SCIENCE, BORDERS, AND BOUNDARIES IN THE WESTERN ARCTIC: ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORIES OF THE PORCUPINE CARIBOU HERD by Jonathan Luedee M.A., Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2009 B.A., Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2003 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (GEOGRAPHY) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) October 2018 © Jonathan Luedee, 2018 ii The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, the dissertation entitled: Science, Borders, and Boundaries in the Western Arctic: Environmental Histories of the Porcupine Caribou Herd submitted by Jonathan Luedee in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Geography Examining Committee: Dr. Matthew Evenden Supervisor Dr. Jessica Dempsey Supervisory Committee Member Dr. Coll Thrush Supervisory Committee Member Dr. Tina Loo University Examiner Dr. Merje Kuus University Examiner Additional Supervisory Committee Members: Supervisory Committee Member Supervisory Committee Member iii Abstract The annual migration of the Porcupine Caribou Herd is an important biological phenomenon that is central to the maintenance of dynamic environmental relationships in the transboundary western Arctic (northeastern Alaska and northern Yukon). In this dissertation, I argue that far from being a purely natural or unchanging biological process, the herd’s migration has an historical geography, which has been shaped by human societies, and structured by the establishment of political, conceptual, and metaphorical boundaries and borders throughout the twentieth century. Informed by recent research in the fields of transnational environmental history, the history and geography of science, and critical northern geography, I develop a conceptual framework that seeks to explicate the role of caribou science in boundary-making practices in the western Arctic. In four conceptually-linked case studies, I examine the scientific establishment and reinforcement of critical boundaries employed by state-based wildlife management agencies during the twentieth century. These include the shifting line between domesticated and wild animals; the boundaries drawn around species, subspecies, and caribou herd concepts; the violable spatial and conceptual boundary between industrial development and critical caribou habitat; and, finally, the illusory threshold between safe and unsafe levels of exposure to radioactive contamination for both caribou and people. Across these four case studies, each boundary emerges not as stable line drawn around the natural world, but rather as a contested site of knowledge production. Through an examination of scientific boundary-making practices, I show how scientists not only sought to demarcate natural boundaries, but also contested and transformed the placement of the very line that separated scientific from non-scientific knowledge, and determined which individuals and groups represented legitimate producers of scientific knowledge about migratory caribou herds. iv Lay Summary Every year, thousands of caribou from the Porcupine Herd (Rangifer tarandus granti) cross the Alaska-Yukon border as they migrate between the herd’s calving grounds on Alaska’s coastal plain, and its wintering grounds in northern Alaska, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. Far from being an unchanging biological phenomenon, the herd’s migration is a historical process that has been shaped by human activities in the western Arctic. In this dissertation, I consider the development and application of scientific caribou management in the western Arctic. The research focuses on four sites of knowledge production: the shifting line between domesticated and wild animals; the boundaries drawn around species, subspecies, and caribou herd concepts; the violable spatial and conceptual boundary between industrial development and critical caribou habitat; and, finally, the illusory threshold between safe and unsafe levels of exposure to radioactive contamination for both caribou and people. v Preface Jonathan Cory Luedee conducted all of the research and writing for this dissertation. The fieldwork reported in Chapter 1 was covered by UBC Ethics Certificate number H13-01412. vi Table of Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii Lay Summary ............................................................................................................................... iv Preface .............................................................................................................................................v Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... vi List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. viii Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................x Chapter 1: Political Borders, Metaphorical Boundaries, and Migratory Caribou .................1 1.1 What Happens When Nature Crosses Borders?.............................................................. 1 1.2 Bordered Natures in the Western Arctic ......................................................................... 5 1.3 Analytical Boundaries, Conceptual Limitations: Framing the Research ..................... 21 1.4 Animals in the Archives: Historical Research Methods for Migratory Caribou ......... 30 1.5 Migratory Routes: Mapping a Path Through the Dissertation ..................................... 40 Chapter 2: Securing the Boundaries of Wildness in the Alaska-Yukon Borderlands ..........61 2.1 The Problem of Hybridity ............................................................................................. 61 2.2 Intersecting Evolutionary Histories: Reindeer and Caribou in the Western Arctic ...... 66 2.3 Crossing Boundaries: Feral Reindeer and Hybrid Caribou .......................................... 82 2.4 Conclusion: The Problem of Purity .............................................................................. 95 Chapter 3: Science, Boundary-Making, and the Creation of the Modern Caribou ..............98 3.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 98 3.2 The Problem of Caribou Taxonomy ........................................................................... 105 3.3 Fixing the Identity of an International Herd ............................................................... 