top of page

The difficulties with devolution: community-based forest management planning in the Yukon under comprehensive land claims

Wortley, Debra; Davidson, Debra; Krogman, Naomi





This report examines the role of the Alsek Renewable Resource Council in Yukon’s first forest management plan, and the challenges associated with the devolution of forest management planning responsibilities from the Federal, Territorial and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations’ Governments to a community agency – the Champagne and Aishihik Traditional Territory Forest Management Planning Team. Finalization of Yukon First Nation Comprehensive Land Claims and the subsequent formation of Renewable Resource Councils has created a framework for the involvement of communities who desire a meaningful role in Yukon forest management and policy development. This community-based forest management plan is being developed on two million hectares of Champagne and Aishihik’s Traditional Territory in southeast Yukon. Data for this project was collected primarily through interviews with community, forest industry, and government representatives. The results show that Yukon community members face a daunting task. The experiences of the Alsek Renewable Resource Council and the Champagne and Aishihik Planning Team illustrates that if community-based forest management planning is to succeed in the Yukon a number of conditions are required. Government must acknowledged that RRCs have a legally mandated role in forest management decision-making by developing specific policy for implementing RRC recommendations. Government must acknowledge that community-based groups have the capability to make informed decisions that will benefit both the community and the forests. In order to accomplish this foresters must work cooperatively with community members to ensure that the best possible forest data is made available to the participants in community-based forest management planning processes. New Government policy must be formulated to accommodate the recommendations of the community-based organizations. The investigators believe that for community members to remain actively involved in community-based management they must observe that their recommendations are implemented by Government. The investigator’s are of the opinion that in order to accomplish these criteria Government policy must strive to strengthen and maintain a trusting relationship between community and government partners.

View PDF:

bottom of page