The Great Bear Rainforest on BC’s central and north coasts contains the largest network of intact ancient temperate rainforest left in the world, much of it prime grizzly habitat; if you thought it was protected, think again:
Cover story: Government hiding data on grizzly killings
• 20 key ecological areas on the central coast were designated for protection by the previous government in April 2001 but have still not been legislated by the Liberals.
• An additional 68 other intact valleys also remain at risk and unprotected, many granted only a temporary deferral from logging.
• In the entire Great Bear Rainforest there is only one park, the Khutzeymateen, that is legislated as a fully protected sanctuary for grizzly bears.
• Since the province announced its so-called “Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy” in 1995 no coastal grizzly bear core habitat has received legislated protection.
• Since 1990 approximately forty intact valleys have been either roaded and clearcut logged in the Great Bear Rainforest.
• Since the April 2001 Great Bear Rainforest announcement, clearcutting continues to be the dominant method of logging throughout the central and north coasts.
• BC has no endangered species act or any other substantive legislation to protect species at risk such as the grizzly bear.
• The BC Environmental Assessment Act specifically excludes forest practices from environmental scrutiny.
• Large carnivore expert Dr. Paul Paquet has stated that the provisions under the Forest Practices Code (FPC) governing forest practices are not compatible with the long term survival of grizzly bears.
• The Liberals recently dismantled the FPC and supplanted it with a “results-based Code” (the Forest and Range Practices Act) that affords BC’s forests even less protection than the FPC. Written with industry behind closed doors, the new Code will essentially empower logging companies to self-regulate.
Christopher Genovali, Raincoast.org
December 2002 Cover Photo
The cover photograph of a female coastal brown bear with two yearling cubs was taken by Dr. Wayne Lynch, a science writer and professional wildlife photographer. Dr. Lynch began to study bears more than 20 years ago. Today, after writing three books on bears, he still finds these magnificent carnivores to be among the most fascinating of the world’s wild animals. His most recent book is The Great Northern Kingdom - A Study of the Boreal Forest published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
A full-size poster of the photograph is one of several bear-related products now available from the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. WCWC recently collaborated with the J.J. Whistler Bear Society and Valhalla Wilderness Society to publish Bear Smart Kids, a children’s colouring and activity book about bears around the world. For more environmentally-friendly holiday gift ideas, drop in to the Wilderness Committee store in Gastown at 227 Abbott Street (604-683-8220) or in Victoria at 651 Johnson St. near Douglas (250-388-9292). You can also visit www.wildernesscommittee.org.
The Wilderness Committee will celebrate three decades of wilderness-saving work by one of BC’s best known conservationists, Paul George, with a roast on December 12, 2002. For more information call 604-683-8220 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.