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Western Mountains

Natural Region 1


This region is represented by Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (500 km 2 ) and Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (1,495 km 2 ). Pacific Rim, representing the Estevan Coastal Plain portion of this region, is divided into three distinct units: Long Beach, a strip of uninterrupted surf-pounded beach backed by rain forest and including a marine component extending to the 10-fathom line; the Broken Group Islands, consisting of over 100 islands in a marine component; and a narrow strip along 77 kilometres of coastline that includes the challenging West Coast Trail and an inland wilderness watershed known as the Nitinat Triangle.

The first federal-provincial agreement for Pacific Rim was signed in 1970. This agreement was re-negotiated in 1987. Because the area is subject to the comprehensive claim of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and the Ditidaht First Nation, it will be proclaimed as a national park reserve under the National Parks Act, pending the resolution of this claim.

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, encompassing the rain forests and alpine meadows of the southern Queen Charlotte Islands, harbours 39 species of plants and animals not found anywhere else on the globe. Gwaii Haanas, which means "islands of wonder and beauty", is the Haida name for this wilderness archipelago of 138 islands. Accessible only by boat or aircraft, this diverse area harbours over one-quarter of B.C.'s nesting seabirds, high concentrations of bald eagles and peregrine falcons, and Canada's largest sea lion rookery. Vegetation varies from endemic plants of the alpine meadows of the rugged San Christoval Mountains to the towering sitka spruce of coastal rain forests. The interplay of land and marine environments, coupled with the abundance of Haida heritage features, distinguishes this park reserve. The Haida legacy includes the historical village of Ninstints on Anthony Island, a UNESCO cultural World Heritage Site, as well as over 100 inventoried archaeological sites of an estimated total in excess of 450.

Natural Region 1
Natural Region 1

A federal-provincial agreement was signed in 1988 committing Canada and British Columbia to create a national park and an adjacent national marine conservation area. Recognizing that the area falls within the traditional territory of the Haida Nation that will be subject to treaty negotiation, an agreement was negotiated between Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation related to sharing in Pacific Rim planning, operation and management. The National Parks Act is in the process of being amended to establish the national park reserve consistent with the above-mentioned agreements.


National Parks System Plan, 3 rd Edition

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