Joint news release with Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, and Carcross/Tagish first Nation
After years of collaborative work, the four governments participating in the forest planning process for the Whitehorse Southern Lakes forest planning region have approved a plan for the area.
The plan provides the framework to ensure certainty for the land base, sustainable harvest levels and local economic opportunities from timber and non-timber forest resources, while integrating ecological, traditional, heritage and other community values.
The new plan will assist Yukoners in completing important work on habitat protection, wildfire suppression and small scale forest industry development in the region. It also identifies forestry zones which guide where, how, and when timber harvesting may take place in the Whitehorse and Southern Lakes region.
After many years of collaboration between participating governments, industry representatives and citizens around Whitehorse and the Southern Lakes, we are pleased to announce the release of the Whitehorse and Southern Lakes Forest Resources Management Plan. The plan will help governments and local communities address important work, such as wildfire hazard reduction, habitat protection and development opportunities for the forest sector, while honouring the shared values Yukoners hold for our forests.
Energy Mines and Resources Minister John Streicker
The Southern Lakes region covers a vast area. Habitat protection, wildfire suppression and future industrial developments are of critical importance to our government. As we share these important land resources with Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Carcross/Tagish First Nation and Taku River Tlingit First Nation, this plan is a good beginning to ensure our First Nations are included in all phases of any future planning for these important ecosystems.
Chief Kristina Kane, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council
How we walk with the land and water is central to our way of life and resource management. Balancing the sustainability of our environment with economic opportunities can be challenging, but is vitally important in modern times. Gunalchéesh to everyone who contributed to the Whitehorse and Southern Lakes Forest Resources Management Plan.
Carcross/Tagish First Nation Haa Shaa du Hen Lynda Dickson
Our people are connected to the land, the water, and the wildlife in this area. Our ancestors have been here for millennia. Shä̀w níthän to everyone who has been involved in this forest planning process. It is important that we all work together now to ensure that this important resource is well managed and protected for our children and our grandchildren.
Chief Doris Bill, Kwanlin Dün First Nation
Work on the Whitehorse and Southern Lakes forest planning region started in 2008. The planning process was led by a steering committee and involved extensive public engagement and consultation with the participating First Nations and Renewable Resources Councils.
The planning area is located in the headwaters of the Yukon River. It covers 1.49 million hectares and includes public land and First Nations Settlement Land within the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council Traditional Territories; and Taku River Tlingit First Nation asserted Traditional Territory. The area includes forests, alpine tundra, subalpine, rivers, lakes, wetlands, rock and communities including the City of Whitehorse and Carcross.
Forest Resource Management Plans have also been completed in the Dawson region for Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territory, the Haines Junction region for the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Traditional Territory, and in the Teslin region for the Teslin Tlingit Traditional Territory.