British Columbia’s Clayoquot Sound, an area of old-growth forest, was designated a United Nations biosphere reserve on Friday, perhaps ushering in a new era for a region that has been home to some of North America’s most bitter logging battles over the last 20 years. The 850,000-acre reserve, which has the support of the Canadian government, carries with it no legal requirements, but enviros in the past have used such designations to argue for increased protections for land. Activists have long protested clear-cutting in B.C., pressuring companies such as Weyerhaeuser to shift their logging practices and seek environmental certification. It remains to be seen, however, whether the shift represents a real change or is merely window dressing.