Huu-ay-aht First Nations Announces Old-Growth Interim Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Port Alberni – September 7, 2023) – Huu-ay-aht First Nations announces completion of an Old-Growth Interim Report that outlines the work completed to date on an Indigenous-led integrated stewardship approach to ecosystem health and biodiversity, including old-growth forests. 

In partnership with Huu-ay-aht Forestry Limited Partnership, C̓awak ʔqin Forestry, Mosaic Forest Management, the Old-Growth Interim Report is a step towards finalizing the Hišuk ma c̓awak Integrated Resource Management Plan (HIRMP). The HIRMP integrates a full range of values and stewardship measures across the entire Huu-ay-aht Ḥahuułi (Traditional Territory).

As part of the HIRMP, the partners developed a draft design of the M̓aƛasap (to take a bite out of) Network that integrates old forests, riparian habitat, rare ecosystems, wildlife habitat and features, and cultural and traditional use areas to maintain connectivity across the Ḥahuułi. 

Through the M̓aƛasap Network, 19,819 hectares of old and recruitment forests were identified to align with important values within Huu-ay-aht Ḥahuułi – 13,450 hectares being 250 years or older, and the remaining 6,360 hectares part of a long-term recruitment strategy.

Guided by the best science and data available, and Huu-ay-aht’s values and principles, the interim report identifies over double the amount of old-growth forests and rare ecosystems in the Ḥahuułi than what was established by the Old-Growth Technical Advisory Panel (TAP).

The HIRMP and Old-Growth Interim Report demonstrates the importance and value of taking a collaborative and holistic approach to implementing land and resource management that aligns with Huu-ay-aht values and its three sacred principles: ʔiisaak (Utmost Respect), ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care of), Hišuk ma c̓awak (Everything is One).

The Hišuk ma c̓awak Integrated Resource Management Plan will be complete by March 2024.


Quotes:

“Hišuk ma c̕awak Integrated Resource Management Plan (HIRMP) represents the present and future needs of the ecosystems within the Huu-ay-aht ḥahuułi. Its namesake sacred principle, Hišuk ma c̕awak, acknowledges the many interconnected aspects considered and incorporated into the plan. We continue to ensure we are managing our lands in a sustainable way, so it is there for the next 7 generations.  To do this, we value the partnerships we have that help us manage our lands and waters”.

– Huu-ay-aht Executive Councillor, Brad Johnson (Wiiheyakchikk)

“We are making significant progress together in the development of the Hišuk ma c̕ awak Integrated Resource Management Plan. The work underway considers present and future needs to ensure lasting benefits for generations to come and we look forward to continuing to contribute to the progress made through this innovative planning process led by the Huu-ay-aht First Nations.”

– General Manager, C̓awak ʔqin Forestry, Geoff Payne

“Western is proud to support the development and implementation of the Huu-ay-aht-led Hišuk ma c̕ awak Integrated Resource Management Plan. With each step forward, we are pioneering a collaborative and integrated approach to ecosystem health and biodiversity that draws on local understanding, data, and technology to achieve our collective values.”

– RPF, Chief Forester, Western Forest Products, Stuart Glen

“Our relationship with Huu-ay-aht is built on a strong commitment to collaboration. The HIRMP demonstrates the immense value of partnerships for a coordinated and modernized approach to collaborative land-use planning”.

– Senior Vice President, Corporate Engagement and Chief Development Officer, Domenico Iannidinardo

Resources:

Old-Growth Interim Report, click here to view.

For official press release, click here to view.

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HFN Lands and Natural Resources work to remove invasive species, European Green Crab

Photo of European Green Crab by Huu-ay-aht First Nations Lands and Natural Resources Team.

Huu-ay-aht’s Lands and Natural Resources team has been working to manage and obtain an understanding of the European Green Crabs distribution in Huu-ay-aht ḥahuułi. European Green Crab are an invasive species that thrive in warmer waters near freshwater inputs. On the West Coast of Vancouver Island, green crabs dig through the sediment while foraging for clams. By digging up the sediment, green crabs uproot important eelgrass. Eelgrass habitats are becoming rare and are an important nursery habitat for young sea creatures. As a result, European Green Crabs are linked to declining salmon populations because they remove the nursery habitat the juvenile fish hide in during their outmigration.

In March 2023, the Lands and Resources team started an initial winter investigation within Bamfield Inlet, Grappler Inlet, and the Sarita Estuary. Over three weeks and using a series of 40 traps, the team captured 25 European Green Crab and removed them from the environment. Green crabs migrate to deeper water in the wintertime, so despite relatively few captures, the results are concerning. In other locations of Barkley Sound, the Coastal Restoration Society has captured hundreds of green crabs in a single day! The Lands and Natural Resources team will head out for another trapping effort to monitor how the warmer summer months impact the European Green Crab population.

Fire Ban Effective Immediately

Fire Ban – Effective Immediately

June 7, 2023

Given current conditions, all campfires are now prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre, except for the Haida Gwaii Forest District. These prohibitions apply to all public, private, and treaty settlement lands. This includes activities such as:

  • Fireworks
  • Sky lanterns
  • Burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
  • Binary exploding targets
  • Air curtain burners
  • Tiki and similar kind of torches
  • Chimineas

Anyone who lights, fuels, or uses an open fire when a fire prohibition is in place or fails to comply with a fire prohibition may be ticketed under Provincial law. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may also be ordered to pay all firefighting associated costs.

This ban will help to protect communities, forests, and infrastructure from wildfire. This prohibition will be in place until Tuesday, October 31, 2023, or until the order is rescinded. Refer to British Columbia’s Coastal Fire Centre bans and restrictions or contact the Lands & Natural Resources Departments of the Huu-ay-aht Government Office for more information. To report a wildfire, call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone.

Lands & Natural Resources Department

250-723-0100 ext. 125

Coho released under Rousseau bridge

Sugsaw hatchery update! Last week the fisheries team released the last batch of Coho. These Coho were taken as brood stock from the Pachena system and were successfully released back under the Rousseau bridge. There are healthy, wild Coho that resident in the Pachena, Rousseau and tributary systems.  

*COHO Fun Fact* – based on genetics and habitat some Coho decide to resident in river for their first 1.5 years!

A BIG thank you to Cliff Nookemus Jr. for his fisheries expertise, hard work, and dedication to this project. It was a successful release of all the Sugsaw hatchery salmon this spring.

Wild about Wolves – Wišqii’s Story

Parks Canada is improving its local knowledge of the wolf populations and the elements that could lead to conflict with humans. The five-year research project Wild About Wolves hopes to further enhance the coexistence between people and wolves by educating visitors about the wolf species and the value of sharing space.

Parks Canada teamed with Nuu-chah-nulth nations to help progress their research because Indigenous people have coexisted with wolves for thousands of years. For Huu-ay-aht and other
Nuu-chah-nulth nations, the wolf is sacred.

For Huu-ay-aht First Nations, the wolf represents the spirit of unity, loyalty, and family. It is a spirit guide, a leader of ceremonies and events.

See video below.

Wild about Wolves Video