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!
We recently hired our new Senior Policy and Planning Advisor: Joe Copper Jack. With his long work history in the Yukon and western Canada, he is sure to be a great asset to Yukon regional planning. Welcome Joe!
Joe Copper Jack, is the grandson of Chief Jim Boss (Kishwoot) of the Ta’an Mun (Headwaters People) of Lake Lebarge, Yukon, and of Copper Jack of Chitina, Alaska.
The purpose of UFA Board and Committee Gathering is 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.
Since late 2014, we have been focussing much of our effort on reviewing the Common Land Use Planning Process (CLUPP) in an effort to make future planning projects more efficient and successful. Over time, we will be adding discussion on papers that support this review here. Most recently, we added a discussion of the challenges associated with implementing Chapter 11 - Land Use Planning that have arisen since the land claim agreements were signed in 1995. We are hoping to add more discussion papers in 2017 that address different aspects of improving the CLUPP.
The North Yukon Regional Land Use Plan was approved in 2009, making it Yukon's first (and only) regional plan to be approved under the Umbrella Final Agreement. Since then, some parts of the plan have been implemented, while others are still in progress. In recent months, we have been requested by the Plan's Parties (Vuntut Gwitchin and Yukon Governments) to assist by providing financial and staff resources to some implementation projects as well as attend implementation meetings between the Parties. Currently, we are involved in two projects that may serve as templates for other planning regions:
Determining how best to track human disturbances in Eagle Plains. See these documents.
Analysing field data on disturbance and recovery dynamics in Eagle Plains