123 vii 3.4 Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 147 Chapter 4: Can Oil and Caribou Coexist? The Environmental Politics of Resource Extraction in the Transboundary Western Arctic, 1960-1989..................................................................150 4.1 Petroleum, Caribou, and the Significance of Environmental Impact ......................... 150 4.2 Northern Impact: Oil Exploration and Arctic Environmental Science ....................... 155 4.3 The Experimental North Slope ................................................................................... 167 4.4 A Pipeline Through the Calving Grounds? ................................................................. 181 4.5 Caribou in the Way: Petroleum Extraction and the Problem of Wilderness, 1980 - 1989 ................................................................................................................. 195 4.6 Can Oil and Caribou Coexist? .................................................................................... 209 4.7 Epilogue ...................................................................................................................... 213 Chapter 5: The Contested Boundaries of the Nuclear North: Arctic Biology, Caribou, and the Problem of the Threshold ..........................................................................................................218 5.1 Introduction: Environmental Histories of Northern Contaminants ............................ 218 5.2 Moment I: Rendering Radioactive Contamination Perceptible .................................. 226 5.3 Moment II: Rendering Radioactive Exposure Permissible ......................................... 242 5.4 Moment III: Containing the Fallout ............................................................................ 258 5.5 Conclusion: The Threshold Enforced ......................................................................... 273 Chapter 6: Conclusion ...............................................................................................................276 Bibliography ...............................................................................................................................287 viii List of Figures Figure 1.1 – Transboundary Migration ...........................................................................................4 Figure 1.2 – The Western Arctic ...................................................................................................17 Figure 1.3 – “Caribou tracks on soft surface.” .............................................................................32 Figure 1.4 – The Porcupine River .................................................................................................49 Figure 1.5 – Autumn moon reflecting in the Porcupine River ......................................................50 Figure 1.6 – Aurora Borealis above Old Crow, Yukon ................................................................51 Figure 1.7 – The Slash: The Alaska-Yukon Border......................................................................51 Figure 1.8 – Hunting regulations displayed prominently in Old Crow ........................................52 Figure 1.9 – Antlers and cotton grass on Old Crow Mountain .....................................................52 Figure 1.10 – A hunter on the Porcupine River ............................................................................53 Figure 1.11 – Driving to Camp .....................................................................................................53 Figure 1.12 – Ancient caribou trails etched on the landcape ........................................................54 Figure 1.13 – Vadzaih (Caribou) on the bank of the Porcupine River .........................................54 Figure 1.14 – Butchering ..............................................................................................................55 Figure 1.15 – The head of the caribou is removed first ................................................................55 Figure 1.16 – Skinning the caribou ...............................................................................................56 Figure 1.17 – The hind and forequarters are placed on willows to protect the meat ....................56 Figure 1.18 – Packing the meat .....................................................................................................57 Figure 1.19 – Driving downriver to the smokehouse ...................................................................57 Figure 1.20 – Cooking in the smokehouse ....................................................................................58 Figure 1.21 – Preserving the Skin .................................................................................................58 Figure 1.22 – Reading the Landscape ...........................................................................................59 Figure 1.23 – Collecting firewood for winter ...............................................................................59 Figure 1.24 – Smoked salmon.......................................................................................................60 Figure 1.25 – Swans prepare to migrate south for the winter .......................................................60 Figure 2.1 – A comparison of reindeer and caribou ranges in the mid-twentieth century ............74 Figure 4.1 – “Index Map of northeastern Alaska showing location of 1002 area in relation to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.” ...............................................................................................152 Figure 4.2 – The Arctic National Wildlife Range (1960), showing the expanded boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (1980). .....................................................................................160 Figure 4.3 – “A Group of caribou feed on Artemisia arctica west of the snowfence and burlap barrier. Modified ramp and underpass structures are shown.” ....................................................173 Figure 4.4 – “Map of the Coastal Plains at Prudhoe Bay Showing the General Areas Searched and the Color-code Scheme Used in the Aerial Spray Marking Program for Caribou.” ......................................................................................................................................175 Figure 4.5 – “Map of Heald Point and Prudhoe Bay showing the location and orientation of Alyeska’s simulated 48-ich pipeline to the traditional trails of caribou mapped for the area.” ......................................................................................................................................178 