Close to sixty percent of the world’s original coastal temperate rainforests have been destroyed as a result of logging and development. North America’s ancient temperate rainforest once stretched the Pacific coast from southeast Alaska to northern California. Today, more than half of this rainforest is gone and not a single undeveloped, unlogged coastal watershed 5,000 hectares or larger remains south of the Canadian border. One of the largest contiguous tracts of temperate rainforest left in the world is on British Columbia’s mainland coast in the Great Bear Rainforest.
BC’s coastal temperate rainforests are characterized by some of the oldest and largest trees on Earth, the most common of which are Sitka spruce, red cedar, western hemlock, amabilis and Douglas fir. Trees can tower up to 300feet and grow for more than 1,500 years. The biological abundance of BC’s coastal rainforests is the result of over 10,000 years of evolution which began when the glaciers of the Pleistocene Epoch melted. These coastal forests have evolved to their biological splendour because natural disturbances, such as fires, happen infrequently and are usually small in scale.
Terrestrial and marine systems in BC’s coastal rainforest zone are inextricably linked. The dynamic interaction between terrestrial and marine systems is described in the Conservation International/Ecotrust paper Coastal Temperate Rainforests: Ecological Characteristics, Status and Distribution Worldwide: ” The forest reaches out to the sea, which in turn furnishes the wind and rain necessary for maintenance of the forest character. This exchange of nutrients and energy creates the base for a complex food chain, rich enough to support numerous migratory as well as resident species.”
” In North America approximately 350 bird and animal species, including 48 species of amphibians and reptiles, 25 tree species, hundreds of species of fungi and lichens, and thousands of insects, mites, spiders and other soil organisms are found in coastal temperate rain forests. Although much remains to be learned about both systems, biological diversity indices for some taxa in coastal temperate rainforests (notably invertebrates, fungi and soil organisms) may compare to those of tropical rainforests. Researchers are just now discovering the number of organisms, particularly insects, living in the canopy of North American coastal temperate rainforests. These woodlands may support the highest fungal and lichen diversity of any forest system.”
Wild salmon are the most important keystone species for coastal rainforest ecosystems and grizzly bears depend on healthy salmon runs for their survival. Wild salmon are an important food source for a wide array of wildlife as well. Recent research is suggesting that even the ancient temperate rainforests on the coast utilize salmon. Bears drag the carcasses of spawned out salmon into the forest, facilitating a major upslope nitrogen transfer into the forest soil.
Years of industrial logging have left vast holes in this precious forest. Clearcut logging is ongoing, logging roads cut deep swathes across watersheds, and wildlife habitats are permanently destroyed. The provincial government of British Columbia has pledged to protect the area, but it must follow through on its commitments if the Great Bear Rainforest is to be protected.
More Information on the Great Bear Rainforest:
Raincoast Conservation Society
Victoria, BC, Canada
Location: The Great Bear Rainforest is located on the west coast of the British Columbia mainland, stretching from just north of Knight Inlet (off north central Vancouver Island) to Princess Royal Island and all the way north to the Alaskan border.
Sea Kayaking and Wildlife Viewing in regions of the Great Bear Rainforest provides an unforgettable adventure. Exploring from the safety and comfort of a mothership, paddlers depart from numerous coastal locations, including Bella Bella, to spend a week or so discovering the wild beauty of British Columbia’s Central coast. Taking advantage of the kayak’s silent travel and shallow draft, adventurers will explore tiny coves and narrow passageways, and watch the abundant wildlife found in this remote region. See below for links to trip operators.
Knight Inlet cuts eighty miles through the remote Coast Range of Mountains to the head of Knight Inlet, and Mt. Waddington, the highest mountain located totally within British Columbia. The area is a true west coast adventure, with great towering mountains rising straight out of the sea, cascading waterfalls and waterslides, and a history rich in native culture. Knight Inlet is prime black bear and grizzly bear habitat, bald eagles, orcas and other wildlife are abundant, fishing is superb, and the river system supports a phenomenal fall salmon run. Needless to say, the opportunities for nature photography in Knight Inlet are superb.
Princess Royal Island is located amongst the isolated inlets and islands of Canada’s forgotten coast, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. This is an extremely remote area of British Columbia, accessible only by boat or air. Aside from the Tsimshiam, who once inhabited a coastal village on the island but now no longer live here, almost no people have entered the inland rainforest of Princess Royal Island. Princess Royal Island is best known as being home to the legendary white Kermode Bear, Spirit Bear of the North Coast of British Columbia. These magnificent bears are a sub-species of the black bear, and are not found anywhere else in the world.
