A stream flowing to the ocean off the west side of Vancouver Island traces a battle line. It’s the last uncut salmon stream in Nuchatlaht territory, what all of the healthy coastal rainforest streams here used to be like.
Tribal leaders of the Nuchatlaht Nation, with fewer than 200 enrolled members, want to establish salmon parks here to protect this land and water and the forests that give them life from commercial logging.
The fight has rumbled all the way to B.C.’s Supreme Court, with a decision expected at any time.
These parks would conserve whole ecosystems, anchored by old-growth trees, that may soon be lost as clear-cut logging pushes closer.
The success of these efforts wouldn’t be seen today or tomorrow — but as long as 500 years from now. When nature recovers, and the salmon return.