News

Planning for Kusawa Territorial Park Begins

February 12, 2009

Whitehorse – A Steering Committee is in place, information is being gathered, a website is under construction … all of which means the planning process for Yukon’s much-loved Kusawa area is off and running – exciting news for Yukoners who cherish what will soon become one of Yukon’s most accessible protected wilderness, recreation and cultural areas.

The committee expects to take two years and several rounds of public consultation to develop a management plan for the park.

Land for Kusawa Park was set aside in 2005 under the Kwanlin Dun First Nation, and Carcross/Tagish First Nation final agreements, and will be managed according to those Agreements, the Parks and Land Certainty Act and other applicable legislation. The park falls within the traditional territory of three First Nations – Carcross/Tagish, Kwanlin Dun, and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. For this reason, the Steering Committee, established in 2008, is comprised of six representatives; one from each of those First Nations, and three representatives from the Yukon government.

The Steering Committee will develop and recommend to the Yukon government a comprehensive management plan to guide development and operation of the park. The plan will be based on the extensive data already available, as well as on consultation with the First Nations, residents of the area, other user groups, government experts, and the public.

The management plan will honour the objectives for the park set out in the First Nation final agreements and will include:

  • a long-term vision for the park;
  • strategies for managing ecological integrity, cultural and historic values, visitor use and third-party rights and interests;
  • an environmental impact assessment of the plan; and,
  • an implementation strategy for the plan.

Currently, the Steering Committee is in the first of the six stages of the planning process – Information Gathering. Information Gathering first involves tracking down, collecting and reading existing scientific and available traditional knowledge, social, historic, cultural and biodiversity information on the Kusawa area.

Information Gathering also includes an important first call for public input – asking Yukoners to tell us what they value about the area. The Steering Committee plans to advertise in local media, contact key stakeholders directly, and promote use of its website (http://www.kusawapark.ca). The Committee will ask the public and interest groups to respond by March 31, 2009.

The members of the Steering Committee are: Lawrence Joe, Champagne Aishihik First Nation; Bill Barrett, Carcross Tagish First Nation; Tom Beaudoin; Kwanlin Dun First Nation; Bruce Downie, Yukon Parks, YG; Karen Clyde, Fish and Wildlife Branch, YG; Cathryn Paish, Tourism Yukon, YG.  A facilitator, Angela Walkley of Cambio Consulting, has been contracted to assist the Steering Committee through the process.

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For more information contact:

Kusawa Park Steering Committee
Afan Jones, Secretariat
Tel:  667 3048
Mail:  P.O. Box Stn Main 31162
Whitehorse Yukon Y1A 5P7
Email:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Website:  http://www.kusawapark.ca

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