The Government of the Northwest Territories takes a major step forward on
tools for land protection

OTTAWA, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) applauds the announcement made on Friday by the Government of the Northwest Territories of its intent to use territorial legislation and funds to protect Buffalo Lake, a highly valued natural area near Hay River, NWT. This area is being advanced with the continued support of the K'atl'odeeche First Nation and Dehcho First Nations.

The 2100 km(2) area provides critical habitat for moose, waterfowl, and fish spawning. The area is also rich in cultural history, containing a number of archaeological, spiritual, and culturally significant sites. These include numerous cabins and campsites, trap lines and trails, burial sites, and other sacred areas.

"This is a positive development that bodes well for other important wildlife areas to be protected by the Government of the Northwest Territories," said Larry Innes, Executive Director of CBI. "Minister Miltenberger and Minister Bob McLeod deserve credit for their leadership role. We hope to join them as they announce their intent to sponsor other candidate sites for protection in the coming year."

Buffalo Lake is part of the NWT Protected Areas Strategy, the collaborative, community-led process to complete the system of protected areas in the Northwest Territories. Candidate areas are proposed by Aboriginal communities and sponsored by federal and territorial agencies, with support from conservation organizations, industry, and other groups, including the Canadian Boreal Initiative.

Given today is World Water Day 2010, this step towards protecting the wetland-rich Buffalo Lake area is timely. Protecting this region will also complement the Government of the Northwest Territories' ongoing work to develop an NWT Water Stewardship Strategy in partnership with First Nations and others.

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: For further information: Suzanne Fraser, director of communications, (613) 552-7277 or sfraser@borealcanada.ca

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