Clayoquot Action

Leanne Hodges’ Clayoquot Wolf

When Clayoquot Action began looking for an artist to design our logo this spring, our high dream was to ask Leanne Hodges, a signature member to the Artists for Conservation Society, if she could help out. Leanne is a talented artist, naturalist, and wild salmon warrior. With characteristic enthusiasm she agreed, and asked what sort of image we were thinking of.

One image kept surfacing—a coastal wolf with a wild coho spawner in its mouth. Leanne has worked as a fisheries guardian in Clayoquot Sound. She first witnessed wolves teaching their pups to eat chum salmon while stream-walking in Mosquito Harbour on Meares Island Tribal Park—a memorable experience! Read More

west coast kids near tar sands

Ocean Beaches, Tar Sands


John Rampanen is a member of Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations. He lives with his family on the land in Clayoquot Sound. They are currently visiting northern Alberta.

I come from a world away. Pristine waters cascade down scarred mountainsides into seemingly endless ocean waters. I am Nuu-chah-nulth. My people have forged a life on the bountiful western coast of Vancouver Island since time immemorial. Recent history has introduced a plethora of environmental concerns stemming from the over-exploitation of natural resources. Forestry, fishing, mining… these are the profanities uttered unto our land that have continuously caused audacious destruction to the land, waters, animals and peoples.

Today, I am in a foreign land. A visitor that has retraced the steps of my wife’s Cree lineage to the marshy woodlands of northern Alberta. My home is on the ocean-side but her roots run deep throughout this territory. Together we seek out knowledge and truth from a way of life that is nearly forgotten. As we walk upon this strange and altered land we pick up little bits and pieces of a world that was once full of life and beauty. A way of life that was once in tune with the surrounding environment. We quickly discover that these two worlds are not so different.

Our arrival in Northern Alberta is ushered in with torrential downpours of rain. A blessing for us, as it reminds us of home and the ocean, but in this far off land it is an omen and is met with fear and uncertainty by the locals. As the waters rise, so too does our consciousness. Tarsands development, profit before land and people, destruction of the lands and waters comes at an unexpected price. Earth Mother has a way of reminding us that we are not always in control. There are powers beyond our measure… powers that have the means to correct manmade mistakes… and that power has awoken.

naas-a-thluk “takes care of the day”
(John Rampanen)
Spring/Summer 2013

http://www.healingwalk.org. On July 5-6 people will come together from coast to coast to join First Nations and Metis in the Healing Walk, a gathering focused on healing the environment and the people who are suffering from tar sands expansion. 
#IdleNoMore #INM #SovSummer #HealingWalk

Run the WildSide

Run the WildSide

Clayoquot Action had a blast on the WildSide 10 km walk on Flores Island. Tara Atleo, Ahousaht First Nations member and WildSide Trail manager, describes the event. You don’t need to wait until next year’s Trail Run to enjoy the WildSide. Head up to Ahousat this summer! wildsidetrail.com 

On June 22rd, 2013 the 2nd Annual Run the WildSide trail run was hosted in the Ahousaht village of Maaqtusiis.  The events this year included a 10km run/walk, and a newly added 22km half marathon, which took runners across the entire length of the WildSide Trail. Sixty seven runners took part in both events, with a higher number participating from Ahousaht and Hesquiaht thanks to some community training programs leading up to the events.

The idea to host a run on the WildSide Trail came in 2010 when the office was first opened as a community development project aimed at creating a cultural eco-tourism industry in Ahousaht.  The idea didn’t come to life, however, until 2011, when well-known Ahousaht athlete and runner Travis Thomas joined the WildSide staff and was asked to spearhead the event coordination for 2012.  The First Annual Trail Run brought 65 participants, 54 of which were from outside of the community. The event was a success, and the feedback from participants gave us confidence to continue planning it as an annual event.

The main goal of this event is to share the trail and territories with visitors in a new way, as well as promote health, wellness, and use of the trail in the community.  The success of the events could not have been achieved without the help of the volunteers and sponsors, who helped us to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all participants.  We are grateful for all of the support, and look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Tara Atleo
WildSide Trail Manager
@wildsidetrail

Rally outside Imperial Metals AGM May 2013

Imperial Metals AGM Rally!

A crowd of 50 rallied May 29th outside the prestigious Terminal City Club in downtown Vancouver to voice their opposition to Imperial Metals’ proposal to build 2 mines in Clayoquot Sound.

“We are here to send Imperial a clear message that heavy mining activity is unacceptable in Clayoquot, and that environmental values and First Nations rights and concerns must be respected,” said Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee.

