Located on the Central and North Coasts of British Columbia, the Great Bear Rainforest contains some of the largest remaining old growth temperate rainforests in the World and is home to a number of rare species, notably including the Kermode (Spirit Bear). Starting in the mid 1990s, environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), including Greenpeace, ForestEthics, Rainforest Action Network, and Sierra Club of BC began to protest, blockade, and campaign against clearcut logging operations in old growth forests. Greenpeace primarily focused its efforts on campaigns to encourage consumers to boycott purchasing wood from companies that clearcut in old growth forests. Faced with growing domestic and international opposition, including Greenpeace’s boycott campaign, several forestry companies began to work with ENGOs towards more environmentally responsible logging within the Great Bear Rainforest.
Starting in the early 2000s, the Provincial Government began to develop Land and Resource Management plans for the Central Coast (in 2001) and the North Coast (in 2004). Protection of some of the Great Bear Rainforest from clearcut logging was first announced by the Provincial Government in April 2001. In February 2006, the Government announced the Coast Land Use Decision, setting land aside for protection from logging and the framework for further development of ecosystem-based management (EBM) in the region to balance human well-being and ecological integrity. In 2009, the Provincial Government announced the protection of fifty percent of old growth forests from logging and a five year work plan to implement ecosystem-based management. Under the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act of 2016, the Provincial Government set aside 85 percent of the Great Bear Rainforest from logging to maintain ecological integrity, with 70 percent of old growth forests being protected from logging.
The records in this series primarily consists of Greenpeace campaigns and correspondence with external organizations and records produced as part of the land and resource management planning for the Central and North Coasts. The series contains records relating to other environmental campaigns in British Columbia ranging from protecting old growth forests in the Elaho Valley north of Squamish to protecting the Taku River in northwest British Columbia. These records are available in the Communications, Legal records, and Reports subseries.
The Communications subseries includes press releases and publications by external organizations, articles produced by news organizations, and publications by Greenpeace Canada and Greenpeace International to shape public opinion and market behaviour regarding the Great Bear Rainforest. Correspondence predominantly includes letters, printed emails, and other correspondence between Greenpeace and external organizations. Ecosystem Based Management subseries includes records relating to land and resource management plans and reports on the Central and North Coasts and Haida Gwaii. External Organizations subseries includes records that originally were external to Greenpeace and later received by them. This includes documents produced by forestry companies and materials produced by other ENGOs.
Files in the Legal records subseries primarily include copies of BC Supreme Court trials of Greenpeace members arrested during blockades in the Great Bear Rainforest and correspondence with legal counsel representing Greenpeace members in court. Planning and Meetings subseries includes planning for Greenpeace campaigns, planning and meetings with other environmental non-governmental organizations, draft documents, and documents relating to the Land and Resource Management Plans for the Central and North Coasts. Protests and Activism subseries includes Greenpeace’s civil disobedience campaigns and market boycott purchasing wood from clearcut old growth forests. Photographs subseries includes all photos, slides, and negatives not originally housed as part of a file with textual records. File titles are based on the content of items.