A Victory for Lake Babine!
A proposed high risk mine threatened a pristine lake that sits in the heart of Lake Babine Nation’s territory at the headwaters of the Skeena River. The pit of the proposed Morrison Mine would sit less than 100 metres from the east shore of T’ak Tl’ah Bin (Morrison Lake), which offers spawning and rearing grounds for plentiful and genetically unique sockeye salmon.
In 2012, a hydro-acoustic survey estimated the sockeye fry population in T’ak Tl’ah Bin to be approximately 1.4 million. As part of its normal operations, Morrison Mine would have discharged treated mine effluent into this Lake, in perpetuity. The impacts of a major accident or malfunction would have been catastrophic for the sockeye and other fish populations. As such, the Morrison Mine posed an unacceptable threat to the Nation’s primary resources, way of life, and identity.
Fortunately, on February 7, 2022, the BC government made a final decision not to issue an environmental certificate to the proposed Morrison Mine. According to the government’s press release, a key consideration was the potential to affect a unique wild sockeye salmon population that contributes to the Skeena River sockeye.
Lake Babine Nation has steadfastly opposed the proposed Morrison Mine because it would have been built on the Nation’s core Aboriginal title lands, right beside vital Skeena talok (sockeye salmon) spawning grounds. The Mine would have threatened Lake Babine’s yintah (territory and natural resources), food security, and cultural security, the Nation said in a press release.
The RAVEN community supported Lake Babine Nation since 2014.