About the Board

Working Groups

Over the past several years, the Board has developed Working Groups to address and respond to emerging or urgent issues relating to the Yukon’s fish, wildlife, and habitat.

While some Working Groups may exist for years, others may focus on smaller and more isolated efforts and have shorter lifespans. The duration they remain active depends on the nature of the issue the group is addressing.

We divvy the Working Groups into areas that cover many of the Board’s operational responsibilities. Board members comprise the standing membership of these groups. However, we will often bring in members from other managing partners to help strengthen the group’s overall knowledge base and technical expertise.

The Board can address everything from legislation and regulation to policy, research, and program initiatives within these bodies.

After meeting and deliberating, our Working Groups will often make recommendations to the Board regarding the content of the Board’s recommendations to the Minister.

Our Working Group membership changes annually, and we always strive to enroll experienced Board members with the appropriate program areas or subject matter.

Angling Working Group

Angling Working Group

As per, this working group addresses licensed angling and fisheries management concerns in the Yukon. There are representatives on this working group from the Teslin, Alsek, Carcross Tagish, and Laberge Renewable Resources Council – along with our Board, the Yukon Salmon Sub-committee, Yukon Fish and Game Association, and the Department of Environment. This working group will continue reviewing angling regulations and slot limit effectiveness (particularly on lakes with “small lake trout”). Biological and social determinants for regulations, the cultural relevance of Yukon angling regulations, and may advance potential recommendations to the Board for new and improved approaches to managing freshwater fish in the Yukon. This Working Group will respond to concerns regarding licensed fishing, catch-and -release angling and may recommend future changes to “general waters” to the Board.
This working group receives support from the Yukon Government Fisheries Biologist and will work with Big Fish-Little Fish Consulting in 2020 and 2021. We will continue developing a Yukon Wide Strategy to address fisheries policy changes, specifically dealing with catch and release fishing challenges and perception shifts in Yukon. This working group is currently active.

Communications Working Group

As per 16.7.6, the Communications Working Group will support and oversee the Board’s communication initiatives. These include our key communication piece, the Board’s calendar. The calendar provides wildlife appreciation information, harvest dates, seasonal closures, fish and wildlife educational bottom bars, and environmental -educational messaging.
Additionally, this working group supports the Board in our other communication endeavours, including website improvements/re-build (June 2020), the annual report (September 31, 2020), promotional material selection (Spring 2020), and assisting in making provisions for public involvement in our decision making. This working group is currently active.

Communications Working Group
Fish Habitat Working Group

Fish and Fish Habitat Working Group


As per, this working group engaged with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans addressing the review of the Federal Fisheries Act in 2012. The review of the Act is complete; however, the implementation of regulations and policy is ongoing – therefore, this work will persist in 2020/21 to implement the Act’s changes. One element of this implementation of the new Act will be integrating Traditional Knowledge in Fisheries assessments (fall 2020).

This working group is currently active.

Licensed Hunting Working Group

As per 16.7.13 and 16.7.16, this working group considers reviews related to the current licensing system and Permit Hunt Authorization processes and continues to discuss policies and potentially advance recommendations to the Board on a license hunting review, as well as some potential regulatory changes that could improve future wildlife management. This working group deliberates on licensed hunting.
This working group can also address creative solutions to address licensed hunting issues and develop Adaptive Harvest Management provisions should the need arise. In the future, this working group will also re-visit the recommendations the Board made on the Permit Hunt Authorization system in the Yukon.
This working group is currently inactive.

Licensed Hunting Working Group
Policy Regulation and Legislation Working Group

Policy, Regulation, and Legislation Working Group

As per 16.7.16, this working group may address legislative, policy, and regulatory changes presented to the Board, including (but not limited to) Yukon Wildlife Act regulation changes, the Animal Health Act, and Adaptive Harvest Management provisions. 
Should the further development of regulations or policies for the Yukon Animal Health Act be required, this working group is prepared to address them. Recently, this working group facilitated recommendations on the banning of farming and import of Eurasian Wild Boar. This initiative took place over the past fiscal year. It will continue into 2020-2021 fiscal with our partners, the Yukon Renewable Resources Councils and First Nation Governments, including the Kwanlin Dun First Nation. Our goal is to monitor, encourage, and expedite the removal of Wild Board from the Yukon and assist in implementing regulations that facilitate this goal.
This working group is currently active.

The Alex Van Bibber Sharing the Land Scholarship Working Group

This working group facilitates the selection of the Board’s “Sharing the Land” Scholarship recipient. This scholarship was renamed in 2014, and the Alex Van Bibber Sharing the Land Scholarship was redesigned and launched in 2015.
The working group members review two-page essays submitted by student applicants and verify acceptance letters and transcripts from accredited post-secondary schools. The members select and award two scholarships annually (every year), which are valued at $1000.00 each.
This working group is currently active.

Alex Van Biber (Photo: Vince Federroff)
Yukon Trapper Working Group

Yukon Trapper Working Group

The Board will continue to facilitate initiatives that revitalize the Yukon’s Trapping Industry as per objective of the Umbrella Final Agreement. Starting in 2015, this working group-administered money from Economic Development for offsetting Auction House Fees in year one (complete), and fur handling assessment, training for phase 2 (Completed), and quality bonus’ for phase 3 of this project (in progress). This year, we awarded the Yukon Trappers Association the remaining money from this three-part initiative to support their fur handling workshops scheduled for the spring of 2020.

The working group will continue to support trappers in the future. We will focus on the action items from the UnFurled event – specifically those that relate to the supply end of the fur industry. The working group will also support Fur Industry events that take place in 2020 in partnership with the Yukon Trappers Association and Yukon Renewable Resources Councils. This working group recently supported the Yukon Trappers Association in their recent fur sale and the Westmark Whitehorse.
This working group is currently active.

Wildlife Habitat Management Working Group

As per, this working group addresses Off-Road Vehicles regulation development, Class 1 Mining Activities, Southern Lakes Forestry plan implementation, Placer Mining, and hydrological projects being reviewed in the Yukon, the Yukon Mineral Development Strategy, and access management in general.
This working group will support the development and implementation of the Yukon Wetlands policy, the Beaver River Land Use Plan and ATAC Road Agreement, Resources Road Agreement, and we will continue to support our Renewable Resource Council partners where needed. As many of the listed activities have timelines in-flux, we cannot propose deadlines for any of the activities above. With respect to any potential sizeable development in the Yukon that has significant implications for wildlife habitat, the Board’s Wildlife Habitat Working Group will defer to the affected Renewable Resources Councils to address area specific concerns based on their expertise. However, our participation can be framed as developing “templates” in these instances for future developments. This group will support and aid in the consistent and fair application of regulations or guidelines to ensure habitat conservation and protection remain the highest priority.
This working group is currently active.

2023 Updated Draft Bison Plan - Public Engagement Summary

Wildlife Management Plans Working Group

Following, this working group attends to wildlife management plans and associated planning processes, including elk, bison, wolves, and the most recent Grizzly Bear Conservation Plan. This working group will address future wildlife management plans or plan reviews. In 2020-2021 we are attending meetings for reviews (or implementation reviews) of outstanding plans, including:

  • Bison Management Plan Review – Ongoing – to be complete in fall 2020
  • Elk Agriculture Conflict Working Group membership – Ongoing
  • Wolf Management Implementation Plan Review – Underway