The B.C. government and Tahltan Nation are moving to establish a conservancy in northern B.C. that will protect the area’s environment and wildlife.
The 3,500-hectare area, historically known as the Ice Mountain Lands, is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park near Telegraph Creek. It is approximately 350 kilometres from the Yukon border by road.
The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year stewardship initaitive for the Tahltan Nation, which aims to bring greater self-determination to the nation over its territory. It will be renamed to reflect Tahltan heritage.
Conservancies are established in B.C. to explicitly recognize areas of importance to First Nations for social, ceremonial and cultural use. Conservancy status allows some flexibility for low-impact economic activities in the region while prohibiting commercial logging, mining and hydroelectric power generation.
Skeena Resources Limited, a mining exploration company, is returning its mineral tenures for the area to help establish the conservancy.
Chad Norman Day, President of Tahltan Central Government, said in a statement that he is “relieved and thrilled” to see the area protected.
“Mount Edziza and the surrounding area has always been sacred to the Tahltan Nation,” Day said. “The obsidian from this portion of our territory provided us with weaponry, tools and trading goods that ensured our Tahltan people could thrive for thousands of years.”
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