New coastal old growth forest stroll to connect East and West Bamfield
COURTENAY, 13 October 2021 – The Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community Forest Society (BHCFS) are embarking on a project to create a new hiking trail in the Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community Forest (BHCF) with funding support from the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s (ICET) DIVERSIFY Capital Program.
The Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community Forest Connector Trail Project will provide a land connection between East and West Bamfield, currently connected only by boat. The old growth stroll is a 2.5-kilometre walking route that will provide a complement to existing attractions including the rugged multi-day West Coast Trail, Indigenous culture and tours including the Kii’xin historic site, eco-tourism and marine adventures. The new connector trail will not only create a link between East and West Bamfield, but also offer access to Cape Beale, Keeha Beach and Tapaltos Beach trails.
“The new route is a valuable and sustainable addition which will attract a broader range of trail users seeking shorter strolls in a rare and spectacular old-growth forest,” says ICET Board Chair Aaron Stone. “It’s also an opportunity to address a gap in the tourism market, while supporting new growth and diversification opportunities – both for local hospitality and tourism sectors and the region’s overall visitor attraction potential.”
The envisioned project builds on previous work that created a network of trails within the 360-hectare forest, including 15 km of flagged trails and, more recently, a 2.8 km trail loop. Funding will be used to support trail construction, directional and interpretive signage. The main part of the new trail will be in the community forest and will cross Huu-ay-aht First Nation Treaty Settlement lands at the end of the Bamfield Inlet.
“This is an important project to attract both locals and visitors of different age groups and abilities who are seeking a ‘light adventure’,” says Charlie Clappis, Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community Forest Society President. “By facilitating access to the forest, these new users will also have the opportunity to view the other unique features of the forest – including the bogs, inlets and foreshores – which helps enhance Bamfield as an ecotourism destination.”
The BHCF project is funded from the Destination Trails stream of ICET’s DIVERSIFY Capital Program.
The Trust will contribute $25,000 to the total project cost of $50,000. The project is expected to get underway shortly.
For more information about the DIVERSIFY Capital Program, please see our guidelines and application form: https://www.islandcoastaltrust.ca/capital-funding-programs#diversify
About the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) mission is to create a more diverse and globally competitive Island and Coastal economy. In partnership with local and regional governments, non-profits and Indigenous communities, ICET serves over half a million residents. Funding and support for economic infrastructure and other economic diversification initiatives is delivered through a unique community centered decision-making process. Since inception, ICET has approved more than $55 million in funding for over 280 initiatives. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2600 construction phase jobs and 2750 long-term permanent jobs.
For further information:
Amanda Fortier, Communications Officer
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 232)