Figure 4.6 – Caribou under Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Circa 1980-1981 ........................................180 Figure 4.7 – “Caribou Calving Area.” ........................................................................................188 Figure 4.8 – “Application of space technology to wildlife management.” .................................202 Figure 5.1 – “Food-Web of the Ogotoruk Region.” ...................................................................234 Figure 5.2 – “Sampling Locations in the Canadian North.” .......................................................247 ix Figure 5.3 – “Probable Pathways of CS137 in the Body.” ...........................................................254 Figure 6.1 – The Fall Migration (2014) .....................................................................................277 x Acknowledgements Historical research can be a solitary endeavour, but throughout the writing of this dissertation, I have benefited from the support and encouragement of a large cast of family members, teachers, colleagues, and friends. At UBC, I had the pleasure of working with an immensely talented and incredibly supportive supervisory committee. I am grateful for the unwavering support of my supervisor, Dr. Matthew Evenden, who not only offered sound advice on everything from the academic life to interpretative matters in historical geography, but also encouraged me to be both creative and ambitious in crafting my doctoral research project. Thank you, Matthew, for contributing so much to this project, and in my training as a geographer. Dr. Jess Dempsey (Geography) joined the committee late in the process, but left an immediate and indelible impression on my thinking and writing. Dr. Coll Thrush (History) shaped this project in important ways, and modeled a method of critical scholarship and pedagogy that I aspire to emulate. I am also grateful to Professor Graeme Wynn, who offered initial support and played an important role in my transition from history to geography. Beyond my supervisory committee, I have benefitted from the guidance of an outstanding group of professors, teachers, and educators. Thank you to Dr. Paige Raibmon, Dr. Juanita Sundberg, Dr. Greg Henry, Dr. Tina Loo, Dr. Merje Kuus, Dr. Jamie Peck, Dr. David Ley, Terry Bishop-Stirling, Dr. Sean Cadigan, Dr. Dean Bavington, Dr. Bob Wilson, Dr. Arn Keeling, Dr. John Sandlos, Dr. Kurt Korneski, Dr. Karen Stanbridge, and Dr. Claire Campbell. Staff at UBC helped with the logistics of transboundary research, and made working in the Geography building a pleasurable experience. Thank you to Sandy Lapsky, Stefanie Ickert, Bret Petersen, Suzanne Lawrence, Danny Wong, Connie Cheung, Jose Aparicio, Vince Kujala, Julie Ranada, Jeanne Yang, and Sumi. Many thanks to Eric Leinberger for making several of the maps included in this dissertation. Research often took me away from home, and I am grateful for the support I received during long periods in the field and archives. In Whitehorse, I appreciate David Neufeld’s mentorship. Over coffee and during boat rides on the Yukon River, David helped me situate my research within the environmental history of the Territory. In the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (Old Crow, Yukon), mahsi cho to Mary Jane Moses, Joel Peter, Gerald Nukon, Allen Benjamin, Dana Tizya-Tramm, and Megan Williams. I am grateful for the expert help offered by archivists in the Yukon Archives (Whitehorse), Library Archives Canada (Ottawa), National Archives and Records Administration (Seattle and College Park, Maryland), and the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives (Fairbanks, Alaska). At UBC, I have had the good fortune of studying alongside brilliant friends and colleagues. I am grateful for their support, their willingness to read and critique my work, and for the many hours spent together on the basketball court! Thank you to Carolyn Prouse, James Rhatigan, Julian Yates, xi Max Ritts, Elliot Child, Andrew Schuldt, Corin de Frietas, Julianne Collard, May Farrales, Tom Howard, Esteban Izquierdo Mejia, Martina Volfova, Ezra Green, Krista Zawadski, Stephen Hay, and Mark Werner. Patricia Johnston and Mark Stoller have been my closest friends and collaborators throughout this entire process. Patti and Mark are two of the smartest and most generous people that I have ever met, and through incredible humour and constant support they buoyed my spirits during the long process of dissertation writing. Thank you both so much for your friendship. This dissertation involved long periods of research in northern Canada and Alaska, and would not have been possible without adequate sources of funding. I acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the University of British Columbia, and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, which named me the 2014 James Bourque Northern Doctoral Scholarship recipient. Finally, a special thanks to my family. Thank you to my mother, Linda Chaisson, and step-father, Len Moores, for their unflagging support and encouragement throughout my doctoral studies. Thank you to my father, Mike Luedee, and step-mother, Rose Luedee. Thank you also to Susan and Mark Jefka for your constant support. My grandmother, Marg Chaisson, was my first history teacher, and I cherish our conversations about Newfoundland’s political history. Conducting research in Ottawa afforded me an opportunity develop a close relationship with my great-uncle Leo O’Quinn, who provided me with a home away from home and shared keen insights into the inner workings of the bureaucracy in the capital city. My siblings are a constant source of inspiration. Thank you to Tiffany Kelly, Adam Kelly, Kristyn Moores, Kosta Papoutsis, and Daniel Moores. My sister, Michelle Luedee, and her partner, Derek Ingram, moved to Vancouver during my studies, and having them near has been so important these past 5 years. To Eve Jefka and Owen Luedee, I owe the most. It is no exaggeration to say that I would not have been able to complete this dissertation without Eve’s constant intellectual and emotional support. Owen, who was born during my doctoral program, has helped me rediscover my love of stories, and provided a constant reminder that it’s important to step away from the computer and to get outside. Thank you both for everything. 