“It is world leading. There is nowhere else in North America that has this kind of a visionary plan set in place.”
A precedent setting deal to protect the majority of the Great Bear Rainforest was officially announced this morning.
Valerie Langer with Forest Ethics Solutions, one of the environmental groups involved, says the deal sets a new “world leading” standards for sustaining healthy forests.
“The amount of logging is definitely coming down dramatically. Also the rules are actually made to ensure a sustainable level of forestry can happen as well. The First Nations are going to get a bigger piece of the pie. We are looking at a big change. We are not just looking at tweaking around the edges.”
Visionary conservation model
“This has been a really principled approach. It sets a new legal and science based standard for sustaining healthy forests and maintaining intact old growth. It will also keep millions of tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere that is stored in these super store house rainforests that we have here in British Columbia.”
Langer says the deal came from years of hard work by the province, environmentalists, First Nations, and industry.
“It is a model for collaboration. It is a model for conservation. It is a model for communities and climate action. It is a model that is visionary.”
What if someone logs in those no-go, protected areas?
The deal will be backed up with legislation to be introduced this Spring.
Forests Minister Steve Thomson says 15 per cent of that rainforest will be open to sustainable forestry practices.
“There will be legislation introduced that implements the system and there will be a compliance and monitoring system to ensure that companies maintain that econsystem-based management. They are committed to it and we know that the eyes of the world are watching.”
Thomson says First Nations will also have a role in enforcement and compliance.
The deal will also see an end to grizzly bear hunting on first nations traditional territories.
Thompson says he’s not thinking about ending the trophy hunting of those bears in the province altogether.
First nations members are also being trained to patrol and enforce the Grizzly hunting ban against poachers.
More than 20 years in the making
Langer says this has been decades in the making, beginning with the ‘War in the Woods’ in the 1990s.
“That was a watershed moment when companies that bought billions of dollars of forests products actually said we are not going to be caught in the middle of this conflict you guys work it out. We had to sit down and figure out how to resolve our differences. It happened step by step. The province started to do the same with First Nations.”
- Heiltsuk First Nation Chief Marilyn Slett provided highlights of the deal.
- $150,000 in Targeted Training Funds (Forestry) over the next 3 years
- Re-charting Process to ensure Heiltsuk Coastal Forest Products (HCFP) gains access to operating areas with viable wood fiber
- New Forest Tenure to increase HCFP’s operations by an additional 235,000 m3
- Tenure Restructure to enable better forest management for HCFP
- 50,000 m3 Forest License to help complete the Bighouse
- Carbon Credits – increase in ownership of production and sales, and for a longer time period (2035)
- The Provincial Government is to announce the deal at 10am at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, although the Premier, environmental groups, the forest industry, and First Nations leaders all gathered in Bella Bella on Friday to mark the accord.
What’s being saved: #GreatBearRainforest on Instagram
Mon, Feb 1st 2016 ▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▁ Not sure what is going on here. Maybe the little fellow is just trying to catch his balance or more than likely he is bragging to his siblings how big his last fish was. #grizzlybear #greatbearrainforest #fishingstories Photo & Caption by ▻ ✪ @iantmcallister . Selected by @deroz Tag your best shots to #special_shots and follow us for a better chance to get featured .
