A Vanishing Ecosystem: Mountain Caribou and the Inland Temperate Rainforest of the Pacific Northwest

Mountain caribou have long-depended on the rugged and remote habitat that humans now use for lumber, hydropower, energy extraction, and winter recreation. While these creatures are resilient, they are also highly vulnerable to these human-caused stressors. Currently, only 3 caribou remain in the last herd that crosses back and forth between the United States and Canada. The total population of mountain caribou is estimated at less than 1500 across all of British Columbia. Caribou numbers continue to decline despite numerous ongoing efforts to conserve these animals, including controversial restrictions on logging and winter recreation, and predator control.

Join conservationist, photographer, and educator, Marcus Reynerson, as he shares about his time with the Mountain Caribou Initiative, a visual storytelling collective giving voice to First Nations, scientists, foresters, conservationists, and recreationists attempting to chart a new path forward for one of the most unique ecosystems on earth before it is too late. It is a story that defies easy answers for the problems humans have created, and one that illuminates the complex web of ecological relationships which humans have altered in ways not easily undone.

About the Speaker

Marcus Reynerson
Marcus Reynerson

Marcus Reynerson is a naturalist, educator, and photographer. He has worked in wilderness education, outdoor leadership, and conservation for numerous organizations and communities across North America. He is engaged in telling stories that bring to light and life, the complexity of humans living in the 21st century. Originally from Louisville, KY, Marcus now resides in the Snoqualmie Valley in Washington State, just east of Seattle. He is the Lead Instructor for an internationally renowned environmental leadership immersion program for adults at the Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, WA, and is an Evaluator-in-Training with Cybertracker Conservation of North America, an international professional certification system in wildlife tracking. He is currently part of the Mountain Caribou Initiative, a visual storytelling collective focused on inland temperate rainforest conservation in the Pacific Northwest. www.caribourainforest.org


Photos by Marcus Reynerson

Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

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