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In a rugged knot of mountains in the remote reaches of northern British Columbia lies a spectacularly beautiful valley known to the First Nations as the Sacred Headwaters. There, on the southern edge of the Spatsizi Wilderness, the Serengeti of North America, are born in remarkably close proximity three of the continent's most important salmon riversthe Stikine, the Skeena, and the Nass. Now, against the wishes of all First Nations, the government of British Columbia has opened the Sacred Headwaters to industrial development. In particular, Imperial Metals proposes an open-pit copper and gold mine, called the Red Chris mine, processing 30,000 tons of ore a day, and Royal Dutch Shell wants to extract coal bed methane gas from an anthracite deposit across an enormous tenure of close to a million acres.
The Sacred Headwaters is both a celebration of one of the most extraordinary regions in North America and a call to arms to preserve it for future generations. A remarkable collection of photographs taken by members of the International League of Conservation Photographers stunningly portray the beauty and diversity of the ecologically diverse region.
The eloquent and compelling text by Wade Davis, which describes the unparalleled beauty and grandeur of the region, the threats to it from industrial development, and the response of native groups and other inhabitants of the area, is complemented by the voices of the Tahltan elders. The inescapable message is that no amount of methane gas can compensate for the sacrifice of a place that could be the Sacred Headwaters of all North Americans and indeed of all peoples of the world.