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Conservation strengthened in Great Bear Rainforest

May 24, 2024 at 9:08 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

The Province and Kwiakah First Nation have created a new Special Forest Management Area supporting regenerative forestry and conservation in the southern Great Bear Rainforest.

“The rainforests on the central coast of our province have been a focus of conservation efforts for many years,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “This partnership with Kwiakah represents a continuation of our joint work to ensure the Great Bear Rainforest will continue to provide sustainable jobs and healthy forests for our children and grandchildren.”

Chief Steven Dick of Kwiakah First Nation, said: “We as Kwiakah people have a vision of the future where nən (grizzly bears) and their cubs roam through the mossy, misty forests of our territory, finding a bounty of berries, roots and fish to eat, where Kwiakah youth only know their forests as protected and abundant. By creating the M̓ac̓inuxʷ Special Forest Management Area, we are asserting our inherent responsibilities and creating an Indigenous-led conservation economy that will steward, heal and mend our territory while allowing our people to thrive.”

The M̓ac̓inuxʷ Special Forest Management Area covers 7,865 hectares of forested land within the Great Bear Rainforest. The creation of the management area followed an engagement period earlier this year that allowed the Province and Kwiakah First Nation to consider comments from the public.

This is the ninth management area within the Great Bear Rainforest, which prohibits commercial harvesting and allows Kwiakah to practice regenerative forestry with the intention of bringing the forest back to its pre-industrial state. Any lost harvesting revenue is intended to be counteracted through the generation of carbon credits and regenerative forestry jobs. As with previous management areas, an amendment will be made to the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act to reduce the allowable annual cut of TFL 45 to reflect this new protected area. 

For more than a decade, the Great Bear Rainforest has been co-managed within a broad network of agreements, conservation finance, carbon offsets and protected areas. It is under this framework that provincial government and First Nations’ leadership are acting to build a conservation-based economy that supports maintenance of ecological integrity and human well-being for the north-central and south-central coast.

The Province is continuing the government-to-government collaborative approach to Great Bear Rainforest implementation, with further government-to-government reviews and updates scheduled for 2026 and every subsequent 10 years.

Learn More:

Click the following link to learn more about the Great Bear Rainforest, visithttps://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/great-bear-rainforest

Click the this link to review the Great Bear Rainforest (Special Forest Management Area) regulations:https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/325_2016

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