Communities fought back and they won. In 2005, a handful of courageous Tahltan blockaded Shell’s access, resulting in the arrest of 15 people, including nine elders. Opposition mounted, and by 2006 hundreds of surrounding local community members took to the streets to protest.
In 2008, the government of British Columbia announced a four-year moratorium on Shell's plans to destroy the Sacred Headwaters. Yet a temporary moratorium was not enough for a region so important, ecologically and culturally speaking.
ForestEthics Advocacy recognized the importance of the locals’ fight against Shell and gas drilling, and amplified their voices. Over 75,000 concerned people worldwide took action to demand that the government of British Columbia protect this ecologically important land from Shell’s proposed project. Protests were held at Shell Headquarters at Shell-hosted events in the Netherlands, to remind the energy giant that the implications of its plan for the Sacred Headwaters were not acceptable.
The provincial government’s moratorium on drilling was set to expire on December 18, 2012. The following day, the BC government announced that Shell would be withdrawing its plans to develop coalbed methane in the Sacred Headwaters, and that the area will be forever protected from gas drilling.