March 31st deadline to save BC's Great Bear Rainforest approaches
Three years ago the BC government made a promise to save what is known as 'the Great Bear Rainforest'; an area of old-growth trees in British Columbia that is playing key role in the ability to prevent climate change. Their deadline to follow through on this promise is March 31st 2009.
The forest is six million hectares in size and a study that is funded by ForestEthics, Greenpeace and Sierra Club BC is making sure the government follows through on their proposed logging plan to save the trees that store massive amounts of carbon dioxide. If this area was cut down, it is estimated that 153 million tonnes of CO2 would be released into the atmosphere.
"This translates into three times what the province emits annually from the use of fossil fuels ... or the emissions of 28 million cars on the road for a year," Dr. Holt says in the study.
The plan is supposed to be in place by March 31st.
It was in 2006 that the government said that about two million hectares of the forest would be saved from any logging and the remaining four million could be logged, but would be monitored for sustainable logging. Enough trees have to be left to keep the storage of CO2 in the area.
Conservationists in the area are also asking for the trophy hunting of bears in the area to be eliminated as well.
They want ecotourism to the area to be more valuable than hunting is, but the government says that the bear hunting generates $100 million a year and provides for about 2,000 jobs.
The Rainforest is found on BC's coast from the tip of Vancouver Island to the southern tip of Alaska.
It is the largest unbroken stretch of temperate rain forest in the world and is home to thousands of bears. The government did put a plan in place that would enable the area to be sustainable but they have yet to put that in place and the deadline is almost up.
If you wish to get involved and let your voice be heard to save this area of land, you can send a pre-written letter to the BC government.