Rainforest Solutions Project

Promoting conservation and economic alternatives in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest


Canada unveils 16m acre park

February 12, 2006

Closing another chapter of the wars between environmentalists and loggers, the Great Bear Rainforest is the result of an accord between governments, aboriginal First Nations, the logging industry and environmentalists.

The project includes a C$104 million (euro86.9 million) conservation financing package to support the land-use agreements. It will stretch 250 miles (402 kilometres) along British Columbia’s rugged Pacific coastline – the ancestral home of groups whose cultures date back thousands of years.

The area also sustains a rare white bear found only in British Columbia. First Nations – as native Indians are called in Canada – believe their creator, the Raven, created the white bear as a reminder of the last ice age. “The agreement on these areas represents an unprecedented collaboration between First Nations, industry, local governments and many other stakeholders in how we manage the vast richness of BC’s coast for the benefit of all British Columbians,” said Premier Gordon Campbell.

Campbell said 4.4 million acres (1.8 million hectares) would be protected outright and managed as parkland, with another 11.6 million (4.7 million hectares) run under an ecosystem management plan to ensure sustainable forestry with minimal impact on the environment.
The new preserve dwarfs the famed 2.2 million acre (890,327 hectares) Yellowstone National Park in the United States.