Kitlope River estuary visit

Single-handing my wooden sailboat into the Kitlope changed my life.

This spot on a map of BC means little until you follow the 70-mile Gardner Canal that branches off Devastation Channel and winds its way deep into the coastal mountains of northern BC. 

While single-handing my old wooden sailboat, ERN, I was reminded of my first trip to the mountains and the thrill of seeing the spectacular scenery along the old two-lane Banff-Jasper Highway.

But now I was experiencing the same wonder and awe as the canal zig-zagged its way through the coastal range where countless waterfalls embroidered forbidding rocky cliffs before rushing through the deep green forest until joining the milky waters of Gardner Canal.

On a sunny day the serried precipices are a palette of reds, ochres, gold, greys and blacks. Passing through each turn of the narrow channel was like turning the pages in a book of photographs from a land of make-believe until arriving at the estuary of the Kitlope River. The river’s wide expanse of grasses and sedges stretch for over a mile across the upper part of the estuary before shallows extend far into the bay.

What a feeling of joy when I learned that Raincoast was planning to secure the protection of all the large carnivores that inhabit this area of peace and beauty. Now it’s pay-back for times of rejuvenation and peace while enjoying Mother Nature’s blessings to BC. I am happy to contribute to this legacy of a rich variety of flora and fauna. From  wolves to black bears to grizzlies, all the Kitlope’s carnivores will be protected from the devastation of trophy hunting.

A cliff face looms over the water in the iconic Kitlope valley.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

We are so excited to share our annual report – Tracking Raincoast Into 2023 – with you! Tracking gives you highlights from the year, our science, flagship projects, as well as a peek at what’s in store for the coming year.

Dive into Tracking and learn more about our work safeguarding coastal carnivores in the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure. We are currently raising funds to stop commercial trophy hunting in more than a quarter of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. Now is a good time to sign up and stay connected to our community of researchers and change-makers.