In March 2017 the Province and Halfway River First Nation signed a Government-to-Government Agreement, which included working together to recommend that a conservancy be established in an area of high cultural significance to the community.
The proposed Tsaa Nuna conservancy, 65 km northwest of Fort St. John and 35 km northeast of the Butler Ridge Provincial Park, covers 5,975 hectares of land along the southern shore of Halfway River. View the area location map.
The conservancy is intended to protect the high cultural values and wildlife habitats. The land within the proposed conservancy is of historic and continuing significance for the practice of treaty rights by Halfway River First Nation.
The conservancy designation explicitly recognizes the importance of these areas to First Nations for social, ceremonial and cultural uses. Conservancies provide for a wider range of low impact, compatible economic opportunities than Class A parks, however, commercial logging, mining and hydroelectric power generation, other than local run-of-the-river projects, are prohibited. Visit park designation types for more information.
Members of the public were invited to provide written comments on the proposed new Tsaa Nuna conservancy until May 25, 2018, and an open house took place on Wednesday, April 25, in Fort St. John. Some concerns were raised at the open house, and a subsequent meeting was held on September 4, 2018 at the Upper Halfway Community Club to address those concerns.
April 16 to May 25, 2018
- 28 attendees at the Fort St. John Open House
- 6 written submissions received
Input leads to action:
The results of the engagement were summarized for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy who has responsibility for the Park Act. The formal recommendation was made by the Halfway River First Nation-B.C. working group to the ministry in January 2019.
Comments focused on access to and within the proposed conservancy, the proposed boundary and future conservancy management planning process, the potential to displace future industrial activities to adjacent lands, the engagement process, and First Nations reconciliation in general. These concerns were addressed as much as possible through further information and engagement activities.