Inland Temperate Rainforest
Rarest of rare
The Inland Temperate Rainforest in British Columbia is the only forest of its kind in the world. Just west of the Rockies, this area’s abundant precipitation makes for some of the richest and diverse forests and wildlife in Canada. And because the giant trees of the Inland Temperate Rainforest store massive amounts of carbon, protecting these forests is an important hedge against global warming. Living alongside more tree species than anywhere else in BC, the endangered mountain caribou make their home in this vibrant ecosystem.
Unfortunately, the logging industry took only ten short years to cut down more than half of the Inland Temperate Rainforest's oldest and most ecologically-important trees. Mountain caribou populations plummeted during this period. Since this surge in corporate logging interests in the region, we have been working successfully to protect more of this globally unique ecosystem.
ForestEthics and our allies achieved a significant victory in February of 2009 as the government of British Columbia legally protected more than 5.4 million acres (2.2 million hectares) of endangered mountain caribou habitat in the Inland Temperate Rainforest from logging and associated road building. The government also prohibited motorized recreation across 2.4 million acres (one million hectares) of caribou habitat. Several customers of British Columbia's forest products played key roles in this victory by writing and calling the provincial government; encouraging their suppliers in the region to suspend logging in caribou habitat and support the recovery process; and, in some cases, moving their business away from suppliers who did not support the recovery process.
While the plan represents a significant step forward for mountain caribou, some protections against mineral exploration, development, snowmobiling and heli-skiing are still outstanding—meaning there is still unfinished business that presents an unnecessary risk to the future recovery of the species. ForestEthics has released an "IOU" list of outstanding commitments and will be watching closely to ensure that the BC government keeps its promises.
Learn more about mountain caribou >>