The Conservatives have vowed cough up $30 million for the protection of BC's Great Bear Rainforest. The announcement comes nearly 12 months after environmentalists, native leaders, and the BC provincial government reached a historic agreement for the preservation of the area.
The federal dollars will join $60 million already contributed by private foundations, and an additional $30 million from the BC Liberals, to form a $120 million pool for the creation of a new protected area three times the size of Prince Edward Island.
Moving forward, the future of the forest will largely depend on the enforcement of the ecosystem based management system that will govern logging in the area, as the strict protected area will only cover about 1/3 of the total forest area. This was a controversial part of the agreement, and as recently as 2005 the David Suzuki Foundation published findings that showed widespread clear cutting and negative impacts from logging in the region’s most productive salmon bearing watersheds.
Background: At approximately 6.5 hectares the Great Bear Rainforest is widely considered to be the largest intact temperate rainforest remaining on the globe. It is also also home to the rare kermode, or spirit bear - a sub species of black bear whose recessive gene trait makes it snow white.