Environmental Issues: Wildlands

The Great Bear Rainforest

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Photo of Gilford Island

Devastation like this clearcut -- on GILFORD ISLAND, in British Columbia's Johnstone Strait -- lay in store for the Great Bear Rainforest prior to the April 2001 agreement. And the danger has not completely dissipated; the challenge now is to ensure that this historic pact is implemented in a way that translates into real protection of the Great Bear's untouched rainforest valleys and its overall biodiversity.

History teaches that the timber industry has a hard time giving up the easy windfalls of abusive clearcutting for responsible, sustainable logging practices. The valley depicted here was reduced to wasteland after the 1995 adoption of the Forest Practices Code, which was announced with great fanfare from the British Columbia government and timber industry as a new approach to logging that would protect the region's forests. For NRDC and its partners, the proof will be in the pudding -- we will remain watchful as the new timbering standards called for by the agreement are implemented.

Photo: Ian McAllister


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