This is not an end-all solution to what plagues British Columbia in general and the Great Bear rainforest in particular, but this is great news for the continued health of this wonderful area, including its fisheries. The Great Bear offers unbelievable vistas and a rich variety of angling options, ranging from winter and spring steelhead, to spring and summer kings, to fall cohos,
and even saltwater offerings of halibut, sea-run cutthroat and rockfish . . . all on the fly. I’ve fished this area, in fact flown via helicopter over most of it, and it is a labyrinth of remote and spectacular mountains and canyons, all divided by great rivers and streams. Want to take a closer look at the area and maybe even spot the secretive spirit bear? Get ahold of Nimmo Bay Resort right now—they offer incredible meals and accommodation, plus heli-flights out to some of the best fishing in British Columbia. At the very least, visit Nimmo’s remodeled Web site for a 360 degree view the operation and all it has to offer. Good fun to watch and it will make you want to get out of the chair, right now, and head for British Columbia. Read below for more on the new protections. Click here for my Nimmo Bay feature.
From The Globe And Mail —Final agreement reached to protect B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest
The 20-year battle to protect the Great Bear Rainforest – the largest coastal temperate rainforest on the planet – is over, with the B.C. government announcement on Monday of an agreement with environmentalists, forest companies and First Nations.
The deal, which will be enshrined in legislation this spring, applies to a stretch of 6.4 million hectares of the coast from the north of Vancouver Island to the Alaska Panhandle. It promises to protect 85 per cent of the region’s old-growth forests, with logging in the remaining 15 per cent subject to the most stringent commercial logging standards in North America
“I’m pleased to announce we have reached this landmark agreement,” B.C. Premier Christy Clark told a news conference in Vancouver. “We celebrate what hard work, tenacity and strength of purpose can achieve when we work together.”
Representatives for the four partners gathered for a ceremony in the Heiltsuk community of Bella Bella on Friday to mark the completion of an accord that reaches far beyond the original objectives of protecting ancient forests and the home of the unique white-furred black bear known as the Spirit Bear.
The final agreement also recognizes aboriginal rights to shared decision-making and improves economic opportunities for the 26 First Nations that reside in the region with a greater share of timber rights and $15-million from the province.
In Bella Bella’s school gymnasium, hereditary chiefs wearing their regalia of button blankets and ermine-trimmed headdresses danced and a chorus of children sang to welcome Premier Clark and the chief architects of the deal.
“This is a singular place – a gift – for us to preserve and this is the biggest statement we’ve ever made about our commitment to that,” Ms. Clark said in an interview after a short hike through the forest to the edge of an estuary. “To me, it’s an expression of our collective love of this land and this coast.”
In the late 1990s, the Heiltsuk people welcomed visiting international customers for B.C.’s forest products to explain their concern about the timber being taken from their traditional territories. They showed their guests the home of the Spirit Bear and the ancient forests and pristine watersheds that command awe from visitors. But the region is also home to 18,000 people, many in remote and impoverished communities with little opportunity for work.
Marilyn Slett, chief councillor of the Heiltsuk Tribal Council, said her community was drawn into the conflict early on, but their views were not a . . . Read more at the Globe and Mail