85 per cent of the Great Bear Rainforest will now be protected from logging under a new landmark agreement between the government of British Columbia, twenty six First Nations, environmental groups and coastal forestry groups.
The land-use order will also address wildlife habitat, freshwater ecosystems and First Nations’ cultural heritage resources in the area stretching 6.4 million hectares from the Discovery Islands northwards to Alaska.
“The Great Bear Rainforest is a global treasure, and all British Columbians have a stake in protecting it,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Under this landmark agreement, more old- and second-growth forest will be protected, while still ensuring opportunities for economic development and jobs for local First Nations.”
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, the agreement opens the door for the B.C. government and First Nations to implement marine plans, and to pursue new measures to protect grizzlies, black bears and wolves at risk from commercial hunting.
In 2006, the area was officially named the Great Bear Rainforest, a coastal land use decision that protected up to 2.1 million hectares.