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2nd December 2017
Victory for Yukon wilderness in landmark Supreme Court decision

CPAWS is celebrating today. First Nations and environmental groups in the Yukon have won a landmark Supreme Court case!

In a judgment released this morning, the Supreme Court has upheld a land use plan that calls for protection of 80% of the pristine Peel Watershed in northeastern Yukon. It is a massive victory and cause for environmental celebration on a global scale.

The Peel Watershed is one of the largest unspoiled natural areas in North America. The 68,000 km2 of rugged wilderness; which is larger than the province of Nova Scotia, has provided physical and cultural nourishment to First Nations for millennia.

“Today is an incredible day for Canada’s wilderness! Thanks to the Supreme Court of
Canada’s ruling, the future of this extraordinary landscape now looks much brighter.
We’re grateful that future generations will be able to enjoy the land as we do today,
and that the wildlife that thrives in the Peel Watershed will continue to have a home.”

- Chris Rider, Executive Director, CPAWS Yukon Chapter

Today’s ruling follows a three-year legal battle brought by First Nations, CPAWS Yukon, and the Yukon Conservation Society against the Yukon government. Although the new Yukon government has promised to accept the Final Recommended Plan, today’s ruling sets a precedent for how modern treaties will be interpreted across Canada for decades to come.

Protecting the Peel Watershed will go a long way in helping Canada meet our international commitments to protect 17% of land and inland waters by 2020. As we celebrate this incredible news for the Yukon, we're more excited than ever to protect vital ecosystems here at home, like the South Okanagan-Similkameen.

Here's to our friends and colleagues in the Yukon, their monumental victory for wilderness protection, and many more to come!

Yours in conservation,

The CPAWS-BC family