Here is a free download of the book, big_trees_saved
Here are excerpts from two reviews of the book that appeared in BC Studies:
A Review Essay – Forest $ustainability:
A Rumination on the Once and Future Forests of British Columbia, Provoked by Five Books and a Screenplay By Graeme Wynn
BC Studies, no. 190, Summer 2016
In little more than one hundred pages, Kawatski traces seas’s activities, year by year through to 2001 and then through the two quinquennia between 2002 and 2013. This is a straightforward account of the work of engaged, activist citizens, written close to SEAS’s voluminous records and the people who led its campaigns. Reporting rather than analyzing, the author, herself an environmentalist with roots deep in the Shuswap region, has produced an interesting document, replete with sketches, cartoons, illustrations, and extended quotations from the often impassioned speeches of campaigners. By making available such materials, usually ephemeral or difficult to locate, this little book provides valuable insight into the grassroots of late twentieth-century environmentalism in British Columbia and offers – as wilderness activist Joe Foy notes in his foreword – “an inspiring saga of regular people making a huge difference.”
Among other feats, their efforts led, in 2001, to the creation of new provincial parks encompassing and protecting more than 120,000 hectares of the Okanagan/Shuswap region, including the “globally unique Upper Seymour rainforest” and Lake Hunakwa, probably “the last unroaded, low-elevation wilderness lake in the interior of North America”
BIG TREES SAVED AND OTHER FEATS: THE STORY OF THE SHUSWAP ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION SOCIETY
By Deanna Kawatski
September 30, 2015, BC Studies
Review By Erika Bland
In Big Trees Saved and Other Feats: The Story of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society, author and environmentalist Deanna Kawatski, whose roots in the Shuswap Bioregion go back a century, sketches the history of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society (SEAS) and outlines its challenges and successes over more than two decades. Kawatski documents efforts to protect large stretches of the Shuswap region, which is within the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people, and relies on a number of sources including newsletters, photos, figures, cartoons, posters, and activists’ fervent speeches. British Columbia’s “War in the Woods” saw community groups challenging the state and corporate stakeholders to bring about reforms in forest management (Salazar and Alper 2000), and Kawatski traces how political shifts and economic fluctuations have affected the environmental movement and groups like SEAS since then, especially given recent funding cuts for scientific programs in Canada (e.g. Sisler 2014). By identifying key challenges and successes, this socio-ecological and political history of the Shuswap will serve as a roadmap for future environmental activism, both in the region and more widely.
Though their approaches differ, both Pearse and Kawatski demonstrate the interconnections between environmental work and activism, both of which involve a collective and collaborative effort among a range of NGOs, all levels of government, First Nations, industry, schools, children, artists, musicians, and many exceptionally hard-working individuals. These books offer accessible and practical insights into the ways in which struggles to protect natural environments in British Columbia have intersected with a myriad of other initiatives.
Nonetheless, Pearse and Kawatski make visible the diversity of actors involved in British Columbia’s environmental movement and, in their accounts of community conservation, celebrate the names and faces behind some critical moments and campaigns. Together, they reveal the richness of this history and the personal commitment of impassioned people to protect the places they love. They are to be commended for their success in balancing factual reporting with specific and engaging stories. We need more books like these to build a locally and deeply rooted anthology of the socio-ecological history of British Columbia.