The Ugʷiwa’/Cape Caution Conservancy is a narrow strip of land along the mainland coast spanning from Allison Harbour in the south to Takush Harbour in the north. The conservancy boarders Queen Charlotte Strait. It contains exceptional beaches, scenic landscapes, large islands, small islets, rocky reefs, narrow passages, natural harbours, and one of the world’s fastest tidal rapids.
The conservancy presents both challenges and opportunities for recreational users. The waters off the coast can be dangerous, but there are a number of protected bays and coves, and sand beaches awaiting cruisers and kayakers.
The conservancy was identified for consideration as a protected area during the Central Coast Land and Resource Management Plan planning process. Following Government-to-Government discussions between the Province and First Nations, the central coast land use decisions (February 7, 2006) confirmed that the outer coast, from Smith Inlet to Allison Harbour, would become a conservancy. This stretch of the central coast was legally designated as Ugʷiwa’/Cape Caution Conservancy in Spring 2007.
Conservancy Size: 25,685 hectares – 241 hectares of upland and 15,444 hectares of foreshore.
Date Established: May 31, 2007
The Ugʷiwa’/Cape Caution Conservancy is located just South of Smith Inlet on British Columbia’s Central Coast. It is 56 km of Port Hardy, 196 km northwest of Campbell River and 400 km northwest of Vancouver.
The conservancy is within the traditional territory of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nation. There are known traditional use areas and significant cultural sites in the area. In addition, pre-contact and historic settlements in the areas of Takush Harbour and Allison Harbour indicate the strong association between First Nations and the resources that these lands provided. These areas continue to hold special significance to First Nations today.
The conservancy’s coastline is exposed to the full effect of Pacific waves breaking directly on beaches and rocky headlands. Breaking surf is a dramatic and visually stunning feature of this coast. A variety of beaches are included in the conservancy and range in types from broad and sandy to rock and gravel.
Botanically unique vegetation patterns, principally those associated with coastal bog forests, are found in the conservancy. The old growth forests in the conservancy are in pristine condition, as most have never been logged.
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.