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The Salmon Forest

On Canada's Pacific coast, winding from the north end of Vancouver Island to the Alaskan border, is over 400 kilometers of forested inlets and islands. This is the largest tract of intact temperate rainforest on earth -- it's more than twice the size of Switzerland. Here millions of spawning salmon that support dense concentrations of forest life, return every year. It is also where grizzly bears, black bears, bald eagles, seals, otters, gulls, and countless invertebrates thrive. Bathed in mist and rain year round, this is one of the most biologically diverse and lush places on the planet. Much of life here still remains secret and unknown.

Biologist Dr. Tom Reimchen, however, has uncovered one of those secrets. He has discovered why both black and grizzly bears fish at night and revealed the link between the salmon and the forest.

Entomologist Dr. Neville Winchester is also featured as he investigates the vast array of strange-looking arthropods and insects that litter the forest canopy. In addition, the Gitga'at, a First Nations people, are featured reaffirming their connection with the land and sea and performing their traditional Salmon Dance.

'Eye-popping cinematography, intelligent and well-placed explanations, and a subtle-but-reliable narrative thread...Underwood's elegant design and production make this video applicable to a wide audience -- biology and ecology studies, as well as classes in anthropology, environment and indigenous peoples. Rating: Highly Recommended' Mark Collins, Educational Media Reviews Online

'The film is timely because of the precipitous decline in salmon populations on the Pacific Northwest Coast threatens more than commercial and sport industry -- it threatens the health of the coastal rainforest...The compelling story, dazzling scenery, close-ups of tree-climbing, insect sampling, and the tree coring techniques kept my students enthralled throughout the showing of the film. They erupted in spontaneous applause at the end! Congratulations on marketing such a superb film.' Carol A. Jefferson, Ph.D., Plant Ecologist, Department of Biology, Winona State University

'Weaves an interesting story, linking the anadromous salmon stocks with grizzly and black bears, hemlock growth, and a diversity of invertebrates and microorganisms in Northern British Columbia. [The Salmon Forest] documents the life history of the salmon and makes the case that salmon are important components of the forest ecosystem. The video footage is good and captures the true feeling of the area. In addition, time-lapse photography is effectively used to illustrate the efficient decomposition of salmon carcasses.' Best Science Books and Films, Science Books and Films


Main credits

Underwood, Caroline (Producer)
Underwood, Caroline (Director)
Underwood, Caroline (Screenwriter)
Suzuki, David T. (Host)

Other credits

Photographer, Leonard Gilday; editor, Bruce Annis; music, Mark Korven.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Animal Behavior/Communication
Canadian Studies
Earth Science
Forests and Rainforests
Indigenous Peoples
Life Science
Native Americans
Oceans and Coasts
Physical Science


salmon, forests, Canada, Alaska, Pacific Northwest, GitGat, First Nations people, native americans, environment; "The Salmon Forest"; Bullfrog Films