Skeeter Wright has owned his densely wooded property in Whitehorse since the 1970s but, for the past two decades, he’s had to share it, in a sense, after a local company staked a piece of his land for mineral exploration.
It came as a surprise to Wright, who only learned about the claim from a neighbour at a community gathering some years ago.
The claim is still active and the company could choose to explore it one day — including the land outside his front window.
While it may sound like a strange scenario, it’s completely legal — a vestige of mining laws created more than a century ago, during the Klondike Gold Rush. There have been amendments but the principle of the so-called “free entry system” has remained the same: after a person drives a few stakes into the ground to plot out an area, the rights to any minerals beneath it are theirs.
“They don’t even ask the Yukon government if they can stake it,” Wright said. “There’s de facto permission because the government did not withdraw the area from staking.”
For the rest of this article: https://thenarwhal.ca/yukon-gold-rush-free-entry-mine-staking/