The Sacred Headwaters of Northern British Columbia, in western Canada, is an unspoiled natural region, unique in the world. The Sacred Headwaters and the Tahtlan people,whose livelihood and culture depend upon the natural environment there, are under threat of permanent harm, by the activities of mining companies and the failure of the provincial government to ensure protection of the region.
The most serious threat now is a proposal by Fortune Minerals to level Mt. Klappan in the Sacred Headwaters, by open-pit coalmining, not only destroying local natural environments by the excavation of a massive coal bed, but also releasing a vast quantity of coal to be burned by industry and so to contribute greatly to the accumulation of Greenhouse Gases in Earth’s atmosphere and further aggravate already serious conditions of Global Warming. The coal bed deposit under Mt. Klappan has been described as one of the largest coalbeds remaining on Earth – All the More Reason to Leave It Buried! No good can come from such a harmful industry, but great harm is inevitable if it is not stopped.
The Sacred Headwaters has been compared to the Serengeti Plains of Africa, for the importance of its natural, unspoiled, and unique biological diversity. The region is of such importance that there have been calls to designate it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“The Sacred Headwaters is the shared birthplace of three of B.C.’s most important wild salmon rivers: the Skeena, the Nass and the Stikine. This remote alpine basin in northern B.C. is home to grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, mountain sheep and other mammals that are part of the Spatsizi ecosystem, one of the largest intact predator-prey systems anywhere in North America. It is also home to the Tahltan First Nations, whose people have hunted and trapped in the Sacred Headwaters for millennia.” - Sierra Club of BC (http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/our-work/hotspots/sacred-headwaters)
Protection of the Sacred Headwaters is vital to maintaining abundant ecosystems throughout the vast watersheds of the three rivers, the Skeena, Nass, and Stikine, from the interior plateau, down through hundreds of miles of river systems, to the North Pacific Coast of both Canada and Alaska (USA). Thousands of people, in many communities, depend for their health and livelihood upon the natural stability of those rivers and watersheds. The beautiful, pristine Sacred Headwaters is the source and the heart of those biological and economic systems.
In the past, the Sacred Headwaters have been threatened by companies like Royal Dutch Shell, that wanted to drill thousands of Fracking wells there, to extract coal-bed methane from the region. However, after determined opposition by the Tahltan and their supporters world-wide, Shell agreed to leave the area, and the Government of British Columbia promised to ban all other oil and gas companies from the Sacred Headwaters and guaranteed that further protection of the area would be discussed.
However, the Sacred Headwaters is at risk again: Fortune Minerals, a mining company, is drilling test wells there, with the consent of the BC Government, towards developing a massive 4,000 hectare open-pit coal mine on Mt. Klappan, a sacred and vital hunting ground on Tahltan territory. The project plan includes building 147 kilometers of railway through the headwaters to export the coal, and a 112-km power line linking the mine to the Northwest Transmission Line, a controversial project funded by the BC government, already drastically over-budget.
The Tahltan and their supporters have stopped harmful developments in the Sacred Headwaters before, and there is urgent need now, and they are determined to do it again.
Stand up and support the Tahltan in their campaign to protect the Sacred Headwaters for the benefit of all people, for generations to come.
Sign the petition and make your voice heard - That we will not sit idly by while injustice takes place, and while a world-unique natural region is destroyed forever by greed for short term profits, through industry that would do permanent harm to a natural region unique in the world, and that would contribute vastly to the increasingly serious threat of Global Warming to environments and communities the world over.
For further information: www.Skeenawatershed.com and Facebook: Klabona Keepers
I strongly urge Fortune Minerals and Atrum Coal to abandon their tenures for their proposed coal mines.
I also strongly urge CN Rail to abandon its plans for a railway into the Sacred Headwaters.
I call upon the government of British Columbia to protect formally, for all time, the Sacred Headwaters from all industrial development including by Fortune Minerals, Atrum Coal, and CN Rail.