Posts Tagged notankers

Spring in the Rainforest

Spring in the Rainforest – By April Bencze

June 2014

It is difficult to understand a place you have never been before. Pacific Wild introduced me to the ecosystems thriving in the Great Bear Rainforest on British Columbia’s wild coast long before I came here. They have unveiled the behaviours and interactions of wildlife using non-invasive, high-quality camera systems streaming live from remote locations, bringing you a piece of the Rainforest, wherever you may be in the world. Before I ever set foot here, Pacific Wild brought me face to face with wolves, bears and marine life with still images that captivated, inspired and introduced me to the many faces of this place.

I first met the wolves of this coast through Ian McAllister’s photography and conservation efforts. Then I met the bears, followed by the inhabitants of the underwater world. Ian’s images and those from the remote cameras brought me into the heart of a place I had never been, uncovering the lives of creatures I would not have known existed, like the spirit bear. I felt connected and driven to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, and all those who call it home. As a diver and wildlife photographer, I knew my future would be tied to British Columbia’s central coast, due to the strength with which it affected me. So here I am, at Pacific Wild headquarters operating the remote cameras from the Float Lab.

I was born and raised in Campbell River, on the east coast of Vancouver Island in Southern British Columbia. I spent a year scuba diving in Australia and Indonesia, before returning to my home waters to dive my days away. Photography slipped itself into my life through an urge to share the underwater world with the people around me. It quickly became much more and I find myself in the pursuit of a life dedicated to conservation of the natural world through photography. There is a responsibility to the subject after the shutter is pressed and an image is created. It is an obligation to share their story, and unfortunately many of the lives I am photographing are threatened.

This is what brings me to the Great Bear Rainforest, to do what I can to help protect the wildlife from the many threats they are facing. Pacific Wild has been an inspiration and I am thrilled to be volunteering my time to aid in their conservation efforts. Three weeks ago, I loaded up my touring bicycle with my camping equipment, camera gear and a cooler of food. Six days of riding from Campbell River brought me to Port Hardy, where I jumped on a short flight to Bella Bella.

I am blown away by the diverse habitats and life seen in my short time exploring this coast. I have traveled to many corners of the world, yet nothing can compare to the natural beauty I have witnessed in my time here. After the past few weeks of listening to whale song on the hydrophones and observing the wildlife in the Great Bear Rainforest, I am beginning to understand just how devastating supertankers in these waters would be. It would be destructive for the people, the land, the wild and marine life of the most untouched place I have ever seen. I’m incredibly thankful to the First Nations people and conservation groups who are working, and will continue to work, tirelessly to stand up for our coast.

Yesterday, Ian and I left Pacific Wild headquarters to do some camera maintenance. We headed out by boat during calm seas. As we passed numerous small, rocky islands, it was apparent that it was June in the Great Bear Rainforest. Harbour seals with newborn pups dotted the shorelines, sea otters bobbed in the kelp, and Oystercatchers trilled from their nests. New life was buzzing all around us as we cleaned the camera housings and completed some electrical maintenance.

The remote camera systems are proving to be a powerful tool in telling the story of this coast. Right now, one of the cameras is trained on a Steller sea lion rookery on the outer coast. It is capturing the birthing and nursing of this year’s pups on the live feed and distributing it to the world. I am in awe recording the intimate daily behaviors of the sea lions, in a way I have never been able to when out photographing them in the field. Please watch a compilation of sea lion and bird footage I pieced together in the weeks I have been here. The stories of the numerous species of wildlife continue to unfold before my eyes with these cameras. I hope you are watching the live cameras and meeting the local wildlife who call this coast home as well!

April

Follow Pacific Wild on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @pacificwild

Help support our Digital Technitian Geoff Campbell and his friend Mikhayla’s “Ride for the Wild” Indiegogo campaign. Geoff and Mikhayla are undertaking a A2,500km bike expedition down the Pacific Coast to raise money to fight pipeline development & increased tanker traffic in British Columbia.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Great Bear Rainforest – Taking the Inside – OUT!

