Tag Archives: Ian McAllister

Pacific Wild on The Great Bear Rainforest Agreement: Unfiltered



Today, on behalf of Pacific Wild, and in the interest of setting our course for the miles still ahead, I offer the following reflections on the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest Agreement.

I have been asked for my opinion of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement (GBRA) several times over the last 48 hours.

As I’m sure many people reflecting on this agreement in public and private can relate, synthesizing your thoughts for a media sound byte is challenging at the best of times – more so when you are attempting to address the complexity of a multi-stakeholder agreement many years in the making.

Before the announcement was formalized on Monday, the Heiltsuk Tribal Council released this very pragmatic statement, describing their view of the agreement. If there is one sound byte that trumps them all, I respectfully nominate this one: “We are grateful for a step down the right path. It is the first of many miles yet to walk.”

Looking forward

Continue reading

Vancouver,NHLDucks Clayton Stoner to Enter Plea in case of ‘The Trophy Killing of a Grizzly’

November 12, 2015                                                                                                   MEDIA ADVISORY

Vancouver, B.C. – Anaheim Ducks Defenseman, Clayton Stoner (originally of Port NcNeill, B.C.) faces five charges for Illegally Killing ‘Cheeky the Grizzly’ in the Great Bear Rainforest in May 2013.  After three adjournments Stoner’s lawyer is finally expected to enter a ‘guilty’ plea at Robson Square Provincial Courthouse-800 Hornby Street, Rm 101 at 9:30a.m.

Continue reading

Updates on Pacific Wild & Bears Matter Change.org Petitions: Graphic Grizzly Hunt Video Gone Viral


Update fr Pacific Wild Sept 13, 2015 ‘Have you seen this video?’ Warning: Graphic Content

Bears Matter

Sep 14, 2015 — Have you seen this video? (Warning: Graphic content)

Pacific Wild
Sep 13, 2015 — A very violent video of a trophy hunt kill went viral earlier this week in Canada, and now newspapers across the country, in particular B.C., are amping up the call for an end to the trophy hunt of grizzly bears. 


One journalist has gone so far as to challenge Christy Clark, the premier of B.C., to watch the video and tell B.C. she still supports the trophy hunt.

Continue reading

Coastal Guardian Watchmen confront armed trophy hunters to save grizzlies

“Sometimes it gets nasty,” said Jason Moody, a patroller from Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola.http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/coastal-guardian-watchmen-confront-armed-trophy-hunters-save-grizzlies
Coastal Guardian Watchmen Grizzly bear hunt
Coastal Guardian Watchmen on the lookout for trophy hunters on the Great Bear Rainforest coast in 2010. Photo by Doug Neasloss with Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation.

Patrolling up and down British Columbia’s coast with binoculars are a group of dedicated First Nations volunteers that boat right up to armed hunters, often American, in their vessels to dissuade them from killing at-risk grizzlies just for sport. 

Called the Coastal Guardian Watchmen, they urge unsuspecting trophy hunters to halt their pursuit of grizzlies as insensitive to First Nations culture, and against tribal law.

“Sometimes it gets nasty,” said Jason Moody, a patroller from Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola.

“Sometimes you get [trophy hunters] realizing, ‘OK, you guys don’t want the hunting around here. We’ll go somewhere else.’”

Foreign hunters from places like Virginia and Texas pay thousands of dollars to come to B.C.—to be in one of the few places left where the fourth-largest carnivore on the planet can be shot for a trophy head or a bear rug.  

Many trophy hunters don’t like the altercations with the now 16 native patrollers on the coast.

“It gets tense. Usually just having a presence is enough,” says William Housty, who chairs the Heltisiuk First Nation resource management office in Bella Bella, and coordinates many of the indigenous watchmen.

Housty’s biggest worry is intoxicated hunters harming his crews that double as field researchers, quietly collecting grizzly-hair DNA in the woods.

“If there are drunk hunters walking around drinking Jack Daniels — who is to say they won’t shoot one our researchers. That’s one of our biggest beefs with the province,” he said.

The Guardian Watchmen do not have the legal powers to board vessels or enforce conservation laws, but they wish they did. Provincial officers, the Coast Guard and the RCMP are not seen often enough, said Housty.

And many hunters they come across are not carrying provincial licences. 

“A lot of the people who come up here don’t actually have tags. They’re poachers,” said Housty.

The wildlife manager recalled an infamous incident in 2013 when NHL player Clayton Stoner let some coastal watchmen on board the famous hockey player’s boat to photograph the defencemen’s recent grizzly kill.

NHL Clayton Stoner grizzly beheaded

NHL defenceman Clayton Stoner posing with a beheaded grizzly in 2013.  Photo by Coastal Guardian Watchmen.

