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jiinanga - the last watershed
jiinanga also known as Government Creek is one of the fourteen Council of
the Haida Nation Protected Areas and is the last unlogged watershed in Skidegate
Channel West, Skidegate Narrows, and
jiinanga is located at the west end of Skidegate Narrows. The watershed
is approximately 1,770 hectares. TimberWest, the licence holder, considers
1,230 hectares to be loggable and that area contains about 610,000 cubic
metres (1 cubic metre equals 1 telephone pole.)
The watershed was once considered for preservation under the provincial
Old Growth Strategy but was then referred to a Local Resource Use Planning
Process (LRUP) in 1991. The LRUP had one roundtable meeting in February
1992 and then stalled due to objections put forward by the Council of the
Haida Nation that no logging take place in the watershed, a second attempt
to move the process forward was made by MoF a year or so ago.
TimberWest has again been asked by MoF to start some sort of planning process
in the watershed. It is not clear at this time whether this will be a public
LRMP process or some sort of 'higher level' planning. Regardless of the
planning process, road and cutting permits for logging in Government Creek
have been submitted to MoF by TimberWest. What is shaping up is the scenario
that is referred to locally as 'log and talk.' This same scenario is looming
for the Tlell Watershed.
The way it works is that 'non-contentious blocks' within the described area
are approved for logging by MoF while discussion takes place about planning
for the remaining area. Tlell Watershed Society and ICSI policy both prescribe
to the planning process being completed before logging can take place.
Impacts will be faced
At an ICSI meeting Tuesday, May 21 at the MoF Board Room the minutes reflect
that District Manager Bob Brash "made some general comments on the
issue. He believes that if we don't plan now and log now, we will have to
face the impacts. He further commented that he would not issue road permits
in a contentious area where there would be likelihood of a blockade. The
MoF would then have only achieved creating conflict." At the same meeting
Brash "assured the group that no permits would be issued until we have
discussed a planning process." Guujaaw "reaffirmed the need for
ICSI to stand by its principles, ICSI needs to maintain its credibility
and it can not do that by giving in on issues such as (jiinanga) Government
Before any access (can be given) to the area for harvesting, an ecobased
planning process must be complete and approved by a Community Resources
Board, and a Forest Ecosystem Network* (FEN) to Security Inlet mus be established."
ICSI wants planning
The ICSI CONSENSUS document 9.4 Government Creek states that "prior
to the issuance of cutting permits, an integrated watershed planning process
must be completed and the plan approved by the Community Resource Board.
jiinanga is the last unlogged watershed on Skidegate Inlet as was Waterfall
Creek the last unlogged watershed on Masset Inlet.
Ralph Friedrich is the RPF for TimberWest and MoF's Bob Brash has sign-off
on permits to log jiinanga. ·
*A FEN or Forest Ecosystem Network is a "network of representative
old-growth and mature forests delineated in a managed landscape. Not only
does a FEN aim to meet the needs of native species and ecological processes,
it also serves to maintain or restore the natural connectivity within a
FENs are composed of a variety of protected areas, as well as classified
areas (such as riparian management areas and wildlife habitat areas), any
other areas that have been designated as sensitive, high visual quality
areas, and areas of unstable terrain or other conditions that make them
- from the Forest Practices Code of BC - Biodiversity Guidebook.
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