A Stand Up Paddleboard Expedition of Culture and Tradition for Past, Present and Future
Vancouver, BC – April 29th 2010 – Squamish resident Norm Hann is the latest recipient of the “Be First” sponsorship program by First Ascent for his upcoming 385km Stand Up Paddleboard (S.U.P.) expedition through Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest.
First Ascent is a line of world-class expedition gear created by Eddie Bauer, whose “Be First” sponsorship program is given to a group or individual that endeavors to accomplish what has never been done, challenge the limits of what is possible, and embodies the drive to be first.
Hann’s STANDUP4GREATBEAR Expedition certainly fits this description as a voyage of this magnitude has never previously been attempted on a S.U.P anywhere in Canada before. Norm’s unique mission will help bring awareness to the environmental threat the proposed Enbridge oil pipeline and tanker traffic will have on the rainforest, its people and wildlife. The expedition will explore vital food harvesting areas along the tanker route and document the importance of these areas to First Nations and the Great Bear Rainforest.
The Great Bear Rainforest stretches from Vancouver Island to southeast Alaska. It is one of the largest remaining tracts of unspoiled temperate rainforest in the world and is one of the most prolific areas for marine and terrestrial wildlife anywhere in the world. It is also the traditional home of coastal First Nations who have used the bounty of the ocean and forest to sustain themselves for millennia.
Hann runs Mountain Surf Adventures in Squamish and has been a professional outdoor guide in the Great Bear Rainforest for ten years and is very connected to the land and its people. As a fishing, kayaking, wildlife and bear viewing guide he has introduced people from all over the world to the Great Bear Rainforest.
“I have learned that what is here – the traditional food harvesting areas, the wildlife, and the philosophies of living in harmony with the earth – is something special and rare that cannot be lost.” Hann said. “I feel indebted to what this amazing place has provided me with and I cannot imagine a people, with thousands of years of connection to their land not having this way of life.”