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Mae Whyte, Darian Weber, Jane Calvert, Firelight Research Group
Situated in the Peace River region of northeastern British Columbia, Canada, Blueberry River First Nations (BRFN) is an Indigenous community that is prioritizing reciprocal restoration on their traditional lands that extend over 3.8 million hectares. There is a heavy presence of industrial activity on the landscape going back decades, including land degradation and legacy sites from forestry, agriculture, and oil and gas development. BRFN is developing a restoration framework to identify and prioritize community areas for restoration across the landscape to maintain the well-being and cultural continuity of the community and revitalize fragmented and critical ecosystems. This includes establishing evidence-based thresholds for ecosystem recovery and identifying priority areas for restoration across the landscape. Our presentation will showcase three BRFN restoration projects and identify how they fit into the proposed restoration framework. Critical to our success is establishing partnerships among industry, Indigenous governments, other levels of government, land users, and non-profits. We will demonstrate our framework planning process and identify preliminary obstacles such as funding limitations along with how the framework will work with complementary processes such as regional land management planning initiatives. Indigenous communities are leaders in so-called “voluntary” restoration efforts, that is, restoration projects not mandated by current legislation; sharing knowledge and experience will grow the broader network of restoration practitioners who work in and with Indigenous communities.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program