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Tahltan Nation Applauds Government Decision to Suspend Coalbed Methane Development in the Sacred Headwaters

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    Attention News Editors: Tahltan Nation Applauds Government Decision to Suspend Coalbed Methane Development in the Sacred Headwaters
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2008
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      Attention News Editors:

      Tahltan Nation Applauds Government Decision to Suspend Coalbed Methane Development in the Sacred Headwaters
      http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2008/05/c7631.html DEASE LAKE, BC, Dec. 5 /CNW/ - The Tahltan Central Council (TCC), the
      organization responsible for protecting Tahltan Title and Rights, applauds
      today's provincial government announcement to amend Shell Canada's petroleum
      and natural gas tenure license. The amendment will stop Shell from exploring
      and developing coalbed methane (CBM), a form of natural gas extracted from
      coal beds, in the Klappan region. The Klappan is a region in northwestern
      British Columbia, located approximately 500 kilometres north of Smithers and
      approximately 300 kilometres southeast of Dease Lake. The region is home to
      the headwaters of three major salmon bearing rivers - the Stikine, Skeena and
      the Nass. The TCC was approached by the government prior to this amendment.
      "The Tahltan Nation supports responsible and sustainable development;
      however, we feel that CBM development is advancing without full and complete
      information or an established and agreed upon framework for decision-making
      that respects and recognizes Tahltan Title and Rights," says Annita McPhee,
      Chair of the TCC. "This suspension will provide our Nation the time it needs
      to be well informed on all issues relating to CBM. We must be fully informed
      of the potential challenges that come with its development to ensure they
      align with Tahltan laws and values." The TCC calls on the provincial
      government to invest in capacity building in the northwest.
      Marie Quock is the Chief of the Iskut band and represents the community
      closest to the proposed development. "Today's announcement is welcome in our
      community," says Chief Quock. "This project has challenged our people because,
      while we need employment and to achieve our economic goals, we also need to
      protect our land and heritage and ensure that development in our traditional
      territory is sustainable for generations to come." Today's announcement comes
      after years of advocacy by the Tahltan Nation and others to the government and
      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 Tahltan Nation includes on and off-reserve Tahltans living in
      Telegraph Creek, Dease Lake and Iskut. There are over 3,000 Tahltan members
      living across the country and who's traditional territory encompasses 11% of
      British Columbia. Over 50% of all mineral exploration in the province takes
      place in the Tahltan Nation's traditional territory.



      For further information: on this announcement please contact: Annita
      McPhee, Chair, Tahltan Central Council, Cell - (778) 229-1264,
      annitamcphee@..., Tahltan Central Council (www.tahltan.org), Box 69,
      Tatl'ah, (Dease Lake, BC), V0C 1L0, Phone (250) 771-3274, Fax (250) 771-3020


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