ms. Krause’s main claims is that Canadian environmental groups and American funders have engaged in a conspiracy to land-lock Canada’s resources. However, American foundations, who support CPAWS Yukon’s work to protect wilderness within the territory, also fund our work to prevent oil and gas development in the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd in Alaska. If the goal of these foundations was to land-lock Canadian resources and boost the U.S. oil and gas industry, as suggested by Ms. Krause, this would not be a good way of going about it. 

Fact 3: Vivian Krause’s trip to Whitehorse is sponsored by Ferus Natural Gas Fuels. This company is wholly owned by a private investment firm called The Energy & Minerals Group. This company is based in Texas and is registered as a Canadian Lobbyist. Vivian Krause is in Whitehorse, supported by a foreign company that is registered to lobby our government. We are curious why investments to conserve the Yukon’s wilderness is deemed inappropriate, but normal for any other industry in the Yukon.

Our economy is connected with the rest of the world. That’s true for all industries including the environmental sector. CPAWS Yukon, and our colleagues in the conservation sector, will continue to work to protect the Yukon’s wild spaces and species because we are passionate about the Yukon. And all of us at CPAWS Yukon remain committed to respectful engagement with everyone who lives or works here.