Rainforest Solutions Project

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

About Our Work

Protected Areas

In the Great Bear Rainforest, one third of the North and Central Coast region is now protected from logging, in the form of Conservancies, Parks and Biodiversity, Mining and Tourism Areas. On Haida Gwaii half the total area on the islands is now protected.

Conservancies differ from other parks because they prioritize the protection of biological diversity and First Nations values related to social, ceremonial and cultural uses. Conservancies allow First Nations to pursue low-impact economic activities that do not undermine ecological values. Commercial logging, mining, and hydroelectric power generation are prohibited in theses areas (except local run-of-river projects to service nearby communities).

Biodiversity, Mining and Tourism Areas contribute to the conservation of species by limiting the range of land uses within these zones. Commercial timber harvesting and commercial hydro-electric power projects are prohibited. Other resource activities and land uses, like mining and tourism, are permitted, are subject to existing regulations and legislation. In addition to the protected areas, there are almost 1.3 million hectares designated in three large areas as Grizzly Bear Management Areas, where hunting is prohibited.

Protected areas by number:

  • 115 Conservancies with a total area of 1,360,000 hectares were legislated between 2006 and 2008
  • 21 Biodiversity, Mining and Tourism Areas with a total area of 300,000 hectares were legalized in January 2009
  • 18 Class ‘A’ parks were previously established with a total area of 443,000 hectares
  • In total, over 2.1 million hectares are protected throughout the Central and North Coast Region
  • On Haida Gwaii, over half a million hectares are now protected

Together, the protected areas in the Central and North Coast comprise:

  • 40 percent of known salmon-bearing streams
  • 55 percent of estuaries & 42 percent of wetlands
  • 34 percent of old growth forest and 39 percent of mature forest
  • 30 percent of all habitat for key species like northern goshawks, marbled murrelets, and grizzly bears

Learn more about the Protected Areas:
Conservancy Legislation
Biodiversity, Mining and Tourism Areas