Spring, Summer and Autumn are busy, exciting and often hectic times for ‘happenings’ not only in the field, but also further afield from our base in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. While my colleagues install hydrophones and field cameras in even more remote locations to monitor cetacean life and capture rare camera footage of wildlife in the wilderness, and work closely with First Nations communities on the No Tankers campaign, I am busy on the outreach side of Pacific Wild.  I firmly believe by using these visual and auditory techniques, we can raise public awareness to pipeline/tanker issues and further threats from industrial logging, LNG, trophy hunting and open net-cage fish farms. This beautiful short video was just released which illustrates the wildlife, underwater ecosystems, and temperate rainforest we are dedicated to protecting.

The spring started off in spectacular fashion at the Solidarity for Salmon event on March 31st in Victoria. Along with 7 other people, including a life-long supporter and great friend of Pacific Wild, Mary Vickers, we proudly pushed M’ia, a 27 foot spawning sockeye salmon puppet, through the streets of Victoria, B.C. to the Legislature buildings. M’ia is a symbol of what films like the insightful yet disturbing Salmon Confidential are opening the general public’s awareness up to.

We got even more ‘hands on’ at the Creatively United Festival in Victoria on April 19-21.  Filling an aquarium with various kinds of kelp and other ocean matter, we dropped in a portable hydrophone to invoke listening to the ‘depths’ off of recordings from the Pacific Wild hydrophone network in the Great Bear Sea. Sharing our tent at the festival was one of my personal heroes, Charlie Russell, the Grizzly Bear Legend. He is a gentleman that I am most in awe of for his life work on bear behaviour and their emotional and physical relationship with humans and human interaction. He is truly a legend. I thank him dearly for watching Pacific Wild remote field camera footage with us and treasure his insight into coastal bear behaviour.

June saw the release of STAND. Without a doubt, the absolute highlight so far of the summer was to be at the screening of STAND in Bella Bella with the young adults from Bella Bella Community School. Featured in the film, these students put such heart, soul, and effort into building their personal paddleboards. Their voices are eloquent and strong in voicing their opinion for an oil-free coast. This award-winning film is a ‘must see’, and is currently being screened across North America.

Throughout the summer, various kids camps have been implementing and incorporating lessons, ideas and learning from The Salmon Bears and The Sea Wolves, books by Ian McAllister and Nicolas Read. It has been a joy to work with children and the instructors in watching remote field camera footage, listening to hydrophones, recreating the GBR in camp forests.  Being involved in youth education and nature outreach programs is a passion of mine. If you, your child’s school, or educational facility would be interested to learn how to incorporate the nature of the Great Bear Rainforest into your classroom, please contact me – colette@pacificwld.org

We would love to see you at upcoming events….

July 31The Fortune Wild premiere at The Imperial (319 Main St. Vancouver). Doors open at 8pm.This event is a fundraiser for Pacific Wild and Haida Gwaii CoAST (Communities Against Super Tankers), featuring live music, an exhibit and silent auction of Ian McAllister’s stunning photography and of course, the first ever public screening of Fortune Wild!

August 23+24 – Join an amazing line-up of musicians, bands, and artists at the first annual Otalith Music Festival in beautiful Ucluelet, B.C. Feauturing Current Swell, The Cave Singers, Jon and Roy, White Buffalo and so much more. Otalith are looking for volunteers!

September – Release of The Great Bear Sea – Exploring the Marine Life of a Pacific Paradise. This new book by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read explores the intricate relationship between this mysterious underwater ecosystem and the life it supports. Watch an interview with Ian McAllister discussing the book on Global News, July 31, 2013. The book is available to purchase on the website.

September 14 – Salmon Festival – If you find yourself in the Great Bear Rainforest, namely in Bella Bella on this day, join us for this community event – The Wild Gourmet Salmon Cook-Off – Masterchef Style in the great outdoors!

Mark November 21st in your calendars for a Gala night at The Garth Homer Society in Victoria. Featuring a presentation and slideshow by Ian McAllister on underwater photography as well as a gallery opening of themes from the Great Bear Rainforest created by incredibly talented Garth Homer clients.  More details to come on this event.

