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Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs go to court over Nass moose hunt numbers

The Gitanyow have taken court action over concern about annual moose hunt numbers in the Nass.

The Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs went to court this week seeking an order that would require forests minister Steve Thomson set the total allowable moose harvest in the region.

The minister is required to set the number based on recommendations from a joint BC-Nisga’a committee as set out in the Nisga’a Final Agreement of 2000, but the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs say Thomson hasn’t done that for years.

Chief Negotiator Glen Williams says Thomson has abdicated his legal responsibility and has let the Nisga’a make the decision for him.

The Gitanyow have long protested terms of the Nisga’a Final Agreement which allows the Nisga’a to hunt over 84 percent of Gitanyow territory.
Williams says the minister’s failure to follow the terms of the agreement gives the Nisga’a more power over Gitanyow resources.

In a state,emt, the BC Government says it has taken a number of concrete actions, in collaboration with Gitanyow, to support sustainable wildlife management in the Nass watershed.

It says it is disappointed with the Gitanyow decision to take court action and is reviewing the matter.

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