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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Adrian Dorst
  General Description   The Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, totaling approximately 349,947 hectares, is situated on Vancouver Island on the west coast of British Columbia. A diverse range of ecosystems exists within the biosphere reserve boundaries, including temperate coastal rainforest, ocean, rocky coastal shores. Nine of the large forested valleys remain untouched by logging or other industrial development. The area’s temperate rainforest, lakes, rivers, alpine peaks, provide habitat for a vast array of species, a significant number of which is endangered or rare. Given that development is increasingly resulting in fragmentation of forest and alpine ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity in coastal rainforests, this biosphere reserve provides a refuge and center for natural dispersion and re-establishment of species.
First Nations and local communities are integrally involved in all resource planning and management initiatives in the region. The permanent population of the biosphere reserve is less than 3,000 and is about half Nuu-chah-nulth and half of non-aboriginal descent (1999). Nuu-chah-nulth people have lived in Clayoquot Sound for millennia. Their culture is linked to the marine and terrestrial resources of the region, and is centred on the relationships between people and the natural environment. Their principles and traditional resource use practices continue to guide management decisions in the area today.
There has been a shift in economical activities from a primary dependence on logging and fishing to a more diversified regional economy that also includes tourism, aquaculture and value-added manufacturing of marine and forest products. Growing reliance on tourism has discouraged logging or other resource extraction activities at unsustainable levels, promoting biodiversity and conservation.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate rainforests including marine/coastal component
  Major habitats & land cover types   Coastal temperate rainforest dominated principally by western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), as well as western red cedar (Thuja plicata), amabilis fir (Abies amabilis), western yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) etc.; temperate rainforest over 900 metres above sea level dominated by mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana), western yellow cedar and amabilis fir; alpine tundra with a limited range of alpine plant species; streams, rivers and freshwater lakes; marine coastal ecosystems including eelgrass (Zostera marina) and bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana)
  Location   49°00' to 49°35'N; 125°25' to 126°35'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   349,947
  Core area(s)   110,281 (of which marine: 19,869)
  Buffer zone(s)   60,416 (of which marine: 1,680)
  Transition area(s) when given   179,250 (of which marine: 62,693)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -55 to +1,804
  Year designated   2000
  Administrative authorities   Clayoquot Biosphere Trust
  Brief description   Terrain stability, landscapes, landslides
Hydroriparian systems and water quality
Vegetation, terrestrial ecosystems
Fish and fish habitats
Wildlife and wildlife habitats
Marine species, habitats and processes
Monitoring of forestry and fishing practices
Community-based, multi-phased economic development and
diversification study
Monitoring of impact of tourism and ecotourism
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Geomorphology, habitat, hydrology.
  Biodiversity   Ecosystem assessment, fishes, vegetation studies/plant cover, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Archaeology/Paleontology, economic studies, fishery/fisheries, forestry, monitoring methodologies, social/socio-economic aspects, tourism.
  Integrated monitoring   Impact and risk studies/Environmental impact, monitoring/methodologies.
  Contact address   David Fraser
Clayoquot Biosphere Trust
Box 67
V0R 2Z0 Tofino, British Columbia
  Telephone   (1.250) 725 2219
  Fax   (1.250) 726 4720
  Web site

Last updated: 10/05/2007

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