As you can tell, I love my “Jill-of-all-Trades’ work at Pacific Wild. We are a very close team, and I am motivated by them everyday. Who wouldn’t be? Check out blog posts by staff on their activities in the field. Most recently the sail training internship with SEAS (Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewardships) Initiative.

Huge thank you to all the volunteers who help myself, and the Pacific Wild team in making these outreach programs, events and festivals come together. Please contact me at colette@pacificwild.org if you are interested in volunteering, hosting a film event, want to know ways to take action, want to bring the life and nature of the Great Bear Rainforest into your classroom, or just to say hello!

Hope to see you around!

Colette

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Projecting messages of HOPE

LAUNCH EVENT: January 14, 3pm – 8pm outside the hearings at Burrard & Nelson

HOPE IN THE PARK: January 15-18, 8am – 8pm, Nelson Park, Nelson & Thurlow.  *Projections will begin at 4:30 pm.

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Hope the whale is live in Vancouver all week long to help your voice get heard, amplify your message and share content and messaging against the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project.

As the Enbridge Joint Review Panel sits to hear oral statements from the public in Vancouver this week, Hope the whale will sit in Nelson Park and project messages of hope and a vision of a health future.

Hope is a 25 foot interactive, multimedia whale sculpture. Hope is part of a digital/real world ecology of interactions between blogs, tweets, news coverage, Facebook posts, pictures, video and messages written out in sharpies.

Send your messages and photos to Hope and see what hope has to say here.

Hope the Whale

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Band Together BC is complete!

Congratulations to the wonderful Kim Slater who ran then length of the pipeline and visited communities across Northern BC to discuss our energy future.  A marathon a day for 47 days is an incredible achievement!  Thank you Kim for your dedication, support and enthusiasm!  Read more from Kim below. 

Dear Friends,
I’ve just returned from my journey- 47 days and 1177 km across BC connecting with people about pipeline alternatives and clean energy. Along the way, I met with individuals and community groups that had a lot of great ideas for how we can collectively lessen our dependency on fossil fuels and avoid the inevitable disaster that will follow piping raw bitumen across the province and along our coast. Much of this dialogue centred around what can be done locally, and each community expressed values related to their health, security, community, First Nations cultures and ways of life, and the land, water and fish. These values were conveyed in soft and passionate tones, over the dinner table, at gatherings, and at the JRP hearing I attended. Many of the ideas for protecting these values focused on building community resiliency. This resiliency would come from community members building strong bonds with one another, diversification of the local economy, local food production, and investment in renewable technology and low carbon transportation options and it would make the Northern Gateway pipeline a lot less attractive for those that would be swayed by the (empty) promise of jobs. It would also build capacity in communities for defining their own futures. Transition Town provides an excellent model for how this transition can be initialized and I was grateful for learning a bit about if from Transition groups in Williams Lake and Prince Rupert.
I also shared Tides Canada’s recommendations for making this transition contained in their fantastic report A New Energy Vision for Canada (http://tidescanada.org/energy/newenergy/). I was delighted when Quesnel, Terrace and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako endorsed this vision.
If there is a single message that I can share about my time in the North it is that people there love their home and will do whatever it takes to protect it. It is this love that is fuelling the resistance to the Enbridge project and it is powerful. It deserves to be respected and celebrated. It is the heart of a grassroots movement that I hope will swell and become the foundation for the positive change that we so desperately need. My experience has made me more convinced than ever that we have the capacity to both adapt and to change our world- for good. We must work together and it will take courage, but we can do it. It is already happening.
I find myself now in a time of personal transition. I am reflecting on my journey and envisioning the next chapter. I’m looking for ways of best communicating my experience and the stories I heard along the way, for growing the network of people interested in making the transition to a clean energy future and for pressuring our government to adopt a national energy strategy that provides prosperity and energy security while addressing climate change and our environment. Have ideas? Let me know!
In the coming weeks I will be uploading photos onto my Flickr account (link will be on the website) and compiling the video interviews into a video essay. I am happy to say the blog is complete. Please check it out: www.bandtogetherbc.com
I’m also really excited to announce that Band Together t-shirts that read: “Spill Compassion Instead” are available for sale at: http://www.niceshirt.org/shop/index.php/?___store=bandtogether.
The Delica is also for sale. It was a great vehicle that carried me safely across the province and home. The engine was rebuilt before I left and it was converted to run on waste veggie oil (also runs on regular diesel), so I’m asking $11,000. Please let me know if you or someone you know are interested! Once the van is sold, I will be able to donate to Pacific Wild- so please help!
As for how I am doing, I am well. My body held up remarkably well, with only a bit of swelling in my foot and minor shin splint in the end. I think having the support of so many people before and during the campaign really kept my spirits high and body strong. Thank you to the hundreds of people that donated and to Fruv for sponsoring me. I carried you all with me- both on the Delica (I made a thank you sign for the window) and in my heart (I meditated on everyone during my run as was promised in the “perks”). Thanks to all of the people and groups that organized gatherings, promoted them, and for the donations of food and supplies. Thanks to the kind people that opened their homes to us. Thanks to all of the donations of waste veggie oil. And especially thank you to my incredible support team (drivers, massage therapists, cooks, filmers and photographers)- at home and on the road. A big thanks to Nate and my family for their support too!
If you have Skype yoga coming, please give me a shout to arrange a time: 604-698-7697. I am moving to Pemberton and will have space there and am also happy to do private classes in Whistler, Squamish and Vancouver.
Much love,
Kim