1 Chapter 1: Political Borders, Metaphorical Boundaries, and Migratory Caribou 1.1. What Happens When Nature Crosses Borders? On 19 June 1984, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) biologist Ken Whitten spotted a female caribou from the Porcupine Herd (Rangifer tarandus granti) while flying above Alaska’s coastal plain in a small helicopter. After tracking and securing the animal – presumably with the use of a tranquilizer – Whitten and the pilot of the helicopter worked together to fit a satellite radio-collar on the caribou’s neck. What was undoubtedly a jarring incident for the animal was also an important moment in the history of scientific wildlife management in the North American Arctic. Although mid-twentieth century scientists and conservationists had adopted and employed radiotelemetry and other “electronic technologies of the Cold War and space age” to track animals, scientists noted that Whitten’s use of the technology represented the first instance in which a satellite radio-collar had been placed on a caribou “in the wild.”1 For wildlife managers in Alaska and northern Canada, radiotelemetry and satellite tracking seemed to offer a technological fix to problems inherent to studying migratory caribou.2 Since the early twentieth century, wildlife management agencies in both countries, driven by a modern state imperative to inventory its natural resources, had devoted considerable resources to the development of methods and techniques for visualizing caribou herds and quantifying caribou populations.3 As natural historical methods of observation gave way to capital-intensive 1 Etienne Benson, Wired Wilderness: Technologies of Tracking and the Making of Modern Wildlife (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), 5. For details pertaining to the capture and radio-collaring of this caribou, see US Fish and Wildlife Service, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Annual Narrative Report, 1984 (Fairbanks: US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1985), 64-65. 2 USFWS, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Annual Narrative Report, 1984, 65-65. For a discussion of the history of radiotelemetry and its application in wildlife management and science, see Benson, Wired Wilderness. 3 As scholars have demonstrated, the emergence of modern resource management regimes was bound up with the production and employment of methods of rendering animal and plant populations both legible (i.e., visible) and quantifiable. James Scott’s articulation of “high modernism” is central to this historiographical development: James Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (Princeton: Yale University Press, 1998). Robert Wilson explores this concept in relation to the history of migration: Wilson, “Mobile 2 aerial surveillance technologies after the end of the Second World War, scientists increasingly made claims about the precision of their surveys and the accuracy of their caribou population censuses.4 Despite the adoption of methods of aerial surveillance, scientific uncertainty persisted. As environmental historian John Sandlos notes, mid-twentieth century methods of counting migratory caribou from above were fraught with scientific uncertainty, and troubled by scientists’ incomplete knowledge of barren ground caribou migratory routes; Canadian wildlife managers and northern administrators, he argues, based the first comprehensive surveys and barren ground caribou population estimates on “a degree of speculation and conjecture.”5 In the western Arctic, the geography of the Porcupine Caribou Herd’s range complicated the efforts of scientists and wildlife managers who not only attempted to count these mobile animals, but also sought to understand the seasonal complexities of the herd’s migration. The adoption of radiotelemetry and satellite collars provided scientists and wildlife managers with an unprecedented level of detail about the spatial and temporal dynamics of caribou movements, and, therefore, represented a critical development in scientific attempts to produce a synoptic view of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. The use of collars to track caribou, however, was not an uncontentious practice. In the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (Old Crow, Yukon) elders and Bodies,” 469-470. See also, Arun Agrawal, Environmentality: Technologies of Government and the Making of Subjects (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005). For a discussion of the relationship between visual technologies and the development of the Canadian state, see Matt Dyce, “Canada Between the Photograph and the Map: Aerial Photography, Geographical Vision and the State,” Journal of Historical Geography 39 (2013): 69-84. 4 For an important contemporaneous scientific publication and description of the method of aerial surveillance, see A.W.F. Banfield, Preliminary Investigation of the Barren Ground Caribou (Ottawa: Canada Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, 1954); Ronald Skoog, “Method for Estimating Caribou Herds,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game: Informational Leaflet 20 (1962): 1-6. For key discussions of state-based attempts to monitor and quantify migratory caribou populations in the North American Arctic, see John Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin: Native People and Wildlife Conservation in the Northwest Territories (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007), 139-230; Peter Kulchyski and Frank Tester, Kiumajut (Talking Back): Game Management and Inuit Rights, 1900-70 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007), 122-164. 5 Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin, 205. 