Teck and the Ktunaxa Nation have signed a joint land management agreement for 7,150 hectares of habitat in the Elk Valley area. (Photo contributed by Teck)

Teck, Ktunaxa sign conservation agreement on 7,150 hectares of land

The land is home to significant habitat for numerous species in Southeast BC

The Ktunaxa Nation and Teck have announced they’ve signed an agreement on the management of more than 7,000 hectares of land in the Elk Valley and surrounds.

In a joint release on Thursday, they said that they would jointly manage the lands for conservation purposes in protecting significant fish and wildlife habitat, and that they agreement supported the Ktunaxa Nation Stewardship Principles.

The land – clocking in at 7,150 hectares across three parcels – was purchased by Teck in 2013 in what the company described as “one of the single biggest private sector investments in land conservation efforts in BC history.”

The three parcels are the Flathead Townsite (south of the former Coal Mountain operations), Alexander Creek (east of the District of Sparwood, on the border with Alberta), and Grave Prairie (between Elkview and Line Creek operations).

Ktunaxa Nation chair, Kathyrn Teneese said they were looking forward to working with stakeholders in the region to ensure the area would be managed according to the principals of respect for the land, and all those that live within it.

“This agreement between the Ktunaxa Nation and Teck solidifies our commitment to protect ʔa·kxam̓is q̓api qapsin (All Living Things) in our territory of ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa,” she said.

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.

President and CEO of Teck, Don Lindsay said the agreement was important to support the protection of the lands.

“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.”

The agreement between Teck and the Ktunaxa will begin to be implemented this month, and will include developing conservation management plans with input from communities and other stakeholders.

READ MORE: Wilks: Teck has our back when it comes to COVID-19



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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