Northern Cross oil and gas proposal concerns Yukon First Nations

Yukon First Nations have concerns with a proposal by Northern Cross to do exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Eagle Plain area.
A sign at Chance Road about 35 kilometres south of Eagle Plains, Yukon. Northern Cross is proposing to do more oil and gas exploration in the area. (submitted)

Yukon First Nations have expressed concerns about a proposal by Northern Cross to do exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Eagle Plain area.

Northern Cross hopes to drill and test up to 20 exploratory wells over next eight years starting in 2015.

The Dawson office of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board is now evaluating the proposal, but the Na-ChoNyak Dun First Nation has formally requested the project be sent to the executive committee for screening.

If that happens, the review could take between six months and two years.

The Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Nation outlines a long list of concerns, including the lack of baseline data.

Elders also identify the Eagle Plains region as a wintering ground for the Porcupine caribou and feel strongly there is a need to protect the land and animals.

The Vuntut Gwitchin says the proposal includes environmental objectives, but doesn't adequately describe how the company will achieve them.

There are community concerns that 82 kilometres of new roads will lead to even more roads in years ahead.

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