The B.C. government has announced a ban on oil and gas exploration in an area of northern B.C. that was the scene of anti-development protests by First Nations members seven years ago.
As first reported by The Globe and Mail Tuesday morning, the province has agreed to a deal with Shell Canada and the Tahltan Central Council under which Shell is withdrawing plans to explore for natural gas in a region known as the Klappan at the confluence of the Stikine, Nass and Skeena Rivers.
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In 2005, some members of the Tahltan were arrested during protests against exploration in the area, which the First Nation calls the Sacred Headwaters.
In addition to giving up its petroleum tenures, Shell will build a new water recycling project to support its gas development elsewhere in B.C., which will be funded by $20-million in royalty credits from the provincial government.
Tahltan Central Council President Annita McPhee says the Klappan is one of the most sacred and important areas for her people and she acknowledges Shell for its decision to give up its development plans.
She says the Tahltan are looking forward to working with the B.C. government on permanently protecting the Klappan.
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