At Risk: The Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary
On the slopes rising above Dakota Creek (lower Sunshine Coast), on the slopes of Mount Elphinstone, a population of black bears (Ursus americanus) has found a sanctuary – safe from human disturbance. However, BC Timbers Sales (BCTS) is planning on logging 50.4Ha, or 124.5 acres of this forest, where dozens of bear den sites would be destroyed.
Loss of this special habitat will displace these bears and drive them into human-conflict zones.
Stands of old-growth cedars provide bears with interior cavities with a hard outer shell keeping them warm and secure during hibernation months. Deep snow pack at this elevation secures den entrances protecting females and their cubs from predators. From a bear’s point of view, this is the ideal habitat.
Female bears will abandon cubs if disturbed by humans. There’s no provision to protect active black bear den sites from logging in B.C. Cutting of these dens means the end of this regionally-important bear habitat.
Significant Research Reports:
July 2015 – McCroryWildlife Services Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary Black Bear den study completed
ELF recently commisioned the first black bear den study on the Sunshine Coast completed by McCrory Wildlife Services. McCrory concluded that if logging proceeds in our ‘Dakota Bear Sanctuary’ it will destroy up to 12 dens in one block and 16 in another, higher elevation block. To read a brief introduction and the full McCrory report, please click here.
July 2014 – Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs) Identified – 01/07/2014 – Jim W. Stafford – Archaeologist – “The survey resulted in the identification of many scarred yellow cedar trees, several of which we are confident are CMTs and many others which are uncertain and deserve further inspection. I have recommended that an archaeological impact assessment of this block, and the others in the vicinity (i.e. DK42-44b), take place prior to development.” The complete report can be viewed here Dakota Ridge DK42-44 PFR Letter Report FINAL
Support protection of ‘The Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ as B.C.’s first Wildlife Habitat Area (WHA) for black bears! Say “No to Logging of Bear Den Sites” and “Yes to a Protected Sanctuary”.
On this website page click the Get Involved tab and then select Take Action. You’ll find a sample letter and contacts. Or, be as bold as a Mamma Bear, and today call Mr. Tom Jensen (Assistant, Deputy of Forests) at: 250-387-0902 and request that BCTS’ Cutblock Block A87126 (formerly A79517) be canceled and protected as a WHA.
Click the take action button below where you’ll find a sample letter and email contacts.
For immediate action, contact Assistant, Deputy of Forests, Tom Jensen at: 250-387-0902 to register your concerns. Refer to BCTS Cutblock A87126 (formerly A79517) .
Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary is on traditional Squamish 1st Nation territory. The Sunshine Coast Regional District opposes logging in The Dakota Bowl Community Watershed.
Please read the document below for more details and to support the effort to save this habitat for local bears.
Please write the following agencies requesting that the ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ be protected for the following reasons:
1) McCrory Wildlife Services’ Black Bear Den Survey concludes that this area shows a high density of den sites.
2) The surrounding area has been heavily logged leading to loss of old growth structures bears depend on.
3) The A87126 blocks are hard to reach areas requiring steep road construction and resulting in severe erosion potential.
4) The reactivation of the Dakota Creek FSR is really a subsidy to the private contractor to get at the timber.
5) Black bear dens require legislative protection to respect this large iconic carnivore.
Send Message to:
1) Don Hudson: firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Norm Kempe, BCTS Forest Planner at: email@example.com
3) Deputy Minister of Forests, Dave Peterson at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
4) Mary Pollock: firstname.lastname@example.org
See Pictures below from an early expedition of the ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ many more can be viewed on our Facebook page Photo Album here
Many pictures from a recent expedition of the ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ can be viewed on our Facebook page.