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Yukon Govt invites public input on railway weed spraying

The Yukon Government will consider the public's input before it makes a decision on a proposal to spray weed killer alongside the White Pass and Yukon Route railway tracks.

Yukon Environmental Protection Branch will accept public input until July 7

The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad Company has applied to spray weed killer from Carcross, Yukon to the B.C. border and the rest of the route to Skagway. Environment Minister Currie Dixon says they will consider the public's input before it makes a decision. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

The Yukon Government will consider the public's input before it makes a decision on a proposal to spray weed killer alongside the White Pass and Yukon Route railway tracks.

The company has applied to use herbicide along 100 kilometres of track from Carcross to Skagway, Alaska, including areas along the headwaters of the Yukon River at Bennett Lake.

Environment Minister Currie Dixon says he's particularly interested in hearing from landowners near the tracks and First Nations along the route, but, in the end, he'll rely on science to make his decision on the application.

“I don't have the scientific level of understanding of these kind of things to make that decision on my own so I would be relying on advice from experts and officials that have the scientific background to give me that advice.”

The Yukon Environmental Protection Branch will accept public input on the application until July 7.

The railway had posted signs in the area where they want to spray, alerting the public the spraying would begin June 28. 

Yesterday, Environment Yukon clarified it asked White Pass to post signs indicating it had asked for permission to use herbicides. 

Department spokesperson Melissa Madden said the government has asked the company to put up new signs with the correct information.