CURRENT TIME:







(from DIAND web site - FORT PROVIDENCE, NT, April 17, 2003)
Dehcho PROCESS AGREEMENTS BALANCE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITH LAND PROTECTION



(from the Edmonton Journal Front Page - Edmonton,AB, April 17, 2003)
N.W.T. NATIVES SCORE HUGE DEAL


(News Release from the World Wildlife Fund - Yellowknife, NT, April 17, 2003)
INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATION HONOUR FOR NWT'S Dehcho FIRST NATIONS AND THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA


(News Story from the Northern News Services- Yellowknife, NT, April 25, 2003)
PLOTTING THE NEXT STEPS: Land-use planning will create a "maze of carefully planned areas"





Plotting the next steps
Land-use planning will create a "maze of carefully planned areas"

Derek Neary
Northern News Services


Fort Providence (Apr 25/03) - The map of the Dehcho region is going to be carefully dissected over the coming years.

Areas will be designated for forestry, oil and gas, mining and tourism, according to Dehcho assistant negotiator Herb Norwegian.

"There's a whole array of things from an economic point of view that we'll look at," Norwegian said. "At the end of the day what you'll end up with is a maze of carefully planned areas that will cater to development and be sensitive to areas that are protected."

He added that there will also be corridors in which wildlife can travel safely.

All the land-use planning will continue to be done in consultation with First Nations and Metis locals, according to Norwegian. Meetings on that front are to begin over the next month.

The interim resource development agreement specifies that an oil and gas issuance cycle will begin within the next year. The Dehcho will have a strong say in which parcels of land are selected for exploration and development, said Norwegian.


  "It wouldn't be as though (oil and gas companies) are going to parachute into those areas in the middle of the night and have community people scrambling," he said. "I think the land withdrawals makes it very clear that the communities are going to be in the driver's seat on this stuff."

Through the interim land withdrawals, nearly 50 per cent of Dehcho land -- or approximately 10 million hectares -- has been deemed off limits to development. Protected sites are designated based on cultural or spiritual significance, harvesting for food and medicinal purposes, ecological sensitivity and watershed protection.

"I think we're sort of in the lead as far as land protection is concerned," said Norwegian. "Ourselves, the Dehcho people, are landlords ... if we'd had it our way we would have wanted to protect the entire Dehcho territory and have the whole thing withdrawn. In order to be fair we left areas open for development."

The interim land withdrawals have drawn applause from NWT environmental groups. The World Wildlife Fund bestowed the DCFN and the federal government with an international conservation honour.

"This is a tremendous achievement in an area coming under significant pressure for industrial development," said Bill Carpenter, WWF Canada's NWT conservation director.



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