Legality of remote Yukon hunting lodge questioned

A hunting lodge built beside the Yukon's Bonnet Plume River over the summer is under fire from the territorial government and the local First Nation.

A hunting lodge built beside the Yukon's Bonnet Plume River over thesummer is under fire from the territorial government andthe local FirstNation.

The lodge and several cabins were built within the hunting concession of Bonnet Plume Outfitters, about 160 kilometres northeast of Mayo in central Yukon.

Government lands branch manager Lyle Hendersonsays the companydoes nothave any legal tenure to the land where the camp has been built.

"At this point our position is they do not have a legal right to occupy that site and build that building," Henderson told CBC News Thursday.

"We would have to consider this to be an unauthorized occupancy situation and would, in all likelihood, look to the operator to remove the structure."

TheMayo-based Na-cho Nyak Dun First Nation is also concerned about the legality ofthe lodge, said Steve Buyck, the band's environmental officer.

"It's actually a big lodge which is located right on the river, which is a Canadian Heritage River," said Buyck in an interview Thursday.

"There is a process that must be followed and here it's like, build here, build there, and we'll apply for the permits later."

A Vancouver-based mining company,which had a camp at the location before the lodge was built, is also upset with the hunting company. Fronteer Group says it lost millions of dollars worth of core samples, which it says were found scattered around the area.

When contacted at their Alberta home, the owners of Bonnet Plume Outfitters, Chris and Sharron McKinnon, refused to comment on the dispute, referring all questions to the Yukon Outfitters Association.