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

Highway 97A in Armstrong was closed in both directions Monday afternoon, just after 4 p.m., due to a serious accident at Rosedale Avenue. (Bob Dunbar photo)
No merge lanes needed on Armstrong’s Highway 97 access points: ministry

Transportation Ministry reviews accident reports, slope stability with city staff

Donna Kaufmann was named the 2021 Rotary RCMP Volunteer of the Year. (RCMP)
Vernon RCMP volunteer of the year named

Donna Kaufmann dubbed winner for positive impact on community

Lauren Marchand and her daughter at the head of Okanagan Lake in Syilx territory, where they often go to gather, play and be in ceremony. Photo by Kelsie Kilawna
‘I don’t feel safe’: RCMP, social worker searched Syilx mother’s home without her knowledge

RCMP searched the home looking for a meth lab, that was never found inside the residence

Tom Smithwick has written a new book, Knocking On Freedom’s Door, about his experiences advocating for a drug addiction treatment program in Kelowna. (File photo)
‘Knocking On Freedom’s Door’: A retired Kelowna lawyer’s insights to mental illness, addiction

Freedom’s Doors advocate Tom Smithwick shares what he has learned from experiences of treatment program clients in new book

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

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

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[CDC]
More COVID-19 exposures reported at schools in Kelowna

Interior Health added additional schools and dates to their list of exposures

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Most Read