Scientists Call for Protection of Half of B.C. Rainforest

Almost half of British Columbia’s coastal rainforest must be protected in order to maintain the health of its ecosystem, according to a team of independent scientists studying the 42,471-square-mile swath of forest on Canada’s western coast. The surprise advice to preserve between 44 and 50 percent of the rainforest is the result of two years of work representing the first comprehensive study of the region. The recommendation of the study, which was commissioned by the provincial government, far exceeds not only the 32 percent of land B.C. has said it will consider conserving but also the amount environmentalists have demanded. The province is awaiting the completion of two other reports, on the region’s social and economic needs, before making any land-use decisions.