Beaver River Watershed
There's a proposal for a 65km road to access mineral claims throughout the Beaver River Watershed, located just south of the Peel. It has been assessed by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board (YESAB) which recommended in its Evaluation Report that it proceed but with certain conditions. YCS is against this road, as was clearly stated in our submission to YESAB. YCS respectfully suggested to YESAB that they recommend against this project proceeding for the following reasons:
- There are alternative options to an all season road.
- Negative impacts on fish and animals due to cumulative impacts and habitat fragmentation.
- A full assessment of the impacts on salmon habitat of all the culverts and bridges has not been completed prior to this assessment.
- Land-use planning has not occurred.
CPAWS Yukon has nicely summarized these and other environmental concerns in a blog post.
Following the YESAB evaluation, the Government of Yukon and First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun have agreed to prepare a land use plan for the Beaver River watershed. This agreement was announced in a joint press release titled Government of Yukon and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun reach agreement on ATAC tote road. A copy of the actual agreement is available here. The planning committee consists of 2 Na-Cho Nyäk Dun delegates and 2 Yukon government delegates, all four will guide the planning process. More information on the Beaver River watershed planning process is available here.
Community meetings have been held by the planning committee, including one in Whitehorse on Feb 6 2019 where this slideshow was presented. The planning committee has issued this map showing in detail possible proposed routing of the road.
This issue has been covered in the Yukon media. Below are some pertinant pieces of press coverage.
Land use planning underway for Yukon's Beaver River watershed - CBC North, Feb 7th, 2019
Mining access road receives clearance - Whitehorse Star, March 5th, 2018
Proposed road has encountered stiff dissent - Whitehorse Star, May 4th, 2017
Yukon mining industry warns against closing access to claims - CBC North, March 22nd, 2017
Road to Tiger gold deposit in central Yukon worries hunters - CBC North, Feb 17th, 2017
YCS comments to YESAB re: the ATAC Rau road
Slide show from Whitehorse Public Meeting
Yukon Government and Na-cho Nyak Dun First Nation agreement over ATAC road