In February of 2009, the government of British Columbia legally protected more than 5.4 million acres (2.2 million hectares) of endangered mountain caribou habitat in the Inland Temperate Rainforest from logging and associated road building. The government also prohibited motorized recreation across 2.4 million acres (one million hectares) of caribou habitat.
This victory came about after years of relentless campaigning driven by a determined staffer who lives deep in the Inland Temperate Rainforest. She spent hours, weeks, and months educating big US corporate brands like Lowes, Victoria’s Secret, Aveda, and Norm Thompson that their wood and paper were coming from endangered caribou habitat. Sometimes that education looked like phone calls and letters, and sometimes it looked like protests in front of their stores. Three years into this, we had convinced more than six-hundred US businesses to speak up for the protection of this unique and isolated place. The Canadian government listened and policies were enacted to preserve this wild habitat and the elusive, shy mountain caribou who call it home. (Fun fact: their hooves are the size of dinner plates, which function as a sort of permanent snow shoe, allowing them to walk on top of the snow without falling in.)