A lone wolf walking along the wind swept outer coast of the #greatbearrainforest in search of prey. Perhaps it will choose to focus on a deer feeding in the intertidal zone or a group of harbour seals resting on an islet, or better yet, a marine mammal - like a whale or a sea lion - washed ashore. Finding a solitary wolf, also known as a “disperser" or “extra-territorial” is actually quite common in the rainforest. Sometimes it might belong to a pack and is simply on a lonely walkabout, but many others are out searching for a pack to join or vacant territory to begin a new one. #greatbearrainforest #savebcwolves @pacificwild #lonewolf #wildlifephotography #wildlifeconservation
Choppering above the #GreatBearRainforest, #NimmoBay bound! Photo courtesy of @gregfunnell, on assignment for the @guardian last year. #helicopter #exploreBC #explorecanada #wilderness #wildlife #lifeofadventure #keepitwild #beautifuldestinations #pacificnorthwest #pnw #neverstopexploring #wanderlust #getoutstayout #exploremore
@mileycyrus on #savebcwolves: "When I first spoke out, I knew in my heart that the wolf cull was wrong. After this visit, I know science is on my side, not just on the wolf cull, but also on the trophy hunt issue. Both are unsustainable and both are horrific. Both have to end.” Miley and @braisoncwukong spent two days with Mary and John Theberge, renowned wolf biologists and outspoken opponents of the B.C. wolf kill; Dr. Carl Safina, PhD, American ecologist and author; and members of the Kitasoo/Xais’Xai First Nation, one of the coastal First Nations fighting to end trophy hunting in British Columbia. // Photo by @PacificWild. // #bantrophyhunting #savebcwolves #GreatBearRainforest
As a group of us slowly floated down a river in the great bear rainforest in silence, looking and listening for any signs of grizzly bears, out of the evenings rising mist a juvenile bald eagle soars towards the treetops to find a perch where he may be able to seek out his next meal. The wingbeats of the eagle through the salmon scented air could be heard in the silence of the estuary as the blanket of darkness was pulled over it. #greatbearrainforest #eagle #baldeagle #ourbc #canadiancollective #pnwcollective #explorebc #Britishcolumbia #beautifulbritishcolumbia #canada #mapleleafadventures
The view from on our wilderness camp kitchens, This week we are sharing a few photos from a two week Great Bear Rainforest kayak tour in July 2015. Photos provided by Kingfisher guide Allie Carroll. Visit our website to learn about 2016's tours. #explorebc #explorecanada #greatbearrainforest #kayakGBR #kayak #kayaking #camping #campkitchen #CCCLives
Beach camping in the Great Bear Rainforest. This week we are sharing a few photos from a two week Great Bear Rainforest kayak tour in July 2015. Photos provided by Kingfisher guide Allie Carroll. Visit our website to learn about 2016's tours. #explorebc #explorecanada #greatbearrainforest #kayakGBR #kayak #kayaking #camping #CCCLives
I've been reading a lot about the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada's West Coast and it's incredible to learn about all the biodiversity that lives there. It is also one of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet, as First Nations people are fighting to preserve this landscape from big companies that threaten its inhabitants. These BC wolves are expert swimmers, and they travel from island to island in the hunt for seals and sea lions. Photo by: Ian McAllister #spreadawareness #wolves #bc #canada #greatbearrainforest
Looks like the tropics! This week we are sharing a few photos from a two week Great Bear Rainforest kayak tour in July 2015. Photos provided by Kingfisher guide Allie Carroll. Visit our website to learn about 2016's tours. #explorebc #explorecanada #greatbearrainforest #kayakGBR #kayak #kayaking #camping #sand #beach #sandybeach #CCCLives
Sow grizzly and her skinny year and a half old cubs on the shores of a coastal BC cove. #grizzlybears #greatbearrainforest #grizzly #wildcanada #wildlifeshots #wildlife #pacificnw #natureshots #nikon #ic_nature #ic_animals #ic_wildlife #explorecanada #explorebc #nikontop #beautifulbc #grizzlybearwatching #grizzlybear #animalelite #hellobc #incrediblephoto #beautifulbc #naturephotography
repost via @instarepost20 from @thomaspeschak Stellar’s or northern sea lions are the largest of all the sea lions, reaching 3 m in length and a maximum weight of 350 kg. Their population off the British Colombia and nearby Alaskan coast has declined by 50% since the 1960’s, resulting in them now being listed on the Endangered Species Act. For more photographs from this rich coastal wilderness please follow @thomaspeschak @saveourseasfoundation @pacificwild #GreatBearRainforest #greatbear #canada #underwater #beautiful #follow #followme #photo #photooftheday #picoftheday #ocean #adventure #nature #instarepost20