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Environment and History

Imbricated Geographies of Conservation and Consumption in the Stikine Plateau

Jonathan Peyton

Environment and History 17 (2011): 555-581. doi: 10.3197/096734011X13150366551571

This paper interrogates the role of animals and hunting, conservation and consumption in the making of the Stikine, a vast though nebulously defined plateau that covers much of the northwest corner of British Columbia. In 1905, Arthur Bryan Williams, the newly appointed Provincial Game Warden enacted a new regime of control over landscape, animals and ecology. New laws on closed seasons, kill limits, an enforcement network and a careful system of accounting re-scripted what animals meant in the province and fundamentally changed the interactions between people, nature and the state. I show how hunting, conservation and the changes to consumption worked to shift understandings of nature in the Stikine. The geographies of conservation and consumption, operating across multiple scales, were a fundamental component of place-making in the Stikine in the first decades of the twentieth century.

KEYWORDS: Hunting, conservation, consumption, animals, place-making, Stikine Plateau


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