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Strategic Plan 2020 -2025
YSSC Strategic Plan
In 2017, the YSSC started on the development of a strategic plan with a two-day workshop involving the Parties of the YFNFA. Past YSSC members were interviewed to highlight successes and challenges. These meetings resulted in the creation of a long list of items that were concentrated into one strategic objective and seven strategic activities to guide the YSSC over the next five years (2020 to 2025). The strategic plan will be continually evaluated and updated.
YSSC Strategic Objective:
To make sound recommendations on the management of salmon and salmon habitat that are informed by Traditional, local and scientific knowledge. Traditional Knowledge is very important to the YSSC. To the extent possible, we incorporate Traditional Knowledge into all of our activities, including long term planning, decisions and recommendations. The YSSC will continue to support and promote the proper collection, inclusion, and utilization of Traditional Knowledge in salmon planning and management.
Strategic Activity 1: Communicate the YSSC's Roles and Responsibilities
The YSSC will communicate what we do, and what we do not do. The YSSC is a public advisory body, not a decision maker or manager. YSSC members make up the majority of the Canadian section of the Yukon River Panel, which means YSSC can influence decisions at both at the domestic and the international level. To communicate our roles and responsibilities, the YSSC will create a publication on the YSSC and the YSSC’s Strategic Plan. The YSSC will also create and update reference material for Members, the Public and stakeholders.
Strategic Activity 2: Develop a Communication and Engagement Strategy
The YSSC will increase knowledge and appreciation of Yukon salmon, their habitats, and management processes through a communication and engagement strategy. The development of this strategy will involve Yukon First Nations, Yukoners, Governments, Renewable Resources Councils, and our Alaskan neighbours. When developed, the strategy will inform our recommendation(s) to the Parties.
Strategic Activity 3: Increase Engagement in the Alsek River Drainage
Alsek River salmon are a priority for the YSSC. Currently the YSSC attends the Transboundary Rivers Panel meetings, Alsek River salmon meetings and engages with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations on Alsek salmon matters. The YSSC will create an Alsek Drainage Working Group to assist in the development of goals, including restoration, for these important salmon stocks.
Strategic Activity 4: Improve Quality of Escapement
For salmon, the “quality” of escapement includes sex ratios, size, health of individual salmon and other factors which are important for conservation of salmon. The current spawning escapement goals set by the Yukon River and Transboundary Panels are based solely on the number of salmon that reach the spawning grounds, but do not with consider the quality of those salmon. Yukon River Chinook salmon, have been getting progressively smaller, with implications for the numbers of eggs they carry. There are many ways to increase the overall quality of escapement, such as using selective gear, releasing females, and targeting smaller males. The YSSC will continue to advocate for quality of escapement to increase the number and overall quality of returning salmon.
Strategic Activity 5: Achieving the Upper End of Spawning Escapement Goals and Meeting Harvest Needs
The YSSC will encourage salmon managers on both sides of the border to annually meet the upper end of spawning escapement goals in order to meet conservation and ecosystem requirements. In addition, the YSSC will encourage U.S. managers to meet their treaty commitments to get sufficient salmon to the border to provide for Canada’s agreed-upon harvest share. Yukoners rely upon salmon for food, culture, and connections to the land. The use of salmon is very important to present and future generations of Yukoners. Salmon is fundamental to Yukon First Nation culture and sharing traditions.
When salmon abundance cannot meet both the spawning escapement goals and harvest needs, the YSSC will recommend the creation of a Rebuilding Plan which may reduce harvest while increasing the spawning escapement. As the run rebuilds, it is anticipated that more harvest opportunities will be provided.
Strategic Activity 6: Engage in Relevant Legislative, Policy, and/or Regulatory Reviews
In order to influence the direction that Canada and/or Yukon takes regarding salmon and their habitat, the YSSC will continue to engage in the development of legislation, regulation, plans and policies related to salmon. The YSSC, when requested, will review and provide support in the development of community-based salmon harvest management plans.
Strategic Activity 7: Protect and, as Required, Restore Salmon Habitat
Healthy, productive and accessible salmon habitat is essential to abundant populations of juvenile and adult salmon. The YSSC will work with government agencies and others to ensure the productive capacity of Yukon watersheds is adequately protected and, where required, restored. This may include involvement in public processes such as Regional Land Use Planning, the development of Management Plans for areas that include salmon habitat, and providing input into Yukon’s Development Assessments of proposed projects that could significantly impact salmon habitat.