Safeguarding coastal carnivores in the Kitlope

Black bear wet from the river water that it stands in has a salmon curving as it struggles in its mouth

Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

One of our greatest achievements at Raincoast has been our role in ending the trophy hunting of grizzly bears throughout British Columbia. Acquiring the remaining commercial hunting tenures in the Great Bear Rainforest extends similar protection to all coastal carnivores in this vast region. Having successfully raised funds for the Nadeea tenure at the end of 2018, this past year we have made significant progress on our next goal, the Kitlope hunting tenure.

The Kitlope represents the world’s largest intact coastal temperate rainforest watershed, with trees more than 1,000 years old. It is home to a stunning variety and abundance of wildlife, ranging from mountain goats, to grizzly bear, black bear, wolf, and wolverine. At the head of Gardiner Canal, one of the longest fjords in the world, is one of the largest and most productive river estuaries on the BC coast, home to more than a hundred species of birds, from waterfowl to raptors.

Black and white photograph of Elder Cecil Paul and Brian Falconer as they sit on a log. Brian listens deeply to Elder Cecil Paul while river froths behind them.
Photo by Sherry Kirkvold.

Raincoast’s Brian Falconer first visited the Kitlope in 1990 aboard the Maple Leaf at the invitation of the Haisla and Xenaksiala people, who were fighting to save their homeland from clearcut logging. His relationship to this place was forged in large part in with Cecil Paul, a hereditary chief of the Xenaksiala. Cecil was instrumental in winning protection for this stunning place back in August of 1994, when the Province of British Columbia and the Haisla Nation announced that the Kitlope would be fully protected from industrial activity and jointly managed.

Panoramic vista of a beautiful snow capped and green mountains foregrounded by a small sandy beach besides calm green waters. One boat rests a few metres off the beach in the centre of the picture.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

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