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.
“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
Old-Growth Interim Report, click here to view.
For official press release, click here to view.