Our Story

Pacific Wild leverages its many partnerships to influence policy, public opinion, and legislative change to more urgently support healthy and protected ecosystems that can sustain optimal biodiversity throughout the northwest Pacific region.

Pacific Wild’s founders, Karen and Ian McAllister, have been involved in wilderness and wildlife protection in British Columbia for over two decades. In the late 1980s, they worked on the frontline campaigns to protect Vancouver Island’s endangered rainforest. In 1990, the two moved north establishing a year-round base for conservation work in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Their initial years of exploration of the endangered river valleys of the Great Bear Rainforest resulted in The Great Bear Rainforest, the bestselling book that is credited with sparking an international campaign to protect this area. They helped to bring international attention to the clear-cut logging destruction of B.C.’s temperate rainforest while assisting with the development of a number of conservation proposals for the remaining intact river valleys of the Great Bear. These efforts were a contribution to the 2006 Great Bear Rainforest agreements, where 30% of the landmass of the region was assigned various protected designations.

Pacific Wild has achieved numerous conservation milestones including a fully legislated ban on grizzly bear trophy hunting in 2018, maintaining a ban on fish farm expansion in the Great Bear Rainforest and increasing marine protected areas like the Scott Islands and a host of other conservation achievements.

Pacific Wild was founded in 2008 with a mission to bring awareness and change to conservation issues in the Great Bear through powerful and accessible visual storytelling. The conservation landscape of this region has changed dramatically over the past generation, yet the pressures of industrial exploitation continue to impose both old and new threats. We further public environmental education and engagement while always advocating for wildlife and their habitat.

Pacific Wild is a team of dedicated and talented communication experts, film makers, photographers, writers, researchers, scientists and support staff.  We work with many other non-government organizations, First Nations, researchers, businesses, and individuals of all kinds who share in our passion and love of the Pacific Northwest.  We are supported mainly by grants and individual donations; we do not receive government support except for funding for summer internships. Without Pacific Wild’s passionate supporters, we would not be able to inspire, educate and activate.

Over the years Pacific Wild has been at the forefront of pioneering innovative technology for remote wildlife monitoring allowing us to capture never before observed, much less documented wildlife behaviour.  One of our first projects was Great Bear LIVE, a network of livestreaming remote cameras and hydrophones (underwater microphones) that brought the sights and sounds of wolves fishing on spawning salmon, transient killer whales hunting Steller sea lions, and many other rarely-seen wildlife interactions into homes and classrooms around the world. We have supported SEAS (Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards) Community Initiative in Bella Bella since its inception, providing experiential environmental education for youth. Our past Executive Director, Ian McAllister, continues to write about and photograph the natural history of the region in his award-winning books. Our campaign work has included helping to bring international attention to the potential impacts of LNG tankers in the Great Bear; raising public awareness around the B.C. wolf cull, the Grizzly bear trophy hunt, and many other issues. Please see Our Campaigns to learn more about our current work.