2.08.2006

protection

Two million hectares - almost five million acres - of coastal rainforest in British Columbia will be protected from most logging and development. (The area is being called "three times the size of Prince Edward Island" or "twice the size of Yellowstone National Park," in Canadian and US media, respectively.)

The move is hailed as a groundbreaking example of how competing land interests can be balanced. It ends a decade-long battle among environmentalists, industry, First Nations people and government.

From the CBC story:
[The protected areas] cover 1.2 million hectares, where habitat conservation, maintaining biodiversity, and the preservation of special landscape, recreation and cultural heritage features are a priority. That brings the total protected to 1.8 million hectares.

The new areas include one of the largest intact temperate rainforests in the world, home to the Kermode or Spirit Bear, a black bear with white fur.

"The agreement reached on these areas represents an unprecedented collaboration between First Nations, industry, environmentalists, local governments and many other stakeholders in how we manage the vast richness of B.C.'s coast," [B.C. Premier Gordon] Campbell said in a statement.

The protected areas are part of the 6.4-million-hectare region of B.C.'s central and north coast, where the province on Tuesday outlined zoning plans for land and resource management.

The deal covers a vast area of B.C.'s central coastal forest that environmentalists have dubbed the Great Bear Rainforest, and the north coast forest.

In some smaller areas, called biodiversity areas, limited economic development is allowed.

In the largest sections, dubbed ecosystem-based management operating areas, environmentally sensitive economic development that benefits local communities will be allowed. These areas, where there could be work like helicopter logging, account for about two-thirds of the total 6.4 million hectares.
This is exciting and encouraging news.

Here's a press release about the agreement from environmental action groups, via Common Dreams.

9 comments:

Granny said...

While you're doing that, we're busy trying to eliminate our 49th state to gain a little oil.

Scott M. said...

I'm still bitter about how the US managed to get all the good coastline. Aargh.

Wrye said...

Someone's never been to Tofino.

Anyway, blame Britain, and Russia wanting to screw Britain. Strange how arbitrary 19th century actions still linger, isn't it? I have a map where Washington and Oregon are marked as British possessions, fer instance. That's not even getting into "The Pig War"

I am, as someone who's been watching this story since the 80's, mildly stunned that an agreement was ever reached, and half-waiting for the other shoe to drop.

L-girl said...

I haven't been there, but I've always heard the BC coast is fantastic.

I am, as someone who's been watching this story since the 80's, mildly stunned that an agreement was ever reached, and half-waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It's quite amazing - a model of how these things can happen.

Carrie said...

I was shocked when I heard but oh so happy!!! I could scarcely believe it! Great news all around :)

Andrea said...

An amazing book that is a must read for you, totally wow on info and history

- The Golden Sruce.

WOW! is all I can say. Short with tons of impact.
As for the deal. YAA!!! A step in the right direction.

Interesting though. My Uncle is one of about 10 professional loggers in BC (I have never understood what that really means) and he says that they (the lumber companies) have been begging quietly for a set area of land, cant recall how much, that is divided umongst the lumber companies and is up to them to maintain and take care of. They would never touch any of the other trees in any other areas and would live strictly off of this set area with agriculture type forests if you would.
I will ask him for some info. Will be difficult as we are on slightly negative terms with our political idiologies but I recall this discussion.
I dont understand completly and can not give too much more detail but I will look into it.

L-girl said...

Thanks for the book recommendation!

No need to go into battle with your uncle for more info, unless you were going to anyway. Most of the information is publicly available for anyone who wants to dig deeper.

L-girl said...

Btw, is that The Golden Spruce, by John Vaillant?

The duck thief said...

I'm still bitter about how the US managed to get all the good coastline. Aargh.

Yeah well, Britain screwed us out of a lot of things to please the US.