Great Bear National Forest - Sacred Spaces: A Snapshot

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This is the story of Great Bear. Well, maybe not the story, but it is a story of this enchanted forest through my eyes. It is a place where the water pulses through ever channel, the moss springs beneath your step, the mist hovers delicately above the mountaintops, and the forest soaks you up in a sea of green.

Nearly 60% of our planet's coastal temperate rainforests have been logged or developed. The Great Bear Rainforest is the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest left in the world. 88% of this coastal temperate rainforest has already been cut down for logging, but through a seven-year ongoing effort by Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, Tides Canada, Forest Ethics, British Columbia, The First Nations, The Canadian Government, and private North American foundations, the rest of the land will be set aside for conservation and ecosystem-based management plans.

Twenty percent of the world's salmon comes from this area, with 3000 genetically distinct salmon varieties. The interplay of land, water, and species still largely remains intact in this area.

Seventeen First Nations live on the Great Bear Rainforest and the island of Haida Gwaii. These include the: Da'naxda'xw, Gitga'at, Gwa'Sala-Nakwaxda'xw, Haisla, Haida, Heiltsuk, Gitxaala Gaw wa aineuk, Kitasoo/Xai'xais, Kwiakah, Kwicksutaineuk, Lax Kw'Alaams, Mamalilikula, Metlakatla, Nuxalk, Que'Qwa'Sot'Enox, Tsawataineuk, and Wuikinuxw.

This particular excursion was part of a donor-funder trip to experience the area, raise awareness of the rainforest, and to wrap our brains around the complex structure of this Ecosystem-based Management plan, which is unlike any other program out there. The closest projects that are even remotely familiar in structure in my mind are the various Biosphere Reserve programs across the globe. This, however, is still vastly different - in scope, breadth, and depth.

"There is a word from the time of the cathedrals: agape, an expression of intense spiritual affinity with the mystery that is 'to be sharing life with other life.' - Barry Lopez, American writer, 1986

Sept 19-26, 2007 - The Journey Through Great Bear (Photo Montage)

Leaving Bella Bella and off through the Central Coast

Where blue skies meet blue waters

Two Dall's Porpoises gang up on The Island Roamer's waves

Buttedale Cannery

The Island Roamer

Me, Amanda, Debbie: Word is, prints are in. These boots were meant for walking

Andy in action

A "creekwalker" stops to chat

Andy and Dave look out for porpoises. (Heli-logging in the background)

Recording waterfalls

The Lost Atlantis

Photos compliments of: Sherrie, Tom, Summer

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