Clayoquot Sound has attracted and influenced many of the leading western naturalists/scientists/environmentalists over the past 100 years, e.g., early naturalist/anthropologist Charles Newcombe, conservation biologist Annie Alexander, Ian McTaggart Cowan and Charles Guiget and the provincial museum years, marine biologist Ed Ricketts and Cannery Row, the Clayoquot Sound scientific panel and integration of traditional ecological knowledge, indigenous leadership on quantifying ecosystem services, the ever present scientist/artists, scientist/writers. Through 30 years of journalism, activism, working as a naturalist and a biographer of Ian McTaggart Cowan, Penn explores some of the ideas and people she has stumbled across that have built upon Clayoquot Sound’s traditional culture of conservation, whether it is by documenting biodiversity, bringing back specimens to educational museums, creating ecological reserves, critiques of forestry, portraying conservation biology in novels or art, promoting wilderness preservation, civil disobedience, advocating alternative landuses to resource extraction, from trapping to non-timber forest products to ecotourism, reforming our economic system or enchanting the disenchanted, Clayoquot Sound has seen it all. What has worked and what hasn’t, and where is the leading edge now?
Dr Briony Penn is a geographer, educator, columnist, activist, artist and historian from Salt Spring Island. For more info on Briony: http://www.thewildside.ca