Nuxalk Nation

Unpermitted Logging On-Reserve

By Nuxalk Nation on May 9, 2024

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For Immediate Release to the Nuxalk Community

May 9, 2024

Message from Nuxalk Chief & Council - RE: Unpermitted Logging On-Reserve

Nuxalk Territory (Bella Coola) - On April 17, 2024, Nuxalk Chief & Council delivered a letter to a community member who was actively logging on Nuxalk Indian Reserve lands which were not permitted.

The issue regarding the significant unsanctioned logging done on Nuxalk Indian Reserve Lands is an issue that Nuxalk Chief & Council takes seriously.

The issues of logging that we as elected leadership are faced with from this specific unpermitted logging are:

  • There have been several attempts to request that this unpermitted logging and milling activity stop on Nuxalk Indian Reserve. These include attempts by family as well as Chief & Council.
  • This logging activity has seriously affected many salmon spawning grounds. These effects are caused by logged/fallen trees which are leftover streams and leaving little water access for salmon revitalization.
  • There were motor vehicles driven through active spawning streams for logging purposes which damaged salmon-bearing streams.
  • The community member fell 7 culturally modified trees which are significant pieces of evidence of our existence as Nuxalk people before the first white explorer.
  • From their logging, there was an increased amount of forest floor debris that increased wildfire risk. This is especially concerning as the site is near the highway and fish-bearing streams.
  • It is not currently known that if this logging has affected a conservation area at, what is known by Nuxalkmc as, the pond.
  • The community member left toxic waste and garbage in a vulnerable site from the logging activity. Our Nuxalk Guardian program removed over 30 bags of garbage from the logged site where they not only logged but also where they lived.
  • They logged adjacent to the main Bella Coola River. The logging they did in this area removes trees that provide stability which in turn could cause significant erosion when removed.
  • Once they fell trees in the site, they also milled them. This activity included selling the milled lumber to community members and also to non-Nuxalk members.
  • They had non-Nuxalk members assisting with milling and delivering lumber.

As you can see, from this list of concerns, we as leaders are confronted with how to provide remedies. So, it was Nuxalk Nation Chief & Council’s decision to act on this matter quickly and appropriately.

This message is to provide Nuxalk community members with an update about the activity that happened along the highway on April 17, 2024.