On August 22, 2019, the regional plan for the Peel Watershed was approved by all five Parties: Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, the Gwich’in Tribal Council, and the Yukon. Hundreds of people gathered in Mayo for the festivities, many attending a signing and water ceremony on the shore of the Stewart River. This marks the second regional plan to be approved under chapter 11 of Yukon's Final Agreements, and a milestone for reconciliation in the Yukon. Two former members of the Peel Watershed Planning Commission were there seeing through their plan. The YLUPC's article has more details on the ceremony. You can find the Plan, highlights and more information on the Yukon Government's webpage.
What We Heard Report Published
The Parties to the Peel Watershed planning process consulted on the Final Recommended Plan in late 2018. They recently released a report detailing what was heard during that consultation. These results will help inform their discussions on finding a shared position on the Plan, and ultimately finalize and approve the Plan. The consultation and report were done by a consultant, Stantec.
Consultation on the Final Recommended Plan Begins! (again)
The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision put the Peel Watershed Planning process back to the consultation on our Final Recommended Plan. In a recent press release, the Yukon Government, together with the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and the Gwich’in Tribal Council ("the Parties") announced their plans for this consultation. The consultation will include community meetings in Old Crow, Whitehorse, Dawson City, Mayo, Inuvik, Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic and Fort McPherson. Stakeholder sessions, an online questionnaire and an online comment form compliment these meetings. More details on this consultation may be found on the website: finishthepeelplan.ca.
After these public consultations, the Parties will consult with each other. Then, according to the Supreme Court of Canada, modifications to the Final Recommended Plan must be minor or reflect changing circumstances since the plan was written. The Parties' goal is to achieve a shared position on the plan, and to approve and implement it.
With the release of our Final Recommended Plan in July 2011, we have fulfilled our planning mandate, and are not currently active.
Visit the Parties' websites for more information:
The Highlights of the Final Recommended Plan
The Peel Watershed Planning Commission is pleased to provide a brochure that goes over the highlights of their Final Recommended Plan. Please note that it presents only the highlights of the Plan and is not a complete summary. You may view the brochure on an external site if you do not want to download it. The complete version of the Final Recommended Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan is available here. It was produced with the assistance of the Yukon Land Use Planning Council. Enjoy!
The Final Recommended Plan is Complete
The Peel Watershed Planning Commission is pleased to publically release their Final Recommended Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan. With this Final Recommended Plan, the Peel Watershed Planning Commission concludes it work. The Commission recommends this Plan to the Parties and to the People of the Yukon: it is carefully considered and it achieves the goals set out for it in a way consistent with the spirit and intent of the UFA, and it upholds the principles of Sustainable Development. The Commission emphasizes that this Plan is not a template for future planning efforts in other regions of the Yukon. The PWPC believes that the approach taken in this plan enables Yukoners to serve as responsible stewards of this landscape.
This plan in now in the hands of the Parties: (the Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Vuntut Gwitchin, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, Gwich'in Tribal Council, and Yukon governments). It is up to them to consult with one another, with Yukon communities (YG), and either approve the plan, modify the plan, or reject the plan for their respective lands (see the Umbrella Final Agreement, sections 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124).
A press release is found here.
The Commission's Mandate
Under the mandate of Chapter 11 of the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA), the Peel Watershed Planning Commission (PWPC) is responsible for developing and recommending a regional land use plan for the Peel Watershed Planning Region (Map 1). The PWPC is an arms length commission with members that are jointly nominated by the Yukon, Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Gwich’in and Vuntut Gwitchin governments. The recommended regional land use plan will apply to all Settlement and Non-settlement lands in the planning region.
The Commission's Statement of Intent
The goal of the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan is to ensure wilderness* characteristics, wildlife and their habitats, cultural resources, and waters are maintained over time while managing resource use. These uses include, but are not limited to, traditional use, trapping, recreation, outfitting, wilderness tourism, subsistence harvesting, and the exploration and development of non-renewable resources.
Achieving this goal requires managing development at a pace and scale that maintains ecological integrity**. The long-term objective is to return all lands to their natural state as development activities are completed.
* Wilderness is defined as: any area in a largely natural condition in which ecosystem processes are largely unaltered by human activity or in which human activity has been limited to developments or activities that do not significantly modify the environment, and includes an area restored to a largely natural condition. (Yukon Environment Act)
** Ecological integrity is defined as: a concept that expresses the degree to which the physical, chemical, and biological components (including composition, structure, and process) of an ecosystem and their relationships are present, functioning, and capable of self-renewal. Ecological integrity implies the presence of appropriate species, populations and communities and the occurrence of ecological processes at appropriate rates and scales as well as the environmental conditions that support these taxa and processes. (U.S. National Park Service)