great bear rainforest
Recently, the Gitga'at, with other First Nations, won a slim victory against the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline project, which would have seen 200 tanker ships filled with bitumen passing each year across their territory.
As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have encountered, aboriginal tours of B.C. include wildlife-viewing opportunities, the chance to witness pristine nature, connections with influential artists, visiting a resort in wine country and taking a paddle in a canoe around protected waters.
The province has still not recognized the ban on trophy hunting imposed by CFN and will continue to issue tags to kill grizzly bears and black bears in all areas of the Great Bear Rainforest, including in some areas where the black bears carry the white "Spirit bear" gene.
The Great Bear Rainforest Agreement was negotiated by such a diverse group of interests that at times consensus seemed all but impossible. Independent conservation science played a key role in bringing these seemingly incompatible interests to the same table. The science helped them find common ground when discussing how to manage and relate to this very special place.
The agreement between government, industry, First Nations and environmental groups to protect much of the Great Bear Rainforest should be celebrated. However, while the agreement helps protect grizzly bear and other wildlife habitat, it doesn't protect the bears themselves, contrary to B.C. Premier Christy Clark's claims at a news conference.
On the first day of February 2006, a landmark agreement that has been called "one of the most visionary forest conservation plans on Earth" was inked by First Nations elders, the provincial government and environmentalists. Eighty five per cent of the Great Bear Rainforest -- at 3.1 million hectares, an area roughly twice the size of Vancouver Island -- is permanently off limits to logging.
The Great Bear Region along British Columbia's coast holds one of the largest unspoiled temperate rainforests left on the planet. There was a time when much of the rainforest was slated to be clear cut. But this week, environmentalists, forestry companies, and the 26 First Nations that call the rainforest home reached a final agreement that permanently protects the wilderness and benefits us all.
Canada is a treasure trove of rivers, lakes and wetlands supporting countless communities, economies and species. With freshwater species experiencing the greatest rate of decline in what is being referred to as the sixth great extinction, Canada must step up efforts to improve watershed health for people and animals. For a prime example of our freshwater health and wealth, we need to look no further than the Skeena watershed on the northwest coast of British Columbia.
A beloved animal, tagged for tracking by researchers, crosses the invisible boundary between protected and unprotected area and is killed by a hunter who has paid tens of thousands of dollars for the "experience." That was the fate of Zimbabwe's Cecil the lion, whose killing sparked torrents of online and on-air outrage. But it also happens around the world every day, including in my home province of B.C. It's time to end trophy hunting. In B.C., the government must listen to citizens and conservationists, respect First Nations laws and customs and end the grizzly hunt.
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