What Can I Do to Save the Spirit Bear?
There’s a lot you can do. First off, get informed. Read as much as you can, starting with The Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest. It’s important that you know what you’re talking about so that people will listen when you speak. Are you going to focus your concern on the grizzly bear hunt? Clear-cut logging? Oil pipelines bringing tankers to BC’s fragile waters? Maybe you’ll want to discuss all of these things. Whatever your choice, be informed and knowledgeable about your subject.
Remember, you have a lot of power. Although you’re not a voter yet, you have a voice. Write to your elected representative and explain your thoughts about what’s happening in the Great Bear Rainforest. Be sure to express your concerns clearly, and back them up with facts, details and examples from the reading you’ve done. Don’t just say it’s a bad situation and demand that the government protect the Great Bear Rainforest. Instead, suggest specific solutions for the problems that are facing the forest and its animal citizens. You’ll be able to get your point across more clearly if you are very specific in your requests.
Look for the Logo
Ask your parents to help your family do its part to preserve this magical forest and others like it. You don’t want loggers to come in and take away all those thousand-year-old trees, right? So teach your family about buying environmentally responsible paper products. Whenever you or your family go out shopping, look for the Forest Stewardship Council certification logo on the paper stuff you buy.And we mean all the paper stuff. That’s everything from printer paper to envelopes to the wood you’re going to use in building that new skate ramp in the park down the street. The logo assures you that your product comes from a forest that is responsibly managed.
Halting the Trophy Hunt
Almost 80 percent of British Columbians are against the grizzly hunt. The trophy hunt reduces the number of fit bears in an already small population. It puts cubs at risk of starving to death if their mothers are killed. And even though it’s illegal to shoot a white spirit bear, they’re still at risk. Unknown to the outside observer, black bears can carry the genes for the rare white Kermode bear. No hunter can know whether the bear he kills might have given birth to a baby spirit bear.
Tanker Tragedies to Come?
Since 1972, oil tankers have been banned from traveling along BC’s north coast. But all that’s about to change. Oil and gas companies are pushing to construct a pipeline to pump oil from Alberta’s tar sands through BC. The proposed pipeline meets the ocean at the coastal port of Kitimat. From there, the tankers will wind their way through the ecologically sensitive islands of the Great Bear Rainforest and out to the Pacific Ocean. But what happens when one of them runs aground on the rocks during an epic coastal storm? When the Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Alaska in 1989, it dumped 11 million gallons (about 40 million liters) of crude oil into the pristine coastal waters. Twenty-two orca whales died, along with 300 harbor seals, 247 bald eagles, 2,800 sea otters and up to a quarter million seabirds. Environmental experts say the effects are still being felt by coastal organisms today.
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Buy the Book online
The Salmon Bears book is available for purchase online at Orca Book Publishers. Click here for more information.
Also by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read: The Sea Wolves