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

Sooke plans to begin construction of the $4.9-million Church Road corridor project this summer. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke hopes to start Church Road Corridor project this summer

Road upgrade includes a roundabout, sidewalks, bike lanes and boulevards

The site of the proposed rental housing development at 2197 Otter Point Rd. (District of Sooke)
District of Sooke approves development with 77 rental units

New parking lot for John Phillips Memorial Park included in project

Food trucks can begin operating on May 1 in three Sooke parks: Ed Macgregor, Broomhill Playground, and John Phillips Memorial Park (weekends only). (Pixabay)
Sooke open for food truck pilot project

Applications open April 15, program begins May 1

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
Provincial pandemic aid passes the Legion by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Bulldogs forward Stephen Castagna flips the puck into the Clippers zone during a game on Oct. 24. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Island BCHL game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Nanaimo Clippers team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

New HousingHub financing funds will encourage developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read