Land use planning underway for Yukon’s Beaver River watershed

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The Yukon authorities and the Na-Cho Nyäk Dun First Nation are gathering public feedback to formulate a land use plan for the Beaver River watershed area in north-central Yukon.

The 5,048-square kilometre planning space, northeast of Mayo, is taken into account pristine wilderness, with ample wildlife — and it is also house to ATAC Sources’ Rackla Gold challenge. 

A planning committee, made up of presidency and First Nation representatives, was just lately in Keno Metropolis, Mayo, and Whitehorse, to gather details about the realm.

“One of many key traits of this space is that it is pristine wilderness,” stated Lesley Cabott, co-chair of the Beaver River Watershed Land Use Planning Committee. 

“There hasn’t been a variety of entry, a variety of journey to it. And there is additionally not a variety of data.”

Cabott says the Yukon authorities  has dedicated to doing some work within the space this 12 months, amassing data about moose and fish habitat, in addition to its geological potential.

B.C.-based ATAC Sources needs to construct a 65-kilometre all-season tote highway by way of the area, to entry its Tiger gold property. The proposed highway would run from some extent close to Keno Metropolis northeast to the exploration web site, and would require eight bridges and 38 culverts.

The Hanson Lakes, simply west of the place to begin of ATAC Sources’ proposed highway. ‘One of many key traits of this space is that it is pristine wilderness,’ stated Lesley Cabott, co-chair of the Beaver River Land Use Planning Committee. (CPAWS Yukon)

Two years in the past, the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Evaluation Board (YESAB) workplace in Mayo really useful approval for an all-season gated highway. The workplace really useful that the highway be monitored by ATAC Sources, to evaluate the effectiveness of entry controls and evaluate adjustments to moose and moose habitat over an extended time span.

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However there must be a land use plan in place earlier than the highway will be approved. The planning committee is aiming to have the plan accomplished by March 2020.

‘We have to actually perceive the area’

The proposed highway runs by way of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun conventional territory.

“Lots of people submitted issues about impacts to conventional methods of life, lack of wilderness outfitting, trapping,” stated Randi Newton, conservation coordinator for Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Yukon.

“It seems like step one with this plan is to get a very good understanding of the area and what individuals are valuing — after which to determine if a highway is acceptable or a future improvement is acceptable.”

‘We have to actually perceive the area and the way improvement can influence it,’ stated Randi Newton of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Yukon.

Newton says she hopes there’s some weight to the land use plan, and that it is greater than only a checkmark in a field.

She would not need the planning course of to be rushed, but in addition says she would not need it to take years just like the Peel Watershed plan.

“We have to actually perceive the area and the way improvement can influence it, earlier than we make choices,” stated Newton.

Development of the proposed highway would take roughly two years at an estimated price of $11 million.

 

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