Hupacasath First Nations Forestry Management
While the Hupcasath First Nation’s people are known for their links to the sea and its rich bounty, the people are also equally at home on land. Since time immemorial they have worked with the rich forests of the Alberni Valley for their shelter, clothing, food and other needs. In the 21st Century that connection with the forest has transformed into another spoke on the HFN’s economic wheel, in the form of its forestry operations.
In July 2012, HFN signed an agreement with the Provincial Government that increased its access to timber from 400 to 2,400 hectares. This dramatic expansion then allowed for the development of new opportunities, both forestry driven and those related to the area’s tourism sector. The agreement compensates HFN for the 2004 removal of 70,000 hectares of land from Tree Farm License 44 on Hupacasath traditional territory.
Later the establishment of a Collaborative Forest Council provided Hupacasath with greater input toward land management issues on its traditional territory. This control also involved the expanding recreational and sustainable tourism opportunities at Great Central Lake. Since then the Hupacasath has hired its own professional forester and is presently building a portable saw mill at Great Central Lake. With access to lots on Great Central Lake for recreational development, Hupacasath is now exploring potential float home projects. To that end, Hupacasath is developing lake standards on a wide variety of issues, including sewage, and the more than 40 float homes currently on the lake will be moved to one of three locations that Hupacasath will operate.
Hupacasath Maps of Woodlot’s