So while musing through my daily press clippings, I got a hold of this gem in The Province. It made me have one of those “obviously” moments (when I say that in my head, I’m picturing saying it a la Stephanie Tanner from Full House). It is obvious that the Great Bear Rainforest should be on that list. Stretching along the mid-mainland coast of British Columbia to the Alaska border, this place combines beauty, magic, mystery, majesty, culture and history all in one. There is no doubt in my mind that the Great Bear Rainforest should be named as one of B.C’s seven natural wonders of the world.
What, you don’t believe me? Well I’ll give you my seven second pitch:
THE SPRIT BEAR! THE PLACE! THE CULTURE! THE THREAT! THE SOLUTIONS! THE PEOPLE! AND BECAUSE I SAID SO!
Okay, okay here’s a little less caps and a little more info:
My seven wonderful reasons why the Great Bear Rainforest is B.C’s wonder:
1) The Spirit bear: This elusive rare white Spirit bear (also known as Kermode bear) is found nowhere else on the planet, except for in the lush confines of this temperate rainforest. Here it is free to paw for salmon in the rushing rivers and make for an incredible mission for explorers looking to spot the almost mythical bear. (photo credit: Andrew Wright/www.cold-coast.com)
2) The place: Two minutes into your journey into the Great Bear Rainforest you are far, far removed from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver. It’s like being on a completely different continent, no wonder why it’s sometimes referred to as “Canada’s Amazon.” Its lush, dense and primal rainforests of towering red cedars makes it a perfect hideaway for the grizzly bears, black bears and of course the Spirit bears. If you look up high you will likely spot a soaring eagle or a mountain goat scaling the cliffs. If you look in the water maybe spot the humpback whale or any of the five species of salmon.(photo credit: Andrew Wright/www.cold-coast.com)
3) The cultures: For thousands of years, First Nations have lived in these forests , carrying the stories and local traditions shaped by the power of the place. There are almost 30 Indigenous First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforests with archaeological evidence dating back at least 14,000 years! Imagine the stories this place holds.
4) So much protected (but much to do!): This be-autiful rainforest is not guaranteed to be around forever. Decades of unsustainable land use, like industrial logging, threatened to spread destruction throughout First Nations’ traditional territories, threatening the ability of the land, water and wildlife to provide for future generations. Thankfully the announcement of the 2006 and 2009 Great Bear Rainforest Agreements have given hope and preserved 2.8 million hectares of environmentally intact rainforest (that’s a whole lot of space, just think bigger than Prince Edward Island). Furthermore, the B.C government has committed to implementing a plan for even greater protection from logging by 2014, and Greenpeace is committed to making this happen. (photo credit: Al Harvey)
5) It’s a testament worldwide that successful conservation is possible: You can read about all that here.
6) It would make senior forest campaigner Eduardo Sousa so happy: Not sure if you have read any of Eduardo’s blogs, but I think you should. Here’s one! Welcome to one of the amazing people who dedicates his life to protecting this natural world wonder. His poetic blogs and inspirational outlook is sure to brighten your day.
7) Because there is nowhere else in the world like it.
So that’s my spiel l! Recommend it! I know I did. And feel free to steal my points;) Send your B.C. Wonder-ful ideas to theprovince.com/tabtips or check out the website for more details. (photo credit: Andrew Wright/www.cold-coast.com)