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Yukon Wetlands Pushed To Tipping Point By Placer Mining: First Nation

“The Yukon Water Board is asking the public to weigh in as the territory considers legislation to protect remaining undisturbed wetlands from small-scale gold mining in streams and riverbeds”.

“The Indian River watershed, which used to provide “sweeping” wetland habitat south of Dawson City, Yukon, has been all but destroyed by placer mining, Darren Taylor, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation’s director of natural resources, told the territory’s water board during a recent virtual hearing.

The time for Yukon to protect its last remaining wetlands is running out, Taylor said.“We are reaching a tipping point, beyond which there’s no turning back,” he warned. “Part of ourselves dies when our relationship with the land is disrupted.”

The Yukon Water Board, an independent body responsible for issuing water licences, is receiving feedback from the public as part of a plan to develop a strategy for placer mining in wetlands across the territory. The board is accepting written submissions from the public until Dec. 14.”

Julien Gignac reports for The Narwhal December 11, 2020.