Rivers Inlet is carved deep into the rugged Coast Mountains,and is known internationally for the majesty of its scenery and its unspoiled wilderness. Rivers Inlet is also one of the most famous sport fishing destinations in BC, with an impressive history of producing some of the largest Chinook Salmon in the world. The legendary trophy-sized chinook draws anglers from around the world.
The Discovery Coast is the southern section of the Inside Passage that stretches from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert, through the protected waters of British Columbia’s central and northern coastline. The Discovery Coast extends from Port Hardy to Bella Coola on the Central Coast, and includes the communities of Namu, McLoughlin Bay, Bella Bella, Denny Island (Shearwater), Klemtu, Ocean Falls, and the Hakai Pass area.
Ocean Light II AdventuresOcean Light II Adventures
Ocean Light II is a beautiful and spacious 71ft sailboat offering comfort, a classic natural wood interior, 5 guest cabins, fishing gear, 7 seakayaks, and a 19ft hard-bottom inflatable. Her crew has 34 years of experience offering natural history and photography tours on the BC Coast, including Haida Gwaii, and specializing in grizzly viewing tours in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, and spirit bear and grizzly tours in the Great Bear Rainforest. We also offer whale watching and eco tours, from totems to intertidal treasures, rocky shores to sandy beaches, and spawning salmon to towering trees. We offer five spectacular adventure trips between May and October, each to a different region and each highlighting the awe-inspiring beauty of the beautiful BC coast.
Grizzly Bear Lodge & SafariGrizzly Bear Lodge & Safari
Lodge Location: Knight Inlet BC postalBooking Office: 2328 Suffolk Crescent Courtenay BC V9N 3Z4 homePhone: 250-334-8858homeFax: 250-334-8858homefaxToll Free: email@example.comINTERNET
Fly-in for spectacular raincoast wildlife viewing in remote Knight Inlet in the spectacular Coast Mountains – Grizzly Bears and Black Bears, killer whales (Orcas), humpback whales, dolphins, stellar seals, sea lions, eagles and more. Knight Inlet is a famous natural fjord world renowned for its Grizzly Bear viewing. Get close to the action with our privileged access to special Grizzly Bear viewing stands. We offer 3-day trips out of Campbell River on Vancouver Island to the world capital for grizzly bear safaris. Explore the pristine natural world of British Columbia’s coastal grizzly bear. Whether you’re photographing the grizzly and black bears or waiting for that elusive shot of a whale breaching, we’ll bring you right to the wildlife hot spots so you can capture all the action.
Ole’s Hakai Pass Fishing LodgeOle’s Hakai Pass Fishing Lodge
Fly-in from Vancouver Fishing Location: Barney Bay Hakai Pass BC postalMailing Address: Box 753 Campbell River BC V9W 6J3 postalPhone: 250-287-8303homeFax: firstname.lastname@example.orgINTERNETVisit Website
Experience exceptional fishing for Salmon, Halibut, Red Snapper and Ling Cod in our protected, uncrowded waters in Hakai Pass on the West Coast of BC. Fishing within 5 minutes of our comfortable, clean full-service floating Lodge, everything is taken care off by our experienced, enthusiastic young staff. Fabulous Food, private accommodation, world-class fishing and genuine hospitality are what you can expect from this family-run Fishing Lodge.
Fishing Lodge Location: Rivers Inlet BC postalMailing Address: P.O. Box 78054 Port Coquitlam BC V3B 7H5 homeToll Free: email@example.comINTERNETVisit Website
Legacy Lodge offers a premier sportfishing experience found nowhere else, in harmony with the natural environment and in a world all of its own. Here, on the protected waters of Rivers Inlet, all the elements converge for epic fishing adventures, with 50-pound Chinook, 20-pound Coho salmon, and Halibut that await your challenge. Come experience the ultimate in fishing adventures, and renew your passion for the great outdoors.
Legacy Lodge provides a true awakening to nature and the ultimate sportfishing experience. For couples and families, parties of friends to corporate groups, Legacy Lodge was made for those who yearn for the perfect fishing vacation. Legacy Lodge invites you to come and share your passion for the great outdoors and the thrill of the fishing adventure of a lifetime! Trips book out quickly, so make your reservation now!/p>
Spirit of the West KayakingSpirit of the West Kayaking
P.O. Box 569 Heriot Bay Quadra Island BC V0P 1H0 postalPhone: 250-285-2121homeFax: 1-888-389-5736homefaxToll Free: firstname.lastname@example.orgINTERNETVisit Website
Kayaking British Columbia is the ultimate way to view BC’s abundant wildlife.
