Winter Road Proposal for Peel River Watershed and Yukon Three Rivers Area
by admin ~ November 16th, 2007
CPAWS looks at long term planning and conservation proposals, and reminds members of Dec. 10, 2007, deadline for public comments on Cash Minerals land use application with Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.
Public comments needed by December 10, 2007 (extended twice from Nov. 20).
A mining company plans to bulldoze winter roads into the heart of the Yukon’s Three Rivers wilderness. This plan to save cash on a highly speculative uranium exploration play pre-empts the land use planning process and jeopardizes the future of the Three Rivers. Due to the extreme hazards of radioactive wastes from uranium mining, many jurisdictions have imposed moratoriums on uranium mining. In the Yukon, there has been no public debate on the impacts uranium mining.
On October 24, Vancouver-based Cash Minerals submitted plans to build a 289 km network of winter roads into and along the Wind River to access their multiple uranium claims in the Wind and Bonnet Plume watersheds. The Bonnet Plume is a designated Canadian Heritage River; the Wind River is one of the North’s finest wilderness watersheds supporting existing tourism businesses. For the past several years the mining company has used airstrips for access. Now they want to bulldoze winter roads along the valley bottoms and build a new airstrip beside the Wind River. The proposal will save the company some cash, while the public will be left to deal with the long term environmental fall-out.
Submit your comments on this land use permit application to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) by December 10, 2007. You can make comments online on the YESAB site. Just go to project 2007-0205, Wernecke Winter Road Access Project, Cash Minerals.
Updates and Information:
- YESAB submission: Cash Minerals Winter Road Proposal (5.4 Mb, PDF).
- CBC: “Environmentalists oppose proposed Wind River road” (Nov. 20, 2007), “Wind River road proposal garners flood of feedback” (Nov. 27, 2007), “Wind River road info session leaves some empty-handed” (Dec. 04, 2007), “Deadline stretched for review of Wind River road proposal” (Dec. 07, 2007), “Yukon board approves Wind River road, airstrip” (Dec. 28, 2007), “Yukon mining industry praises Wind River decision” (Jan. 02, 2008), “Wind River road opponents urge Yukon to step in” (Jan. 21, 2008), “Yukon government approves Wind River winter road, nixes airstrip” (Jan. 23, 2008), “Yukon may consider more restrictions on Wind River road” (Jan. 24, 2008), “Mackenzie Delta chief worried by Yukon development” (March 05, 2008).
- Whitehorse Star: “Wind River proposal heating up” (Dec. 01, 2007), “Torrent of responses greets Wind River road proposal” (Dec. 11, 2007).
- Cash Minerals: open house and community information session – Dec. 03 (7:00 PM – 9:30 PM) Mayo Curling Rink, Mayo Yukon (“All are welcome”).
- CPAWS News: “Yukon’s Three Rivers threatened by proposed mining exploration roads” (Nov. 15, 2007), “Winter road development in Three Rivers region closer to reality” (Jan. 21, 2008), “Yukon government decision puts future of the Wind River wilderness at risk” (Jan. 28, 2008), “Putting industry first in the Three Rivers is a breach of trust” (Feb. 04, 2008).
- Yukon News (free log-in required): “Mining road threatens Wind” (Nov. 19, 2007), “Outfitters outraged” (Nov. 23, 2007), “Uranium exploration could open pandora’s box, critics fear” (Nov. 28, 2007), “Cash’s road spells trouble for wilderness” (Nov. 30, 2007), “High mineral prices drive hunt for uranium in Yukon” (Dec. 01, 2007), “Letter: Cash Minerals Could Cost Us” (Dec. 05, 2007), “Commentary: Protect the Peel from haste and plunder” (Dec. 05, 2007), “Cash Minerals Sued Over Unpaid Bills” (Dec. 07, 2007), “End of the road” (Dec. 17, 2007), “YESAB knocks Wind out of critics” (Jan. 04, 2008), “Government disregards uranium mining in Wind review” (Jan. 07, 2008), “Tourism mum on Wind review” (Jan. 14, 2008).
- Mayo Designated Office: YESAA Recommendations and Evaluation Report – Wernecke Winter Road Access Project, 2007-0205 (PDF) (Dec. 24, 2007).
- Yukon Government: Decision Document (PDF) (Jan. 22, 2008)