The Canadian Boreal Initiative congratulates the Kaska First Nation and the Government of British Columbia on the Dease Liard Strategic Resource Management Plan

Land management plan includes recognition of conservation and cultural values, with strong economic activities

OTTAWA, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Boreal Initiative congratulates the Kaska First Nation and the Government of British Columbia for designing and implementing a resource management plan that balances resource sharing with land conservation and indigenous cultural values.

The Dease Liard Strategic Resource Management Plan covers Ne'āh', an 'island' mountain range nestled between the Cassiar Mountains and the Liard Plains in northern British Columbia.

"This agreement offers an ambitious and thoughtful ecosystem protection plan, which takes full account of cultural and historical values," said Larry Innes, Executive Director of CBI. "The Kaska First Nation and Government of BC have shown us that resource management can be done in a way that avoids conflict and uncertainty by making decisions in full partnership."

Under the plan, a new conservancy area will be protected under provincial legislation, and a land use zone (Gu Cha Duga, "for the grandchildren" in a Kaska Dene dialect), which will be managed for cultural values. Nearly 6000 km2 (600,000 ha) will be designated for protection under this plan. This Ne'āh' area has a large concentration of diverse cultural sites, sacred areas, and rich wildlife.

"As Canadians, we are deeply grateful for the Kaska First Nation's efforts to maintain the Gu Cha Duga Zone's cultural values, ecosystem integrity and natural backcountry characteristics," said Mr. Innes. "We commend the Government of British Columbia for working cooperatively with the Kaska First Nation to implement a shared management plan."

In addition to being home to caribou, moose, Stone's sheep, mountain goat, bears, groundhogs and small furbearers, the Deadwood Lake portion of the area overlaps the western third of the Lower Kechika watershed.

This living plan has also taken into account economic possibilities, and will provide opportunities for tourism, commercial recreation, guide outfitting, mineral exploration and oil and gas exploration, so long as these activities recognize and respect the main purpose of the area. The Gu Cha Duga Zone is further intended to emphasize and market non-traditional and innovative uses of the commercial forests such as for carbon credits or biodiversity offsets.

The Canadian Boreal Initiative brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for Boreal Forest conservation and acts as a catalyst for on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal Forest by governments, industry, Aboriginal communities, conservation groups, major retailers, financial institutions, and scientists.

SOURCE Canadian Boreal Initiative

For further information:

Suzanne Fraser, director of communications 613 552 7277 or sfraser@borealcanada.ca

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