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Voices for an Oil-Free Coast

Here at Pacific Wild, we are inspired by the number of people that are taking it upon themselves to make their voices heard.  We see an array of art projects, videos, photographs, films and events–each of which are unique and impactful in their own way.

Check out the song and video Pipeline Blues, written by Barry Truter with photography by Urs Boxler.

If you have a song, pictures, story, animation or any creative way/event that is ‘Making Your Voice Heard’ for a No Tanker/No Pipeline Coast, please send it along to us <info@pacificwild.org> and we’ll post it to our Facebook page!

 

 

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Bikes Not Pipes Take II

Join hundreds of British Columbians in greening their commutes and raising awareness about the proposed oil pipeline development threatening our coast!

After its first season of existence and many thousands of kilometers pedaled, the cyclists and sponsors of Bikes not Pipes are happy to add their contribution to the growing opposition to pipelines and tankers in British Columbia. Several hundreds of dollars were already raised to support the work of organizations such as Pacific Wild and even more pounds of CO2 remained in the ground where it belongs.
The basic idea behind Bikes Not Pipes is to get more people to leave their cars home and ride their bikes as much as possible. Those who can’t ride regularly have an opportunity to support those who can by sponsoring their efforts and turn every kilometer ridden rather than driven into a source of financing for organizations that fight tanker traffic and pipeline development in BC.
We are excited to launch our second season from September 1st 2012 to January 1st 2013 and are hoping that many more cyclists and sponsors will join us in our effort. People can join anytime.
For more information about Bikes Not Pipes or to join in, please contact us at bikesnotpipes@hotmail.com or visit the Bikes Not Pipes Community page on Facebook.

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Firsts

This is an excerpt from friends of Pacific Wild, Mike Reid and Sarah Stoner’s blog. To view the full blog, and read a letter a day to Mr. Harper, visit http://www.dearmrharper.com

 

Dear Mr. Harper,

A few days ago, Mike told us about his encounter with the Spirit Bear. This morning I had the opportunity to spend some time with this majestic creature.

We crept up the side of the creek bed and after walking for only a few minutes, I spotted his glistening white fur through the salmon berry bushes that separated us from the creek. I watched in awe as the giant creature loafed around, climbing up and over a log in search for more berries. He quickly lost interest in the berries and made his way up the riverbank where he proceeded to dig for roots to complete his morning meal. Within minutes, this bear had dug a whole larger than himself, munched all the tasty roots he could find and moved on.

We observed this bear in peace for some time. He was aware of our presence, but was not concerned by us in any way.

My first experience with a spirit bear was absolutely magical. This creature is a true gem, unique to this part of the world.The pristine watersheds and abundant salmon are what nourish the spirit bear, and their black furred relatives. The spirit bear is thus a creature of the land and the sea. Let’s not spoil this unique ecosystem and home of the spirit bear, Mr. Harper.

For the coast,

Sarah and Mike

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