BC’s Inland Rainforest – Conservation and Community
B.C.’s Inland Rainforest – A Vision for the Future.
Darwyn Coxson 1
British Columbia’s inland temperate rainforests represent a globally unique ecological assemblage, a rainforest community that combines attributes of both maritime wet temperate rainforests and circumpolar boreal forests. Public awareness of B.C.‘s inland rainforests has been increasing in recent years, reflecting a growing recognition within the international scientific community of the biological legacy that these forests represent for both Canada and the world. Although inland rainforests cover many thousands of hectares in B.C.’s interior they should not be viewed as a uniform entity. Emerging research points to the importance of biodiversity hotspots, local sites that have exceptionally biodiversity values. The ecological attributes of these biodiversity hotspots reflects, in large part, their location within the landscape. The combination of mountain topography and climate that nurtures these biodiversity hotspots has also shaped human use and development of the inland rainforest. These usage patterns are now at a cross-roads. Decisions made within the next several years will determine whether or not we preserve a unique biological legacy and develop a culture of sustainable land use, or risk the loss of this biodiversity legacy for future generations. In this regard, the past experience of other jurisdictions with globally significant wet-temperate rainforest communities, such as New Zealand and Australia, can provide importance guidance to decision makers in British Columbia.
1 Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, B.C. Canada, V2N 4Z9
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