In Clayoquot Sound, Old-Growth Protection and a Conservation Economy

June 26, 2024

In Clayoquot Sound, Old-Growth Protection and a Conservation Economy

In a landmark achievement, the Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, in partnership with the Government of British Columbia, have secured protection for approximately 76,000 hectares in Clayoquot Sound.  

These newly established conservancies, once designated for commercial forestry, now safeguard some of Vancouver Island's last pristine old-growth forests. The Nations' visionary land-use strategies within these Pacific coastal rainforests provide crucial climate solutions, sequestering carbon and bolstering ecosystem resilience while ensuring clean air and water for communities. 

BC Parks Foundation is proud to support this initiative, along with Wilson 5 Foundation and other funders. Special recognition goes to Nature United, who worked with all parties to help protect this globally significant ecosystem for future generations. These funds will empower the Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht Nations to manage the conservancies independently and catalyze a shift toward a conservation economy. 

"Congratulations to the Nations, the Province and to everyone involved for putting uu-a-thluk (caring for) into practice, reflecting the spirit of hishukish ts’awalk (everything is one) and iisaak (respect, with caring) says BC Parks Foundation CEO Andy Day. “This is a win for the whole community, including people and other species past, present and future, locally and globally.” 

“The announcement reflects a path forward to implementing the Ahousaht Nation’s title and rights on our lands and waters for generations to come. At the same time, more needs to be done to acknowledge the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in B.C.,” says Hasheukumiss, Hereditary Chief of the Ahousaht First Nation. “This provides the foundation for future generations to continue renegotiating and asserting authority for how to further protect our territories. It is an important step of many.” 

“Establishing these conservancies is a significant milestone for the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation, affirming stewardship authority of our lands that our Hawiih have enacted for untold generations,” says Saya Masso, Natural Resources Manager, Tla-o-qui-aht Nation. “We’re grateful for the support from organizations and institutions working in right relations to ensure we have the resources needed to care for the land according to our vision.” 

As we confront the urgent challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, the significance of regions like BC's coastal and interior forests extends beyond ecological value and encompasses a holistic community well-being. Collaboration among governments, industries, communities, and environmental organizations can help ensure a sustainable future for all.

When you give to BC Parks Foundation, you make a direct, positive impact conserving important places.

Thank you for keeping BC beautiful!