British Columbia on Wednesday announced a land, water and resource management agreement with the Blueberry River First Nations that will restart development in Canada’s vast Montney shale play, but also limit new land disturbance from oil and gas activity.
New well licenses in B.C.’s Montney have been frozen since June 2021, when a landmark B.C. Supreme Court decision ruled in favour of a claim from the Blueberry that the cumulative impacts of decades of industrial development had damaged their traditional territory.
Since then the province and First Nations in the region have been negotiating a different approach to managing resource development in the 38,000-kilometre swathe of land that lies in the heart of Canada’s top gas-producing play.
“This agreement provides a clear pathway to get the hard work started on healing and restoring the land, and start on the joint planning with strong criteria to protect ecosystems, wildlife habitat and old forests,” Chief Judy Desjarlais of the Blueberry River First Nations said in a statement.