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

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

While pharmacies across B.C. are using AstraZeneca for public immunizations for people 40 years of age and older, there is no availability currently in the Kootenays. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
No AstraZeneca vaccine availability in Kootenay pharmacies, says Interior Health

Vaccine has been opened up at pharmacies in other areas of the province to people 40 years of age and older

Michel-Natal-Sparwood Heritage Society runs a museum that was established to display the heritage of the "no-longer towns" of Michel and Natal, and the Elk Valley Area. Photo Submitted/Monica Beranek, Artifact Curator
Sparwood to support museum financially through to December 2022

The district will provide financial support for the museum to hire a full-time director

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Most Read