Commercial Logging

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Recent Work

On February 24, 2021, this declaration was released by the Stataltmc, reinstating their position on logging in the territory.

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In support of the above declaration, the Ancient Roots Collective created this petition. We were thrilled to see over 10,000 signatures in the first week! By signing this petition, you are supporting Nuxalkmc inherent rights to self determination through self governance of the people and the land.

Some FAQ's and facts on logging in Nuxalkulmc   (download as a pdf)
The State of Nuxalkulmc
  • The most recent analysis of Nuxalkulmc suggests that only 5% of the biggest, oldest monumental cedars remain in the territory. These are the trees needed to preserve the cultural economy of Nuxalkmc: carvings, totem poles, sea-going canoes, planks for big houses and long houses.

  • The classic industrial forestry models have resulted in unacceptable damage to the health and stability of the land and waterways including the destruction of biodiversity, threatening the survival of the grizzly bear, salmon, ooligan, other wildlife and plant medicines.

  • The sensitive terrain is largely comprised of narrow valleys; the fertile valley bottoms prone to flooding, steep mountainsides prone to landslides. The roots of the trees are essential to keeping the land intact.

  • Local observations suggest that, in some spos, the Bella Coola River bottom is 30 feet higher now than it was just 25 years ago, filled in with gravel and silt from increased landslides and flooding. The water runs over the river bed much faster, further damaging the salmon and ooligan spawning grounds.

  • View these maps of the disturbance of primary forests in Nuxalkulmc

How are Nuxalkmc connected to the forests?
  • The forest is our inheritance and an intact homeland is the most valuable inheritance we can leave to our children and our Putl'alt (those not yet born).

  • Nuxalkmc have been caretakers of the lands and waters in Nuxalkulmc for thousands of generations, a responsibility that was handed down to Nuxalkmc through the ancestors by the Creator. Their ancient forests hold the history of Nuxalkmc, the world, and of humanity.

  • Forest management is an integral part of Nuxalk culture and the forests were carefully managed for successional use while left fully intact throughout the territory.

  • The health of the forests is a true reflection of the health of every being they are connected to, both within and outside of Nuxalkulmc: the rivers, the salmon, the ocean, the bears, the people, the animals, the rocks, the soils, the air, and other non-human beings.

  • The cultural and spiritual integrity of Nuxalkmc depends on the forests, for example, the intact landscape ensured the anuxuum (river) could meander with a gentler flow, allowing for cultural activities such as weir fishing and travelling up-stream in spoon canoes.

Why are intact forests important?
  • Provide clean water for communities, salmon and other wildlife. 

  • A best solution to halt climate change; old growth forests store 2-3 times more atmospheric carbon per hectare than the ensuing second-growth tree plantations they are replaced with. 

  • Create a stable landscape in an area prone to catastrophic flooding and other natural disasters. See report: INTACT FORESTS, SAFE COMMUNITIES

  • Are critically important to ensure the thriving of Nuxalk culture and spirituality.

  • Provide critical habitat, including over-wintering, for wildlife and accommodate species that cannot flourish in younger and less biodiverse forests.

  • Act as fundamental pillars of Bella Coola’s rapid-growing, high-revenue tourism industry.

  • The health of the forests is a true reflection of the health of every being they are connected to, both within and outside of Nuxalkulmc: the rivers, the salmon, the ocean, the bears, the people, the animals, the rocks, the soils, the air, and other non-human beings. 

How does protecting the forests of Nuxalkulmc contribute to the local ecology and economy?
  • Only a small fraction of the historical runs of all 5 salmon species, and steelhead, now return to the rivers throughout Nuxalk Ancestral Territory and the effects of logging on the watersheds, including sediment run-off and increased water temperatures, is a major obstacle they face to their survival.

  • Over 95% of Nuxalk trees currently being harvested are exported from the territory, undermining opportunities for a value-added economy now and into the future 

  • The Nuxalk economic system and potlatch-law culture require successional use of the forests.

  • Trees ranging from 300 to 800 years old are needed for sea-going canoes, homes, totem poles and bighouses. 

  • A sustainable forest is needed for a cultural economy, which is important in supporting Nuxalkmc, for example, through the winter: cedar bark weaving, basket and box making, carvings, trade of berries, plant medicines and food.

  • Globally, people have a huge desire to witness old-growth forests in the Great Bear Rainforest; adventure tourism is one of the fastest growing economic sectors, has a very low environmental footprint and contributes to sustainable revenue.

