Peel watershed map

The Peel watershed includes a large portion of the northern Yukon.

The Yukon Government has extended a claim staking ban in the Peel River watershed for another three weeks.

The ban was set to expire New Year’s day.

Environment minister Currie Dixon says the extension will give the government the time it needs to complete talks with affected First Nations and conclude a final land use plan for the Peel Watershed.

"We have been doing that for some time, but want to make sure we are absolutely clear and meet the requirements of the UFA,” Dixon says. “We can see the finish line now so we are excited to do this work and conclude this process.”

The mineral staking ban in the Peel regions has been in place almost four years as the Yukon Government and First Nations consider what kind of land use restrictions should apply in the region.

First Nations insist they favour the "pro-conservation plan" recommended by the Peel Watershed Land Use Planning Commission.

The government maintains a more balanced plan is needed to accommodate development opportunities.

The claim staking ban is now in effect until Jan. 21.