Feds approve $4M for Tahltan protected and conserved areas

Well defined stewardship will help nation reduce uncertainties for resource partners

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. (File photo Canadian Press)

The federal government has approved up to nearly $4 million to help the Tahltan Central Government enact stewardship and land-use planning under its Protected and Conserved Areas project.

Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced Monday the funding is the first of 67 conservation initiatives supported by the $175 million Nature Fund Target 1 Challenge, intended to expand a network of protected and conserved areas in every province and territory. The fund draws from the $1.35 billion Nature Legacy Initiative.

READ MORE: Tahltan attempt to evict jade and placer miners

“By working to protect nature with Indigenous Peoples and other partners across the country, we can support vibrant communities, reverse the alarming decline of plants and animals, and address the impacts of climate change—ensuring our kids and grandkids can also experience the incredible natural landscapes and wilderness we cherish today,” McKenna said in a release.

The $175 million Canada Nature Fund will support ongoing efforts to reach its Target 1 Challenge of conserving 17 per cent of Canada’s land and freshwater by the end of 2020.

In its own press release TCG said as its territory undergoes unprecedented levels of resource development and exploration, federal funding of the Tahltan Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas project will decrease uncertainty for resource partners by allowing the nation to better define and enact stewardship measures of key habitat for species at risk, including woodland caribou and pacific salmon.

“This is an important step forward that will assist in bringing improved stewardship and economic certainty to Tahltan territory,” said Chad Norman Day, TCG president.

“Christine Creyke, Tahltan Central Government Land Director, and her team continue to break new ground and make history in the Tahltan Central Government’s quest to ensure that the health, well-being and integrity of our land base is protected for generations to come.”

The Tahltan Nation’s territory spans 95,933 square kilometres of northwest British Columbia — equivalent to 11 per cent of the province — and includes 70 per cent of B.C.’s Golden Triangle.

The territory is also home to three of the provinces 19 operating mines and approximately 25 per cent of exploration activities per expenditure, according to the Tahltan Central Government.


 


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Tahltan Central Government president Chad Day, left, and Tahltan Band councillor Scott Hawkins survey a placer mining operation July 4 in Tahltan territory. (Tahltan Central Government photo)

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