The Great Bear Rainforest – Coastal RevivalMay 3, 2016 at 9:41 pm | Posted in Nature, Science | 2 Comments
Tags: conservation, humpback whales, kermode bear, pacific northwest, spirit bear, whales
The Great Bear Rainforest is a temperate rain forest along the NW coast of North America on the Pacific Ocean. It runs from the Discovery Islands (across from Campbell River*, BC) up to the Alaskan panhandle border. Much of it is mountainous and intersected by fiords. (a map)
First named by environmental groups, a large section became protected earlier this year (years after an agreement was reached) with other areas under some protection. Most old growth forest within is now protected.
A ban on the trophy hunting of bears was also negotiated, but a changed government brought the hunt back. Ironic they allow bear hunting in a place with this name.
A rather creative solution has been to buy area hunting rights and manage them as if they were being used for hunting. But instead, they’re used for eco-tourism – the bears are shot with cameras instead of guns. They even have to go through all the motions and procedures to behave like hunters: firearms handling, hunting licenses, and so forth. It’s rather ridiculous they have to go to such lengths to protect a single species of wildlife. The first videos below describe more.
The area is also highlighted due to an attempt to build an oil pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to the coast, dramatically increasing tanker traffic on a stormy, complex coast. Many remember the Exxon Valdez spill in the area. But tar sands oil is worse and much harder to clean up.
It’s a remarkable area, rich with wildlife. But it’s also remote. The most likely way you’d see it is on a cruise ship to Alaska while it travels up the coast. The area includes the world’s largest population of Spirit bears, also called kermode. A series of short videos have been produced speaking about the area and some healthy approaches to sustaining it.
1 – Raincoast’s Fight
2 – Banning The Trophy Hunt
3 – The Spirit Bear (Kermode or white)
4 – Revival of the Humpback Whales
5 – The Marine Detective
* about a half hours drive north of me. I live on the more moderate and populated SW coast on sheltered waters.