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The fight over ‘Spirit Bear’

The Story

The Great Bear Rainforest, located on remote Roderick Island on British Columbia's central coast, becomes the latest battleground over clearcutting. Named after the spirit bear (a rare, white bear that lives in the region), it's among the last temperate, costal rainforests in the world. Greenpeace wants the forest protected and calls for the end to all clearcutting. In this CBC Television clip, protesters chain themselves to logging equipment, halting work for Western Forest Products, the company that's been logging there for 90 years.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: May 26, 1997
Guests: Tzeporah Berman, Bill Dumont, Percy Starr
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Adrienne Arsenault
Duration: 2:23

Did You know?

• Greenpeace's protest cost Western Forest Products over $1-million at a time when the forestry industry in British Columbia was suffering economically due to mill closures and layoffs. In response, Premier Glen Clark called groups like Greenpeace "enemies of British Columbia."

• A month after this report, B.C. overhauled its Forest Practices Code, making it easier for forestry companies to log in the province.

• In April 2001, B.C. Premier Ujjal Dosanjh created a sanctuary for the spirit bear by banning logging in the one million hectares of temperate rainforest along the coast that stretch from the mainland to the Alaska border.


Clearcutting and Logging: The War of the Woods more