WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon today released its land use plan for the Peel Watershed region.
“The land use plan for the Peel Watershed represents a balanced approach for this important region,” Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “The approval of the plan fulfills our commitment to follow the process outlined in the Umbrella Final Agreement and deliver a land use plan that balances protection of our natural environment while respecting all sectors of our economy.”
The Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan adopted by the Government of Yukon applies to non-settlement lands, which form over 97 per cent of the region.
“This remote area holds resources that have the potential to be of great value to Yukon’s economy, both now and in the future,” Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Scott Kent said. “The plan recognizes existing mineral interests and accommodates future exploration, while giving the Yukon government the tools to manage the footprint of any new development and to protect ecological, cultural and wilderness values.”
The plan separates public lands into three types of areas, with designations that allow for active management of lands and resources while ensuring sound environmental stewardship.
“This land use plan creates vast new Protected Areas that total 19,800 square kilometres,” Minister of Environment Currie Dixon said. “This will increase the amount of land protected in Yukon to almost 17 per cent of its land base, greater than any other province or territory in Canada.”
“By creating protected areas along the corridors of the Peel, Hart, Wind, Bonnet Plume and Snake Rivers, this land use plan responds to the wilderness tourism values in the region,” Minister of Tourism and Culture Mike Nixon said. “The creation of new Wild River Parks means the stunning views and wilderness experience of the rivers will be protected for Yukoners and visitors alike.”
Protected Areas make up 29 per cent of the region, while the remaining public land in the region is divided between 44 per cent of Restricted Use Wilderness Areas, which allow for low levels of carefully managed land use activity, and 27 per cent of Integrated Management Areas, where most land use activities may occur. In the latter two types of areas, mineral staking and proposed commercial activities will be subject to enhanced regulatory and permit processes.
As of tomorrow, the Yukon government has replaced the temporary mineral claim staking withdrawal with a permanent staking withdrawal in the Protected Areas, as outlined in the land use plan. Staking is now permitted in 71 per cent of the Peel Watershed region.
Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan: www.gov.yk.ca
Communications, Energy, Mines and Resources