Imperial Metals is a Vancouver-based mining company who acquired mineral rights in Clayoquot Sound in 2009. Their mine proposals in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve include the Catface Mountain open-pit copper mine in Ahousaht First Nations’ un-ceded territory, and the Fandora Gold mine in Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations’ un-ceded territory.

The Fandora proposal involves re-activating an old gold mine in the Tranquil Valley that was closed back in the 60s. With gold prices so high, there is a global trend towards re-opening old mines. Imperial Metals is currently applying to drill up to 10 test holes, with an average depth of 500 metres.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations do not support mining in their territories and do not want any exploration done by Imperial. “Imperial Metals’ proposed gold mine at the Fandora site would have massive negative impacts on our Nuu-chah-nulth ways and our attempts to ensure the well-being of our Tla-o-qui-aht Peoples and our environment” said Terry Dorward, Tla-o-qui-aht Councillor.

It is unthinkable that 20 years after the mass protests of 1993 that Imperial Metals is proposing two mines in Clayoquot Sound. These mines would damage the landscape and present a toxic risk to the salmon that feed the ancient forests—a toxic legacy that would endure for centuries.

The rally showed Imperial Metals shareholders that they will face massive public opposition to their plans to mine in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Clayoquot Sound sea kayakers in Tofino harbour. Sander Jain photo.

Introducing Clayoquot Action

Joe Foy, the Wilderness Committee’s National Campaign Director, has been the driving force behind many of their campaigns, including the Stein and Carmanah Valleys. Joe’s passion for the wild is inspired and informed by the thousands of hours he has spent exploring BC’s wild places.

There are few places on the planet that vibrate with an awe-inspiring abundance of life in the way that Clayoquot Sound does.

Moss-hung ancient forests grace the land, with some trees as tall as a skyscraper, as wide as your living room and as old as a European cathedral. Clayoquot’s many bays and inlets team with fish, seabirds and whales. Black bears roll rocks on the beaches, looking for tasty seafood snacks.

When European traders first sailed into Clayoquot Sound in the 18th century, Nuu-chah-nulth villages had already been there for many centuries.

Several decades ago, the Nuu-chah-nulth people launched a successful court challenge to prevent logging that threatened the forests of Meares Island. Around the same time the Tofino-based group Friends of Clayoquot Sound was formed to counter the push by multi-national logging companies who wanted to clearcut the region.

The 1990s saw the largest anti-logging protests in Canadian history happening in Clayoquot Sound.

Today, new threats stalk Clayoquot. Oil tanker traffic, salmon farms and industrial mine proposals threaten to undo the good work of generations of Clayoquot defenders.

But now, 20 years after Clayoquot Summer 1993, a new local group – Clayoquot Action – has been formed to help face these new challenges head on. Clayoquot Action’s founders, Dan Lewis and Bonny Glambeck, were key organizers of those 1990s protests. For the past 25 years they have lived in Clayoquot Sound as keen kayakers, naturalists and ecotourism operators. Dan and Bonny know that although environmental challenges are global by nature, the best place to bring about change is locally, at the community level.

Clayoquot Sound is such a special place. And with the help of Clayoquot Action – may it ever remain so.

Please support Clayoquot Action’s efforts generously through the giving of your time and/or donations.

For the wild…
Joe Foy
Wilderness Committee National Campaign Director

Salmon Confidential inspires Clayoquot Action!

Clayoquot Action hosted filmmaker Twyla Roscovich and wild salmon researcher and advocate Alexandra Morton in Tofino in April. The pair toured BC this spring with Roscovich’s new film Salmon Confidential. They spoke to a sold-out house at the Clayoquot Community Theatre in Tofino after being welcomed to the territory by members of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations.

In the film Alexandra Morton calls for citizens to stand up for wild salmon by forming Departments of Wild Salmon in local regions. Clayoquot Action is responding to this challenge by launching our Wild Salmon Virus Sampling Project.

Salmon feedlots, like any factory farm, are breeding grounds for disease. When a salmon feedlot has an outbreak, billions of viral particles are shed every hour. These particles are carried far and wide by ocean currents. Because wild fish breath by passing water over their gills, it’s not difficult for viruses to enter their bloodstream and voila! the disease has transferred from farmed to wild salmon. The solution is simple: remove salmon farms from wild salmon migration routes. Act now to protect Clayoquot’s wild salmon!

Beginning in late summer and early fall, Clayoquot Action volunteers will hit the rivers to sample wild salmon for the presence of viruses introduced by salmon farms. Stay tuned for further details…