Step into the Inland Temperate Rainforest. Walk silently on a thick carpet of moss, among ancient giants. Centuries-old cedars and hemlocks tower overhead, their canopies shading rhododendron, huckleberry and wild ginger.
Breathe deeply. The cool forest air is tinged with humus and rotting wood. Listen to the clear, cold creeks that seem to come from every direction. The wolf moves ghostlike here. The goshawk swoops, fierce as hunter and parent.
Climb from the valley floor, through old sub-alpine forests of spruce and fir. Feel wild azaleas and blueberries brush your legs. The grizzly bear ambles purposefully on these slopes, sniffing the air, muscles rippling.
Emerge in alpine wildflower meadows and through rocky passes where crystal waters cascade down granite walls. Venture out onto windswept mountain ridges, where the view is forever, and the air is thin and sharp. These are highways for the wolverine, solitary and relentless traveler.
The mountain caribou wanders seasonally here from valley floor to alpine ridge in search of food and security. It needs these mountains to be free, intact and ancient.
You are walking in a place shared by two countries, yet still rugged and wild enough for grizzly, wolverine, wolf, and mountain caribou—the world’s only Inland Temperate Rainforest. Conservation opportunities abound here but are rapidly dwindling. They will disappear unless citizens act to protect them.
The Inland Temperate Rainforest (ITR) covers 40 million acres, and stretches 700 miles in a broad arc from central Idaho to Prince George, British Columbia, encompassing a globally unique, rich and diverse landscape. There are no other inland temperate zones on earth that harbour so many species, including mountain caribou, more closely associated with coastal forests.
The Inland Temperate Rainforest is under tremendous pressure from logging and a burgeoning motorized recreation industry. More than 30 companies hold long-term agreements or “tenures” to log in the inland rainforest.