The Haida Gwaii Management Council has signed off on a major amendment to the Land Use Objectives Order. This is the second amendment the Council has made to the original 2010 LUOO, the first being a minor amendment made in 2014. This new amendment went through the HGMC’s full decision-making process, including a public review and comment period, and received final approval in early September 2017.
The Haida Gwaii Land Use Objectives Order (LUOO) is a set of legally established objectives that guide forestry practices and ensure the implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) on Haida Gwaii. The Haida Gwaii Management Council is responsible for reviewing the LUOO and amending or establishing new objectives as needed.
The Haida Nation and Province began working on defining the Objectives in 2008, and the two governments formally passed the Land Use Objectives Order in late 2010. The Haida Gwaii LUOO has some of the highest environmental standards and practices regulating forestry in all of North America.
The Land Use Objectives are guided by the Strategic Land Use Agreement, which was implemented to protect Haida cultural values, support biodiversity, and maintain the integrity of important wildlife habitats. The Objectives apply to all major forest licensees on Haida Gwaii, but not on private lands.
- The cultural objectives are in place to protect Cedar Stewardship Areas, Haida heritage forest features, culturally modified trees, monumental ts’uu and sGaahlan Red and Yellow cedar, and ensure the retention of hlGiid Western yew and ts’uu and sGaahlan.
- The aquatic objectives address the protection of Type I and II fish habitats, active fluvial units, upland stream areas, and sensitive watersheds.
- The biodiversity objectives cover forested swamps, ecological representation, and red- and blue-listed ecological communities.
- The wildlife objectives include protection for taan Black bear dens and nesting habitats for ts’allang.n- ga Marbled murrelet, stads k’un Northern goshawk, hlGuu Great blue heron, and the st’aw Northern saw whet owl.
- The forest reserves have no commercial logging in order to meet objectives for ecological representation and ts’allang.nga Marbled murrelet nesting habitats.
Now that the major amendment has been approved, the HGMC has publicly posted a Notice of Order and filed the Order with the Haida Nation and the Haida Gwaii Natural Resource District office in Daajing Giids Queen Charlotte.
The 2017 major amendment includes:
- Adding new rare plants to the list of Class 1 Haida Traditional Forest Features, such as hlunxid Richardson’s geranium and others.
- Removing common and abundant Class 3 Haida traditional forest features, such as: daall sgilGa Sitka columbine, k’aalts’ida gyaa’adGa Old man’s beard, tllGaanGa hlk’aay.yii Kinnikinnick, and others.
- Creating new reserves for stads k’un Northern goshawk at Feather Creek and Hancock River; and, requiring licensees to submit digital data showing reserve zones set aside to protect taan Black bear dens.
- New objectives to protect the integrity of gwaay k’yah Indian hellebore, maintaining a minimum of 50% of gwaay k’yah plants in stand level retention.
- Allowing the alteration of removal of a Class 1 or 2 Haida Traditional Forest Feature, provided that an intergovernmental process is completed, and the alteration or removal is required for road access or other infrastructure, and there is no alternative route or location for this road or infrastructure.
- Providing for the modification of reserve zones around Class 1 and 2 Haida Traditional Forest Features to address safety concerns or to protect these features from windfall.
- Allowing for the alteration or removal of a reserve zone protecting Type I and Type II fish habitats to allow for road and bridge construction, or to address safety concerns, if there is no alternative route. An intergovernmental process must be completed, an adaptive management plan must be developed and implemented, an assessment of risk to the fish stream must be completed by a qualified professional, and the integrity of the fish habitat must be maintained.