In May 2019, the Ancient Forest Alliance visited the village of Tahsis on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island in Mowachaht/Muchalaht territory to explore the McKelvie Valley, the last intact watershed in the Tahsis region. Here are some photos from day one, where AFA campaigners TJ Watt and Rachel Ablack were joined by town Mayor, Martin Davis, and local mountaineer Ramsay Dyer. The McKelvie watershed is a spectacular ancient forest “hotspot” of high conservation, recreational, scenic, and cultural value. It features rare, endangered ancient forests; rich wildlife habitat; and McKelvie Creek, a salmon spawning ground and the community’s source of drinking water. Western Forest Products had previously planned to blast a road into the heart of the valley and to carry out upwards of 25 clearcuts in its pristine old-growth forests, but thanks to years of advocating for its protection by the community of Tahsis, the AFA’s work to raise awareness about this special place, and the thousands of people who sent letters to decision makers, it’s now safe from logging!
This is the direction we need to be going in terms of old-growth conservation and the BC government must step up and do its part to help facilitate this by helping finance Indigenous Protected Areas and supporting First Nations land use plans and sustainable economic alternatives to transition away from old-growth logging. They could begin by supporting the “Salmon Park” proposed by Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations in right here in Nootka Sound.
See our Community Spotlight video on Tahsis here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v4q0E2o_Ik