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EDRF Grantees: Local issues have province wide impact

Monday, November 7, 2011

West Coast is pleased to profile four recently awarded Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF) grants:

  • The Tsilhqot’in National Government has received funding to make submissions to the federal government to request that Taseko Mines’ revised proposal for a gold and copper mine at Fish Lake not be given a second Environmental Assessment.  The first Environmental Assessment application, which would have permitted the destruction of Fish Lake and valuable aquatic habitat was denied by the Ministry of Environment.  The revised application was identified in the first Assessment application as being more deleterious to the environment at Fish Lake than the original.  As reported in the November 2011 issue of Legal e-Brief, the federal government has now decided that a second assessment will be held, but has not yet announced what form that assessment will take. 
  • On-line mineral claim staking has led to uncontrolled exploration in Takla Lake First Nation Territory, causing fragmentation of valuable wildlife habitat.The Takla Lake First Nation has received a grant to work with Murray Browne from Woodward and Company to examine the constitutionality of the British Columbia online mineral staking regime.  In its current form, mineral staking in BC authorizes infringement of aboriginal rights and title with no consultation or accommodation. 
  • West of Williams Lake large areas of forest have been harvested in an attempt to salvage wood from trees killed by the mountain pine beetle.  As a result of the logging, stream flows have been significantly altered, damaging habitat, wildlife, and private property.  Randy Saugstad has received an EDRF grant to hire lawyer John Rich of Ratcliffe & Co. to determine legal options available to require remediation of the damage and prevent further destruction from logging in the area. Click here to read a Province article profiling Randy.
  • Stop the Spray BC, received funding to work with lawyer Tom Buri to determine how tochallenge a Pest Management Plan that allows aerial spraying by BC Timber Sales in the Prince George area.  If this challenge goes ahead it will be precedent-setting, since BC’s pesticide legislation puts a number of barriers in the way of such challenges.  There are fears that the glyphosate based herbicides permitted by the Pest Management Plan have a deleterious effect on the environment.

Congratulations to all our grant recipients, and thanks to the Law Foundation of British Columbia for providing funds for the EDRF.  For a full list of our 2011 EDRF grantees, please click here.