Land management of Nadleh Whut’en traditional territory received a boost this fall from B.C. government’s new rural dividend program.
“Nadleh Whut’en First Nation identified the need to create and implement their community development framework, land use plan, and data management system to improve the management, protection, and decision making on matters within their territory in regards to cumulative impacts, and environment, economic, social and cultural development,” stated Angel Ransom, land use planner of Nadleh Whut’en.
The NWFN Land Use Plan has draft objectives for:
1. Improved management of cumulative effects throughout Nadleh Whut’en Traditional Territory
2. Preservation and protection of conservation areas and cultural and sacred use resources
3. Clearly identify future land uses and zoning to reduce risks and/or conflicts
4. Create better land certainty for development and investment opportunities
5. Create a sustainable balance for various types of development
6. Develop and manage infrastructure needs and enhancements
7. Geospatial data collection and geographic information systems (GIS) analysis
As a tool, the land use plan will improve the use of time, energy and resources; assist with negotiations, communications, and decision making; build community capacity, pride and ownership; empower culture and traditions; and, assist with building relationships and partnerships, Ransom added.
Since 2011, the community has been securing project funding through grants and community revenue sources to create the plan.
Now at its third and final phase, the development of the land use plan will be completed through a community driven process, staff mentorship and capacity building opportunities, and with professional assistance and expertise support.
“The successful BC Rural Dividend Funding application will assist Nadleh Whut’en to hire the professional expertise needed to successfully help manage and complete the project, finalize their land use plan, mentor existing and new Lands Office Staff, build capacity and provide the tools needed to better manage, plan and make decisions regarding community development needs and land uses within Nadleh Whut’en First Nation’s territory,” Ransom stated.
Receiving $75,000 of funding, Nadleh Whut’en is one of 13 local governments and First Nation communities in northern B.C. that was granted the first intake of the three-year $75 million BC Rural Dividend, according to a media release.
Announced earlier this month by Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson and Parliamentary Secretary Donna Barnett, 73 local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations around the province were awarded $8.16 million in total for single and partnership projects that help rural communities diversify and strengthen their economies.
The second intake of the BC Rural Dividend will close on Oct. 31.