If you’ve spent time recently in the Aishihik Lake area, you may have noticed some people doing scientific research on or around the lake. Bird surveys have been taking place since April, and in late July/early August we will conduct our annual white fish studies. There’ll also be some data collected related to the river channel/banks of the Lower Aishihik River. These programs are being done in cooperation with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, and in each case one or more CAFN citizens are involved in doing the work.
This research and data collection is part of the information we need for the application to renew our Aishihik hydro facility water license. Our current license expires in 2019.
The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) government and Yukon Energy are taking a new, more collaborative approach with regard to this water license renewal. We are working in partnership on proposed terms and conditions for a new license and have signed a protocol agreement for the co-management of the license renewal process.
Together we have established a steering committee (one member each from CAFN and Yukon Energy) to oversee the work and provide high level guidance, and an advisory committee (of CAFN, Yukon Energy, various government departments and agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations) that makes recommendations on technical issues such as the process for collecting baseline information, lake operational alternatives, effects assessment, etc.
CAFN citizens provide input to this group through a Champagne Aishihik Community Advisory Committee.
Both CAFN and Yukon Energy recognize that the Aishihik hydro facility has had long term impacts on the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations people, and want to improve relationships by working together on issues related to the Aishihik reservoir/watershed.
There will be opportunities for the general Yukon public to provide input into the license renewal as we move through this process. Watch here for information about upcoming public meetings and other ways you can have your say.
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