8 things to know about Great Bear Rainforest

great bear rainforest

The Great Bear Rainforest is a benign rainforest that is located on the coast of the Pacific of British Columbia in Canada, consisting of nearly about 6.5 million hectares.

The Rainforest is partially set on British Columbia’s north and central north coasts. It is part of a huge ecoregion of the Pacific temperate rainforest, which is the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world.

History of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement

  • On 1st February 2016, Premier Christy Clark, and representatives of the forest industry announced an agreement that has reached the territory of British Columbia, the forestry industry, environmentalists, and the First Nations to protect about 85% of the 6.7 million hectares of Great Bear Rainforest from the hands of the industrial logging.
  • The remaining 15% will be subjected to logging of stringent conditions.
  • The agreement gives importance to aboriginal rights, which is shared decision-making that also provides a larger economic share of the entire timber rights, and about $ 15 million is funded to 26 First Nations in that area.
  • On March 1, 2016, the Great Bear Rainforest Act of Forest Management was initially introduced by the government system.
  • In September, the Duke of Cambridge, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, and Catherine visited the area and disclosed a plaque to acknowledge the forest for its admission into the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.

Things to Know About Great Bear Rainforest

great bear rainforest
Image source- eberhard grossgasteiger, pexels

The Rain Forest offers many things to see, from flora to fauna, with healthy environmental groups. The Great Bear Rainforest is a non-profit organization established from the government’s final agreement.

If you have travel interests, you should try the Great Bear Rainforest because it includes old-growth forests, and you will find the central coast that settles many different communities of indigenous peoples. 

The place has well-protected wildlife, such as different kinds of bears and many sea animals. If you are keen to know more about the rainforest, you are on the right page.

2.1. White Fur Spirit Bear

The kermode, also known as the spirit bear, is a genetic variant of black bears found nowhere else on Earth but in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Some areas in the Rainforest include the highest number of known species of the spirit bear i.e. Grizzly bears. The different species of spirit bears are estimated to range from about 50-300.

The reason is still unknown why many recessive genes have allowed the bear to continue to evolve with white fur. Some people believe it is due to the continuous advantage of fishing without alarming the salmon of a dark shadow.

In Kitasoo First Nation legend, the only species that turned white fur in every 10 bears was a Raven, in honour of the ancient glacial period when everything was fully covered with ice.

2.2. Underwater Forest

What do you think of the Great Bear Rainforest when it first comes to your mind? You probably think of its nice-satiated trees, including a lush forest covered with different types of bears. Well, the place consists of pretty much all of these. However, it is not only about its terrestrial forest.

great bear rainforest
image source- Timothy Wills-DeTone, pexels

The Great Bear Rainforest Sea is home to many of the world’s largest kelp forests. Bull kelp is a kind of aquatic plant. Some of them are perennial, which can grow up to about 120 feet tall and can grow up to 3 feet in one day.

This makes it one of the largest, fastest-growing plants in the sea and on land. The kelp forests share a safe place for all types of marine creatures, from sea otters to rockfish, including everything between them.

The seawater forests construct a buffer zone from waves and ocean swells to protect the areas of intertidal and shorelines.

The underwater forest of the Rainforest consists of whale watching of humpback whales, sea lions, and many more. The bear rainforest hides the global treasure of underwater forests in a million acres range.

2.3. Rich Diversity

Speaking about flora, The Great Bear rainforest consists of many old forests such as Western Red cedar and giant Sitka spruce that have frequently been growing for over 1000 years old.

The Rainforest supports more organic than any other ecosystem in the world, including Vancouver Island, Tweedsmuir provincial park, and many more.

The different species of rainforest communities range from the world’s largest species to microorganisms.

2.4. Natural Habitat

The connection between the land and the underwater species is intertwined and enmeshed, and they rely on each other for their survival. Due to this immense cooperation, underwater life and terrestrial life thrive. 

Phytoplankton and zooplankton are microscopic organisms that are the major nutrients to smaller fish such as krill, and herring, which then contribute about 40%-50% or even more of the dissolved oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Great Bear Sea subtidal zone is home to many different creatures, such as crabs, abalone, anemones, chitin, urchin, and many more.

