QUICK REFERENCE ENTRY:
One of the most influential Canadian books-ever-is The Great Bear Rainforest: Canada's Forgotten Coast (1997), co-authored by Ian McAllister, Karen McAllister and Cameron Young, with a foreword by Robert Kennedy, Jr. It successfully sparked awareness and engendered protective legislation to conserve the northern half of B.C.'s west coast, one of the northern hemisphere's richest unprotected wildlife habitats and home to Canada's largest grizzly bears.

From 1991 to 1996, the McAllisters charted an ecosystem which stretches from Knight Inlet to Alaska, taking thousands of photos, keeping journals, making seven pilgrimages in seven years, building their vision to protect a 2,000-kilometre strip of bear habitat. Like modern-day Darwins in a rain-soaked Galapagos, the McAllisters succeeded, in the spring of 1996, in reaching Smokehouse Creek off Smith Inlet, the last valley on their list. The couple often used a trimaran to explore an area where approximately two thousand grizzly bears reside, where "white spirit"; Kermode bears roam, where spring migration of eulachon can attract thousands of eagles, where pictographs abound and where an overzealous photographer can get bruised on the chin by a flying salmon-yes, it happened. All this was undertaken in order to present their anti-logging perspective on behalf of the Raincoast Conservation Society, an organization which they co-founded with Ian's father and some friends in 1990.

After the British Columbia government introduced measures to protect some of the Great Bear Rainforest in 2006, promising in February to allocate $30 million if the federal government matched that commitment, in February of 2007, the federal government pledged to spend $30 million to help preserve 1.2 million hectares of rainforest, the largest intact temperate rainforest left on earth. An additional $60 million was raised by private organizations and philanthropic groups. Time magazine heralded co-authors Ian and Karen McAllister as environmental leaders for the 21st century and credited their coffee table book as "the centrepiece for Greenpeace International's North American forest campaign.";

As a founding member of the Raincoast Conservation Society, Ian McAllister is not satisfied with the extent to which the Great Bear Rainforest has been protected and preserved. For his follow-up natural history title, The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts of the Great Bear Rainforest (2007), he tracked, photographed and wrote about wolves over a five-year period during which he and his wife were living mainly in the outport of Shearwater on Denny Island.

FULL ENTRY:

The northern half of B.C.'s west coast, between Vancouver Island and Alaska, has long been one of the northern hemisphere's richest unprotected wildlife habitats and home to Canada's largest grizzly bears. Co-authored by Ian McAllister and Karen McAllister, with a foreword by Robert Kennedy Jr., The Great Bear Rainforest: Canada's Forgotten Coast (Harbour 1997 $39.95) was produced as a pictorial exploration of the area to spark awareness and engender protective legislation.

After the British Columbia government introduced measures to protect some of the Great Bear Rainforest in 2006, promising in February to allocate $30 million if the federal government matched that commitment, in February of 2007, the federal government pledged to spend $30 million to help preserve 1.2 million hectares of rainforest, the largest intact temperate rainforest left on earth. An additional $60 million was raised by private organizations and philanthropic groups--making The Great Bear Rainforest, now into its fourth printing, one of the most influential Canadian books ever.

Time magazine heralded Ian and Karen McAllister as "Environmental Leaders for the 21st Century" and credited the book as being "...the centerpiece for Greenpeace International's North American forest campaign." But as a founding member of the Raincoast Conservation Society, McAllister is not fully satisfied with the extent to which the Great Bear Rainforest has been protected and preserved.

For his follow-up natural history title, The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts Of The Great Bear Rainforest, Ian McAllister tracked, photographed and wrote about wolves [See review below] over a five-year period during which he and his wife Karen were mainly living in the outport of Shearwater on Denny Island. It was shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and won the BC Booksellers Choice Award in 2008. [See Press Release below]

McAllister's latest offering, Great Bear Wild: Dispatches from a Northern Rainforest (Greystone $50.00) underscores the importance of wilderness conservation. Through photos and personal narrative, McAllister maps a journey through the ecologically sensitive Great Bear Rainforest. From the headwaters of unexplored river valleys to hidden offshore depths, twenty-five years of research, exploration and campaigning to preserve the forest's biodiversity allows McAllister to provide a glimpse into one of the wildest places left on earth. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. provides a foreword.

Raised in Victoria, Ian McAllister is the son of environmental activist Peter McAllister. He is a nature photographer, writer and conservationist who has dedicated his life to exploring the remote wilds of the BC coast. His images have appeared in numerous publications including International Wildlife, BBC Wildlife, Audubon, Sierra, and Beautiful British Columbia.

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Having gained a christie harris prize nomination for Wolf Island, Great Bear Rainforest photographer Ian McCallister and animal rights activist Nicholas Read-author of City Critters: Wildlife in the Urban Jungle-have teamed up for two books for young readers (age 5-8). The Seal Garden (Orca $19.95) uses photos and text to demonstrate how seals take refuge from storms and predators in The Great Bear Sea; and A Bear's Life (Orca $19.95) visually depicts a year in the lives of black bears, grizzly bears, and spirit bears as they catch fish, eat berries, climb trees and take long naps.
A Bear's Life: 9781459812703; Seal Garden: 978-1-4598-1267-3

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Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Great Bear Wild: Dispatches from a Northern Rainforest

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Great Bear Sea: Exploring the Marine Life of a Pacific Paradise

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest

BOOKS:

The Great Bear Rainforest: Canada's Forgotten Coast (Harbour 1997 $39.95) 1-55017-166-6

The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts Of The Great Bear Rainforest (Greystone 2007) Contributors: Chris Darimont, Introduction by Paul Paquet

The Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest (Orca 2010). With Nicholas Read.

The Sea Wolves: Living Wild in the Great Bear Rainforest (Orca 2010). With Nicholas Read

The Great Bear Sea (Orca 2013) $19.95 978-1-4598-0019-9

Great Bear Wild: Dispatches from a Northern Rainforest (Greystone 2014) $50.00 978-1-77164-045-9

Great Bear Books Bundle (Orca, 2015) $49.95 9781459809895. With Nicholas Read.

The Wild in You: Voices from the Forest and the Sea (Greystone 2015) $24.95 978-1-77164-161-6 Photography by Ian McAllister; text by Lorna Crozier

Wolf Island (Orca 2017) $19.95 978-1-459812642. Co-writer Nicholas Read

A Bear's Life (Orca 2017) Ages 5 - 8 $19.95 978-1-4598-1270-3. Co-writer Nicholas Read

The Seal Garden (Orca 2018) Ages 5 - 8 $19.95 978-1-4598-1267-3. Co-writer Nicholas Read

A Whale's World (Orca 2018) $19.95 978-14598-1273-4. Co-writer Nicholas Read

Babies of the Great Bear Rainforest (Orca 2019) $9.95 978-1-4-5982166-8 board book

[BCBW 2018]