Yukon government still drifting on Peel one year after election

Thursday, October 11

WHITEHORSE, YUKON – On the one year anniversary of the Yukon territorial election, the Yukon Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-Yukon) and the Yukon Conservation Society (YCS) say the Yukon government has made no progress on protecting the Peel Watershed.

After nearly seven years of public input and dollars, the Peel Planning Commission released the Final Recommended Plan for the Peel Watershed in July 2011. The Plan proposes permanent protection for 55% of the Peel and interim protection for an additional 25%.

“Since then the Yukon government has hidden its agenda,” said CPAWS-Yukon Executive Director Mike Dehn. “They sent out one trial balloon in February 2012 when they released their unilaterally invented eight ‘principles’ for assessing the Peel plan. When that was shot down by public criticism, government went back into hiding.”

CPAWS-Yukon and YCS are concerned that the delay in responding to the Final Recommended Plan indicates that Yukon government is once again trying to drastically alter the Plan. The consultations on the Final Recommended Plan for the Peel Watershed were expected in spring 2012, but there has been no word from government when they will happen.

“It would appear that government is nervous about revealing its agenda for the Peel, after the strong backlash against its February media campaign, when private citizens took out ads parodying government’s attempt to portray roads and industrial development in the Peel as ‘balanced’, said Yukon Conservation Society Executive Director Karen Baltgailis. “There is nothing balanced about ignoring the wishes of Yukon people. Responses to consultations to date have shown overwhelming support for protecting the Peel watershed.”


Mike Dehn                                                                                   Karen Baltgailis
Executive Director                                                                      Executive Director
CPAWS-Yukon                                                                            Yukon Conservation Society
393-8080 ext. 2                                                                           668-5678