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The Intemperate Rainforest

The Intemperate Rainforest: Nature, Culture, and Power on Canada’s West Coast

Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    The Intemperate Rainforest
    Book Description:

    Bruce Braun examines the various practices—social, discursive, and political—through which Canada’s West Coast forests have been given meaning and made the site of intense political and ideological struggle. Departing from other work on environmental politics that assumes the “forest” is a constant, The Intemperate Rainforest traces the way West Coast landscapes have been viewed and controlled by explorers, foresters, environmentalists, artists, scientists, adventure travelers, and Native peoples.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-5271-6
    Subjects: Environmental Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. 1. The Intemperate Rainforest
    (pp. 1-29)

    During the summer of 1993, few Canadians remained unaware of the drama unfolding on a remote logging road in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia. Here, for three months, protesters gathered daily in the predawn darkness to await vehicles carrying loggers to work sites deep in the forest. At the first sight of approaching headlights, they would take their positions on the road, a court injunction would be read, and members of the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment would begin the task of untangling limbs, lifting bodies, and carrying or dragging blockaders to buses contracted to transport them to the nearby...

  6. 2. Producing Marginality Abstraction and Displacement in the Temperate Rainforest
    (pp. 30-65)

    Speaking before a Royal Commission on Forestry in 1975, Simon Lucas, then chair of the West Coast District Council of Indian Chiefs, outlined his people’s frustrations: “We feel more isolated from the resources to which we have claim than at any time in the past,” to which he added simply, “this is becoming more so.”¹

    Lucas’s poignant statement articulated the experience of many First Nation peoples during and after the rapid expansion and consolidation of British Columbia’s coastal forest industry in the 1950s and 1960s.² In the twenty years preceding the commission, traditional “Nootka” (Nuu-chah-nulth) territories on the west coast...

  7. 3. “Saving Clayoquot” Wilderness and the Politics of Indigeneity
    (pp. 66-108)

    In his 1945Report of the Commissioner Relating to the Forest Resources of British Columbia, Justice Gordon Sloan reinforced colonial displacements that occurred at the end of the nineteenth century. As I explained in chapter 2, his “forest” achieved its coherence as an object of state political and economic calculation only through a series of cognitive failures that erased existing forms of Native territoriality. In Sloan’s report, nature and the nation coincided, the former produced rhetorically as the prehistory of the latter. Sloan is better known, however, for introducing sustained-yield forestry to the province, and it is the particular order...

  8. 4. Landscapes of Loss and Mourning Adventure Travel and the Reterritorialization of Nature and Culture
    (pp. 109-155)

    Tofino, British Columbia, lies at the end of the road. Here the lone ribbon of asphalt that winds its way west across the mountainous interior of Vancouver Island passes by the town’s shops and galleries, turns to descend a short, steep hill, and then comes to an abrupt halt at a government wharf, its uneven pavement replaced by worn wooden planks. Beyond lie the frigid waters, deep fjords, and rugged mountains of Clayoquot Sound.

    In various ways, this terminus represents a boundary. As a physical boundary, it separates land from water—cars give way to boats, trucks to barges, the...

  9. 5. BC Seeing/Seeing BC Vision and Visuality on Canada’s West Coast
    (pp. 156-212)

    In 1997 the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) hosted a small exhibition of two landscape painters: Emily Carr and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Carr (1871–1945), the daughter of English immigrants, is an iconic figure in Canadian culture, revered for her images of west coast Indians and verdant rainforests painted during the first half of the twentieth century (see Figures 5.1, 5.2). Yuxweluptun (1957–), a Coast Salish artist, gained prominence in the 1990s for his striking re-visioning of BC’s natural and cultural landscapes (see Figure 5.3). Although the exhibit, curated by Andrew Hunter, received only modest attention, the juxtaposition of these...

  10. 6. Picturing the Forest Crisis Immutable Mobiles, Contested Ecologies, and the Politics of Preservation
    (pp. 213-255)

    In the late 1930s, Emily Carr produced a series of paintings set in the landscapes surrounding Victoria. By this time, large tracts of timber in the region had been felled, leaving gaps in the forest. Painting in these newly opened spaces, Carr turned her attention away from the forest’s interior to the region’s expansive and expressive skies. Today, these images of forest clearcuts are often interpreted in terms of a wounded landscape, and Carr is seen as among the first to call attention to the devastation wrought by intensive forestry. Whether Carr understood her project in these terms is not...

  11. Conclusion Reimagining the Rainforest
    (pp. 256-270)

    What kind of marks do we wish to leave? This is the question that impresses itself upon us most urgently today. If nature is neither external nor purposeful, then perhaps environmentalism must be reconceived in terms of nature’s production, not its preservation. This notion, developed most fully within Western Marxism, takes humanity’s “species-being” as evidence that wecannot notleave marks on the world (Schmidt 1971; Smith 1990; Cronon 1995). How this occurs is not given in advance; it is the outcome of debates in ethics, and perhaps more important, an outcome of the social organization of production (O’Connor 1998)....

  12. Notes
    (pp. 271-308)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 309-332)
  14. Index
    (pp. 333-348)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 349-349)