Pillar Rock is among the most outstanding geological features and most challenging campsites in Duu Guusd. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Pillar Rock is among the most outstanding geological features and most challenging campsites in Duu Guusd. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Duu Guusd expands to include creek near Rennell Sound

More than three decades since the Haida Nation first resolved to protect it, Duu Guusd has grown to include Pitch Creek / K’aas Gandlaay.

The 1,200-hectare area near Rennell Sound had been protected by a forest reserve, but until recently, outstanding logging agreements prevented it from becoming part of the larger 230,000-hectare Duu Guusd heritage site and conservancy. The area features old-growth cedar and Haida archaeological sites, and its inclusion was recommended last year by the Haida Gwaii Management Council.

First designated for protection by the Haida House of Assembly in 1982, Duu Guusd covers both land and sea from the west side of Naden Harbour to Langara Island and down to Rennell Sound. It protects seabird nesting colonies, 19 estuaries, more than a third of the kelp forests on Haida Gwaii, as well as several hundred culturally modified trees and at least 39 Haida village sites or seasonal camps.

“Though now seen as a wilderness, Duu Guusd was once the home for thousands of people and traces of their vibrant culture are enshrined across the landscape,” said the Duu Guusd management plan.

“Duu Guusd will continue to provide for present and future Haida access to those areas for ongoing social, ceremonial and cultural purposes.”