In the world we currently live in, it is such a rare opportunity to have a direct, tangible, positive impact. It can be excruciatingly difficult to know whether or not you are making a positive change. When you’re just one person, the world often seems so big, and the problems in it so insurmountable, that positive change can feel so out of reach.
As someone who is immersed in the world of conservation, I know this feeling all too well. To balance out this uncertainty, I’m always on the lookout for that rare project that will provide me the opportunity to make change happen NOW – for that project that I can put my money, time, or energy into, and see results right away. That is one of the reasons I so admire Raincoast’s campaign to Safeguard Coastal Carnivores.
I’ve spent my life surrounded by the wild and beautiful coast of the Salish Sea and, more recently, the Great Bear Rainforest. The wildlife and nature of this place has a grip on my heart that I can’t explain in words. I’ve been fortunate enough in recent years to be surrounded by individuals and communities who have similar sentiment, and who are willing to fight for the coast’s well-being.
The strength and perseverance of coastal First Nations communities in particular, whose very existence, culture, and identity is tied to the health of these wild spaces, have deeply inspired me. I feel more humbled and grateful every day to be continually learning from them.
I first became acquainted with Raincoast’s work when I was finishing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Victoria, and was conducting research about hunter satisfactions in the Raincoast Lab. I went on to work for Raincoast as a field technician in the heart of Heiltsuk territory, as part of their ongoing Salmon-Carnivore research project.
Now, I’m switching gears, and using other tools at my disposal to help Raincoast and Coastal First Nations in their latest collaborative effort: securing the commercial hunting rights for the Nadeea Tenure, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. I’m using my skills as a wildlife photographer and sci-artist to spread the word about Safeguard Coastal Carnivores – and raise as many funds as possible before time runs out.
I’ve designed and created two enamel pins for this cause: the Landscape Bear Pin supports Raincoast, and represents the bear-salmon ecosystems in the Great Bear Rainforest; the Spirit Bear Pin, which represents the ecological and culturally significant Spirit or Kermode Bear, supports Bears Forever, the Coastal First Nations partners for the Safeguard Coastal Carnivores campaign.
Additionally, I’ll be donating 25% of all proceeds from my bear and wolf photo prints to Raincoast for the duration of this campaign. Donations can also be made to the Safeguard Coastal Carnivores campaign direction through my fundraising page.
If you’re looking for a way to make an impact for wildlife, ecosystems, and communities in coastal BC, this is a project you’re going to want to get involved in. Believe me when I tell you: opportunities like this one don’t come around often. If Raincoast raises enough funds to buy out this trophy hunting tenure, positive change WILL happen. The positive effects will be felt immediately.
Carnivores such as bears (spirit bears, black bears, and grizzlies), coastal wolves, cougars, wolverines, and other animals will be saved by the permanent closure of guided trophy hunting, in one of the most amazing ecosystems in the world. They’ll be saved not only for one year, or for 10 years, but in perpetuity. Not only that, but this will be a vital step in acknowledging First Nations sovereignty and Indigenous Law in the Great Bear Rainforest: a step that is long overdue.
The only thing stopping this from happening right now is funding. Everything else is in place. There are no more hoops to jump through, no policies to change, no petitions to sign. Join me, and let’s do something we know we can do – and end guided trophy hunting in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest forever!
You can donate to Raincoast’s Safeguarding Coastal Carnivores campaign through my fundraising page here!
You can purchase my enamel pins and photo prints, which support the campaign, here!