29 Jul All mining activities banned in the pristine wilderness area of Sacred Headwaters-British Columbia
The Sacred Headwaters, a breathtaking alpine basin in a remote corner of the British Columbia, has been the apple of discord for a number of companies seeking to take advantage of its rich resources. It is the birthplace of the Rivers Skeena, Nass and Stikine, and the homeland of the Tahltan Nation, who consider its lands and waters sacred. The mining industry, however, has put the Tahltan Territory at the epicenter of economic development in the Province.
The Royal Dutch Shell intended to drill 1,500-10,000 coal bed methane gas wells in the area, jeopardizing Canada’s greatest wild salmon rivers. Although the Tahltan people do not oppose sound economic development of their land, however they were not willing to sacrifice the values, interests and places they hold sacred in the name of short-term profit. After almost a decade of fights, local communities and their leaders, hand in hand with local residents, managed to safeguard their land. The government of British Columbia announced that it will not issue oil and gas tenures in the area in the future, in a zone covering more than million acres of pristine wilderness.
This was achieved with the help of a great number of local stakeholders. On the front line stood the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, the Tahltan leadership and the Elders, along with downstream communities and many conservation groups, mayors, councils, band councils and regional districts. Together, they’ve managed to turn into reality what initially looked like futile attempts opposing a giant of the energy industry. Their example is an inspiration for the entire conservation community.