Happy New Year! Commission Update Jan 2021

Thank you to those of you who attended our last Commission meeting (virtually) on December 15th. We had some really engaging presentations at our public meeting from KPMA, Newmont, and the Cumulative Effects Intergovernmental working group.  The Commission then continued their important work over the next two days in a series of working sessions.  

The following information is now available on our website:

Planning Process Transparency – As part of this past meeting, the Commission had a question and answer period with the public and we found it to be very engaging. One of the key questions asked was about transparency in the planning process. We wanted to share a few points on this topic with you that were expressed by the Commission Chair and staff at the meeting:

  • The issue of transparency in the planning process is very important to us and we have been trying our best during these challenging times.
  • We know that there may be some questions about releasing information on conservation priorities from Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Yukon Government to the public and implications regarding discussions between the governments on interim land withdrawals recently reported in the media.
  • The governments (Parties) have asked that their conservation assessment work remain confidential until release of the Draft Plan. We have only just received this information and we are still working through it. The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on this work as part of the Draft Plan public engagement process.
  • Ideally, from a planning perspective, the Commission believes that any interim withdrawal of lands from staking (whether full, partial, or none at all) should be discussed and finalized by the governments before a regional land use planning process begins. As this was not the case, the Commission has chosen to assist the Parties in their discussions by providing them the first part of the Draft Plan, consisting of the draft land use designation system and conservation areas for consideration in the planning region, in early 2021. Following this initial partial submission, the full Draft Plan submission with all remaining draft recommendations will be delivered to the Parties and the public in spring 2021, at which point the Commission will conduct a comprehensive public engagement period. Following the public engagement process on the Draft Plan, we will work towards submitting a Recommended Plan by the end of the year.
  • We know that the situation is not ideal and this approach may not work for all plan partners and members of the public – we apologize if this is the case. However, in our view, this approach is the best possible option for the overall integrity of the planning process. Please know that your feedback is important to us and if you have ideas on how we could do a better job, we encourage you to connect with us.

Happy New Year to you and your family!