3 community leaders raised concerns about the use of this invasive technology, which they viewed as a profoundly disrespectful and harmful method of tracking and studying caribou.6 Nonetheless, during this early stage in its use, wildlife managers were optimistic that satellite technologies would be helpful as they worked to unlock the mysteries of the “enigmatic” migratory caribou.7 After Whitten secured the satellite collar to the caribou, wildlife managers stationed at the headquarters of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Fairbanks began tracking the animal’s movements as it migrated from northeastern Alaska to a location near the border between the Yukon and Northwest Territories in northern Canada (see figure 1.1). Over the next two months, the cow travelled more than 1,000 kilometers as it migrated toward its wintering grounds. The caribou, however, did not follow the most direct route through the western Arctic. From their office in Fairbanks, wildlife managers mapped and plotted the cow’s migrating across several major river systems and moving between Arctic tundra and alpine ecosystems. In addition to these natural features, the caribou transected multiple cultural boundaries as it moved through Inuvialuit, Inupiat, and Gwich’in traditional territories. During its summer migration, the cow crossed the Canada-US border no less than three times, demonstrating a historical problem that environmental historian Mark Fiege has described as the “incompatibility of human boundaries and forms of mobile nature.”8 6 See Edith Josie’s contribution to the Dempster Highway oral history project in Erin Sherry and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, The Land Still Speaks: Gwitchin Words about Life in Dempster Country (Old Crow: Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, 1999), 212. For more on the “crisis” of legitimacy spurred by these concerns, see Gary Kofinas, “Caribou Hunters and Researchers at the Co-Management Interface: Emergent Dilemmas and the Dynamics of Legitimacy in Power Sharing,” Anthropologica 47, 2 (2005): 179-196. 7 For more on the “enigmatic” caribou in scientific wildlife management discourse, see Tina Loo, “Political Animals: Barren Ground Caribou and the Managers in a ‘Post-Normal’ Age,” Environmental History 22 (2017): 434-459. 8 Mark Fiege, “The Weedy West: Mobile Nature, Boundaries, and Common Space in the Montana Landscape,” The Western Historical Quarterly 36, 1 (2005), 24. 4 Figure 1.1. Transboundary Migration. For original, see US Fish and Wildlife Service, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Annual Narrative Report, 1984 (Fairbanks: US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1985). Map by Eric Leinberger. With an estimated population of more than 200,000 animals, the Porcupine Caribou Herd is not only one of the largest barren ground caribou herds in North America, but also represents an important international resource that has cultural, social, and historical connections to 5 Indigenous communities on both sides of the border.9 Yet, the herd’s transboundary migration is a historical and geographical problem that has challenged jurisdictional control of natural resources, complicated wildlife management and local resource use, and shaped environmental politics and relationships in the western Arctic.10 Throughout the twentieth century, and increasingly after the end of the Second World War, northern administrators, caribou scientists, and wildlife managers in Canada and the United States worked to reconcile the “discontinuity” between the herd’s migration and the International Boundary that transects its range through the alignment of national programs and the establishment of a transnational network of caribou science.11 Though caribou scientists and wildlife managers may have viewed satellite tracking and radiotelemetry as a technological fix to the geographical problems posed by the herd’s transboundary migration, the adoption of this method of visualization did not represent a break from the modalities of existing and historical forms of scientific caribou management. Rather, as Whitten and his colleagues received and translated geographic information about the location of the caribou, they not only became enrolled in the production of a global network of scientific expertise, but also were active participants in and contributors to a scientific tradition that aimed to determine what happens when migratory species cross borders. 1.2. Bordered Natures in the Western Arctic This dissertation is a study of animals that cross borders and the boundaries that humans have constructed to contain them. More specifically, the historical and geographical analysis 9 For the results of the most recent census (2017-2018): Government of Yukon, “New Population Estimate for the Porcupine Caribou Herd,” accessed online at http://www.gov.yk.ca/news/18-002.html on 26 April 2018. 10 For a discussion of the role that borders have played in shaping regional histories in the Pacific Northwest, see John Findlay and Ken Coates, eds., Parallel Destinies: Canadian-American Relations West of the Rockies (Kingston-Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002). 11 For a discussion of the way in which the discontinuities among political borders and migratory species shaped environmental politics and conservation, see Kurkpatrick Dorsey, The Dawn of Conservation Diplomacy: U.S.-Canadian Wildlife Protection Treaties in the Progressive Era (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998), 3-4 6 concerns the way in which twentieth-century scientists sought to describe, classify, and, ultimately, manage the migratory Porcupine Caribou Herd through boundary-making practices in the western Arctic. Throughout the dissertation, I conceptualize boundaries in two ways: first, as political borders that demarcate national and territorial space; and, second, as metaphorical or symbolic boundaries drawn and negotiated by scientists to categorize the natural world and to order environmental relationships. In this section, I explain how my twinned conceptualization of borders and boundaries is informed by and contributes to ongoing debates in three broadly related literatures: transnational and transboundary environmental historical geography; the history and geography of science (including scholarship in science and technology studies (STS)), and the emerging field of critical northern geographies. In the first instance, I think about political borders as both abstract and physical boundaries that demarcate the limits of the state’s ability to exert jurisdictional control over territorial space and its natural resources.12 Following political geographer John Agnew, I reject the notion of the state as a “fixed unit of sovereign space,” and, rather, seek to understand how the state – and its territorial boundaries – came to matter in particular historical and geographic contexts.13 In each chapter, I pay attention to the movement of caribou, people, energy, radioactive material, and scientific ideas across the Alaska-Yukon border, and consider the way in which these transboundary and transnational flows inflected the emergence of scientific caribou management in the western Arctic during the twentieth century. 