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A textual edition of the bestselling photo book, updated with the authoris recent observations of the wolves of the raincoast The illustrated edition of The Last Wild Wolveswon the BC Booksellers' Choice Award and has sold over 7,000 copies. This updated textual edition follows what has happened to the wolves and their habitat since the book first appeared in 2007 and presents the latest scientific research indicating that these wolves are a distinct species. Following the Last Wild Wolvesalso contains a sixteen-page photographic insert that includes spectacular new photos of the wolves in their natural habitat.
Ian McAllister is a co-founder of the wildlife conservation organization Pacific Wild. He is an award-winning photographer and author of The Great Bear Rainforest, and his images have appeared in publications around the world. He and his wife, Karen McAllister, were named by Time magazine one of the "Leaders of the 21st Century" for their efforts to protect British Columbia's endangered rainforest. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has won the North America Nature Photography Association's Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network's Rainforest Hero award. He lives with his family on an island in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. Chris Darimont holds a Ph. D. in biology and is principle investigator for the Raincoast Wolf Project. He lives in Vancouver, BC. Paul Paquet holds a PhD in zoology and is an internationally recognized authority on wolves. He is an associate professor in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. He lives in Saskatchewan.
From the epilogueI half-sit, half-lean against a weatherbeaten hemlock tree. Each time I move, it crumbles apart in a mushy red mess, making its way further into the decomposing world of this estuary. This day in this place feels as if it could have been randomly picked from any other late-fall season over the last few hundred-or maybe even thousands-of years. It has been three years since this book was first published, and as I look out onto the estuary of the Surf Packs' core territory, I reflect on what has changed since then. Bob is no longer with the pack. Last year he was clearly getting on in age. He was thinner and not nearly as in charge. Interestingly, he was also friendlier to me. Maybe he knew that his time had come and that his leadership was open to challenge. Now one of his offspring leads the pack. I don't know how dramatic the change of guard was, whether it involved a fight, a challenge to the death, or whether the transition was planned. The new leader is standing tall on one of the favoured vantage points, a house-sized rock deposited many years ago on an ice floe. I wonder if Bob just left the pack to manage as best he could on his own before the inevitable. Was it even possible for him to stay on in a structure that he once led? Or did he curl up under a tree, never to awaken? I have witnessed enough empathy and intelligence among these wolves to imagine that such scenarios could easily occur. Much else remains unchanged. The wolves use the same rendezvous sites, the same trails connect favourite upriver fishing locations, and the coastal perimeter trails are freshly worn and obviously in active use. This place continues to support this pack and remains a coastal wolf haven if ever there was one. I have been fortunate to find this place and to observe these wolves in a landscape of such breathtaking beauty and grandeur. There are so many other equally impressive places that I can no longer return to: places wild and intact when I knew them but now brutally and efficiently altered. Over the past twenty years, roads have been built in more than forty large river valleys on the north and central coast of British Columbia, and many of the offshore islands have also been subjected to industrial forestry, which can only be described as short-term liquidation of an irreplaceable ecosystem. . Along the coast from northern California to southern British Columbia, where temperate rain forests once stretched, not a single watershed or river valley of size remains intact; it is an astounding loss to witness in a mere moment of time. All of these river valleys should have been protected just for their global rarity alone. Logging these ancient forests has not resulted in anything resembling sustainability for the people on this coast, so one has to question why we allow this long-term loss of natural capital for short-term gain, if any. The wolves of James Creek on Pooley Island were among the first to teach me about wolf society, and my greatest memories are of quiet summer evenings spent sitting among the wolves in the fields of dune grass, watching them herd salmon into the shallows, or lying wide awake in my bunk and listening to their howls as they hunted in the night. These are bittersweet memories. Years of struggle to protect Pooley Island ended the day I watched the first barges loaded with road-building equipment land in the bay. The first dynamite blast ripped the main wolf trail in half and sent pieces of it flying across the water. I left that day, turning my back on the wolves that had taught me so much, never wanting to