The head and claws were removed, and Stoner smiled for the watchmen’s photo snaps that would soon become national news material.

“He let himself be an idiot poster child for the trophy hunt,” laughed Housty.   

Stoner defended his bear kill at the time.

“I applied for and received a grizzly bear hunting licence through a British Columbia limited-entry lottery last winter and shot a grizzly bear with my licence while hunting with my father, uncle and a friend in May,” the hockey star said in a statement. 

But since that media spectacle, many watchmen admit they’ve only been partly successful in slowing the trophy hunt.   

The Guide Outfitters Association says as long as it is kept legal by the B.C. government, their members will continue flying in high-paying hunting clients to kill grizzlies.

“While we try to accommodate [aboriginal] wishes, but until they have jurisdiction, the authority around it is the Crown,” says the association’s executive director Scott Ellis.  

“Our guys are still going to operate their businesses.” 

But Coastal First Nations are now threatening legal action to put an end to the industry.

Action Alert: Save BC Wolves from Aerial Killing:Pacific Wild Petitioning B.C. Liberals Premier Christy Clark

BC Government Is getting Ready to Slaughter 180 Wolves over next two months

BC Government Is getting Ready to Slaughter 180 Wolves over next two months

This petition will be delivered to:

B.C. Liberals:Premier Christy Clark,Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource,Hon. Steve Thomson,B.C. Minister of the Environment,Hon. Mary Polak, Green Party Leader,Elizabeth May

Assistant Deputy Minister – Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations,Tom Ethier Conservation Director, Pacific Wild,Ian McAllister

Save B.C. Wolves!

Pacific Wild Denny Island, B.C., Canada

January 15, 2015

B.C. Government green-lights controversial wolf hunt in the South Selkirk and South Peace regions. As many as 184 wolves to be shot from helicopters.

Decades of habitat destruction and human encroachment have left BC’s mountain caribou on the edge of survival. Instead of protecting critical food and habitat for caribou, such as the lichen rich interior forests, the BC government has now placed the blame on wolves. Over 180 wolves are now being targeted for aerial killing in the next two months. These highly social and intelligent animals, icons of our natural heritage, should not be killed because of government negligence. Killing all the wolves in BC won’t bring the caribou back in the absence of habitat protection.

Wolves are highly social and intelligent animals and research shows that predator kill programs increase reproductive rates in wolves and destabilizes pack structure causing more predation of livestock and other non-native prey.

It is the view of Pacific Wild that this announcement is scientifically unsound and that wolves are being used as a scapegoat to divert attention from the fundamental problem of ongoing habitat destruction and displacement caused by human encroachment.

“This is not management, it’s a tax-payer funded kill program of one of our most iconic species.” said Ian McAllister, Conservation Director for Pacific Wild.  “This is not only a horrific day for wolves in British Columbia but a sad day for public engagement and policy that will surely bring international condemnation to our borders.”

*(PLEASE NOTE you are NOT donating to Pacific Wild when asked  after you have signed the petition – you are donating to change.org) 

Please consider DONATING to Pacific Wild’s Save BC Wolves Indiegogo campaign here.
Learn more and support the campaign to end the wolf kill and educate the public about this issue.

Go to: www.pacificwild.org to learn more and take action

Share through social media: @pacificwild #saveBCwolves

Connect with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Contact Pacific Wild: info@pacificwild.org

Pacific Wild is a B.C. based non-profit wildlife conservation organization and a leading advocate for changes to wolf management in British Columbia.   www.pacificwild.org


B.C. Liberals Premier Christy Clark

Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Steve Thomson

B.C. Minister of the Environment Hon. Mary Polak

and 3 others

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

Assistant Deputy Minister – Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Tom Ethier

Conservation Director, Pacific Wild Ian McAllister

Save B.C. Wolves!

Honourable Minister Steve Thomson 
Honourable Minister Mary Polak
Assistant Deputy Minister Tom Ethier

Read more 



Save BC Wolves Campaign

Jan 23, 2015 — British Columbia Wolf Kill Update

Thank you for signing the petition supporting an end to the wolf kill in B.C. We have reached 80,000 names in just a few short days – a truly… Read more

CLICK HERE to support Save B.C. Wolves

Stop the wolf kill, stand up for B.C. wolves. | Crowdfunding is a democratic way to support the fundraising needs of your community. Make a contribution today!



Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild has Audiences Spellbound during Great Bear Wild’14 Book Tour & Talk!

A new book called Great Bear Wild is about a photographer’s exploration of one of Earth’s last great hideaways                                                         (Ian McAllister of www.pacificwild.org)

Times Colonist Article on Nov 9, 2014 http://www.timescolonist.com/news

When photographer and author Ian McAllister left Victoria for the Great Bear Rainforest, he sailed to a place governments hadn’t even bothered to name.

