DEASE LAKE and VICTORIA, BC, Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The provincial
government and Tahltan Central Council (TCC) have today announced an
agreement which pauses granting of new coal mining rights in the
Tahltan Klappan area for one year.
Called the Klappan Coal Licence Deferral Area Order, the agreement gives
time for discussions to continue between the province and Tahltan
Nation to agree on an acceptable and sustainable future for this
important part of British Columbia.
The order covers 255,000 hectares of the Klappan. Part of an area known
as the Sacred Headwaters, it holds significant value to the Tahltan
people where they continue to hunt, camp teach and carry out other
cultural activities. It also feeds three of the region's major
salmon-bearing rivers - the Skeena, Stikine and Nass.
Tahltan Central Council president Annita McPhee said: "The Tahltan
Nation is united in its opposition to development in our Sacred
Headwaters. This agreement gives us some temporary reprieve, and is the
first step in long journey towards a protection plan for the Klappan.
We will continue to resist any industrial development there like the
Arctos project that threatens to destroy our land and culture."
62 coal license applications will be affected by the deferral. Existing
coal tenures and authorizations, such as the Fortune Minerals' Arctos
project, will not be impacted.
The Tahltan Nation has long opposed industrial development in the area.
In the fall, Fortune Minerals paused exploratory work for an open-put
coal mine there. In 2012, Shell relinquished its rights there following
years of protests from the Tahltan Nation.
Tahltan Central Council is the Tahltan Nation governing body
representing the collective aboriginal title and rights of all Tahltan
SOURCE: Tahltan Central Council
For further information:
For interviews or background information contact Annita McPhee, President, Tahltan Central Council: 604-754-9974.