*HippysThemes* Shared Themes by Hippy & Friends...(HUGS INN !!!)
I hope my grandchildren and their grandchildren will be able to see B.C.’s Great Bear Rain forest (GBRF) as I have seen it. This thought kept running through my mind as our boat approached the dock at Bella Bella in October, 2016, ending my first visit to the GBRF. I had just finished nine glorious days aboard Blue water Adventures’ Island Roamer, a 68-foot sailboat carrying 12 passengers and a crew of four.
The GBRF is an area of 12,000 square miles that stretches along the central coast of British Columbia as far north as the Alaska border. It is the largest temperate rainforest in the world. Largely uninhabited, it is still possible to sail for hours without seeing any obvious signs of human presence.
The GBRF is home to the 1,000-year-old western red cedar and 300-foot Sitka spruce, as well as more than 1,800 salmon streams and rivers and amazingly abundant flora and fauna. Humpback and fin whales and orcas visit its waters along with Steller sea lions, harbour seals and five species of Pacific salmon. Bald eagles cruise the towering cliffs that line the shorelines and islands that make up the GBRF. It is also home to the rare kermode bear and even rarer spirit bear. The kermode bear is a subspecies of the American black bear. Its range is more or less limited to the area of the GBRF, so it is uniquely Canadian.
The kermode bear can have a very conspicuous genetic trait. When this genetic trait appears as a recessive gene, the bear has a white coat. Coastal First Nations Peoples have known of the presence of a white bear in coastal B.C. for many generations. When snow and ice covered the world, legend has it that Raven, creator of the world, chose to make the land lush and green. Raven then turned every 10th black bear white so people would remember the time of ice and snow. In the Tsimshianic languages, the name for this animal is moksgm’ol, meaning white bear. Today, a white-coated kermode bear is known as a spirit bear.
The current estimate of kermode bear numbers is around 1,200 with spirit bear numbers totalling perhaps 175 to 400. But no one knows for sure exactly how many exist. It is known that the greatest concentration of spirit bears occurs on Gribbell and Princess Royal islands in the GBRF. It was the chance to photograph a spirit bear that brought me to the GBRF. The chances of seeing a spirit bear are much improved in the fall season during the salmon runs. Bears, both black and grizzly, congregate along the salmon streams in the GBRF for their annual salmon feast.
STAY SAFE HAVE A GREAT WEEK! HAPPY TRAILS