Special National Geographic Feature on the land of the Spirit Bear

In a moss-draped rain forest in British Columbia, towering red cedars live a thousand years, and black bears are born with white fur.

The August 2011 issue of National Geographic features incredible images from photographer Paul Nicklen in two important stories by Bruce Barcott; Spirit Bear: The wildest place in America and Pipeline Through Paradise.  Paul and his colleagues from the International League of Conservation Photographers cover a proposed plan to build an oil pipeline through the Land of the Spirit Bear in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest.

Read the stories and see all the images at:

In a forest dominated by second-growth trees, a young bear settles into a mossy day bed at the foot of a giant, old-growth western red cedar. Bears use such day beds to rest and sleep after a meal. ©Paul Nicklen/National Geographic


With a population of 400 to as many as a thousand, the spirit bear may owe its survival to the protective traditions of the First Nations, who never hunted the animals or spoke of them to fur trappers. ©Paul Nicklen/National Geographic


Two adult males tussle over a prime fishing spot in a river. "Bear scraps are rare events," says Doug Neasloss, a Kitasoo/Xai'xais wildlife guide. "There's a high potential for injury, so they avoid conflict if they can." ©Paul Nicklen/National Geographic