Watershed Renewal Program
In April 2017, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations completed a framework for watershed renewal, which outlined the short-term and long-term steps to be taken to revitalize the Sarita and Pachena watersheds. This work is intended to support fish and wildlife populations and cultural values for present and future generations. Huu-ay-aht Executive Council established the Uu-ah-thluk Watershed Renewal Technical Working Group in May of 2017. The Working Group is led by Bob Bocking of LGL and provides technical oversight to the Watershed Renewal Program.
More than 20 projects were initiated in 2017 to assess the status of salmon populations, stream and riparian habitats, as well as the condition of logging roads in priority areas. Additional work was also initiated to advance the management and protection of fish and wildlife habitats and examine opportunities for additional enhancement of chinook, chum, and coho salmon populations.
A key benefit of the Watershed Renewal Program is employment opportunities for Huu-ay-aht citizens and family members. During 2017, 11 citizens and three family members were employed by LGL and Meridian Forest Services Ltd to work on projects. For some citizens, employment on the Watershed Renewal Program has allowed them to learn new skills while working outdoors on Huu-ay-aht ḥahuułi and enabled them to reconnect with Huu-ay-aht culture.
Over the next three to five years, work will continue to identify immediate opportunities to renew and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Sarita, Pachena, and Sugsaw watersheds. In addition, a long-term renewal plan will be developed to guide protection, management, and renewal of the watersheds within the entire ḥahuułi for future generations.