Yukon government says it doesn't support permit for exploration in Arctic wilderness

Yukon's Environment Minister says the Alaska exploration will impact calving and summer habitats to the Porcupine caribou herd and affect the First Nations that rely on the animals for food and cultural practices.

The Canadian Press

WHITEHORSE — The Yukon government says it does not support a permit for an oil drilling exploration project in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Environment Minister Pauline Frost says the exploration will impact calving and summer habitats to the Porcupine caribou herd and affect the First Nations that rely on the animals for food and cultural practices.

Her statements follow an environmental impact assessment process in the refuge after the two-week window for public comment closed on Nov. 6.

Frost says the Yukon government has submitted its concerns about the permit and urges the U.S. government to live up to its international commitments to protect the Porcupine caribou.

Canadian First Nations and environmentalists have joined a U.S. lawsuit aimed at overturning a decision that opens an Alaska wilderness to oil and gas exploration.

Malkolm Boothroyd of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, which has also signed onto the lawsuit, says he is afraid that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration will push ahead with the project.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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