12 Anthony Giddens, The Nation-State and Violence: Volume 2 of a Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 19-22. See also, Paul Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments: First Nation State Formation in the Yukon (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017), 92-95. 13 John Agnew, “The Territorial Trap: The Geographical Assumptions of International Relations Theory,” Review of International Political Economy 1, 1 (1994): 53-80. 7 Since the early 1990s, North American environmental historians and historical geographers – spurred by a trend toward “internationalization” in historiography – have focused increasingly on issues that transcend the boundaries of the nation-state.14 As environmental historians refined the conceptual tools and methodological approaches through which they examined the dynamism and complexity of human-environment interactions, they adopted spatial concepts that span international boundaries, and challenged historiographical traditions that afford primacy to national frameworks.15 As excitement for topics that cross borders grew among environmental historians, however, the field witnessed a proliferation in and blurring of terminology used to conceptualize boundary crossings.16 In 2008, environmental historian Joseph Taylor sounded a note of caution regarding the use – or misuse – of boundary terminology. Although environmental historians had adopted concepts developed by spatial theorists and geographers, “[t]oo often,” he argued, “historians use boundary terminology without considering how other disciplines have conceptualized these concepts.” 17 Taylor is not alone in stressing the importance of disciplinary coherence in the use of boundary terminology. Political geographer David Newman has argued that while there is no single theory or 14 Richard White, “The Nationalization of Nature,” The Journal of American History 86, 3 (1999): 976-986. For more on the “internationalization” in historiography, and the case against American exceptionalism, see Ian Tyrrell, “American Exceptionalism in an Age of International History,” The American Historical Review 96, 4 (1991): 1031-1055. For a discussion of the development of environmental historical thought on borders, see Lissa Wadewitz, The Nature of Borders: Salmon, Boundaries, and Bandits on the Salish Sea (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012), 9. For overviews of the development of environmental history as a field, and its broader connections with historical geography, see J.R. McNeill, “Observations on the Nature and Culture of Environmental History,” History and Theory 42, 4 (2003): 5-43; Michal Williams, “The Relations of Environmental History and Historical Geography,” Journal of Historical Geography 20, 1 (1994): 3-21. 15 Dan Flores has argued that the bioregion, a natural geographic system that is not confined by political or other jurisdictional boundaries is the proper setting for environmental histories. Dan Flores, “Place: An Argument for Bioregional History,” Environmental History Review 18, 4 (1994): 1-18. Jeffrey Bolster employs the oceanographers’ notion of the large marine ecosystem (LME) in his examination of human interaction with the ocean in preindustrial eastern Canada and northeastern United States. See Bolster, The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012), 5; Jeffrey Bolster, “Putting the Ocean in Atlantic History: Maritime Communities and Marine Ecology in the Northwest Atlantic, 1500-1800,” The American Historical Review 113, 1 (2008): 19-47 16 Joseph E. Taylor, III, “Boundary Terminology,” Environmental History 13 (2008): 454-481. 17 Taylor, “Boundary Terminology,” 455-456. 8 explanatory framework of borders and border-making, “there are common terminologies from which border practitioners from different disciplines can borrow and enrich each other, in their attempts to broaden the study, and understanding, of the processes through which borders are created and perpetuated.”18 However, analytical coherence requires a certain level of disciplinary agreement about the meaning of terminology. Through an extensive review of scholarship about things that cross borders, Taylor developed a typology to bring analytical clarity to environmental historians’ use of boundary terminology. Taylor’s discussion of transnational and transboundary histories are of particular importance to the historical and geographical analysis undertaken in this dissertation. In my examination of the establishment of institutional linkages among scientists and wildlife managers in Canada and the United States, I employ the term transnational to describe the scientific network that emerged in the western Arctic during the mid-twentieth century. As Taylor suggests, transnational research should do more than chart the movement and flow of things across borders. Rather than simply following the circulation of people, caribou specimens, and scientific ideas across the Alaska-Yukon border, I seek to understand how these flows structured, organized, and maintained spatial relationships across a region divided by a political border.19 For all its analytical power in describing the forces that have shaped the history of conservation, the term transnational, Taylor suggests, “cannot contain the messy ecological history” of migratory animals.20 Rather, he suggests that transboundary describes better the “tension between the ecological and cultural spaces these animals inhabit.”21 Though most Porcupine 18 David Newman, “The Lines that Continue to Separate Us: Borders in our ‘Borderless’ World,” Progress in Human Geography 30, 2 (2006): 143-161 19 By drawing on scholarship in law, diaspora studies, and anthropology, Taylor also suggests the limitations of this particular framing of “transnational”. See Taylor, “Boundary Terminology,” 457-458. 20 Taylor, “Boundary Terminology,” 462. 21 Taylor, “Boundary Terminology,” 464. 