The Great Bear Rainforest is the name coined by ecological groups in the mid-1990s to refer to a area of temperate rain forest in Canada, on the British Columbia Coast between Vancouver Island and Southeast Alaska. Part of the larger Pacific temperate rain forest ecoregion, the Great Bear Rainforest, roughly 64x1000 sq.km(25,000 sq mi) in size, was beforehand known by the government and the forest industry as "the Mid and North Coast Timber Supply Areas".
The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the biggest outstanding tracts of unspoiled temperate rainforest left in the world. The area is home to hundreds of species, including cougars, wolves, salmon, grizzly bears, and the Kermode ("spirit") bear, a unique subspecies of the black bear, in which one in 10 cubs display a recessive white colored coat.
The forest features Thousand year old Western Red Cedar and Ninty metre Sitka Spruce.
Coastal rainforests are exemplified by having immediacy to both ocean and mountains. The onshore ocean flow into the mountain ranges causes plentiful rainfall to fall on the land in between the mountains and the ocean. Most of the Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon coastal areas share this same pattern.
In the early 1990s environmentalists initiated a large scale movement to protect the Clayoquot Sound region of Vancouver Island. After years of disagreement the British Columbia (BC) government announced prohibition on clear-cutting in the Clayoquot rainforests and began a local planning procedure that incorporated First Nations of the area and independent scientists.The Clayoquot Sound movement became the model for the Great Bear Rainforest campaign.
Techniques used at Clayoquot Sound were further urbanized and new move towards adopted, such as global advertising campaigns, improved mapping technologies, and the use of large scale holistic ecosystem-based management models. In 1997 the central and northern BC coastal region was renamed "Great Bear Rainforest" by a network of ENGOs (environmental nongovernmental organizations), for the reason of galvanizing an international campaign for its protection. The name, which was chosen without consulting local residents, was by 2005 being used by many organizations, including news media outlets. As Meureen Gail Reed writes, "the emotive significance of such a name cannot be underestimated".
In May 2004, after years of argument and negotiation, the various stakeholders have the same opinion to suggest the BC government that about 3,500x1000 acres (14,200 km2), about 33percentage of the Great Bear Rainforest, be put under some form of protection, and that new forms of ecosystem-based forestry be required throughout the rainforest. This fell short of the technical recommendations, which had concluded that 44%–70% should be protected. The suggestion given to the BC administration was a cooperation answer agreed to by the many stakeholders after years of difficult negotiations.