Environment

#616 Captive mountain grizzlies

The Grizzlies of Grouse Mountain: The True Adventures of Coola and Grinder by Shelley Hrdlitschka and Rae Schidlo, illustrated by Linda Sharp Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $19.95 / 9781772032772 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Grizzly bear! Ursus arctos ! Or is it, more correctly, Ursus arctos horribilis? The first is the species name, the second…
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#604 BC Hydro’s destructive legacy

Our Coloured Past: The Arrow Lakes in the Age of Colour Photography by Kyle Kusch Nakusp: Arrow Lakes Historical Society, 2019 $30.00 /  9780969423683 Reviewed by Duff Sutherland * In Our Coloured Past: The Arrow Lakes in the Age of Colour Photography, Kyle Kusch presents 350 colour photographs from the collection of Nakusp’s Arrow Lakes…
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#603 Deep time to time slipping away

The Nature of Canada by Colin M. Coates and Graeme Wynn (editors) Vancouver: UBC Press [On Point Press],2019 $29.95 / 9780774890366 Reviewed by Jenny Clayton * A collaborative effort by some of the leading scholars in the field, The Nature of Canada offers a fresh look at Canadian environmental history. Wishing to showcase research supported…
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#593 Wilderness campaigns & cultures

At the Wilderness Edge: The Rise of the Antidevelopment Movement on Canada’s West Coast by J.I. (Jack) Little Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9780773556409 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * Bear with me, please. Shouldn’t “Wilderness” be in the possessive? At the Wilderness’s Edge maybe? If so, this is a shocking…
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#587 Islands and ingenuity

Complicated Simplicity: Island Life in the Pacific Northwest by Joy Davis Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $22.95 / 9781772032703 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Joy Davis’s book, she writes, “…focuses on the perspectives and experiences of people who live on Pacific Northwest islands, particularly those not served by ferries…” Life on these islands, she tells…
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#572 Settlers coveted Sumas Lake

Before We Lost the Lake: A Natural and Human History of Sumas Valley by Chad Reimer Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $24.95 / 9781987915587 Reviewed by Jeff Oliver * Up until its disappearance, in matter or mind, Sumas Lake never really stood still. Since its birth at the end of the last ice age, it…
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#550 From sawmills to EcoDensity

Vancouverism by Larry Beasley, with a prologue by Frances Bula Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $39.95 / 9780774890311 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Anyone looking for evidence of Vancouver’s essential weirdness could consider these two events: in 2005, a mayor named Sam Sullivan personally trademarked the term “EcoDensity” for a style of highrise development; and, five years later,…
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#523 Powter’s alpine passages

Inner Ranges: An Anthology of Mountain Thoughts and Mountain People by Geoff Powter, with a foreword by Chris Bonnington Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2018 $22.00 / 9781771602877 Reviewed by Stephen Slemon First published April 4, 2019 * Canadian mountaineering writing would have struggled to find its public voice, were it not for Geoff Powter. For…
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#500 A tall tale from Port Renfrew

Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada’s Last Great Trees by Harley Rustad Toronto: House of Anansi Press (Walrus Books), 2018 $22.95 / 9781487003111 Reviewed by Mark Forsythe * An immense, solitary Douglas fir stands inside a vast clear-cut. Sun-bleached slash stretches in all directions; the tree’s shadow reaches for a nearby second…
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#493 Canadian maps that mattered

A History of Canada in Ten Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a Mysterious Land by Adam Shoalts Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2018 $22.00 / 9780143193982 Reviewed by Graeme Wynn * The universe is made of stories, not atoms. American physicist Sean Carroll once used this line by American poet Muriel Rukeyser as a springboard for his…
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#480 Witness to wolves and wilderness

Return of the Wolf: Conflict and Coexistence by Paula Wild Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2018 $32.95 / 9781771622066 Reviewed by Loys Maingon First published Feb. 7, 2019 * As mankind changes the planet’s ecosystems, imperceptibly it also changes the distribution of animals and their genetics. Evolution never stops. So it is with members of…
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#471 The bard and the bees

Listening to the Bees by Mark L. Winston and Renée Sarojini Saklikar Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2018 $24.95 / 9780889713468 Reviewed by Michael Picard First published January 24, 2019 * This is a book about bees, so the title does not disappoint. But it is also a personal memoir of a life in science by an eminent…
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#468 Power, petroleum, and pipelines

Costly Fix: Power, Politics and Nature in the Tar Sands by Ian Urquhart Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018 $39.95 / 9781487594619 Oil’s Deep State: How the Petroleum Industry Undermines Democracy and Stops Action on Global Warming by Kevin Taft Toronto: Lorimer, 2017 $29.95 / 9781459409972 The Big Stall: How Big Oil and Think Tanks…
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#459 Skylark: old friend in a new land

ESSAY: Old Friend in a New Land: English Songbirds in British Columbia by Richard Somerset Mackie * Because the road is rough and long Shall we despise the skylark’s song? — Charlotte Bronte[1] * Introduced from England in 1903 and 1913, Eurasian skylarks took hold in Vancouver Island’s older agricultural districts, to which they were…
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#453 The river sings the blues

Quenching the Dragon: The Canada-China Water Crisis by Robert William Sandford Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2018 $16.00 / 9781771602938 Reviewed by Rosie Simms First published Dec. 23, 2018 * What can Canada learn from the water crisis emerging in China? Why should we care about far-flung water issues on the other side of the globe?…
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#448 South Moresby activist memoir

Raven Walks Around the World: Life of a Wandering Activist by Thom Henley Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017 $32.95 / 9781550178074 Reviewed by Philip Van Huizen First published Dec. 15, 2018 * Autobiographies by environmentalists are nothing new, especially in BC. Greenpeace alone is its own cottage industry, with practically all of its founders producing…
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#443 Grains of yore to the fore

Awesome Ancient Grains and Seeds: A Garden-to-Kitchen Guide. Includes 50 Vegetarian Recipes by Dan Jason and Michele Genest Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018 $24.95 / 9781771621779 Reviewed by Grahame Ware * It’s always hard to review a publication whose identity and structure has a turbid editorial focus. There are many literate types who would…
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#417 Living wild in Clayoquot Sound

Wild Fierce Life: Dangerous Moments on the Outer Coast by Joanna Streetly Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $22.95 / 9781987915655 Reviewed by Lauren Harding First published November 8, 2018 * This book moved me in unexpected ways. Having spent a good deal of 2013 and 2014 living and working on the west coast of Vancouver…
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