"Salmon Coming Home"
A Clayoquot Restoration Camp

June 27 to September 25, 1995

Much has been accomplished by the Friends of Clayoquot Sound, its many thousands of supporters, and the Friends of Friends groups, to bring worldwide attention to the unsustainable practice of clearcut logging. However, in the process, many deep divisions have been created in our communities. Friends have become strangers, locals no longer talk to locals. Tension hangs heavy over our relationships.

The time has come to transform the manner in which we do our work to protect the ecosystems of Clayoquot Sound. One of the things we all have in common is an interest in seeing Clayoquot Sound's future put on a more ecologically sustainable path which is ultimately managed by the local communities themselves in the context of a just settlement of Native land title. Towards this end, the newly formed Cascadia Restoration Society (in partnership widh the Friends of Clayoquot Sound) is organizing a restoration and education camp in a highly visible clearcut in Tla-o-qui-aht territory on the highway to Long Beach, midway between Port Alberni and Tofino. This project has the support of Tla-o-qui-aht Chief Councilor Francis Frank and Hereditary Chiefs Ray Seitcher and George Frank. We hope that the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation and other First Nations will be actively involved in the project.

Once upon a time, chum and coho salmon spawned in the creek now called Hydro Hill West. An unbroken web of life connected the salmon, the forest, and its many resident creatures, including humans. Clearcut logging and road building destroyed the creek and its tributaries and the salmon no longer have a home, the forest dwellers have little food, and the forest floor has been exposed to pounding rain, summer sun, and fierce coastal winds. Establishing a restoration camp in this small watershed is a way for us to heal our relationships by working together to heal the land.

Project Overview:

The camp will accommodate about 200 residents throughout the summer, for periods of 3 days to 3 weeks. Everyone's invited: First Nations people, forest workers (employed and unemployed), environmentalists, fishers and fish farmers, tree planters, youth groups, elders, women's groups, local business people, scientists, students and teachers, medics and healers, and many others. Small work groups, led by experienced guides, will tackle a variety of restoration projects in the clearcut. The work activities will be organized in such a way as to ensure that absolutely anyone, young or old, weak or strong, can play a significant role.

Ecological restoration cannot bring back the ancient rainforests. But what we can do is help prevent topsoil from being washed down to Kennedy Lake, thus helping the watershed return to a self-regulating equilibrium. One of the most damaging legacies of clearcut logging is the roads, a leading source of erosion. We would focus our attention on the inactive roads by opening up the drainages which had once crossed the toads unhindered, but are now blocked by clogged culverts or redirected to other drainages for the benefit of the road's design. We might pull boulders and woody debris out of small stream beds, and use this debris to create temporary stream channel walls to protect the drainages. On these constructed walls and some bare slopes, we would plant fast-growing alder starts so that they would eventually become living structures once again. In creeks where salmon used to spawn, but which are now filled many feet deep with tons and tons of rock and woody debris, we might remove the debris and/or open the channels. We will give additional attention to the creeks' riparian zones as these areas will have to endure repeated flash fiooding for many years until the shallow soils on the steep walls of the watershed are once again held in place by a living mat of wild rainforest.

Numerous workshops, seminars, teach-in's and conferences will be presented throughout the summer which will inform our work and provide dhe historical, cultural, and political context. We have invited some of the finest leaders from Clayoquot Sound and throughout North America to share their expertise on forest ecology, Native land title, tenure reform, restoration and permaculture design, bioregionalism, native plant identification, ecoforestry, and much more. Much of the workshop material and information gathered will be available on our World Wide Web site on the Internet. Friends in communities all over the world will be able to interact with the camp, use the information to develop similar projects, and help us by distributing information in their own communities.

The Friends of Clayoquot Sound will be leading Forest Watch workshops, field trips and trainings which will enable hundreds of people to monitor Ihe logging companies' forest practices for violations of existing laws and guidelines. These people will then be able to return to their homes to start similar programmes in their own watersheds.

Pending permission from dhe Toquaht Nation, we plan to build a trail from the back of the clearcut to a small intact watershed in the Toquart River valley. The short walk through the clearcut into the ancient forest will provide visitors with a rare opportunity to experience a yellow cedar forest. We anticipate that thousands of tourists and many journalists will take that walk, which we will be setting up as an educational self-guided tour.

Working Groups:

The day-to-day operation of the camp will be run primarily by volunteers, and much help will also be needed in the weeks leading up to opening day. Before you arrive, please think about which of the following groups you would like to join: Ecological Restoration Design and Implementation, Restoration and Forest Ecology Exhlbitlon, Permaculture Design, Construction of Temporary Buildings, Traffic Calming/Highway Safety, Shuttle Bus Driving (class 4 license required), Media, Public Outreach, Tour Guiding, Childcare, Kitchen, Site Office, Front Gate Kiosk/Welcoming, Facilitators and Mediators Collective, Security, Health and Medical Emergencies, Plant Nursery, Social Events, and Landscape Art.

Proposed Timeline:

early June - Public meetings held in several communities, such as Victoria, Vancouver, Courtenay, Nanaimo, and Vancouver Island's west coast communities.

27 June - "Salmon Coming Home: A Clayoquot Restoration Camp" opens for the summer.

1 July - Official opening ceremonies.

July through September - Ongoing restoration work throughout the watershed, trail building, forest watch training, tours, and workshops. In addition, a three-day Watershed Restoration Conference/Gathering will be held in the latter part of the summer.

2 to 4 September - Art Auction.

23 September - Autumnal Equinox. Time for the big closing party/festival.

25 September - Camp formally closes. A small group remains to monitor the watershed during the winter nnonths of heavy rainfall and to repair erosion controls damaged by storms. If the Camp has functioned well and has met the needs of local communities, it will be reopened in 1996 for follow-up work.

Thank you for your interest. For more information on how you can become involved, please contact -

Paul Cienfuegos or Joanna Gislason in Tofino
phone: 604-725-4218; fax: 604-725-2527; e-mail: focs@web.apc.org (please specify 'for Paul C or Joanna G' in the title); and address: Box 587, Tofino B.C. V0R 2Z0
Ernie Yacub in Cumberland
phone: 604-336-8155 or 2646; e-mail: yacinfo@mars.ark.com; and address: Box 569, Cumberland B.C. VOR 1S0