Monday, December 08, 2008

Protecting The Great Bear Rainforest

One of my favourite bloggers, Darren Barefoot, is working with a coalition of conservation groups to help save British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest.

When Darren emailed me to ask if I would consider promoting their efforts on my blog, I said yes right away. Protecting one of the world's last great wilderness areas is a cause close to my heart.

I have spent a lot of time hiking, camping, kayaking and canoeing in British Columbia's beautiful backcountry. The value of these wild places is not something you can put a price tag on. You can bulldoze a forest for short-term economic gain, but once it's gone, it's gone. The loss is incalculable.

The campaign to protect the Great Bear Rainforest is called Keep the Promise. It focuses on a B.C. government agreement to protect almost 2 million hectares of land on the B.C. coast by March 2009. Darren does a good job of explaining it so I've simply cut and pasted his email below.

Here are the details:

The Great Bear Rainforest is the largest tract of intact coastal temperate rainforest left on Earth. It comprises over 77,000 square kms--about the size of Austria. It's home to three kinds of bears (grizzly, black and kermode), six million migratory birds, 3000 genetically distinct salmon stocks and many species of plants unique to the region.

Two years ago, the province of British Columbia committed to protecting this region under a new conservancy. All the stakeholders--the provincial government, logging companies, First Nations and environmentalists--agreed to a new approach to resource planning, and committed to its implementation by March 31, 2009.

While some progress has been made, BC must still initiate a regional plan to ensure conservation of these critical ecosystems. With the March 2009 deadline fast approaching, we're running a campaign to help secure the fate of The Great Bear Rainforest.

Individuals can send a message to the government of British Columbia, urging them to keep their promise to concerned citizens in BC and around the world by signing an online petition.

We've also made a two-minute video that you might want to check out. And we just launched a photo contest on Flickr.

Cheers. DB.

The campaign needs all the support it can get, so please join in! Do it for the bears (the real ones, not the gummy ones).

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