Great Bear Rainforest
The Great Bear Rainforest is the world’s largest remaining intact coastal temperate rainforest, covering an area of 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles) in Northern British Columbia.
Only half of the rainforest is currently protected, and it is currently under threat from the proposed Northern Gateway/Trans Mountain pipeline, which will run directly through the centre of this pristine habitat. The pipeline’s 1,170 km route will bisect the rainforest and cut across hundreds of salmon streams, carrying dangerous and highly toxic bitumen oil from the Alberta Tar Sands. The pipeline would bring more than 250 oil super tankers through this delicate coastal area every year, transporting a toxic mix of Tar Sands oil and highly corrosive chemicals. These tankers, each longer than the empire state building, would be required to navigate Douglas Channel, making 90 degree hairpin turns and maneuvering through extremely narrow waterways.
The following image shows the area of the Great Bear Rainforest (light green), the proposed pipeline route (yellow line), the oil tanker routes (red lines) and the current distribution of the spirit bear population (yellow dots). A spill of any kind in this area would be devastating to the delicate marine ecosystem that supports all life in the area, and would almost certainly result in the extinction of the spirit bear.
A petition to further protect this area is seeking signatures here: http://www.savethegreatbear.org/takeittaller/support