The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)

New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land in northwest B.C.

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

A new conservancy has been created in Tahltan territory that will protect wildlife and the environment near Mount Edziza Provincial Park in northwest B.C.

The conservancy was created through a partnership between the Tahltan Central Government (TCG), provincial government, Skeena Resources Ltd., the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the BC Parks Foundation.

With an area of around 3,500 hectares, the protected land is located in an area of B.C. historically known is the Ice Mountain Lands and will be renamed at a later date to better reflect Tahltan heritage.

“This area is probably the most sacred and important to the Tahltan people of anywhere,” said Chad Norman Day, TCG president.

“I’m sure our ancestors and others are smiling down on us today now that we’ve got it better protected.”

Day said that the Tahltan Nation may not exist today if it weren’t for the Mount Edziza area, because of the advantages that came with mining obsidian — a naturally occurring volcanic glass — for use in tools, weapons and trade.

It is the first step in the Tahltan Stewardship Initiative, which aims for self-determination and stewardship of Tahltan territory over the span of several years.

Conservancies are designed to preserve the environment and offer outdoor recreation opportunities. They allow for a wider range of economic opportunities than Class A parks, but commercial logging, mining and hydroelectric power generation are prohibited.

Day said that there are no planned economic activities in the area, and those decisions will be made at a later date through a robust internal engagement process through the Tahltan Stewardship Initiative.

Skeena Resources Ltd. is returning its mineral tenders for its Spectrum mineral claim in the creation of the conservancy.

“We are very pleased to work with our Tahltan partners to be a part of this historically significant event,” said Walter Coles, president of Skeena Resources Ltd, in a media release.

“We are deeply committed to our partnership with the Tahltan Nation and are happy that we can play a role in protecting this area for future generations.”

On Mar. 31, the Tahltan Central Government and Skeena Resources Ltd. announced that the TCG would invest $5 million through the purchase of around 1.6 million ‘investment rights’ at $3.13 each, which will convert to common shares.

Day said the Tahltan have been advocating to have the land protected for over 20 years, and it would not have been possible without a strong relationship between the TCG and Skeena Resources Ltd. and an agreement between the parties to start working on the project around four years ago.

“This has always been a company under Walter’s leadership that has not been afraid to be a trailblazer and to help create positive changes with reconciliation, and obviously, specifically with the Tahltan people,” he said.

“Eventually, we got a deal done with with the province and with multiple stakeholders, so very proud of of that work, but it would not have happened if we didn’t build a really strong relationship with Skeena Resources and if Skeena Resources didn’t make a strong commitment to try to protect this area with us.”

In total, there are 157 conservancies in B.C., ranging in size from 11 to 322,020 hectares. The Mount Edziza Conservancy was also supported by the Wyss Foundation, MakeWay, the Wilburforce Foundation, MapleCross Fund, Sitka Foundation, Leon Judah Blackmore Foundation and the Government of Canada.

BC ParksEnvironmentFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Single-lane alternating traffic in the 6200 block of Silver Star Road starting Thursday, April 15 at 7:30 a.m. for the installation of water service. (City of Vernon)
Traffic disruptions coming to Vernon’s Silver Star Road

Single-lane alternating traffic to be in effect while work is underway

(Natalia Cuevas-Huaico - Kelowna Capital News)
Morning Start: Foot bones don’t harden until you’re an adult

Your morning start for Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Vernon man was arrested in Merritt following a foot chase with police. That incident, plus others associated with the suspect, will be heard in Vernon Court. (Morning Star - file photo)
Vernon man facing charges out of Merritt

Bail denied for 37-year-old who allegedly breached his probation and obstructed police

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Interior Health announces 89 cases of COVID-19 in the region

Currently, there are 900 active cases in the region

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Salmon Arm Homes for Rent/Sale Etc. is a popular Facebook page used by those with places for rent and people in need of them. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Carpenter building homes in Salmon Arm unable to find place to rent

Property manager says it’s easier to find work in Salmon Arm than a place to live

The old Shielings Motel is being demolished for an eventual roundabout to reduce congestion between Skaha Lake Road and South Main Street. The city is also hoping to have affordable seniors housing there too. (Brennan Phillips - Penticton Western News)
Affordable seniors housing coming to Shielings Motel site in Penticton

The city hopes to turn a portion of the site into affordable housing

The Victory Church shelter has been a source of contention between city council and the provincial government minister of housing David Eby. (Jesse Day)
Penticton council calls on Union of B.C. Municipalities to support them in fight against province

Mayor John Vassilaki sent a letter asking for UBCM’s support over the Victory Church shelter

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

A five-storey, 60-unit building has been proposed for 8709 Jubilee Rd. E., Summerland. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on March 22. (Image by GTA Architecture)
Zoning, OCP amendments adopted for Summerland housing development

Council gives final readings for controversial five-storey, 60-unit housing development

Most Read