Ktunaxa Nation and Teck sign conservation lands agreement
The Ktunaxa Nation and Teck Resources Limited last week announced the signing of a Joint Management Agreement for more than 7,000 hectares of land purchased by Teck in 2013 for conservation.
The lands are located in ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa and in the region of Teck’s steelmaking coal operations in southeast British Columbia.
Under the Agreement, the Ktunaxa Nation and Teck agree to jointly manage the land for conservation purposes protecting significant fish and wildlife habitat. The Agreement will also support the Ktunaxa Nation Stewardship Principles, and Teck’s goal to achieve a net positive impact on biodiversity in the areas where it operates.
“This agreement between the Ktunaxa Nation and Teck solidifies our commitment to protect ʔa·kxam̓ is q̓ api qapsin (All Living Things) in our territory of ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa. We look forward to working with stakeholders in the region to ensure this unique area will be managed according to principals of respect for the land and all those who live within it,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair.
Teck and the Ktunaxa Nation worked closely with stakeholders to purchase the land in 2013 in the Elk Valley and Flathead River Valley because of its exceptional social, cultural and ecological value.
“This agreement will support responsible joint management and protection of these important conservation lands,” said Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck. “Together, we can advance our mutual objective of conserving these culturally and ecologically significant lands for years to come, while also making progress towards Teck’s vision of a net positive impact on biodiversity.”
Teck’s purchase of these lands was one of the single biggest private sector investments in land conservation in B.C. history. There are approximately 7,150 hectares in total of private lands consisting of three parcels: Flathead Townsite (992 hectares), Alexander Creek (3,098 hectares) and Grave Prairie (3,059 hectares). The lands provide important habitat for numerous species, such as grizzly bear, wolverine, badger, elk, lynx, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, and hold significant value for local communities.
Teck and the Ktunaxa will begin implementation of the Joint Management Agreement in January 2021. This will include developing conservation management plans with input from communities and other stakeholders.
Lead image: Grave Prairie area. e-KNOW file photo