Keepers of Cheewaht: Restoring a Vancouver Island ecosystem for generations to come

By Alexandra Mehl
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
December 7, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Vancouver Island, inland from the West Coast Trail, is a quiet and remote lake brimming with vibrant ecosystems. The Cheewaht Lake watershed provides a home for dense and rare biodiversity. Tucked between Nitinat Lake and Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, Cheewaht Lake watershed is on the traditional territory of Ditidaht First Nation, who, for thousands of years, managed the area from villages along the coast at the mouth of the Cheewaht River. …When Mike Wright, a registered professional biologist…, began research at Cheewaht Lake watershed in 1984, he said the streams were in “pristine form” prior to industrial logging. That same year the industry logged northeast of Cheewaht Lake up to the park boundary, though it didn’t impact Sockeye tributaries, said Wright. In 1986 logging in the upper reaches of a stream leading to Cheewaht Lake started, he continued. This forestry activity affected S-2, one of the three streams that feed the lake.

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