By Peter Clancy, Anders Sandberg
Featuring case reports foresters from 1920 onwards, this article finds a wealthy culture of other and dissenting practices mixed with specialist and political orthodoxies. the purpose is to demonstrate the general public and environmental demanding situations that engulf modern forestry.
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Additional info for Against the Grain: Foresters and Politics in Nova Scotia
In still other cases, ‘forestry’ is held responsible for the arrogant invocation of science and expertise to legitimate or excuse the ‘necessity’ of what are often highly controversial activities. There is no Introduction question that modern forestry, in theory and in practice, has much to answer for, but we are convinced that the most sensible and rewarding path to its understanding is an analytical one that starts with concrete experiences and practices on the ground. However, before moving to the primary subjects, we will consider certain political and social dimensions of forestry at large.
It would seem that not only is a picture worth a thousand words but also that the first picture is worth more than any subsequent pictures to the contrary. Quite apart from the photograph itself, it is notable how the image opens the way for a wider debate that is itself redolent with ideological significance. 70 There is also the question of regenerative efficacy, or whether seedling forests achieve adequate coverage to start the replacement forest. In the public mind, a positive connotation attaches to treeplanting efforts, leading both government and private agents to launch triumphal celebrations of ‘million tree’ or ‘hundred million tree’ thresholds.
Consequently, the rueful rationalization ‘it’s a political matter’ conveys an awareness that an external authority has taken control of matters out of professional hands, with the prospect of arbitrary and even irrational rulings ahead. This is a continuing reality in many provinces, including Nova Scotia. But might professional forestry also be inherently ‘political’ in a more positive and reasonable way, according to our alternative definition? To the extent that foresters, individually or collectively, articulate and pursue interests that are at odds with other social groups, they are engaged in a legitimate process that is inherently political.
Against the Grain: Foresters and Politics in Nova Scotia by Peter Clancy, Anders Sandberg