Good News for Spring

New Parks and New Agreements for BC

In March of this year BC Parks announced the creation of a brand new 119 km² (about the the size of the city of Vancouver) park situated 120 kms east of Prince George.

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Photo courtesy of Flickr

The lovely, and aptly named, Ancient Forest Park (or Chun T’oh Wudujut in the local Lheidli language) protects a unique wet-temperate rainforest in central British Columbia and incredible old growth red cedars, some of them 1000 years old! The park serves to educate about the world’s only inland rainforest, and ensures the survival of a whole forest ecosystem, including rare lichens and mosses, as well as other flora and fauna.

In addition, a 20 year battle to protect the coastal Great Bear Rainforest finally reached some conclusion.  The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest tracts of intact coastal temperate rainforests remaining in the world.  It stretches along the mainland coast of British Columbia from the Discovery Islands to the magnificent Tongass rainforest of Alaska.  IMG_0926

At the end of January 2016 the BC government announced the fulfillment of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement.  This means that 85% (31,000 km² – an area the size of Vancouver Island) of the region’s coastal temperate rainforests are now permanently off-limits to industrial logging. The remaining 15% (5500 km²) of the forest will be subject to stringent commercial logging legal standards.

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In addition, First Nations governments have solidified their say over land use decisions in their traditional territories and increased revenue-sharing with the BC government.  The agreement helps to protect the intricate network of salmon rivers and ocean convergences, as well as iconic species like the Spirit Bear, the sea wolf, salmon and the bald eagle.

The area used to be known as the “Central Mid-coast Timber Supply Area” so we’ve come a long way in 20 years in changing perspectives and educating about the importance of these untouched forests.

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This just means there is more of BC to explore! And more of our splendid natural beauty is protected for both the present, as well as future generations.

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