IAN MCALLISTER, FROM GREAT BEAR WILD: DISPATCHES FROM A NORTHERN RAINFOREST, PUBLISHED BY GREYSTONE BOOKSA mother black bear teaches two of her cubs, one of them a Kermode bear, to fish in a Great Bear Rainforest river.It was 25 years ago and McAllister said back then government and

the timber industry wouldn’t even entertain questions about the area except to deny its existence: “There is no such thing as ‘the Great Bear Rainforest.’ ”

Moreover, then-premier Glen Clark called conservationists like McAllister “enemies of B.C.” for taking on the forest industry. Pundits huffed at the presumption of anyone who would dare “unilaterally christen a huge chunk of the mid-Coast.”

McAllister is unrepentant: “We came up with the name because when we first went up there it was just known as ‘The Mid-Coast Timber Supply Area.’ ”

“Now, there is a physical, ecological rationale for the name [the Great Bear Rainforest],” he said in a telephone interview last week. “And I don’t apologize for that.” McAllister has completed several books on the area and its wildlife, The Last Wild

Wolves and The Great Bear Rainforest and his most recent, Great Bear Wild. He is on a speaking tour with his newest book and will be in Victoria on Wednesday.

While home to grizzly and black bears, the Great Bear Rainforest is notable for being home to the cream-coloured, near-white Kermode bear, or Spirit Bear, as First Nations people call them. These animals are the result of a genetic quirk of black bears living there and nowhere else. The Great Bear Rainforest is about 6.4 million hectares of coastal forests stretching from Discovery Passage in the south to the B.C.-Alaska border. It also includes the offshore islands and islets, excepting Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island.

When McAllister left Victoria on a sailboat to find and photograph what was then the near-mythic bear, he was accompanied by a few friends, including a special one named Karen. It was supposed to be a week-long trip. He and Karen never left.

Now, more than 20 years, three sailboats and two children later, Ian and Karen remain together. They make their home, along with children Callum, 11, and eight-year-old Lucy, on a tiny islet, total population 70 people, near Bella Bella.

The two kids are mostly home-schooled but attend a one-room schoolhouse with about 10 other children.

Ian has spent the decades exploring, diving, documenting and photographing the area, which he has come to see as more than just forest. For him, the area will always be a marriage of ocean and landscape.

Wolves in the area, for example, forage for food along the coast. They prey on seal pups. They swim from islet to islet looking for beached whale carcasses. They even eat herring roe.

“It’s a relationship of a terrestrial animal [wolves] with the marine environment,” McAllister said. “This is a very old relationship and it’s been little studied and is little understood.”

Even the Kermode bear comes with a theory of modern science illustrating the link between ocean and forest.

One modern biological explanation for the persistence of the genetic variant suggests the bear’s light colour makes it less visible when viewed against the sky by a salmon looking up from a stream. So the light colour provides a fishing advantage.

And this theory also introduces the salmon to the Great Bear Rainforest. The fish is what McAllister calls the area’s “foundation species,” spawning in the tens of thousands of streams found in the area.

“Salmon as a species are so powerful and have so much influence on the land, that they can actually change the colour of a terrestrial bear,” McAllister said.

The salmon is also an animal of both forest streams and open oceans. It’s life lends resonance to McAllister’s own impression of the area, one in which land and sea come together to make something unique.

“It just constantly brings us back to the influence of the ocean over the rainforest and vice versa, how the rainforest is in many ways nourishing the ocean environment,” he said.

Since McAllister’s first foray, the area has become known worldwide. It has been examined, discussed and recognized as a place worthy of recognition and conservation. It has also earned its name. Governments, the public and industry now call it “the Great Bear Rainforest” in the same way they might mention other natural marvels like the Great Barrier Reef or the Serengeti.

In 2006, after years of discussions, the B.C. government, 27 First Nations, wilderness campaigners (like McAllister) and industry agreed to a comprehensive proposal for the area in which most of it will be protected.

And McAllister said in the time he has been there he has noticed an increase in marine wildlife. For example, fin whales, an animal he first encountered rarely, are now common visitors to that section of the coast. Visits by humpback whales are up more than 10 times.

Meanwhile, the push to export oil and gas from B.C. is also envisioning an enormous increase in tanker traffic and coastal development to the coast. “The B.C. coast, unlike some other coastlines on the planet, is seeing a return of species that have been gone for some years,” McAllister said.

“But none of this [wildlife rebound] is brought into the debate about whether we should be building pipelines or introducing supertankers to the…. www.timescolonist.com