As this decade closes, it’s timely to celebrate what we have collectively achieved for BC’s coast.
Raincoast’s past in the Kitlope takes us back three decades to 1990, when Brian Falconer first visited at the invitation of the Haisla and Xenaksiala. The Nations were working to save the Kitlope from clearcut logging, which they ultimately achieved. Now we are getting close to realizing a last remaining wish of Cecil Paul, the Xenaksiala Elder who led the effort to protect this vast temperate rainforest watershed – an end to commercial trophy hunting in the Kitlope, the place of his birth.
The story of killer whales and court rooms began last century, in 1999. Some twenty years later, we remain focused on protecting their habitat and life requisites, including adequate food supply. This summer saw the most stringent recovery measures ever implemented for the Southern Residents. Raincoast’s partnership with other conservation groups and our engagement with government, along with our outreach to the public and the media, played a key role in securing these measures. In 2020, we plan to complete a compelling documentary about these endangered whales.
From past to present, our long-term investments in the Raincoast Applied Conservation Science Lab are increasingly coming to fruition. A generation of students graduated in 2019 with doctoral and master’s degrees. Many now continue to directly apply conservation science via positions with our Indigenous partners.
In the Fraser River estuary our work has taken a thoughtful look at the history and root causes of habitat loss. In just a few years we have created a comprehensive salmon conservation program. This presently includes our vital scientific research and a major multi-year habitat restoration project. We are also taking forward a Vision for salmon in the Lower Fraser via collaboration with Indigenous Nations, NGOs, and others.
Back to the future, 2020 will also see the next steps for our brand new Gulf Islands forests project. We are working to characterize forest health and identify measures to protect forest habitat throughout these unique and sensitive island ecosystems.
All these things and more are profiled in Tracking Raincoast into 2020.
As we begin a new decade, characterized by the urgency of a rapidly changing climate, I want to ask you to invest in our future as a monthly donor. Whether $25, $50, $100 or more, these regular donations provide a stability that helps us continue toward our goal of safeguarding the land, waters, and wildlife of coastal British Columbia.
With my deep gratitude for your interest and support.