9 Caribou are birthed on Alaska’s coastal plain, the herd itself has no “intrinsic nationality.”22 Further, like the wildebeests used to illustrate Taylor’s argument, throughout the twentieth century, the herd’s habitat has been a complex assemblage of differing jurisdictional spaces – a socio-cultural landscape that is “beyond the control of any single human entity.”23 Increasingly, the herd’s continual crossing of the Alaska-Yukon border has meant that any political decision about hunting, conservation, or resource extraction within its range has required “multilateral negotiations among shifting governmental, economic, and ethnic communities.”24 By acknowledging that nature crosses borders, historians and geographers have not eschewed the environmental significance of political borders, jurisdictional boundaries, and the nation-states that enforce them.25 Indeed, as geographer Juliet Fall argues in her examination of transboundary environmental governance in Europe, despite human efforts to manage natural resources across national divisions, political borders have continued to shape environmental relationships.26 Further, following developments in political geography, which has reasserted the importance of studying political borders in response to the emergence of globalization theory and its “borderless world” discourse, environmental historical geographers have investigated the dynamic spatio-temporalities of political borders and demonstrated the importance of the “bordering process” in the making and ordering of environmental relationships.27 As historian 22 Taylor, “Boundary Terminology,” 464. For more on nature and nationality, see White, “Nationalization of Nature.” 23 Taylor, “Boundary Terminology,” 464. 24 Taylor, “Boundary Terminology,” 462. 25 Nancy Langston, “Thinking Like a Microbe: Borders and Environmental History,” Canadian Historical Review 95, 4 (2014): 592-603. 26 Juliet Fall, Drawing the Line: Nature, Hybridity and Politics in Transboundary Spaces (London: Ashgate, 2005). As cited in Taylor, “Boundary Terminology,” 461. 27 Newman, “The Lines that Continue to Separate Us,” 143-161. Indeed, as Newman posits, as the field of border studies opened its disciplinary boundaries beyond political geography, key contributions have been made by scholars in fields beyond political geography. For more on the dynamism and multiplicity of border and how they come to matter, see Reece Jones, Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move (London: Verso, 2016); Juanita Sundberg, “’Trash-Talk’ and the Production of Quotidian Geopolitical Boundaries in the USA-Mexico Borderlands,” Social and Cultural Geography 9, 8 (2008): 871-890. 10 Lissa Wadewitz argues, scholars interested in the transboundary and transnational dimensions of environmental change have sought to understand the environmental consequences of boundary-making and border-drawing across a broad range of geographical contexts and at multiple scales.28 Within this field of scholarship, environmental historians and geographers have demonstrated that the demarcation and enforcement of jurisdictional boundaries and political borders have shaped and structured scientific, diplomatic, and managerial responses to the unique challenges posed by the transboundary movements of mobile forms of nature.29 With ranges that transect “every boundary of the modern state,” migratory animals – particularly migratory birds – have been a primary point of emphasis in the fields of transnational and transboundary environmental history.30 Similarly, in this dissertation I focus specifically on a migratory caribou herd that crosses the international border between Alaska and the Yukon, and seek to understand how the spatial discontinuity between the herd’s migration and the political border shaped the emergence of caribou science and management in the western Arctic during the twentieth century. In addition to political borders, this dissertation considers certain metaphorical boundaries that scientists have constructed to stabilize the categories, concepts, and institutions through which they sought to render caribou both legible and amenable to modern regimes of 28 Wadewitz, Nature of Borders, 9. 29 Wadewitz, Nature of Borders. Mark Fiege’s discussion of human responses to the spread of weeds across human boundaries in the American west is a seminal piece of scholarship in this historiography. See Mark Fiege, “Weedy West,” 22-47. Kurkpatrick Dorsey has considered the way in which governments have developed diplomatic responses to the challenge of conserving animal species that cross borders. See Dorsey, The Dawn of Conservation Diplomacy: U.S.-Canadian Wildlife Protection Treaties in the Progressive Era (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998); Kurkpatrick Dorsey, Whales and Nations: Environmental Diplomacy on the High Seas (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013). Like Dorsey, Mark Cioc has considered international treaties to protect migratory wildlife, though in a broader international context, and argued that this approach often served the interests of elite hunters, not wildlife. See Mark Cioc, The Game of Conservation: International Treaties to Protect the World’s Migratory Species (Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2009). For more on animals that cross borders, and the emergence of modern wildlife management regimes, see Robert Wilson, Seeking Refuge: Birds and Landscapes of the Pacific Flyway (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010). 30 Quote from Wilson, “Mobile Bodies,” 465-472. 11 state-based wildlife management.31 In developing this conceptual approach, I attend to calls from geographers and environmental historians to conceptualize state-based practices of boundary-making and enforcement beyond the confines of political borders, which have long dominated political geographical discourse.32 Although the metaphorical boundaries considered in this dissertation represent lines that scientists have drawn around the natural world, they are, I suggest, cultural as well as physical.33 Following sociologists Michèle Lamont and Virág Molnár, I think of metaphorical or symbolic boundaries as “conceptual distinctions made by social actors to categorize objects, practices, and even time and space. They are tools by which individuals and groups struggle over and come to agree upon definitions of reality.”34 More specifically, in four conceptually-linked case studies, I examine the scientific establishment and reinforcement of critical boundaries employed by state-based wildlife management agencies during the twentieth century. These include the shifting line between domesticated and wild 31 On legibility and state-based environmental governance, see Scott, Seeing Like a State. See also Robert Wilson, “Animals and the American Landscape,” in North American Odyssey: Historical Geographies for the Twenty-First Century (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014): 201. For a critical appraisal of Canadian environmental historians’ use of Scott’s “high modernism” concept, see Tina Loo, “High Modernism, Conflict, and the Nature of Change in Canada: A Look at Seeing Like a State,” Canadian Historical Review 97, 1 (2016): 34-58. 