We woke up to rain this morning, which was a welcome sound. The summer of 2018 has been hot and dry. For the second time in four years, the rainforest hasn’t seen any rain. Water levels are at all-time lows, and communities have to declare states of emergency since they are running out of water. The pattering of the rain increasing to a constant rush almost drowns out the sound of the generator. Looking out of the foggy window, the steep hillsides are cascading with white waterfalls. Every last bit of the land around us is taking in this welcome rain as rivers swell, and slopes re-saturate.
We are in one of the highlighted inlets found within the Nadeea tenure. This inlet houses a large watershed etched between tall peaks, and glacier-capped mountains. This is a place that I’ve seen change over the years of coming here; salmon numbers are down, snow on the hillsides is not lingering like it used to, and the possibility of ending trophy hunting is on the horizon.
We get our wet weather gear on and jump into the inflatable. Our group covers their cameras, trying to keep things dry even though the moisture clings to everything around. We wind our way up the swollen river at high tide. The water is beginning to flow over top of the estuary making getting out on foot a little difficult. As we approach a snag of trees and a little slough off the main stem, a mother grizzly slowly makes her way to the water’s edge.
We watch as her three little cubs slowly take to the high water and make their way to mom. They graze on roots, and search for salmon carcasses that simply aren’t there. The cub’s curiosity is evident as they are learning from mom how to negotiate their environment. A little one approaches on the fallen snag to give us a pose before retreating back to mom’s care.
Soaking wet, but with SD cards full, we make our way back to Achiever to warm up and reflect on the morning’s viewing. A discussion of the future of this area takes place as we showcase the Nadeea tenure to the group.
Just before Christmas we announced our successful fundraising required to purchase the Nadeea tenure. This is the next chunk of wildlife habitat in the Great Bear Rainforest that will be free from commercial trophy hunting. I think back to that cub posed on the log, and all the other carnivores that this system supports will now be saved from commercial trophy hunting.
You can join Achiever this spring and fall as we visit the Nadeea tenure and other hunting tenures purchased by Raincoast in partnership with Coastal First Nations.
Please be sure reach out if you would like to come along.