|Chief Qwatsinas of the Nuxalk Nation with friend visiting Great Bear Rainforest giant cedar |
near Bella Coola, photo: Cristina Mittermeier
4.4 million acres, 50% of the forest, was protected. Additionally, another 11.6 million acres is managed under an ecosystem management plan. However, in spite of initial successes in moving toward sustainability, a less rosy picture is starting to emerge.
The website savethegreatbear.org reports:
"Overall, the agreements amounted to an ambitious and much-celebrated plan that’s yielded some notable success. Sustainable economic development is starting to take root in communities within the Great Bear Rainforest, which is now better protected from logging than it was before.
But these efforts have also been beset by delays that call into question whether the full vision of the agreements will be realized in time to safe-guard the forest as we know it."The Great Bear Rainforest encompasses one of the largest areas of intact coastal temperate rainforest left on the planet, and is therefore of global significance. In order to maintain the environmental integrity of this ecosystem, scientists using ecosystem based management, say that at least 70% of the natural old growth areas must be protected.
|TimberWest clear cuts in the southern Great Bear in 2011, photo: Garth Lenz|
50% is good, 70% is better, but 100% is what our goal should be. Logging old growth, regardless of where it is, is not sustainable or in the best interests of humanity.
The BC government and other stakeholders set new ground with the 2006 Great Bear Rainforest agreement. It is time to honour those agreements, and set the stage for further protection.
See government contacts here. Let officials know how you feel about saving old growth, white bears, salmon-bearing streams, and keeping the Great Bear as an intact global treasure.
Get more information about the "Take It Taller" Campaign at savethegreatbear.org.