Located on the northwest side of Princess Royal Island and connected to Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy, Moksgm’ol/Chapple-Cornwall Conservancy protects the habitat of the Kermode (Spirit) Bear, rare karst forest ecosystems, old-growth forests, a diversity of wildlife habitats, several small lakes, wetlands and streams as well as important salmon spawning habitat. A number of small bays and inlets are contained within this conservancy. One such inlet, Emily Carr Inlet/Sager Islets, contains high biodiversity values, including rare plant species, cave and karst topography. The forest is atypical of outer coastal forests, being exceptionally productive due to the presence of marble and limestone.
The conservancy and adjacent areas also have important recreational values to local and international visitors. Floating lodges, fishing (fresh and saltwater), heli-hiking, bear viewing and safe boat anchorages are some of the recreational uses.
The area also contains several culturally significant sites to local First Nations, including old village sites, traditional use areas, and several archaeological sites. One village site, Kayel, is still used by the Gitga’at First Nation each spring as a seaweed harvesting and fishing site.
Established Date: July 13, 2006
Conservancy Size: 29,116 ha
There are opportunities to fish for trout, char and salmon in the streams and lakes of this conservancy. Please consult the appropriate non-tidal fishing regulations for more information. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate license.
Black Bears, wolves, waterfowl, eagles, spawning salmon and the occasional deer can be seen in the conservancy. Humpback whales, killer whales, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific White-sided dolphins, sea lions and harbour seals can also be seen in the adjacent marine waters.
This conservancy protects a population and habitat of Kermode bears. The Kermode bear ( Ursus americanus kermodei ), also known as the “Spirit Bear”, is a subspecies of the American black bear living in the central and north coast of British Columbia and noted for about 1/10 of their population having white or cream-colored fur. This colour variant is due to a unique recessive trait in their gene pool – they are neither albino nor related to polar bears. The Kermode bear was named after Francis Kermode, former director of the Royal B.C. Museum who researched the species.
Because of their ghost-like appearance, “Spirit Bear” hold a prominent place in the First Nations mythology of the area and is known to them as Moksgm’ol. During the February 2006 Throne Speech by the Government of British Columbia, the Kermode bear was designated as British Columbia’s official mammal.
This Conservancy is open to hunting during lawful hunting seasons. For Kermode Bear gene protection, all Black Bear hunting is closed within 1 km of the Whalen Creek Estuary near the northwest end of Princess Royal Island. Please check the BC Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis for more information.
Moksgm’ol/Chapple-Cornwall Conservancy is only accessible by boat, floatplane or helicopter and is located about 35 km south of Hartley Bay and 105 km southwest of Kitimat. It is located along the northwest side of Princess Royal Island.
Kitimat Visitor Information Centre
PO Box 214
2109 Forest Avenue
Kitimat, BC, Canada V8C 2G7
phone: 250-632-6294 or 1-800-664-6554
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.