Land animals range from rodents, and mink to wolves, mountain goats, deer, bears, and other rare wolverines. The junctions where the land meets the ocean are some of the most natural habitat regions of the bear rainforest.

2.5. Forest for Salmons

The main contributors to the rainforest are the forests rich with nutrients, with their vibrant and dense understory that the animals eat salmon- big and small.

Each year Pacific salmon is made up of 5 different species: chinook (king/spring), coho, sockeye, chum and pink. They flood the streams of the Rainforest to spawn and attract many kinds of predatory species to the estuaries and inlets, including seals, whales, porpoises, sea lions, dolphins, sea otters, bears – grizzlies, spirit bears, black bears, bald eagles, and blue herons.

The eagles and bears play a very important role in ensuring the different nutrients consumed by the salmon that are dispersed along the forest. When salmon are caught, they are brought back into the woods to be able to feed on them, and the remaining food starts decaying back into the soil of the earth, providing extra essential nutrients for the trees to turn into the unique coastal giants that we are eventually seeing today.

2.6. Home To Many Nations Communities

The history of the First Nations BC Coastal dates back more than 10,000 years ago. They have survived years after years on the abundance of this land and protecting the area both culturally and naturally­, which is of its utmost importance.

Residential schools mandated bear rainforest education by the British Columbia Government of Canada’s Department allying the Indian Affairs during the 19th century.

Art of the First Coastal Nations, from the totem pole and carving of masks to weaving baskets and clothing of cedar bark, is highly regarded worldwide.

2.7. Tradition

The Bear Rainforest has its own traditional ceremonies known as potlatches that take place along the central and north coasts in the Big Houses.

Some ceremonies last for days, including traditional dances with masks and paddles made by the Nuxalk Nation, storytelling, feasts, and gift-giving through the Broughton archipelago.

The Coastal First Nations consists of people of the land, sky, and sea and are the strongest believers in protecting their area generation after generation.

The fastest-growing industry in the Great Bear Rainforest is Ecotourism which contributes to a sustainable economy. By flaunting this area before the world, native people or the nation’s people will naturally want to protect their area from habitat decimation.

2.8. Home for Whales

great bear rainforest
image source- Elianne Dipp, pexels

When you hear rainforest, the first thing that may come to your mind is probably not only the whales but also the abundance of whales located in the Great Bear Sea.

It was once believed that they got extinct from the area due to hunting, but the humpback whale and the other whales are making a massive comeback.

The Johnstone Strait is one of the best places in the world if you love whale watching.

Final Note

The Great Bear Rainforest is an unspoiled temperate rainforest constituting a huge national geographic area and economic development. The bear rainforest is associated with Destination BC to present bear entertainment, awareness, trust, and educational system in this rainforest located on the central coast.

It also includes the prince Rupert restaurant and Bella Coola restaurant. The forest provides hilly hiking and hunting lodge that ensures the privacy act, protection, and with experience providers for any help to the visitors.

The Royal Highnesses of Cambridge officially endorsed the rainforest under the Commonwealth Canopy with the help of the Great Bear Rainforest agreement.

You will find many temperate rainforests In Canada, but the Great Bear Rainforest is an ecological integrity forest. So Canadians, what are you waiting for? Visit the Rainforest with your friends and family to enjoy the spectacular nature.


Q. What is the best time to visit the Great Bear Rainforest?

  • The best to visit the Rainforest is late August.

Q. Why is it called Great Bear Rainforest?

  • In the Canadian Raincoast Wilderness Report, published by the Raincoast Conservation Society in 1994, Peter McAllister (Ian’s father) coined the term “Great Bear Wilderness.” This referred to large wild areas of the B.C. central coast

Q. What are the threats to Great Bear Rainforest?

  • The main threat to the Rainforest is logging. A majority of logging in Great Bear is clearcut logging, meaning that 70 to 100% of trees are cleared, effectively destroying all the habitat of species, as well as wildlife corridors and migration routes as of 2021.



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