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Haida Gwaii Conservancies Receive Increased Protection

by NationTalk on September 24, 2009524 Views

For Immediate Release
Ministry of Environment
September 24, 2009

VICTORIA – The B.C. government introduced legislation that will provide increased protection to nine conservancies, covering more than 111,000 hectares on Haida Gwaii, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced today.“Listing these conservancies in the schedules to the act provides full legislative protection to these conservancies and fulfills a commitment to the Council of the Haida Nation,” Penner said. “The total area of conservancies on Haida Gwaii exceeds 255,000 hectares and brings the total amount of protected land to approximately one-half of Haida Gwaii.”

The nine conservancies are a result of the Haida Gwaii land-use agreement with the Haida Nation. Located on Haida Gwaii, the conservancies recognize the importance of these areas to the people of the Haida Nation and ensure the resources are protected and available to sustain their communities and their cultural connections to the land.

“This goes a long way towards reconciling B.C.’s land-use policies with those of the Haida Nation,” said Guujaaw, President of the Haida Nation. “Our people have long protected these areas because of their natural, cultural and spiritual values. Now, with the provincial government, we have collaborated to build a more stable platform upon which we design a sustainable future for Haida Gwaii.”

“We are lucky to live in a community with so much natural wilderness right on our doorstep,” said Masset Mayor Barry Pages. “These conservancies protect the environment and create opportunities for sustainable recreational uses, such as wildlife viewing, for all British Columbians and people from around the world.”

Bill 10, the Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act (PABC), 2009, also establishes one new Class “A” park and one new ecological reserve, as well as adding purchased land to seven Class “A” provincial parks.

Today, more than 14 per cent (or 13.5 million hectares) of British Columbia is protected – more than any other province in Canada.

If the legislature passes Bill 10, since 2001 the B.C. government will have established 58 new parks, 143 conservancies, two ecological reserve and nine protected areas, and expanded approximately 60 parks and six ecological reserves, protecting more than 1.9 million hectares of additional land.

To make the BC Parks system even better, the B.C. government has invested approximately $107 million over the past five years to improve park infrastructure and acquire additional parkland.

For more information about the amendments, please visit: http://www.leg.bc.ca/legislation/index.htm

For more information about B.C.’s provincial parks, please visit: www.bcparks.ca

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Contact:
Suntanu Dalal
Media Relations
Ministry of Environment
250 387-9745

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