New Agreement to Conserve Canada’s Most Famous Forest
Several forest companies operating along the West Coast have outlined the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, which includes stronger conservation targets for the world's largest tract of coastal temperate rainforest – and the Kermode Bear.
First presented in mid-December, initial signatories to the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement include Western Forest Products, Interfor and BC Timber Sales, with added support coming from pulp and paper producers Catalyst Paper and Howe Sound Pulp and Paper (partly owned by Canfor).
The agreement initially designates 1-million hectares of one of Canada’s most-pristine forests under Forest Stewardship Council Certification. Situated along the central and north coasts of British Columbia, the Great Bear Forest is named after the highly recognizable Kermode Bear, more commonly known as the Spirit Bear.
About 1/10 of the Kermode population, a subspecies of the Black Bear, is born with white or cream-coloured coats. These Spirit Bears figure prominently in the mythology of First Nations in the region.
As a result of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, $120 million in new financing is being earmarked to local and First Nations communities for conservation initiatives. The agreement is designed to eventually protect 2.1 million hectares of the rainforest, while “lighter-touch logging” is to take place in another 700,000 hectares of high-value tracts. The agreement, which was supported in the marketplace by Canopy, Greenpeace, ForestEthics and Sierra Club, is to be finalized by 2014.
Read more about the Great Bear Rainforest:
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