Proposal for establishment of new protected areas within the Blueberry River First Nation
|FROM Information Bulletin :https://archive.news.gov.bc.ca/releases/news_releases_2017-2021/2018IRR0065-001914.htm
|For Immediate Release
Oct. 3, 2018
|Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation|
|B.C.-Blueberry River First Nations adjournment agreement|
|As an outcome of productive negotiations, B.C. and Blueberry River First Nations have reached an agreement that adjourns litigation until April 29, 2019, and outlines a path to address Blueberry River’s concerns about the effects of resource development in its territory.
Commitments in the agreement include:
Fort St. John Land and Resource Management Plan
B.C. has committed to undertake a process to update and amend the Fort St. John Land and Resource Management Plan, in collaboration with Blueberry River First Nations and other interested Treaty 8 First Nations.
The amendment process will include engagement with local communities, industry, stakeholders and the general public. The process will start with an exercise with interested parties to determine the scope of amendments, but will include, at a minimum:
The amendment process will also be integrated with other processes that are underway, and will identify goals and objectives for community and economic development, taking into account long-term stability, certainty for economic development and the meaningful exercise of Treaty 8 rights.
The BC Oil and Gas Commission, and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, are working with Blueberry River First Nations to jointly develop robust consultation processes for resource development applications that are clear, efficient and effective in meeting both B.C.’s and Blueberry River First Nations’ interests.
The Province is also working to create an overarching committee with resource ministries and Blueberry River First Nations to monitor the implementation of the adjournment agreement. The committee will also provide a forum to discuss strategic and policy issues related to land use and proposed resource development in Blueberry River’s territory.
The Province will undertake a number of actions, including:
The Province will provide $3.5 million to support work to undertake the environmental restoration of priority locations identified by Blueberry River First Nations. This includes restoring abandoned and decommissioned oil and gas sites, and reclaiming unused corridors, such as old roads and seismic lines.
Blueberry River First Nations and appropriate provincial ministries and agencies will work collaboratively on a suite of other actions, including addressing the use of herbicides, fencing in relation to oil and gas sites, and initiatives to improve approaches to timber salvage and waste-wood operations within Blueberry River’s territory.
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation