Wah’nah’juss Hilth’hooiss (Meares Island) contains spectacular ancient rainforests that make Clayoquot Sound legendary around the world. Located in Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht territory near Tofino, the area has been stewarded since time immemorial by Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. With some of the world’s largest and oldest cedar trees, the island has provided medicines, drinking water, cedar for carving and many other valuable gifts to the people of the area.
In the late 1970s, the Tla-o-qui-aht became concerned about massive clearcutting of the island’s old-growth forests by logging company MacMillan Bloedel. They set up blockades on the island. Friends of Clayoquot Sound was formed by other concerned residents who joined them in opposing the industrial logging. Sierra Club BC members including Vicky Husband began educating people about the area and advocating for protection.
On Earth Day in 1984, Chief Moses Martin stood on the blockades and declared Meares Island a Tribal Park. Courts ruled that no development could happen on the island until outstanding Nuu-chah-nulth land claims were resolved, and the island’s forests remain intact today.