Yukon assessor says hunting outfitters ‘only one component of economic activity’, cites project’s benefits
The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) has recommended a new 65-kilometre mining road in central Yukon be approved, despite concerns about its potential impact on wildlife.
The road is proposed by B.C.-based ATAC Resources as necessary, to allow heavy machinery to reach the Tiger deposit on its Rau gold property north of Mayo. Right now, the property is accessed only by air, or over a frozen swampy trail. The new road would require eight bridges and 38 culverts over small streams and rivers. It would be intended to last 10 to 20 years.
YESAB’s recommendation, published Wednesday, is that the road be approved with a number of terms and conditions, meant to minimize impact on wildlife, and traditional hunting and trapping.
The YESAB report notes the proposed road would pass through a number of traplines, and would “likely require the relocation of trapping infrastructure, including trails and cabins.” The report notes these impacts are “adverse and irreversible” and says compensation should be paid.
Another concern raised during YESAB’s review was that a new road would lead to more hunting of moose. The report says that could be mitigated to a degree but not entirely. “The project, even with access controls, will lead to an increase in hunting pressure,” it says. YESAB recommends the Yukon government and the Na-Cho Nyäk Dun First Nation develop an “access regime” which could include a staffed guard house at a road gate.
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