  • Nuxalkmc are a People distinct from all others and the potential of cultural tourism as a rich and sustainable industry relies on the health of the lands and waters.

  • Industrial activities encroach on and create an imbalance in animal habitat leading to an increase in human conflicts with wildlife.

  • There has never been a full-scope economic analysis of Pine (Matsutake) Mushroom picking in Nuxalk Ancestral Territory, and the mushroom only thrives in the threatened, old forests. 

What groups and companies are affiliated with active logging in Nuxalkulmc?
  • A&A Trading

  • BC Timber Sales

  • Bella Coola Community Forest Ltd

  • Bella Coola Resource Society

  • Canadian Overseas Log & Lumber Ltd.

  • Dean Channel Forest Products Ltd

  • Double R Forestry Ltd

  • Heiltsuk Coastal Forest Products Ltd

  • Interfor Corporation

  • Nunumus Management Limited

  • Nuxalk Forestry Limited Partnership

  • SWC Holdings Ltd

  • Timber Sales Manager Seaward/Tlasta

  • Western Forest Products Inc

Where is all the logging money going?
  • Local contractors of the community forest operations: machine operators, fallers, project managers, site clean up, road builders, etc.

  • Over 95% of Nuxalk trees logged are exported every year along with the opportunities for any more jobs to create value-added items from the wood.

  • The community forest operations report very little annual revenue (approximately $77,000 average for Bella Coola Community Forest Ltd) and usually alternate between annual losses and revenues.

  • The international companies logging out on the ocean are contributing very little, if anything, to the local economy, as those trees are directly exported from the territory.

What about the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement?
  • Under the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest Agreement (GBRA), signed between several First Nations and British Columbia, 85% of this region was supposed to be off-limits to logging. However, more than 10 million m3 of timber, much of it sacred old growth, has been logged. 

  • The five year review of the Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order is underway and the GBRLUO Act states no new forestry development permits may be granted by the Province beyond January 27, 2021 without Landscape Reserve Designs in place or effectiveness monitoring of Ecosystem Based Management. No LRDs have been approved and no Effectiveness Monitoring Programs have been fully implemented. 

  • Community Forest licences are exempt from the Land Use Order and therefore exempt from implementing Ecosystem Based Management. There are only 2 community forest licences in the GBR and both are in Nuxalkulmc (Nuxalk Territory).

What is Nuxalk sovereignty?
  • Nuxalkulmc is the unceded, sovereign, ancestral territory of the Nuxalkmc. There has never been a time under Nuxalk, British, Canadian, or International law, where the Nuxalkmc have ceded jurisdiction over Nuxalkulmc.

  • Nuxalk authority is neither granted by nor subject to the approval of others.

  • Nuxalkmc have inherent rights to their own self-determination, self-governance and the governance of the land and waters.

  • Nuxalkmc are autonomous decision-makers on a federal level.

  • Note: The government of BC passed the legislation in November 2019 to implement the UNDRIP: 

UNDRIP Article 26. 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.

Why are we not focused on old growth?
  • From the Nuxalk perspective, old growth is an intact forest about 100 years or older and includes the soil, plants, animals, moss, lichen and trees.

  • Only 5% of the biggest trees (Site index >25) remain in Nuxalkulmc. The risk of biodiversity loss is high when at least 30% of the natural old forest in an ecosystem is not kept intact. Younger forests must be protected now as the "recruitment" forests.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Maps of the disturbance in Nuxalkulmc

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Ista (King Island), Kwalhna (Kwatna) and Ats’aaxlh (South Bentick)

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Suts’lhm (Kimsquit)

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Nuxalk (Bella Coola Valley)

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Nuxalkulmc

 

Past Work

Nuxalk elders and Stataltmc (Nuxalk Ancestral Government leaders) have consistently and steadfastly stood to protect the land and waters from the devastating effects of clear cut logging, some enduring prison for their efforts. This stand at Ista (King Island) in 1995 ultimately led to the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement which Q'watsinas cautioned right from the start.

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Ista 1995 photos borrowed from nuxalk.net

An eviction notice from 2003 shown here was signed by the Nuxalk Nation Band Administration Chief & Council and the Central Coast Regional District. This shows that the efforts of the Stataltmc to assert their jurisdiction has long been supported by the colonial governments operating in the territory.

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