We want you to fall in love with kayaking and our unique coast, and our passion shows in everything we do. Choose among several professionally-guided 4-8 day trips for all experience levels around Vancouver Island. ‘Glamping’ basecamp-style with wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or expedition-style paddling from camp to camp and paddling between 100s of islands through the Broughton Archipelago, famous Desolation Sound and the wild Great Bear Rainforest on the Central Coast. Savouring a fresh salmon BBQ in the open air, explore and view fascinating wildlife and wilderness and wake up on remote islands with the sound of the whales. Unique and breathtaking.
Our adventures are for everyone and are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. We take care to introduce you to the sport in a fun and safe manner. All that we ask is that you welcome adventure with an open mind and are able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected. Our groups are small, ranging from 8 to 13 people, depending on the trip, in order to provide you with the best experience possible. We provide everything you need for a once in a lifetime kayaking adventure. We provide high-quality fiberglass kayaks, paddling equipment, camp cookware, eating utensils, and camping gear.
Our guides take care of you for the entire duration of your tour, prepare delicious, organic and local meals, and have extensive training and experience in sea kayaking and in sharing the natural and cultural history of the area.
During the Northern Hemisphere winter, we also offer kayaking trips to the glacier-fed South American wildlife paradise, the Chilean Patagonia Archipelago, and multi-day escapes to sun, sand, remote beaches and the warm crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. Please contact us for all details of these amazing winter getaways!
Inside Passage AccommodationsInside Passage Accommodations
Inside Passage Accommodations are located on pristine Denny Island on the beautiful Discovery Coast. We provide an eco-friendly, clean, quiet and safe base from which to experience the Great Bear Rainforest, one of the last unspoiled rainforests on the planet. We have two, recently constructed self-contained properties available for vacation rental: a cottage and a five-bedroom lodge.
The clean and cozy cottage is suitable for two guests, or a small family, and has a fantastic view of Whiskey Slough. It also features a fully-equipped kitchen with full-sized fridge and stove, three-piece bathroom with shower, queen-size bed, satellite TV, and wireless internet. A freezer is available for your use. The cottage rents for $175 per night. Our five-bedroom lodge accommodates bigger groups, at $250 per night.
Enjoy the serenity of the Discovery Coast area and the spectacular scenery it boasts. Leave the stresses of the modern world behind you and find inner peace in this unspoiled, coastal paradise. Enjoy long, relaxing walks and explore the tide pools that team with colour and life. Adventures in the magnificent Great Bear Rain Forest area include salmon and sport fishing, kayaking and boating, eco-tours, diving, and hiking.
Classic Yacht ChartersClassic Yacht Charters
Craving a change from the ‘everyday’? Dreaming of running away to sea? Welcome aboard our historical ‘Mission Ship’. Design your private voyage into BC’s coastal playground. Indulge your interests: fishing, clamming, rowing, kayaking, whale watching… Cruise in comfort and safety with our Coast Guard licensed Captain and crew. Discover how your chef turns meal times into taste extravaganzas.
Bluewater AdventuresBluewater Adventures
Explore BC and Southeast Alaska with Bluewater Adventures aboard our 70′ yachts sailing the BC Inside Passage, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Gwaii Haanas National Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Vancouver Island. You’ll see whales, Grizzly, Black and Kermode bears, and experience ancient native villages and Haida culture, primeval forests, wilderness, and amazing coastal wildlife.
Ecosummer ExpeditionsEcosummer Expeditions
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 156 Clearwater BC V0E 1N0 postalEcosummer Orca Camp Warden Beach Vancouver Island BC homePhone: 250-674-0102homeFax: 250-674-2197homefaxToll Free: email@example.comINTERNETVisit Website
Awaken to the song of the Humpback whale. Fall asleep beneath the hushed canopy of a temperate rainforest. Fill your days whale-watching, kayaking with Orcas, observing sea lions romp through an underwater forest of kelp, and eagles fishing along the shore. Linger over lunch on a deserted island, scanning the horizon for signs of Orca activity.
Sign up for Ecosummer’s guided Orca Camps to kayak in the realm of Killer Whales. Explore the rainforest, hiking to waterfalls, or along ancient First Nation trails. Marvel when dolphins swim so close you wish you could reach out and touch them. Tune in to the rhythm of the tides. Escape the hubbub of your everyday world and restore life’s equilibrium on the shores of BC’s Johnstone Strait, one of the best places to whale-watch in all of British Columbia. Paddle the same waters as these gentle giants on three, four, or six-day kayaking adventures with Ecosummer Expeditions for a family vacation you’ll always remember.