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Alberta, Fort McKay to meet in three months on fate of Moose Lake protected area

EDMONTON — The Alberta government and the Fort McKay First Nation have agreed to meet again in three months to decide the fate of one of the last areas in the band's territory that hasn't been impacted by oilsands development.

In 2018, the band thought it had a deal putting a 10-kilometre buffer around Moose Lake.

But the deal wasn't ratified and Alberta's energy regulator later approved an oilsands mine that would come within two kilometres of the shore.

The First Nation is fighting that approval in the Alberta Court of Appeal and a judgment is expected soon.

Band officials say the First Nation is prepared to allow some development within the buffer but it wants the mine's processing facility located further away.

Fort McKay Grand Chef Mel Grandjamb says he's happy with the outcome of Friday's meeting.

He says Moose Lake is just about the last place left for his people to fish, hunt, berry-pick and practise other traditions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 31, 2020

The Canadian Press

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