Those We Share The Mountains With

Words:: Ross Dixon

Grizzlies, wolves, cougars in Whistler this December

If you spend time in the mountains of BC, you’re spending time in the habitat of large carnivores. It’s a privilege few places in the world can offer and right now there is a real opportunity to safeguard their future.

Close up of Grizzlies eye
Neil Ever Osborne Photo.  In Khutzeymateen Provincial Park, Canada’s only grizzly bear sanctuary, one of the country’s most iconic wild species finds a haven to call home. Rugged peaks towering above a valley of old growth temperate rainforest provide the backdrop to this special protected area. It’s safe for now, but impending pressure is never far away.


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Despite the ban on grizzly bear hunting in BC, other large carnivores are still subject to trophy hunting. This includes black bears, even those carrying genes that produce the Spirit bear, wolves, cougars, wolverines and other species. Can we do anything about this?

The answer is yes. Raincoast and Coastal First Nations are working to end commercial trophy hunting throughout the Great Bear Rainforest. We are currently less than $50,000 short of funds required for the permanent acquisition of the Nadeea hunting tenure covering 2,350 square kilometers of some of the most spectacular watersheds in the Great Bear Rainforest (for reference that’s larger than Garibaldi Provincial Park at 1950 square km, and a little smaller than Luxembourg at 2,586 square km).


Grizzly silhouette
Eric Sambol Photo.  “We were slowly cruising the Khutze when we happened upon this beautiful creature … he seemed to be taking in the majesty of this, his, beautiful wilderness.”


Grizzlies, wolves and cougars in Whistler, at the Audain Art Museum

In conservation we necessarily focus a lot of attention on populations, thinking at scales that disconnect us from individuals. This care for individual animals, that we easily recognize for our domestic pets, is at the core of Raincoast‘s wildlife welfare ethic.

This idea of connecting to individuals is also behind the two wildlife photography exhibits that open in the stunning Upper Gallery of the Audain Art Museum in Whistler this Saturday.

The Raincoast exhibit, One Shot for Coastal Carnivores, features photographs of coastal carnivores from some the world’s (and BC’s) best wildlife photographers. In addition, the Grizzly Bear Foundation will display the winners of their Triggers to Tripods grizzly bear photography contest. You can see all of this and learn more about conservation from leading experts this Saturday at the Audain Art Museum.   


Close up of Wolf Face
April Bencze Photo. “I wonder at fear of these animals that is so entrenched in the heart of our culture. In this moment I came to fully realize that the willingness to end the lives of wolves to soothe misplaced fears is as deep an injustice as any.”

If that’s not enough, we’ll have beer from Whistler Brewing Co., canapes from Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, and door prizes from Arc’teryx. Tickets are $25.00 and all proceeds directly support conservation efforts.

Mountain life in BC is not complete without large carnivores. Let’s lend them a hand.

Ross Dixon is Raincoast’s Communications and Development Director


This December the last showing of our One shot for Coastal Carnivores photography exhibit will open at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, Saturday 8th December.


December 8th, 2018
7 pm – 9:30 pm
Book your ticket .

Audain Art Museum
4350 Blackcomb Way
Whistler, BC V0N 1B4


Presented with our partners at the Grizzly Bear Foundation, we will be hosted in the stunning Upper Gallery by our sponsors at the Audain Art Museum, plus we’ll have great drinks and fantastic food provided by chefs from sponsor Nimmo Bay resort.


This will be your last chance to view our One shot for Coastal Carnivores photography exhibit. Proceeds from this collection directly support our purchase of a fourth commercial hunting tenure – the Nadeea tenue which represents the next step in meeting our goal, with Coastal First Nations, to permanently end trophy hunting of all large carnivores in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. You can view the full collection here, the auction is already open and you’ll be able to bid at the venue. From Spirit bears, to cougars, grizzly bears and wolves, donated pieces tell a story of the importance of protecting carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest.


Guests will also have the chance to see the winners of their Grizzly Bear Foundation’s Triggers To Tripod photography contest that celebrates the shift from hunting to wildlife viewing.