Connection of People, Land and Sea

First Nations have lived in the Great Bear Rainforest for thousands of years. Our culture and livelihoods are deeply intertwined with its forests, rivers and sea.

Iconic species such as Pacific coastal wolves and the rare white Spirit Bear are found only here. Grizzly bears, black bears, six million migratory birds and rare plant and animal species share its land and waters.

The rich coastal waterways of our traditional waters have sustained our peoples’ marine way of life for millennia. Providing an abundant supply of salmon, halibut, herring, oolichan, kelp, shellfish and other marine resources.

Great Bear Rainforest: Protecting Our Land and Sea

The Great Bear Region: An Ecological Treasure

The Great Bear Rainforest is a global ecological treasure.

Located on Canada’s north Pacific Coast, the Great Bear represents one quarter of the world’s remaining coastal temperate rainforests – a rare ecosystem found in only 11 regions of the world.

In 2016, 85 per cent of the rainforest was formally protected through the Great Bear Rainforest Act.

Led by First Nations with government, environmental and industry sectors, this agreement ended 20 years of conflict and put 3.1 million hectares of coastal temperate rainforest off limits to industrial logging.

The agreement formally protects 85 per cent of the coastal temperate rainforest on the British Columbia coast. It provides for government-to-government decision-making with the Province of BC and reflects a vision for healthy First Nations communities, a diverse sustainable economy and a protected rainforest.

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to:

  • 74,000 square kilometres of coastal First Nations territory
  • Ancient First Nations burial and cultural sites
  • Old growth valley bottoms that sustain the most biomass of any terrestrial ecosystem on earth
  • Temperate rainforest that stores more carbon than any rainforest system in the world

Our traditional waters encompass one of the world’s most productive coldwater seas, sheltering:

  • Recovering populations of humpback, killer and fin whales
  • Living glass sponge reefs, previously thought to be globally extinct
  • Rare geographic formations such as SGaan Kinghlas, an underwater seamount

The North Pacific Coast is a rich, varied and fragile part of the natural world. The connection of land and sea with people has given rise to our ancient Northwest cultures.