Legal protection of the Great Bear Rainforest was introduced into legislation last week by the B.C. government and while forest management is on the tongues of policy makers, marine planning is the next step.

It took more than a decade for the Great Bear Rainforest Management Act to find its way through bureaucratic provincial channels. New forest management laws will come into force this summer to protect 85 per cent of the world’s largest temperate rainforest from loggers. The North Coast Marine Plan  also seeks better ecosystem management and has been in the works since 2011.

The marine planning process involved 18 different First Nations groups, the provincial government and the North Coast Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society (NCSFNSS) — while the federal government declined to play a role.

“It was a crazy machine that happened over three years,” said Craig Outhet, the marine planning coordinator and co-lead on the North Coast map plan for NCSFNSS.

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