Damaxyaa Heritage Site/Conservancy
About This Conservancy
The people of the Haida Nation have occupied and collected food and materials from Damaxyaa since time immemorial. A seasonal camp known as Kil was originally located at the mouth of Haans Creek on Shingle Bay just to the north of the heritage site/conservancy. Another seasonal camp known as Skena (Sge’na) was located just to the east of the heritage site/conservancy on the shores of Hecate Strait.
The village of Sandspit is the closest community to Damaxyaa Heritage Site/Conservancy. It borders on the northern and eastern sides of the heritage site/conservancy.
Conservancy Size: 829 hectares (822 hectares of upland and 7 hectares of foreshore)
Location: Damaxyaa Heritage Site/Conservancy is located near the northern end of North Moresby Island, immediately south and west of the community of Sandspit. It is part of an archipelago-wide system of protected areas that includes Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, several provincial parks and ecological reserves, and ten other heritage site/conservancies. In total half of the land base of Haida Gwaii is now in protected status. It includes a portion of the Haans and Agnes creeks’ watersheds. The heritage site/conservancy also contains most sections of the popular Louise Dover Trail that winds it way through old growth cedar and hemlock forests.
The terrestrial component of the heritage site/conservancy covers 822 hectares. The elevation range is from sea level to 289 metres. The marine component/foreshore area covers an area of 7 hectares. The marine foreshore area has high intertidal values with surfgrass habitat, and eelgrass beds, kelp forest areas and eighteen estuaries that spill into some of the most productive marine habitat on Haida Gwaii. The nearshore marine area is a small portion of the overwintering habitat for Brant Geese where they feed primarily on eel grass.
Here is a map indicating the location of the conservancy: Haida Gwaii Map
Nature and CultureThis heritage site/conservancy contains a number of recorded cultural values. These include at least 668 known culturally modified trees and one registered archaeological site. Many of these areas have not been inventoried thoroughly which indicates that the heritage site/conservancy likely contains many other unrecorded cultural heritage and archaeological sites.
The cultural heritage values in the heritage site/conservancy include opportunities for the ongoing continuance of Haida culture through traditional use of the area. Some examples of traditional use within Damaxyaa Heritage Site/Conservancy may include monumental cedar and cedar bark harvesting, medicinal plant harvesting, hunting, fishing, trapping and food gathering. The heritage site/conservancy also provides a place for the physical expression of culture through monumental art such as totems.
Damaxyaa Heritage Site/Conservancy is located within the Queen Charlotte Lowlands terrestrial ecosection (which is well represented by protected areas on Haida Gwaii), and the marine component that has been recommended for protection is within the Hecate Strait marine ecosection.
The easternmost portion of the heritage site/conservancy is made up of clastic sedimentary rocks and the western-most area is predominately marine sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Near the centre of the conservancy/heritage site is a rare outcrop of relatively young intrusive rocks.
The centre of the heritage site/conservancy is densely forested and dominated by late seral Western redcedar and Western hemlock forests along a north-facing bluff. The western section of the heritage site/conservancy is drained by Haans Creek, a salmonid stream with highly productive riparian old-growth. Raised linear beach ridges can be found in the easternmost areas of the heritage site/conservancy. These relic marine shoreline deposits are now dominated by nutrient-poor Lodgepole pine/Yellow cedar-Sphagnum ecosystem associations and swamp wetlands.
Management PlanningManagement Planning Information
- The management plan for Damaxyaa Heritage Site/Conservancy was approved in 2011 by both BC Parks and the Haida Nation.
- Damaxyaa Heritage Site/Conservancy Management Plan - July 2011 [PDF 1.02MB]