Banks Nii Łuutiksm Conservancy is part of the greater Banks Island, a large, isolated, exposed and wild island with a number of scenic, safe inlets and anchorages. Banks Island is part of Milbanke Strandflat, a flat low plain, underlain by granite. The topography of this large coastal island is low-lying, but rugged and striated by frequent well-marked lineaments occupied by large expanses of muskeg, where drainage is poor. The conservancy also contains a number of small lakes. This area is important for the traditional harvest of intertidal marine resources by the Gitxaala Nation.
Other nearby protected areas include: Lax Kul Nii Luutiksm/Bonilla Conservancy, 6 km to the west; Gitxaala Nii Luutiksm/Kitkatla Conservancy, 15 km to the north; Pa-aat Conservancy on northern Pitt Island, 25 km to the east; and, Monckton Nii Luutiksm Conservancy, 20 km to the southeast. These are all remote backcountry conservancies that include large terrestrial and marine components, except Pa-aat Conservancy, which has a limited coastline.
Banks Nii Łuutiksm Conservancy is one of a number of areas that were identified for conservancy status from the North Coast Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP). The Gitxaala Nation has identified interests in Banks Nii Łuutiksm Conservancy. This conservancy was designated in 2006.
The Banks Nii Łuutiksm Conservancy is comprised of 15,585 hectares of upland and 3,536 hectares of foreshore for a total of 19,121 hectares. It is located approximately 20 km south of Kitkatla/Gitxaala and 60 km southwest of Prince Rupert. The conservancy covers the northwest portion of Banks Island. Access to the conservancy is primarily by boat and there are a number of sheltered inlets suitable for anchoring.
Banks Nii Łuutiksm Conservancy helps protect the areas biological diversity and natural environments by protecting representative coastal flora and fauna, plant communities and animal species at risk, and special features, particularly lowland coastal muskeg (bogs and fens) and bog forests, limestone features, extensive kelp beds, small estuaries, marine invertebrates, and seabird and shorebird feeding and moulting areas. Together with nearby Lax Kul Nii Luutiksm/Bonilla and Gitxaala Nii Luutiksm/Kitkatla conservancies, Banks Nii Łuutiksm Conservancy protects over 48 000 ha of terrestrial and marine habitats on the outer coast.
Extensive canopy-forming kelp stands occur on the northern and western marine coastline of Banks Island, and provide important habitat for a diverse community of marine invertebrates and fish. The canopy-forming species include giant kelp and bull kelp. Currently, giant kelp is the most important commercially harvested marine plant on the BC coast and is utilized primarily for the herring spawn-on-kelp fishery. Most of the licences for the spawn-on-kelp fishery are communally held by First Nations.
The Banks Nii Łuutiksm Conservancy area has a long history of use by First Nations groups. Several archaeological sites (fish traps, fish weirs) registered with the BC Archaeological Branch are located in the conservancy. Additional archaeological sites are likely present but archaeological inventories are incomplete. Banks Nii Łuutiksm Conservancy helps protect a historically and currently used area and its associated cultural values, and to provide First Nations with an opportunity to conduct social, ceremonial and cultural uses.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.