Arguments in Peel watershed land use case begin July 7
More written arguments in the fight over the Peel Watershed Land Use Plan have been filed in Yukon Supreme Court.
Conservation groups and First Nations concede, the Yukon Government could reject or modify the recommended land use plan.
But they say the way it was done — by first proposing amendments, then later making additional modifications never discussed — violates land claim rules.
Thomas Berger filed the original suit in January on behalf of the Tr'ondek Hwech'in in Dawson, the Nacho Nyak Dun in Mayo, the Yukon Conservation Society and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
In a February court filing, Yukon government lawyers insist the process was followed when the plan was altered.
They say the commission's initial plan made only low value lands available for potential development.
They say claims that most of the Peel is now unprotected are "both incorrect and misleading."
And they say new management tools are available to protect land values, and less than one per cent of the land available for development can be disturbed at any one time.
The government now has until June 9 to file its final written response.
Yukon's Chief Justice has scheduled a week of court time starting July 7 for lawyers to make oral presentations.