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The Great Bear Rainforest: Canada's Forgotten Coast [Hardcover]

Ian McAllister , Karen McAllister , Robert F. (Jr.) Kennedy , Cameron Young
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1997
ENTER THE GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST

The southern half of Canada's west coast is justly famous for its fabulous scenery and pitched battles to save remnants of its magnificent coniferous forest-but what about the northern half? Between Vancouver island and Alaska, the mainland BC coast winds through a 250-mile wonderland of forested islands and inlets every bit as enchanting as the southern half, but still very much as nature created it, a wonderfully complex and delicate rainforest masterpiece ten thousand years in the making. The area is one of the northern hemisphere's richest unprotected wildlife habitats, the home of Canada's largest grizzly bears as well as the rare all-white spirit or Kermode bear.

Ian and Karen McAllister, both environmental campaigners, have spent over ten years exploring, photographing and researching this once-forgotten coast. The book contains over 150 stunning colour photographs, including some of the most extraordinary images of wild bears ever seen in print, lush river valleys where grizzly bears feast on salmon, dramatic Coast Range mountaintops, exotic plants of the ancient rainforest, and some of the most magnificent coastline in Canada. With these photographs, a personable, informative commentary by Ian and Karen and environmental writer Cameron Young, and full-colour maps and drawings, this book is the first to unveil the beauty and magnificence of this unique place.

Since 1990, fourteen large rainforest valleys on the mainland coast of British Columbia have been lost to industrial logging. The publication of The Great Bear Rainforest aided Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Ian and Karen McAllister's Raincoast Preservation Society and other environmental groups successfully lobby BC's provincial government for a moratorium on grizzly-bear hunting and the protection of a large portion of the area as parkland in 2001.

Frequently Bought Together

The Great Bear Rainforest: Canada's Forgotten Coast + The Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest + The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts of the Great Bear Rainforest
Price For All Three: CDN$ 73.86


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Product Description

From School Library Journal

YA-Magnificent photographs and crisp prose make a powerful statement about the need to protect the largest tract of intact temperate rainforest on Earth. Until the authors embarked on their sailing odyssey from the northern border of the United States to the panhandle of Alaska, no one had undertaken an environmental inventory of the western Canadian coastline. This area is the home of the coastal grizzly bear and teems with wildlife and old-growth trees. The grizzly's dwindling numbers indicate the historic decline of natural wilderness throughout a sizable portion of the northwestern hemisphere. The authors make the case that only by protecting very large tracts of this coastline from logging and mining can the character of this environment be preserved. At first glance, this work might appear to be another coffee-table book, but its main purpose is to inform and motivate. The panoramic views, intimate shots of flora and fauna, chronicle of the social history of the area, and generous maps make this title beautiful as well as timely. It is unfortunate that the index merely lists references to locations noted in the text rather than to biological information, which would have made it more useful for research.
Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Ian McAllister is a nature photographer, writer and conservationist who has dedicated his life to exploring the remote wilds of the BC coast. Ian is a founding member of the Raincoast Conservation Society, and his images have appeared in numerous publications including International Wildlife, BBC Wildlife, Audubon, Sierra, and Beautiful British Columbia. The Great Bear Rainforest is his first book.

Karen McAllister is a conservationist with a special interest in the flora of BC's mainland coast. Born and raised in Alberta's Rocky Mountains, she studied biology and environmental studies at the University of Victoria. She is a founding member of the Raincoast Conservation Society. The Great Bear Rainforest is her first book.

Cameron Young teaches journalism at the University of Victoria and is an environmental writier specializing in ancient temperate rainforest. He is the author of Clayoquot on the Wild Side and the award-winning Forests of British Columbia. He assisted Ian and Karen McAllister in the writing of The Great Bear Rainforest: Canada's Forgotten Coast, the winner of the Bill Duthie Booksellers Choice Award for BC Book of the Year.

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Nov. 20 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is an amazing book written by a couple who are truly commited to the preservation of BC's remaining, but threatened coastal rainforest. The format that the story is presented in makes the book all the more interesting and original and the pictures are uncomparable to anything else. Highly reccommended!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Journey AND A Desperate Plea Dec 26 2000
By Dr Lawrence Hauser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is written as a journal of a sailing voyage. Although the authors had previously visited the remarkable areas they photograph and describe six times before, the seventh visit is chronicled in these pages. Thus there is a great depth of knowledge and experience inherent to this work which transforms a simple if elegant journal into a powerful, somewhat doleful, environmental monograph.
This is a beautifully done book with many fascinating photographs of rainforest topography and the diverse life forms which abide therein. The accompanying text is well-written and consistently informative and interesting. But the overarching theme here is that pristine environments which are critical to the survival of untold species of flora and fauna are in jeopardy. Grave jeopardy. Moreover, the McAllisters take great pains to point out that the small islands of preserved and protected ecosystem created in compromise between commercial interests and environmentalists are insufficent to protect wildlife (bears, for example) that depend upon an interlinked vastness of unspoiled terrain in which to flourish.
So this book is as much an alarm and a plea for action as it is a wondrous presentation of its picturesque subject matter. As such, it is urgent reading for those of us concerned about the ravages unleashed when a society values short-term economic advantage (as when untouched river valleys are clear-cut by logging companies) over the work nature takes eons to complete.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. An amazing book about an amazing place. July 18 2005
By Alexiel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For years, I had always heard snippets here and there about the Great Bear Rainforest of Northwestern British Columbia, supposedly even more beautiful, wild, untamed, and much larger than other gorgeous temperate rainforest locales like Olympic National Park in Washington. But I didn't really know much about it. Where exactly was it? What does it look like? Is any of it protected in province or federal park land? And many more questions.

