DEASE LAKE, BC, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - The Tahltan Central Council, the
organization responsible for protecting Tahltan Title and Rights,
commends a decision by the Government of British Columbia to extend the
suspension of coalbed methane activity by Shell Canada in the sacred
Klappan Valley until 2012.
The one-year extension follows a December 2008 decision by the Province
to amend Shell's petroleum and natural gas tenure license for two
years. It further delays Shell from exploring and developing coalbed
methane, a form of natural gas extracted from coal beds, in the
ecologically-sensitive Klappan Valley, and will allow for additional
environmental review and First Nation consultation.
The Klappan Valley in northwestern British Columbia is home to the
Sacred Headwaters - the birthplace of three major salmon bearing rivers
- the Stikine, Skeena and the Nass. It's located approximately 500
kilometres north of Smithers and 300 kilometres southeast of Dease
"The extension will provide our Nation the additional time we need to
better understand the environmental issues relating to coalbed methane
exploration in this culturally sensitive area and to establish an
agreed upon framework for decision making that recognizes Tahltan Title
and Rights," says Annita McPhee, chair of the Tahltan Central Council.
"The Tahltan Nation supports responsible and sustainable development
that acknowledges Tahltan laws and socio-economic values."
The delay will enable the Tahltan Nation to fully explore resource
management issues including land use planning, environmental baseline
studies, social and cultural impact studies and eco-systems mapping
prior to development. The extension builds upon years of advocacy to
the government by the Tahltan Nation and other environmental groups
about Shell's coalbed methane exploration in the Sacred Headwaters.
The extension is also lauded by Marie Quock, chief of the Iskut band,
the Tahltan community closest to the proposed exploration.
"Our community commends the government's decision to extend the
moratorium and welcomes the opportunity for further consultation," says
Chief Quock. "We need to protect our land and heritage and ensure that
development in our traditional territory is sustainable for generations
The Tahltan Nation includes on and off-reserve Tahltans living in
Telegraph Creek, Dease Lake and Iskut, and more than 3,000 living
across the country. Tahltan traditional territory encompasses 11 per
cent of British Columbia. More than 50 per cent of all mineral
exploration in the province takes place in Tahltan traditional
territory. For more information about the Tahltan Central Council,
SOURCE Tahltan Central Council
For further information:
For more information on this announcement, please contact:
Annita McPhee, Tahltan Central Council chair
Cell: 778-229-1264 | email@example.com