The Fish Habitat Management System replaces the existing Yukon Placer Authorization (YPA). In 1993, the YPA was implemented, a process guided by the Yukon Placer Committee. Prior to 2001, the Committee was also responsible for conducting a comprehensive review of the YPA, which involved extensive public consultation. In June 2002, the Placer Committee issued a report containing unanimous recommendations.
On December 16, 2002, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced his decision to phase out the YPA. This decision was not well-received by many individuals and stakeholder groups in the Yukon. The strong public reaction against the Minister's decision was followed by a Record of Agreement (RoA) between the Yukon Government, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Council of Yukon First Nations. In May 2003, the Record of Agreement 10 KB was signed by the three parties.
The Record of Agreement required a new regime for regulating placer mining under the Fisheries Act, to be developed and implemented by 2007. The RoA described two management objectives:
1. A sustainable placer mining industry in the Yukon
2. The conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat supporting fisheries.
The RoA also established an Implementation Steering Committee and a technical Working Committee, each of which consisted of representatives of the three parties and the Klondike Placer Miners’ Association (KPMA).
In May 2004, these committees submitted a preliminary report to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, who approved the preliminary design of the new regime. The committees continued work to further develop the regime's major components.
By May 2005, a report entitled An Integrated Regulatory Regime for Yukon Placer Mining 740 KB was prepared for the Minister and endorsed by the three parties and the KPMA.
In order to facilitate the consultation phase and implementation of the Fish Habitat Management System, several new bodies were required. In September 2005, a Joint Placer Implementation Committee (JPIC) was formed to replace the Implementation Steering Committee. An Implementation Management Group (IMG) was formed to replace the Working Committee. Both the JPIC and the IMG consist of representatives of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Yukon Government and the Council of Yukon First Nations.
In December 2005, the Yukon Placer Secretariat was formally established. With a small core staff headed by an Executive Director, this inter-governmental coordinating agency is responsible for planning and leading consultations on the System and its implementation. The core staff works closely with the IMG. The Secretariat reports to the JPIC.
During the months of February through April 2006, the Secretariat held introductory meetings with all Yukon First Nations and developed a comprehensive three-stage consultation plan to begin in May 2006.
In late March 2006, the Secretariat hosted a workshop in Whitehorse on Adaptive Management, a key principle guiding the proposed Regime. Participants included representatives of government departments whose work will be affected by the System, as well as mandated boards, stakeholder groups and other interested parties. A public lecture on Adaptive Management was also held during the week of the workshop.
In May and June 2006, the Secretariat held the first six sets of its Phase 1 Consultation meetings, visiting the communities of Pelly Crossing, Burwash Landing/Destruction Bay, Beaver Creek, Dawson City, Mayo and Carmacks. In each community, a meeting was held with representatives of the First Nation. In addition, a public meeting was held, consisting of an open house, Power Point presentation and question period.
Throughout the remainder of 2006 and continuing into 2007, additional Phase 1 and Phase 2 Consultation meetings have been held in other communities. Please go to our Consultations page for more information.
Chronology of Key Dates