The members of the Yukon Land Use Planning Council held two sessions in late 2017 to discuss the strategic direction for the organization. These sessions were facillitated by Cambio Consulting who also wrote this plan.
The planning experience to date has illustrated a number of challenges and opportunities for attention at all levels of the planning process:
Foundations around roles, responsibilities and relationships;
Regional planning commission operations; and
Post-planning implementation processes
This plan is intended as high-level strategic document that charts a course for YLUPC to work with its partners to address these challenges over the next three years.
Last year, we hired Ryder Communication Management to do a jurisdictional analysis of planning strategies and to recommend the contents of one for the Yukon. With this report in hand, we are exploring ways to collaboratively create a Yukon Regional Planning Strategy. The report comes in 2 parts: a report, and a table of strategy components used in different jurisdictions.
Since 2014, we, our staff and contractors have been thinking about Yukon land use planning and the process we can all follow to get successful plans. In 2015, Lesley Cabott Consulting & Associates drafted an analysis of potential solutions. One of the most pivotal recommendations was to develop a Yukon Regional Planning Strategy or framework. This recommendation led us to commission this report.
Dennis Zimmermann was appointed as our newest member on December 7th, 2017, and is the Government of Canada's nominee.
Dennis Zimmermann has over 20 years of professional experience in the North. He has a Master's of Science Degree in Rural Planning with a focus on community-based planning and engagement. He has worked in both the public and the private sectors, and in the last decade his work has revolved around the intersection of community, fish, wildlife and habitat. With this breadth of experience, he will sure to be a great addition to the Council.
The Council and staff recently had a day of media relations training put on by Calypso Communications, Mosaic Communications & AVCR Video Productions. It was a fun and informative day for everyone. There were presentations, discussions, and mock radio and TV interviews.
Back in March 2017, we hosted a successful workshop to give organizations involved in land use planning, environmental assessment, land and water regulation and resource management (including cultural resources) an opportunity to learn from one another and to coordinate activities. As this was the first such meeting, one of the main outcomes was the realization that this workshop should be held again! We've just published the draft summary of the workshop and associated appendices.
For almost 3 years, the Dawson Regional Land Use Planning process has been suspended. In late 2014, the Government of Yukon, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Vuntut Gwitchin Government (the "Parties") mutually agreed to suspend the process until the Peel Watershed court case reaches final resolution at the Supreme Court of Canada. Now that a decision has been reached, the Parties are discussing a restart. Among the many things being addressed are:
Terms of Reference for the Commission
Roles and responsibilities
How the new Terms of Reference will include new planning concepts suggested in recent years
Status of Dawson planning progress and products
Necessary updates to the Commission's knowledge base: what has changed in 3 years?
The Council and staff support these discussions with advice and meeting space. We look forward actively participating in a new planning process!
The Council is pleased that there is a ruling on the Peel Watershed Plan, and looks forward to incorporating it into our future planning processes. We will take actions that will help build a common understanding Yukon's Land Claim Agreements. With our staff and legal counsel, we will review the decision and will make substantive comments in the near future. See also our initial press release.
Peel Watershed Planning Commission's Final Recommended Plan was central to the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling. As always, this document, and other planning documents are found on our website and the Commission's.
As a result of a recommendation in the North Yukon Regional Land Use Plan, a new territorial park is to be established in the Summit Lake / Bell River area of northern Yukon. The Council is pleased to see that this recommendation is being implemented. To do this, the Yukon and Vuntut Gwitchin Governments created a working group in early 2016. This group has worked to define the park boundary (only loosely defined in the Plan) and develop a park managment plan.
A similar, parallel process is also proceeding for Ch'ihilii Chik, also known as Whitefish Wetlands. A working group is working on a management plan for this Habitat Protection Area. Watch fo updates and a public review process in the coming months.
The Council is not directly involved in either of these processes.
Lois Craig was appointed as our newest member on May 11, 2017, and is Yukon Government's nominee.
A long-time Yukoner, Lois has worked for the territorial and federal governments and in consulting primarily in sustainable development, natural resource management, land claims implementation and multi-party agreements and initiatives. She also has a Bachelor of Commerce in applied economics and statistics and has a Master of Applied Environmental Studies. Her work and education background will be an asset to the Council!