160211 Clarkson - Strategic Decisioin Making Process Review small.pdf
Randy Clarkson, P.Eng. Klondike Placer Miners’ Association
The Klondike Placer Miners' Association represents the 160 family based placer mines operating in the Yukon Territory as well as dozens of service industries and suppliers. The Yukon's placer industry has been the most reliable generator of wealth and employment for over 130 years with present cumulative revenues exceeding $70 million annually. Most of the placer mining occurs in the Dawson planning region and would be directly and dramatically impacted by the Dawson Land Use plan. It is difficult to develop land use plans in areas with placer mining as it is impossible to know where future placer deposits and other mineral deposits will be hidden under the earth's surface. The Dawson Land Use Planning Council used the Strategic Decision Making Process to aid its efforts. The SDM process is an analytical approach with the potential to provide fairer, more realistic and balanced approach to land use planning. However, it is important to use realistic ranking factors in the SDM model process to avoid plans which are extremely biased against mining and other resource development. There should also be a good understanding of the existing environmental, reclamation and bonding practices and regulations. This paper presents a review of the SDM process as it was applied to the Dawson land use planning process and how it could be improved to provide a more balanced review of land use plan alternatives at an early stage in the process.