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Community of Fort Good Hope

Established in 1905, Fort Good Hope is the oldest settlement in the lower Mackenzie River Valley. This town of 549 people is located in the Sahtu region of the Northwest Territories. The Sahtu area is anchored by two spectacular bodies of water: the vast Mackenzie River and the sprawling Great Bear Lake.

The Ramparts River and Wetlands, an area across the Mackenzie River from Fort Good Hope that locals call Ts'ude'hliline - Tuyetah, is being advanced towards permanent protection through the Northwest Territories Protected Areas Strategy (NWT-PAS) by the community’s Yamoga Land Corporation (YLC).

Stephen Kakfwi, former Northwest Territories Premier whose hometown is Fort Good Hope, is excited about the direction the community has decided to take . "The community recognizes that there is high potential for resource development, but believes that some areas are so culturally and ecologically rich that they need to be protected”, Kakfwi says. "The NWT-PAS allows communities like Fort Good Hope to find a long-term balance between the benefits of economic development, and the preservation of ecological and cultural values and traditional land use”.

Covering more than 15,000 sq. km, Ts'ude'hliline - Tuyetah is located approximately 800 km northwest of Yellowknife and crosses the Arctic Circle. While Barnaby's insight is based on his own experiences, in the global context, the size and waterfowl value of this productive wetland area is impressive and virtually unrivalled around the world. It is a world class wetland area that is vital to vast numbers of North America's waterfowl as well as countless other species of birds and wildlife, including pacific loons, furbearers, and moose. Elders say that ice from Ts'ude'hliline - Tuyetah makes the purest tea and want to make sure it is always safe to drink.

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Copyright @ 2010 Stephen Kakfwi
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