Peel watershed staking ban extended
Final consultations for land use planning process expected this fall
The Yukon government has extended an interim ban on staking in the Peel Watershed region to May 2013.
The government expects final consultations for the land use planning process will happen this fall and the plan could be finished by the spring.
Environment Minister Currie Dixon said the hope is that extending the staking withdrawal will allow time to finish the land use plan.
"Ideally we would like to have a land use plan in place before we let the withdrawal lapse," he said. "That being said, we're not interested in an indefinite withdrawal. We've always said this is going to be a temporary measure to allow us to develop a land use plan."
The interim staking ban applies to sub-surface mineral staking. Work on existing mineral claims is still allowed.
In 2011, the Peel Land Use Commission recommended 80 per cent of the Peel River watershed be designated for conservation but the Yukon Party has said it has no plans to prohibit access to the region's resources.
The Peel Youth Alliance planted stakes in front of the legislative assembly building to show support for the protection of the watershed.
"We wanted to show the government what this support looks like and by having 60 stakes covered with 550 names we just wanted to underline how much support there is for protection of the Peel watershed," said Malkolm Boothroyd of the Peel Youth Alliance.
"Obviously it's great that the government listened to us in this case and extended the ban and now they need to listen to us and accept the plan."
The Peel Youth Alliance said it will be vocal during the next round of consultations this fall.