Conservation Priorities

Hunting of Grizzly Bears

In 2007 a record 430 grizzly bears were killed in British Columbia, 363 of them by sport hunters. This alarming statistic raises serious questions about government policy toward this iconic animal. The science used to estimate grizzly populations, and therefore set harvest quotas, is weak. Government grossly undervalues grizzly bear viewing as an economic generator while overestimating the importance of trophy hunting, revealing its bias toward the hunting sector. As the recent opinion survey (commissioned by Pacific Wild) indicates, the general public is overwhelmingly in favor of banning the sport hunting of grizzlies. In addition, given the grizzly’s vast habitat requirements, the health of this species will be a measure of our ability to make sound landscape-based decisions around forestry, mining and other extractive industries. Click here to learn more about why it’s time to end the hunt and take grizzly bear conservation seriously. 
 

Energy Development-Oil and Gas, Wind Farms, Hydro Projects

An oil spill in the Great Bear Rainforest on the scale of the Exxon Valdez disaster is unthinkable and a recent public opinion poll commissioned by Pacific Wild and other environmental groups shows that a majority of British Columbians support a ban on tanker traffic in the province’s inside waters. Still both the federal and provincial governments are quietly supporting a push from big oil to turn these ecologically rich waters into part of an energy superhighway linking the coast to a deepwater port in Kitimat and, via a massive pipeline, to the tar sands of Alberta. In fact, as American demand for energy intensifies so to does the pressure on wild coastal ecosystems from the threat of not only tanker traffic but also industrial scale wind farm development and run-of-river hydroelectricity projects. Click here to learn more about how energy development is posing the latest threat to the Great Bear Rainforest and central coast.

Industrial Logging

Decades of intensive clearcut logging in the remote river valleys of the Great Bear Rainforest have left few conservation options for the BC north coast. Today, approximately 30% of the region is protected in various conservancy designations yet only a portion of these conservancies are comprised of low elevation rainforest, the rest is made up of high elevation rock and ice. Given the inadequate level of protection for the coast, an Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) approach has been proposed for the 70% that remain unprotected. EBM is meant to act as a surrogate for the lack of core protection being offered to the Great Bear.

 

Fish Farming in the Great Bear Rainforest

Without wild Pacific salmon there would be no temperate rainforest the way we know it today. Salmon are the very foundation upon which this rich and diverse ecosystem and its full suite of both marine and terrestrial species are based. Industrial scale salmon aquaculture represents a direct threat to this natural balance millennia in the making. Floating farms are vectors of disease and sea lice epidemics, which have already proven deadly to young pink salmon smolts in the Broughton Archipelago. Massive escapes of exotic farmed species are common. Chemical-laced fish waste pollutes the adjacent marine environment. And by some estimates salmon aquaculture produce 1 kg of fish for every 4 or 5 kg of fish harvested to produce feed, resulting in what some people call an unethical protein transfer from developing world waters to first world restaurants, homes and supermarkets. Click here to learn more about why status quo fish farming is the wrong choice for British Columbia’s west coast and the rivers of the Great Bear Rainforest.




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All Photography © Ian McAllister unless otherwise noted.
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