return. Sailing past Pooley Island, now largely covered in a matrix of roads and clear-cuts, with more planned, I often think of what has changed for that once-proud pack. I think of them at night, shielded by the black shadows, surrounded by the stench of the work trailers, the generators, and the garbage from the logging camps. I think of the reek of diesel oil, the smell of the domestic dogs and the potential diseases they bring, the dynamite cord in a wolf scat, the guns and trucks. Roads now crisscross the islands, where once only old, thin, well-worn trails skirted the heights of the land. A few of my neighbours, both Native and non-Native, have been employed in the logging industry on Pooley and other places on the coast. Even they admit that the scale and rate of logging are unsustainable. The logs are still shipped in raw form down south or offshore, so local workers are restricted to cutting the trees and building roads. The companies have come and gone through various bankruptcies, ownerships, and government buyouts and bailouts, and now most of the inoperable, or difficult-toaccess, remnants of rain forest outside conservancy areas are being transferred to First Nation-owned logging corporations. The debt load that many of these companies carry, and the huge capital costs that are necessary to get started in coastal logging, usually means a lot of trees have to be cut down and a lot of roads have to be built just to pay off the capital investment. Some hope for protecting the threatened rain forest on the coast came out of the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, which recognized that protecting the world's remaining old-growth forests is one of the most critical and straightforward ways to combat global warming. The Haida Nation on Haida Gwaii recently signed a reconciliation agreement with British Columbia to explore the use of carbon offsets to conserve forests. It is now understood that the destruction of ecosystems in British Columbia, largely through deforestation, releases more carbon than all of its oil-burning machinery and cars combined. So hope for the remaining unprotected and endangered forests of the coast may have an unexpected ally yet. In February 2006, the British Columbia government announced new conservancy designations for approximately 30 per cent of the Great Bear Rainforest. In addition, industry, First Nations, and the provincial government made a commitment to implement ecosystem- based management (ebm) practices on the rest of the land base by 2009. Although at the time, this announcement was heralded as a "rainforest victory," it remains uncertain what ebm will mean for the 70 per cent of the coast that is still without protection. For this reason, a declaration of victory was premature.Wolves were not considered in designing and choosing protected areas. As a result, not a single such area is likely large enough to "protect" even one pack's full territory. Furthermore, the agreement does not ensure the preservation of travel corridors between protected zones, a necessity in safeguarding far-ranging large carnivores like bears and wolves.Given the multiple-use and mostly ambiguous objectives within the conservancies, it is difficult to consider them truly protected. For example, mining allowances were made for approximately 5 per cent of the conservancies. Fixed-roof accommodation for large-scale tourism ventures is being promoted within some of them, and industrial-scale hydroelectricity and wind farms are also being proposed within conservancy areas. These new industrial-scale "alternative" energy projects won't reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, because the power is meant for export to the United States. The question to be answered is whether we should be destroying our remaining wilderness areas by building massive wind farms and damming our rivers for hydroelectricity when the power will end up keeping air conditioners going in California.Most troubling, trophy hunting of wolves and bears is allowed in the vast majority of new conservancies. Proponents of ebm believe that the plan will compensate for the lack of core habitat protection-in other words, that "light touch" logging outside of conservancy areas will continue to maintain diversity and distribution of flora and fauna. But this model has not proved successful in other jurisdictions, and no concrete evidence exists that it will conserve the Great Bear Rainforest and the species that depend on it overthe long term. Right after the Great Bear Rainforest agreement was announced, clear-cut logging and road building escalated in a number of intact rain forest areas, offering little reassurance that industry and government were committed to changing forest practices.Now over eight hundred proposals for private power generation are on the books for British Columbia. These usually involve high-power transmission lines through wilderness areas, major road infrastructure, and damming or diverting of waterways, and many of these are planned within the Great Bear Rainforest. This threat was not even on the horizon during the years of land-use planning and environmental campaigns to protect the coast, and yet now, just a few short years later, energy threats have emerged as the greatest of them all.