About CIT  |  Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What was the Coast Information Team?

A.  The Coast Information Team (CIT) was an independent, multidisciplinary group created as part of the implementation of the 2001 CCLCRMP (Central Coast Land and Coastal Resource Management Planning) Phase I Framework Agreement ( 130Kb). The CIT operated under a joint Memorandum of Understanding between these parties to provide one set of scientific resources for various land use decision-making processes during the period January 2002 through March 2004.

Q.  What was the mandate of the CIT?

A.  The mandate of the CIT was to bring together the best available scientific, traditional and local knowledge, environmental expertise, and community experience to develop independent information and analyses to support the development and implementation of ecosystem-based management in the north and central coastal region of British Columbia, including Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands. This information was intended to assist the three subregional Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP) tables and the several First Nations Land Use Planning (LUP) tables in developing practical recommendations to resolve land use and natural resource management issues.

Q.  What did the CIT produce, and when?

A.  The CIT produced the following products and information in final form in spring 2004:

  • an ecosystem-based management framework and planning handbook
  • a hydroriparian planning guide
  • regional and subregional analyses

Draft versions were used by the LRMP planning tables.

The CIT also provided:

  • technical support for pilot projects that investigated local applications of ecosystem-based management (e.g. the Gitga’at and Kitasoo / Xaixais pilot project)
  • additional information to assist Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMPs) and First Nations’ Land Use Plans (LUPs), as described in service agreements.

Q.  Who appointed the CIT?

A.  The CIT was established by the Provincial Government of British Columbia, First Nations governments, the forest industry, environmental groups, and communities. These parties funded the CIT, along with the federal government which began its support in March 2003.


Q.  When was the CIT established?

A.  The CIT became operational in January 2002.

Q.  When was the CIT ’s work completed?

A.  The CIT was officially disbanded by the end of March 2004. The CIT Secretariat continued administrative work, such as completing the CIT website and receiving and formatting final reports, through May 2004.

Q.  What area was the CIT concerned with?

A.  The CIT analysis area covered the central basins of the British Columbia coast from Dixon Entrance and Portland Canal in the north to Discovery Passage and Bute Inlet in the south, extending inland to the height of land. The region’s 11 million hectares comprised:

Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands, the area covered by the Haida Gwaii/QCI LUP

  1 million ha
The area covered by the North Coast LRMP
  2 million ha
The area covered by the Central Coast LRMP
  5 million ha
Adjacent areas of the mainland and Vancouver Island to complete coverage of the coastal basins from Portland Inland to Queen Charlotte Sound and the waters north of the Strait of Georgia.
  3 million ha

Q.  Who lives in the CIT analysis area?

A.  The CIT analysis area comprised the traditional territories of 26 First Nations (aboriginal peoples) in four linguistic groups: Haida, Coast Tsimshian, Heiltsuk-Wuikala, Coast Salish, and Kwakwala. The total aboriginal population is about 26,000, with approximately 11,000 on reserve and 15,000 off reserve (some in the region, others in metropolitan centres in the south). Other communities in the region have a total population of about 90,000; only three with populations greater than 10,000 (Prince Rupert and Kitimat on the mainland and Campbell River on Vancouver Island).

Q.  What is the basis of the local economy?

A.  Historically, the monetary economy has been dominated by logging, fishing, and mining activities. At present, the public sector is the largest employer, economic opportunities are limited, and unemployment levels are high. Fishing plays a major role in the subsistence economy. Emphasis is increasingly shifting to the emerging aquaculture sector, which has become a player in the regional economy.

Q.  What land use planning processes were undertaken in the CIT region?

A.  Three major land use planning processes were underway when the CIT was established: the Central Coast LRMP, the North Coast LRMP, and the Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands LUP. Their purpose was to enable all parties—the Provincial Government, First Nations, and a variety of stakeholders (local communities and governments, forestry, environment, tourism, mining, recreation, labour, small business, fishing, and others)—to reach agreement on what lands and resources should be developed, where, and how. The Central and North Coast processes were managed by the Provincial Government. The Central Coast process completed in December, 2003. The North Coast table is expected to make final recommendations to the provincial government by the end of May 2004. The Haida Gwaii/QCI process is managed jointly by the Provincial Government and the Council of the Haida Nation, and was still underway when the CIT completed its work at the end of April, 2004. Several First Nations land use planning processes were also still underway.

Q.  Who ran the CIT and how did it operate?

A.  The CIT consisted of independent scientists and practitioners and traditional and local experts, overseen by a management committee and supported by a secretariat. The five-person management committee consisted of representatives of the Provincial Government, First Nations, environmental NGOs, forest products companies, and the community at large. It was co-chaired by the Provincial Government and First Nations representatives. The secretariat included an executive director, a project manager, and other part-time staff.

The management committee provided technical guidance in developing specific research objectives and products and facilitated broad participation in CIT work. The secretariat was responsible for administering CIT projects. A select working group, led by an acknowledged expert, undertook each CIT project. Most CIT projects were peer reviewed.

Q.  Why did the CIT analysis region extend beyond the combined boundaries of the Central Coast, North Coast, and Haida Gwaii LRMP areas?

A.  The CIT analysis region provided a regional perspective in an ecological and socio-economic sense.  The wider CIT region therefore includes most of the major coastal basins and portions of the traditional territories of participating First Nations not found in the land area of the three Land Use Plans. 

Q.  How were the CIT products used in land use planning?

A. CIT products were provided to the Central and North Coast Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP) tables and the Haida Gwaii Land Use Planning Table as drafts became available. The CIT products were delivered to the tables as independent information and advice. The role of the table members, who represent various sectors of the community, economy, First Nations, and the province, is to use the technical information provided to them by the CIT and other sources (including local knowledge) to inform their decision-making regarding land use zones, objectives, indicators, and targets for managing resources in the zones developed.

For more information on coastal B.C. land use plans, see