WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon today issued a temporary extension to the interim withdrawal from mineral staking for all lands in the Peel Watershed region.
“We anticipate that the final stages of the consultation in the land use planning process for the Peel Watershed region will begin this fall,” Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Brad Cathers said. “The temporary extension of the interim withdrawal until May 4, 2013 will allow additional time to complete the process of developing a fair and balanced land use plan.”
The interim staking withdrawal will apply to subsurface mineral staking administered under the Quartz Mining Act and Placer Mining Act until May 4, 2013. Work on existing mineral claims is allowed.
“Ideally we would like to see the land use plan for the Peel Watershed region completed before we would lift the interim withdrawal,” Minister of Environment Currie Dixon said. “However we have been clear that this withdrawal has always been intended to be temporary, and we are most certainly not interested in an indefinite withdrawal.”
Rights for oil and gas, and coal will not be issued in the region during this eight-month period.
Current regulatory processes for surface activities will continue to apply throughout the region.
The ongoing interim withdrawal enables continued progress on the region’s land use planning process and does not pre-determine any outcomes in the land use planning process. The interim withdrawal was set to expire on September 4.
The Government of Yukon is working collaboratively with the Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nations along with the Gwich’in Tribal Council to enable completion of a Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan.
For more information on the Peel Watershed regional land use planning process, visit www.emr.gov.yk.ca.