Great Bear Rainforest

April 2001

Historic agreement proposes protection of Spirit Bear habitat

In April 2001, British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest -- home of the rare white Spirit Bear and one of the world's last large expanses of ancient temperate coastal rainforest -- gained a reprieve from massive clearcut logging. With the help of BioGems Defenders, NRDC and other environmental groups won one of the largest rainforest conservation agreements in North American history. The far-reaching agreement -- hammered out by logging companies, environmentalists, native peoples and the government of British Columbia -- proposes to protect 1.5 million acres, including the habitat of the Spirit Bear, from logging and to see more stringent ecological forestry standards put in place on another two million acres. The total area affected is twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. Until the plan is realized, NRDC will continue to mobilize activism to protect the Great Bear through the BioGems Watchlist.