1,200 Hectares Added to Duu Guusd Heritage Site

View from the Haida village of Kiusta located in the Duu Guusd Heritage Site on the northwest corner of Haida Gwaii. Photo via Google Maps.

More than 1,200 hectares will be added to the Duu Guusd Heritage Site/Conservancy on Haida Gwaii. The announcement was made May 7, 2018 by the Council of the Haida Nation and the Government of British Columbia.

Earlier this year, the Haida Gwaii Management Council unanimously recommended that the K’aas Gandlaay area of Haida Gwaii be added to Duu Guusd. The area protects archeological sites, old-growth cedar stands, and is a site of high cultural value for the Haida Nation.

K’aas Gandlaay was considered for inclusion in Duu Guusd in 2008 when the conservancy was first established, but outstanding logging agreements prevented it from being added at that time. Since then, the Haida Nation reached an agreement with the logging company to cease activity in K’aas Gandlaay and the provincial government established a forest reserve in the area to provide protection until it could be formally protected by legislation.

Duu Guusd maintains all of the elements that spawned the Haida cultural heritage. Changed only by relentless seas and pounding rain since ancient times, Duu Guusd stands as a testament to the power of the earth.

Duu Guusd Conservancy. Photo by Guy Kimola.

Duu Guusd Heritage Site/Conservancy now covers 228,932 hectares along the northwest coast of Haida Gwaii. It is the only protected area on Haida Gwaii with a significant representation of all of Haida Gwaii’s three terrestrial physiographic ecosections (Windward Queen Charlotte Mountains, Skidegate Plateau and Queen Charlotte Lowlands).

“Burial caves, old village sites, fossil beds and seabird nesting areas make Duu Guusd a particularly sensitive area,” says Guujaw in the Duu Guusd Management Plan. “Duu Guusd maintains all of the elements that spawned the Haida cultural heritage. Changed only by relentless seas and pounding rain since ancient times, Duu Guusd stands as a testament to the power of the earth. ”

Duu Guusd includes at least 39 Haida village sites or seasonal camps, 88 registered archaeological sites, and extensive cultural features within its forest. It is also part of an archipelago-wide system of protected areas that not protects half of the land-base of Haida Gwaii.

Learn more about how First Nations are managing protected areas in Haida Gwaii and the Great Bear Rainforest.