Peel Watershed Protection

The Peel Watershed is one of the most environmentally valuable and culturally significant natural areas on earth.  Conserving the Peel is important to us, as it is for all Yukoners.  The watershed is home to unique and vibrant wildlife,  it is an ancient meeting place and spiritual centre for the Yukon First Nations, and it is a region that attracts visitors from all over the world.

For our industry, industrial development in the Peel means that we will no longer be able to offer an attractive and highly sought wilderness experience. Wilderness tourism companies have consistently been taking visitors down the Snake, Wind, Bonnet Plume, Hart, Blackstone and Peel Rivers for several decades.  Individuals are attracted to this area primarily because it offers a vast and mostly untouched environment, complete with its clean-flowing waters, healthy wildlife populations and lack of permanent settlements or developments.  It is these qualities that make the Peel watershed unique.

It has long been WTAY's position that the Peel Watershed should receive 100% protection.  Our belief is that there are countless other areas in the Yukon that are rich with minerals, so threatening the delicate ecological balance of the Peel is a hasty and reckless decision.  However, we were willing to accept the recommended Peel Plan of 80% protection, because it seemed to be  a fair and reasonable compromise agreed upon by the majority of Yukoners.

Yet, in the winter of last year, the Yukon Party announced that they would not follow the recommended plan.  Sadly, the government’s position to open the Peel to industrial activity and surface access is in complete contradiction to the conclusions reached by the commission after years of comprehensive research, analysis and consultation.

Since this announcement, WTAY has met with Minister Brad Cathers (Energy, Mines & Resources), Minister Mike Nixon (Tourism), Minister Curry Dixon (Environment), as well as members of the opposition.  WTAY had an opportunity to express our frustration and reassert our arguments on behalf of Peel protection.

WTAY remains committed to protecting the Peel Watershed as it is a key component to the sustainable future of the Yukon's wilderness tourism industry.

More Information about the Peel:

Peel Watershed Planning Commission
Protect the Peel 
Yukon Government: Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan
2012-12-05-Peel Press Release