Huu-ay-aht First Nations Disagrees with B.C. Government on Old-Growth Deferrals

On November 2, 2021, the British Columbia government announced that it would defer logging on 2.6 million hectares of old growth forests. At the same time the B.C. government gave the First Nations 30 days to indicate whether they agreed or disagreed with deferrals.

The Huu-ay-aht First Nations has now provided an answer for the government: It disagrees with the deferrals, and it will make its own decisions on how it manages its own treaty lands. And while the Huu-ay-aht have agreed not to log 96% of old growth identified in a two-year deferral, it can’t agree not to log 645 hectares, which is 4% of the forest under the two-year deferral.

In a press release, hereditary Chief Derek Peters said, “As a modern treaty nation, Huu-ay-aht will decide how best to manage our lands and resources.”

Based on a review of maps provided by the provincial government, the Huu-ay-aht say their own analysis concludes that, of the 153,773 hectares of productive forests on their own treaty lands and in Tree Farm License 44 — which they own a 35% stake in — 51,240 hectares is old forest.

“We have now confirmed that 33%, not 3%, of our Hahuułi (territory) and TFL 44 is old growth,” Chief Coun. Robert Dennis Sr. said.

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Huu-ay-aht disagree with old growth logging deferrals