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Province and Lil’wat Sign Historic Land-use Agreement

by NationTalk on April 12, 2008475 Views

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2008AL0014-000516
April 11, 2008

Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
Lil’wat Nation

WHISTLER – After several years of government-to-government negotiations, the Province and the Lil’wat Nation have signed a historic land-use agreement that encompasses just under 800,000 hectares, Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell and Lil’wat Nation Chief Leonard Andrew announced today.“I’d like to thank the Lil’wat for their leadership and collaboration on this important agreement, which completes the Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan. The Province and the Lil’wat Nation are working in collaboration, and I am pleased to say that we will jointly be involved in the implementation and monitoring of the agreement,” said Bell. “Not only does this agreement provide a high degree of certainty for stakeholders and resource developers, but it will also protect and manage the vast natural environment in a sustainable manner.”

The Province and the Lil’wat Nation have agreed to:

· Create six new conservancies with a total area of approximately 39,000 hectares. New conservancies include the Callaghan, 100 Lakes Plateau, Upper Soo, Upper Birkenhead, Twin Two and Cerise Creek.

· Nearly double the size of Duffey Lake Provincial Park by adding 1,953 hectares to the existing 2,095 hectares, bringing the size of the park to a total of 4,048 hectares.

· Establish approximately 204,000 hectares of wildland zones and 47,000 hectares of cultural management areas.

· Protect 59 Lil’wat Spirited Ground Areas with a total area of approximately 8,850 hectares, which encompass village sites, archaeological sites, spiritual places, gathering areas, campsites and traditional training areas that are important to the Lil’wat Nation, both inside and outside of parks and protected areas.

· Create new environmentally sensitive areas and old growth management areas that will address the Lil’wat Nation’s concerns about logging in old growth ecosystems, rare ecosystems, and ecosystems that support traditional and cultural uses.

· Provide measures to ensure visual quality management, creation of floodplain plans, and establishment of riparian management areas along the Upper Lillooet River and Lillooet Lake.

· Offer a lease and license of occupation to the Lil’wat Nation that will facilitate the development of cultural education facilities in Owl Creek.

· Provide opportunities for Lil’wat Nation to develop commercial recreation ventures in the territory.

· Continue working together to find a solution for the land use zones in the Ure Creek watershed.

“We are pleased to be able to sign this agreement with the Province,” said Chief Leonard Andrew. “Through the land-use agreements that make up the Sea-to-Sky region, the Province has clearly demonstrated that it is a world leader in land-use planning, and we are excited to move forward in partnership with the Province as we look to ensure local economic development and the establishment of new conservancies and cultural management areas.”

Building on two years of hard work by the Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan Forum, this land-use agreement has achieved a remarkable degree of consensus and completes the second and final phase of the Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan. By resolving major land use conflicts in the Sea-to-Sky area, the Lil’wat Nation and the Province have completed a plan for responsible development in one of the fastest growing areas of the province.

“I am sure that this partnership between the Province and the Lil’wat Nation will create positive outcomes for the Sea-to-Sky region for generations to come,” said West Vancouver-Garibaldi MLA Joan McIntyre. “I look forward to the continuing spirit of collaboration that flows from this project.”

The completion of the Land and Resource Management Plan demonstrates the Province’s commitment to hosting a sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010, and is also indicative of the commitment to create a strong partnership with an integral member of the 2010 four host First Nations. Since 2005, the Province has been building a new relationship with First Nations based on respect, recognition and reconciliation. Through treaties and other agreements with First Nations, the Province is committed to closing the socio-economic gap that separates Aboriginal people from other British Columbians.

The Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan was initiated in 2001 to address Crown land-use conflicts as well as the significant economic growth and transformation within the Sea-to-Sky corridor. Approximately 31,000 people reside in the plan area with most of the population living in Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. Land-use agreements have now been signed with the Lil’wat, Squamish and In-SHUCK-ch Nations.

The land-use agreement and related maps are available at http://ilmbwww.gov.bc.ca/lup/lrmp/coast/s2s/first_nation_agr.html

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Media contact:

Liz Bicknell
Communications Director
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
250 356-2862
250 213-3072 (cell)

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