Dawson City says no to placer miner's Dome Road plans

'The council felt that there was too many potential adverse impacts on public safety, health,' said Mayor Wayne Potoroka.

Darrell Carey's exploration plans would have disrupted the town's cross country ski trails

Darrell Carey's plans to do exploration work on his Dome Road claims would have interfered with the town's cross country ski trails. Council decided to reject Carey's application for a development permit. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada)

Dawson City's municipal council has rejected a placer miner's bid to do exploration work this winter in the Dome Road area.

Darrell Carey caused a stir in October when he put an advertisement in a local paper, announcing plans for his claims. The idea was controversial because they potentially threatened the town's cross-country ski trails.

Carey applied to the town for a development permit to do the work.

Dawson Mayor Wayne Potoroka says the issue of mining in municipalities is an ongoing concern, and he'd like the territorial government help settle it. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada)

"The long and the short of [Carey's plan] is, walking in drill equipment, clearing some of the snow from the trails, and sinking some holes," said Mayor Wayne Potoroka.

"The council felt that there was too many potential adverse impacts on public safety, health."

CBC tried to reach Darrell Carey for comment, but has had no response.

Ongoing debate

Council's decision is the latest volley in an ongoing dispute over mining within municipal boundaries. Carey's Dome Road claims have often been at the centre of debate in Dawson City.

"It's a very complicated and complex situation, it's something that we've been having to tackle for many years now," Potoroka said.

A sign posted at the cross country ski trails urges Carey to change his plans. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada)

He wants the territorial government to get involved.

"Certainly the Placer [Mining] Act is a document that came into effect before there were any incorporated areas in the Yukon," he said.

"We need some clarity, we need some help. We need some guidelines to deal with these sorts of things."

In the meantime, some trail users in Dawson say they're pleased that Carey's plans have been thwarted, for now. A handmade sign posted at the trailhead reads, "Mr Carey: Please don't wreck our ski trails. Thank you: Dawson."

"You can mine so many other places, but this spot gets used by so many people," said Lucy Welsh, as she walked her dog on the Dome trails.

Mining and recreational trails are 'just not a comfortable fit,' said skier Kate Selkirk. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada)

Kate Selkirk, a skier, is not against mining, but agrees it's "just not a comfortable fit" with recreational trails.

"Mining is important, but it shouldn't be necessarily the prime factor for use on every part of land in the Yukon. There's some places where it's just not appropriate, and this is one of them," she said.

With files from Claudiane Samson and Alexandra Byers

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