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The latest news from CPAWS YUKON

January 2021

In this edition:

  • Making Mining Make Sense with CPAWS Yukon
    • 2 in-person movie nights and 1 online event to highlight the state of mining in the Yukon, and get you ready to submit comments on the Mineral Development Strategy (Get Info and Tickets) 
    • Need some tips on how to submit a comment? We've created a comment guide to give you some ideas! (Check out the guide)​​ 
  • Mineral Development Strategy and wetlands 
  • ORV regulations released 
  • Arctic Refuge Update 
    • Lease sales didn't garner as much money as the U.S. administration had hoped
    • President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order to pause the lease sale process in the Arctic Refuge
  • Our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan 
    • Where is CPAWS Yukon going in the next few years? What are our goals and what issues will we be working on? Check out our Strategic Plan for 2021-2025 and see what we'd like to achieve in the next few years! 

Mineral Development Strategy

What does the Yukon’s environment look like in 2031? For me, 10 years into the future can seem like an eternity – especially when there’s still so much uncertainty about what next month will look like. But throughout February, we have an opportunity to consider our future, and have a say in what it looks like through the Yukon Mineral Development Strategy.

We’re hosting three events in February to help you make informed comments on the draft strategy. Join us for a showing of The Shadow of Gold and an info session this Sunday, February 7th from 4 - 6 PM at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse. If you can’t make this Sunday, you can join us on February 20th for the same event. On February 18th we’re hosting an online event from 8 - 9 PM to showcase CPAWS Yukon’s latest film, You Almost Forget Where You Are. Part adventure, part exploration of a changing landscape, it was shot and produced in-house by Malkolm Boothroyd taking you into the heart of the Indian River Watershed, with staff and citizens from Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation. Tickets are by donation and seats are limited, so get yours ASAP! You can get tickets and info here:

The Mineral Development Strategy is an opportunity to bring mining into the 21st century, and also lay a strong foundation for the next decade or more. Until February 22nd, an independent panel is accepting comments on their draft recommendations to improve mining in the Yukon.

You don’t need to be a mining expert to have a comment. You are already an expert in what version of the Yukon want to see for your grandkids and generations after. To help you on the mining stuff though, we’ve created a comment guide with our thoughts. You can either use it to complete the survey or send in your own custom letter that addresses your concerns.

Check out our Comment Guide here.

Mineral Development Strategy and Wetlands

The Mineral Development Strategy is not just about how mines operate though. It can impact so many other parts of the environment. For example, wetlands in the territory could benefit from comprehensive legislation that protects them – especially since it takes generations for them to recover if disturbed.

New off-road vehicle regulations released

Disturbance can take on various forms. The Mineral Development Strategy is set to address disturbance from mining activities, and the Yukon Government’s new legislation on off-road vehicles (ORVs) is set to address disturbance by vehicles. These new policies are a step in the right direction, and CPAWS, alongside six other Yukon organizations, expressed this at a press conference yesterday. Now that the Yukon is home to more people, more trails, and more powerful ORVs, these regulations will help protect the land and experiences that we cherish.

Arctic Refuge

On January 6th, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management went ahead with the lease sale of the Arctic Refuge. The largest bidder was the state of Alaska, through the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA). In total the lease sales generated, $12 million, a far cry from the $1.8 billion that proponents predicted.

On January 20th, however, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order placing a temporary pause on oil and gas activities in the Arctic Refuge. This averts the immediate danger and gives the Administration space to work towards more lasting protections for the Arctic Refuge. The executive action specifically acknowledged the “the alleged legal deficiencies underlying the program, including the inadequacy of the environmental review” (that’s our lawsuit, folks!) and gave the Department of Interior the authority to review the program.

CPAWS Yukon Strategic Plan

Finally, we have recently released our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. This 4-year plan comes from discussions between staff and the board of directors in early 2020 about the direction that we’d like to see CPAWS Yukon take. It will be used to guide our work, but as we’ve learned in the past year, life can force you to change on the fly. So we’ll use it as a guide and make amendments if necessary (while keeping you all informed if anything major happens).

- Adil 


Non-Profits we love

Every month, we will be highlighting a non-profit doing awesome work. We believe working together will help us create a stronger future for conservation and end the "Non-Profit Hunger Games"


Caribou are some of Canada's most iconic animals. In the Northwest Territories, some caribou herds aren't doing so well, with the Dolphin and Union herds being listed as Special Concern under the NWT Species At Risk Act. Our friends over at CPAWS NWT have some great resources on caribou that can help you get a better understanding of the different types of caribou and their preferred habitats:





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