PEMBERTON – A new land-use agreement in partnership with In-SHUCK-ch Nation will protect sensitive areas for the In-SHUCK-ch through the establishment of cultural management areas and conservancies and provide greater certainty for economic development in the plan area, Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell announced today.
“We have been working on a government-to-government basis with In-SHUCK-ch Nation for more than a year to harmonize the Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan with their vision for land stewardship,” said Bell. “Today we are pleased to announce an agreement to protect key First Nations interests as well as to establish a framework for collaborative and sustainable land management.”
“This is an important step forward in protecting the local habitat while ensuring that we will have the opportunity to build upon our successes in local economic development,” said Chief Patrick Williams of the Skatin First Nations. “We look forward to working co-operatively with the provincial government and industry in achieving our collective goals.”
“This agreement will help provide certainty for local economic development while promoting sustainability,” said Chief Darryl Peters of the Douglas First Nation. “We can kick start our economic development now that there is a framework for resource management in the region.”
“This is an important day for us,” said Chief Keith Smith of the Samahquam Nation. “Through this agreement, we have committed to working collaboratively to ensure the sustainable management of local lands. New protected areas, resource and recreational zones will ensure that the land that we all rely on is used responsibly and sustainably. It will provide the means for us to protect In-SHUCK-ch Mountain.”
The Province and In-SHUCK-ch Nation have agreed to:
This agreement with In-SHUCK-ch Nation concludes the government-to-government phase of land-use planning for this part of the Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP). The area of the agreement covers the eastern portion of the Sea-to-Sky LRMP area in southwestern British Columbia.
“Our communities will benefit from this agreement,” said Joan McIntyre, MLA for West Vancouver-Garibaldi. “Today’s announcement reflects our strong partnership with the In-SHUCK-ch, which has resulted in a balanced plan for sustainable resource management that will enhance the region over the long term.”
The area is home to the three In-SHUCK-ch Nation communities, Douglas, Skatin and Samahquam, and includes the lower Lillooet River to Harrison Lake, the culturally important In-SHUCK-ch Mountain and the historic Goldrush Trail. The region is renowned for its natural beauty and ecological diversity and the area is home to a variety of wildlife, including mountain goats, black bears and grizzly bears. Old growth forests, subalpine and alpine environments, and large and small lakes all contribute to the region’s stunning natural environment.
The agreement builds on the recommendations of the Sea-to-Sky LRMP public forum, which spent two years developing its recommendations for the area. The LRMP recommendations that have been approved by the Province include:
· Designation of a mining/tourism (Wildland) zone where tourism, mining and recreation uses are allowed but commercial forestry is not;
· Creation of a “frontcountry zone” where a visual management system will be developed to manage sensitive viewscapes; and
· Zoning of areas for motorized and non-motorized recreation.
The Sea-to-Sky LRMP was initiated to provide greater certainty for local economic development and the long-term sustainability of ecological values. Other initiatives, such as the Regional Growth Strategy, the Sea to Sky Highway Project and Olympic venue development, are separate from the LRMP discussions but are designed to ensure complementary and integrated land-use decision-making in the plan area.
Planning for the Sea-to-Sky LRMP was initiated in 2002. In 2004, a public planning forum submitted a package of recommendations to the Province. In 2005, the Province began government-to-government discussions with First Nations. The purpose of those discussions was to harmonize the LRMP with First Nations interests.
A map showing the zoning that has been approved through this agreement with In-SHUCK-ch Nation is available at http://www.mediaroom.gov.bc.ca/DisplayEventDetails.aspx?eventId=381. Completion of government-to-government discussions with other First Nations in the next few months will allow the Province to complete the LRMP and move into plan implementation.
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
250 213-3072 (cell)
604 970-7891 (cell)
For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.