Target: Mary Polak, Minister of Environment of British Columbia
Goal: Applaud efforts to protect 85 percent of the Great Bear Rainforest from logging and development.
The Canadian government recently made a deal to protect 85 percent of the Great Bear Rainforest from logging and development. This precious stretch of rainforest in British Columbia, Canada is the largest coastal temperate rainforest on the planet. This area is home to 1,000-year-old cedars, rare subspecies of black bear, and 26 indigenous groups.
About 38 percent of Canada’s land area is forested, and as a result, commercial logging is one of the country’s main industries. Over half of Canada’s forests is classified as commercial, meaning that these regions are not protected from the logging business or reserved as parks. With this new deal, only 15 percent of the Great Bear Rainforest will be used for commercial logging and a sustainable plan has been instituted that restricts the quantity of tree removal to what the ecosystem can handle.
This area is also the only habitat on Earth where the spirit bear can be found. The spirit bear is a rare species of black bear with an all-white coat, which scientists believe is due to the presence of a single recessive gene. This species only has an estimated 400 remaining, which makes it an endangered species, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
The Kitasoo Xaixais people, one of the 26 groups of First Nation people in the region, believe that one in ten black bears were made white to remind the people that the area was originally covered in ice and to be thankful of the bounty of nature that exists in the region today. Not only does the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest conserve the natural beauty of the land and protect the vulnerable species that live in this ecosystem, but it also protects the rights and culture of the First Nation people that live in the rainforest as well.
It is vital that we protect this land from logging and development. By signing this petition, you are thanking Minister Mary Polak, of the Ministry of Environment of British Columbia, for protecting this land and the vulnerable species that live there.
Dear Honorable Mary Polak,
Due to the efforts of the Ministry of Environment of British Columbia in conjunction with the First Nations and several environmental groups, a deal has been passed that protects 85 percent of the Great Bear Rainforest from logging and development. Furthermore, the remaining 15 percent of the rainforest that may be used for commercial logging has restrictions placed on the industry that maintains only environmentally sustainable logging may take place.
This deal to protect the Great Bear Rainforest protects not only the land itself, but also the vulnerable species native to the region such as the Spirit Bear. This is the only white species of black bear on the planet and its population has dwindled down to about 400. The protection of this rainforest from logging and development is a step towards protecting the Spirit Bear from extinction.
Thank you so much for taking steps to protect so much of the Great Bear Rainforest. Please continue your efforts to conserve Canada’s precious land and natural environment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jon Rawlinson