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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Consensus recommends 33% protection from logging in Great Bear

Consensus recommends 33% protection from logging in Great Bear

Date : 26th May 2004, Source : Newsgroup

A new milestone has been reached in the decade-long campaign to protect Canada's Great Bear Rainforest. Located south of the Alaskan panhandle and running down the pacific coast of British Columbia, the Great Bear Rainforest is the largest unprotected coastal temperate rainforest left on the planet, encompassing over 20 million acres.

We have just taken a huge step forward in our efforts to protect the central coast portion of the Great Bear Rainforest. The central coast is located on BC's mainland coast, roughly from the northern tip of Vancouver Island north to Bella Coola.

On May 13, 2004, ForestEthics, and it's allies Greenpeace Canada, the Sierra Club of Canada, BC Chapter and Rainforest Action Network, signed off on the Central Coast Land and Resource Management Plan, supporting consensus recommendations that included the forest industry, local governments, labor, tourism operators, small business, and other stakeholders.

What's involved the Central Coast Consensus:

The consensus recommends that 106 watersheds/areas totaling more than 3.7 million acres (1.5 million hectares) be designated in some form of protection in the southerly region of the Great Bear Rainforest. This represents 33% of the total area of the central coast. Forest companies also agreed to apply principles of Ecosystem- Based Management across the plan area, which should fundamentally change forestry activities in the future.

What's Next:

The consensus recommendations represent another step in the campaign to protect the Great Bear Rainforest. However, it is a recommendation, not a final decision. Two other land use plans will also make their recommendations for the northern portion of the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii in the coming year. A final plan will result from negotiations between the BC government and aboriginal people (First Nations) on the coast. Despite the fact that the BC government has been presiding over a sweep of environmental rollbacks rivaling the Bush administration's (see they fear marketplace reprisals if they fail to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, giving conservation efforts a strong chance of success.

What we didn't get:

As with most environmental successes, there are also challenges with the Central Coast Plan. An independent science panel (see studied options for protection and ecosystem-based management. They recommended protection of 44-50% of the landbase to ensure ecosystem integrity over the long term. The consensus plan fully protects 22% of the landbase, with an additional 11% off limits to logging but not mining. For this to be a viable conservation plan, it will be critical for ecosystem-based management (EBM) to be fully applied to forestry and other activities outside protected areas. Other problems with the plan include current government policies allowing hunting and access in new protected areas.

ForestEthics and the Rainforest Solutions Project groups will continue to fight to make the protection of large tracts of the Great Bear Rainforest permanent. The action of grassroots groups in North America and around the world helped ensure that 131 endangered watersheds and other areas were taken off the chopping block in the Great Bear Rainforest. But we are not done yet. We may need your help in the next six months to ensure that the protection of these endangered forests is permanent. We will keep you informed, and will call on you when your action is needed.

For all of you that have been taken action to protect the Great Bear Rainforest we thank you.

For more information on the Great Bear Rainforest campaign see: or

Liz Butler
Organizing Director/ForestEthics

Document last updated on Wednesday 01 August 2018

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