The forests of Haida Gwaii are an integral part of the salmon ecosystem. Our stately cedars, spruce and other species protect and keep our waterways clean, clear, and protected. As the salmon come to our streams, rivers and lakes to spawn and lay their eggs those waters that are most nurtured and nourished by trees are the places the salmon choose bring new life to this world. There in the shade and care of the forests the young salmon hatch and grow before they return to our ocean pastures. The nutrients from the dead bodies of their salmon parents in turn nourish the forest. In the same way that we are becoming stewards of our ocean pastures we are also taking on the role of stewards of our forests. We replenish, restore, and work to sustain both seas and trees.
For many years we’ve engaged in research and development of practical new forestry practices and business development of programs that will preserve, enhance, restore, and conserve our Haida Gwaii forests beginning with those forests that are most directly associated with our waterways and salmon. Forests that line the banks of waterways are known as riparian forests and as they are as such are closely associated with healthy waters. These riparian forests are the most productive of all our forest lands. This year, 2012, is a momentous year for us as in the fall after many years of work and struggle we begin our first forest restoration projects.
Our work begins with professional forest metrics surveys that provide us with the detailed description and characteristics of the lands we will work with. From this we prepare comprehensive and site specific prescriptions on how we will intervene sustainably to manage those lands and forests. Then comes the boots on the ground labour where crews from our village and other island communities using hand tools begin the restoration silviculture work. Over time we expect to replenish and restore tens of thousands of hectares of forest which will be helped to take on the characteristics of old growth forests more quickly than if left to the unpredictable course of nature alone.
Keep watch here to learn more as the projects begin. We’ll be posting regular reports of our work.