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Wyss foundation commits $750k to protect Edéhzhíe lands

The Wyss foundation is committing $750,000 to the Dehcho First Nation to help protect the Edéhzhíe National Wildlife Area. Courtesy of Ducks Unlimited

The Wyss Foundation, founded by Swiss entrepreneur Hansjörg Wyss, has announced it will commit $750,000 over three years to help protect the Edéhzhíe National Wildlife Area.

The 3.5 million acre plot of land is protected by the Dehcho First Nation and the funding will go towards creating an Indigenous guardians program to manage the lands.

This grant will "expand the Dehcho’s existing guardian work, recognize the leadership of the Dehcho in caring for the land, and ensure that the Dehcho people benefit economically from the management of this area," stated a news release.

An initial $275,000 has already been granted and will be administered by Ducks Unlimited, a partner in the International Boreal Conservation Campaign.

Additional grants will require the Government of Canada and the GNWT to designate the land as a National Wildlife Area.

The protected wetlands are essential habitat for waterfowl, moose, bison wolverine and caribou.