Then, years later, I stumbled upon this book. WOW. That about sums it up. This is an amazing book about a place of transcendent, almost ethereal beauty. This book is an enchanting mix of imminently readable and interesting text and absolutely stunning photographs. It almost makes you feel like you are there, immersed in this incredible rain drenched emerald cathedral of trees.

The Great Bear Rainforest is located on the British Columbia coast. It starts a few miles north of Lund and extends all the way north in Canada to the BC's northernmost limit, around Port Rupert, and extends only a few miles inland. It is home to the largest remaining contiguous temperate rain forest anywhere in the world. You probably already know this, but a temperate rain forest is much different than a tropical rain forest because of climate. Temperate rain forests are cool and moist, whereas tropical ones are hot and moist. Anyway, enough of the obvious.

What I really like about this book is that it isn't a condescending piece of fluff, and it gave me *exactly* what I wanted from it. Even though it's no easily readable, it is no fluff piece that waxes prettily poetic but doesn't really tell you anything. It takes you on an incredibly detailed tour of nearly every major rain forest valley in the Great Bear Rainforest. And it doesn't just name-drop valleys that have no meaning to you, it provides you with maps that show exactly where it is that they are talking about. I think this is the greatest feature of the book, I've read too many books about geographical places that tell you the names of certain interesting areas, but you don't quite know where they are. Not so with this book.

Not only that, the book covers a wide range of topics concerning The Great Bear Rainforest. Ecology, economic pressures, animal and plant life, geography, even a lot of interesting history and contemporary issues concerning the First Nation (who we in the U.S. refer to as Native American) tribes who traditionally lived (and still live) in and around the Great Bear Rainforest. I found the parts about the Haida tribe to be particularly edifying. All of these facts and themes are woven into the narrative of the authors' journey through the Great Bear Rainforest (which spans many years) incredibly seamlessly - you might think it's difficult to talk about the flora and fauna of the area while giving a history lesson on the Tlinglit people, but like I said, this point interweaves all points flawlessly. It also does social justice by presenting an unflinching look at the environmental horrors that await the Great Bear Rainforest through resource extraction and recreation at the hands of an apathetic public if current trends remain unchecked.

And then there are the photos. Gorgeous. Vast stands of huge, majestic trees, so much green it's almost blinding; a spirit bear chowing down on salmon in an unbelievable action shot; stunning shots of a coastline where fjord and mountain come together; and of course, the grand British Columbia ocean itself.

This book is a real gem. It's crime more people haven't had a chance to go through it. Read it. Take your time, don't just skim through it and goggle over the pictures. Trust me, the time will be worth it, you'll be glad you did. A must-have for anyone who considers themselves an environmentalist, a nature lover, and especially for people who have stood in awe in a temperate rain forest and said "I need to know more."
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must of bear lovers, intersting facts, great photos May 2 2000
By Angel Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a wonderful book for both nature and bear lovers alike. It is packed with beautiful color photos. Many interesting facts about the wildlife & plants of the area are detailed in the captions.
The landscape photos feature vibrant wildflowers, ancient forests, & mountains. There are also many remarkable pictures of several bear types. I loved the close-up shot of a bear eating a fish & another of a sprit bear on a log.
Stunning photos of some other animals include a puffin close-up, a bald eagle mother with baby, & an elephant seal gathering. If you can tear yourself away from the pictures, the text is equally impressive.
The authors tell of their experiences while exploring the rainforest. They also discusses the environmental concerns of the area. Journal entries from the trip are scatted throughout the book.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canada's forgotten coast no longer. March 22 1999
By hicindys@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The pictures are awesome, powerful, profound and they make you feel you are there. The writing is very insightful. The journals put you there in a very personal way. The cause is just and vital. This is a powerful book that takes you to one of the last great places, not only in a geographical way but in a spiritual sense as well. Yes, bears need whole untouched ecosystems as well as old growth forests, as explained so beautifully in the book. One day the people of British Columbia and the Wolrd will realize that if the Great Spirit Bear Rainforest can survive, then so can humanity. THIS BOOK IS A KEEPER!
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep sacred places secret while we can Jan. 31 2000
By Raoul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A powerful book on this special place. But, now she's discovered
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