Ancient Wonders of the Dakota Bear Sanctuary

Explore an ancient mountaintop forest in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) territories on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada.

This undisturbed forest in the Dakota Community Watershed boasts thousand-year-old cedars and 77 registered Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw archaeological sites where yellow cedars were stripped for their fine inner bark, and continued on living.


Registered professional bear biologist Wayne McCrory notes its unusual density of active black bear dens. Coastal black bears rely on old growth trees for winter denning, and McCrory speculates that loss of suitable denning habitat in the surrounding Mount Elphinstone area is leading to unusual accumulations of den sites in higher elevations.

The Dakota Bear Sanctuary was twice proposed for logging by BC Government agency BC Timber Sales. It received a one-year deferral by the NDP government in October 2020, days before the provincial election.

Elphinstone Logging Focus, The Living Forest Institute, and The Only Animal are calling on supporters to speak out for BC’s last ancient and natural forests with their The Citizen Action Toolkit.

By Trent Maynard

I'm a writer, journalist and artist based in so-called British Columbia, Canada.

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