Ducks Unlimited Canada

Ducks Unlimited Canada
Canadian Boreal Initiative

Canadian Boreal Initiative

June 06, 2013 11:45 ET

Positive Step Forward on Land Conservation as the Northwest Territories Moves Towards Devolution

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 6, 2013) - As partners in the NWT Protected Areas Strategy (PAS), the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) are pleased to recognize the federal Order in Council, which renews interim protection for the proposed Edéhzhíe National Wildlife Area in the Northwest Territories. This will facilitate negotiations with the Dehcho First Nations and Tlicho Government prior to formally protecting this area.

Edéhzhíe, also known as the Horn Plateau, is an undulating plateau rising more than 400 metres over the surrounding Boreal plains and lowlands. It is one of the natural jewels of the NWT's Mackenzie Valley and a critical and unique region in Canada's ecological landscape. An area of cultural and ecological significance for the Dehcho and Tlicho peoples, this region figures prominently in Dene legends. Wildlife such as caribou and moose are abundant. It has abundant wetlands that attract thousands of breeding and migrating waterfowl annually.

The Edéhzhíe region was identified as a potential protected area over 10 years ago and advanced through the NWT Protected Areas Strategy (PAS). Within the PAS, Aboriginal communities can nominate areas of of ecological and cultural significance for protection, with the participation of conservation organizations and industry. The PAS is supported by both the federal and territorial governments as significant partners in the PAS process.

Negotiations between the parties are expected to finalize formal boundaries for establishing Edéhzhíe as a National Willdife Area. This Order in Council protects a 14,250 square kilometer area from industrial activity for a two years period while those negotiations proceed.

Edéhzhíe is one of several areas identified for conservation designations within the Dehcho Region under the Northwest Territories Protected Area Strategy and through the Dehcho Land Use Plan. These initiatives reflect a balanced approach to economic development and cultural and ecological protection within Canada's Boreal region.

"This shows how cooperation between governments and First Nations on protected areas can play a positive role as the Northwest Territories moves towards devolution," said Les Bogdan, DUC's Director of Regional Programs, British Columbia and the Boreal.

"We look forward to celebrating this new national wildlife area as soon as negotiations can be successfully concluded," said Alan Young, CBI's executive director.

The Canadian Boreal Initiative brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for Boreal Forest conservation and acts as a catalyst for on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal Forest by governments, industry, Aboriginal communities, conservation groups, major retailers, financial institutions, and scientists.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at ducks.ca.

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