Great Bear Rainforest receives massive private land donations

Vancouver, BC | Posted: September 17th, 2016

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has received a rather large donation. 185 hectares (460 acres) of privately held property on Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest is now under the protection of the conservancy. The donations will help connect previously protected lands, and in turn, improve biological corridors, and save both old-growth forests and estuaries alike.

The internationally prized rainforest is home to the iconic Spirit Bear, as well as a number of other endangered or threatened species. It also supports some of the densest populations of black and grizzly bears on the planet.

Linda Hannah, Regional VP for the Nature Conservancy of Canada said “Ecology doesn’t respect who owns the land” adding “to create a larger network of conservation, it’s important to look at those pockets of private lands.”

Sections of private land are throughout the Great Bear Rainforest that reaches along B.C.’s central coast and accounting for one-quarter of the world’s coastal temperate rainforests.

Approximately one-third of the rainforest is now completely protected under traditional parks and conservation areas. 9% of the total area remains available for logging.

Photo Credit: Canadian Press | Johnathan Hayward

Photo Credit: Canadian Press | Johnathan Hayward

The newly donated private lands along the coast will protect another 185 hectares of ecologically significant old-growth forests and estuaries. Several of the land parcels donated are waterfront, highly significant in both the ecological and economic value.

Director of Conservation for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Nancy Newhouse, said private property within the rainforest tends to be located on the highest quality land.

“The people and the animals are looking for the same values in land so it’s typically going to be in valley bottoms, in estuaries, in places that there are good water and good soil”, Newhouse said.

To learn more about the region, check out this National Geographic video, below:

If you are interested in visiting the Great Bear Rainforest yourself, we suggest you chose a responsible tour provider, such as Maple Leaf Adventures or Spirit Bear Lodge. For more general tourism information, the Province of British Columbia has a handy guide here.

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