Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve And Haida Heritage Site

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Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site

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Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, often referred to simply as Gwaii Haanas, is located in the southernmost Haida Gwaii (formerly known as Queen Charlotte Islands), off the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Gwaii Haanas protects an archipelago of 138 islands, the largest being Moresby Island and the southernmost being Kunghit Island.

The park was the subject of a short film in 2011's National Parks Project, directed by Scott Smith and scored by Sarah Harmer, Jim Guthrie and Bry Webb.

Establishing Gwaii Haanas

From the 1970s through the early 1980s, plans to expand logging to Burnaby Island led to controversy, and the first concerted efforts to protect Gwaii Haanas. The "South Moresby Wilderness Proposal" was drawn up in an effort to stem natural resource exploitation.

To prevent logging, the Haida Nation designated the "Haida Heritage Site" in 1985, encompassing roughly the southern third of the archipelago. Importantly, the Heritage Site included a swath of land and sea, both terrestrial and marine areas. However, logging continued, amidst legal and political battles. In 1987, logging ended when the governments of Canada and British Columbia signed the South Moresby Memorandum of Understanding.

This accord led to the South Moresby Agreement a year later, which created South Moresby National Park Reserve. It was not a full national park; it was...
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