32 Newman, “The Lines that Continue to Separate Us,” 143-161. On non-human actors as geopolitical actors, and the bounding of human and non-human as discrete ontological categories, see Sundberg, “Diabolic Caminos in the Desert and Cat Fights on the Río,” 318-336; Juanita Sundberg, “’Trash-Talk’ and the Production of Quotidian Geopolitical Boundaries in the USA-Mexico Borderlands,” Social and Cultural Geography 9, 8 (2008): 871-890. See also Kersty Hobson, “Political Animals? On Animals as Subjects in an Enlarged Political Geography,” Political Geography 26, 3 (2007): 250-267. For a discussion of Indigenous boundary-making practices, and the re-making of social and cultural boundaries by the borders of the modern state in the Pacific Northwest, see Wadewitz, The Nature of Borders (2012). In an examination of the violence of borders, including state-based attempts to restrict the movement of people across borders, Geographer Reece Jones argues that in addition to political and international borders, other kinds of boundaries matter. Jones focuses on the violence engendered through the legitimization of private property and resource enclosures. See Reece Jones, Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move (London: Verso, 2016). 33 The conceptual focus on metaphorical boundaries is influenced by Greg Dening’s approach to the history of the Pacific Islands, and his explication of the ways in which humans have constructed their worlds according to the “reality they attribute to their categories, their roles, their institutions…”, and bounded these worlds “with their definitions of ‘we’ and ‘they’.” See Greg Dening, Islands and Beaches: Discourses on a Silent Land, Marquesas 1774-1880 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1980): 3; 157-164. 34 Michèle Lamont and Virág Molnár, “The Study of Boundaries in the Social Sciences,” Annual Review of Sociology 28, 1 (2002): 168. 12 animals; the boundaries drawn around species, subspecies, and caribou herd concepts; the violable spatial and conceptual boundary between industrial development and critical caribou habitat; and, finally, the illusory threshold between safe and unsafe levels of exposure to radioactive contamination for both caribou and people. The individual case studies are unified through the dissertation’s conceptual focus on the role of boundary-making in scientific knowledge production. For historians and sociologists of science, the matter of scientific boundaries has long been an important feature in the historiographical landscape. However, the contours of the debate about the relationships among multivalent processes of boundary-making and scientific knowledge production have shifted dramatically during the second half of the twentieth century. As Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer have argued, during the mid-twentieth century, historians and sociologists of science were engaged in a protracted debate about which “factors” were deemed internal and external to science.35 However, by the time Shapin and Schaffer published their seminal Leviathan and the Air-Pump in 1985, most historians of science had grown dissatisfied with the “rigidity” of the categories employed in this debate, and had disavowed the field’s conceptual focus on internal and external factors and scientific change.36 For Shapin and Schaffer, however, the salient issue was not the rigidity with which the constituent factors were defined, but instead the “incoherence [concerning] the placement of the boundary between what was deemed internal and what external to science.”37 Rather than acting as adjudicators in an historical debate about the “insides” and “outsides” of science, however, the authors sought to understand the ways in which 35 For more on the “externalism-internalism debate,” see Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011 ), xii-xvii. 36 These observations based on the historiographical review included in the introduction in the 2011 edition of Shapin and Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump, xii-xvii. 37 Shapin and Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump, xv. 13 historical processes of scientific boundary-making led to the crystallization of key categories, and determined which factors were deemed to be constitutive of science. “The language that transports politics outside of science,” the authors wrote in their 1985 publication, “is precisely what we need to understand and explain.”38 By the end of the twentieth century, most historians and sociologists of science, along with scholars in the burgeoning field of science and technology studies (STS), had rejected the notion that politics and social relations of power are in some way external to science and scientific knowledge production.39 Over the past three decades, scholars have demonstrated that the very process of demarcating a social boundary between scientific and non-scientific intellectual activities is a socially-embedded, and inherently political process.40 As sociologist Thomas Gieryn (1983) argues, this process of scientific “boundary-work” is bound up with social and institutional struggles for the authority to demarcate the placement of the boundary, and to determine which individuals and institutions are deemed legitimate producers of scientific knowledge.41 STS scholar Sheila Jasanoff further articulates the way in which political struggles for authority inform processes of scientific boundary-work in her examination of the relationships among science advisors and policy makers in the US Government: “By drawing 38 As quoted in Shapin and Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump, xiii. 39 Important contributions from STS include: Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar, Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013 ); Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” Feminist Studies 14, 3 (1988): 575-599; Shapin and Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump. 40 Thomas Gieryn, “Boundary-Work and the Demarcation of Science from Non-Science: Strains and Interests in Professional Ideologies of Scientists,” American Sociological Review 48, 6 (1983): 781-795; For more, see Sheila Jasanoff discussion of the way that boundary-work structures the legitimation of science in the policy realm: Sheila Jasanoff, The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), 234-238. See also H.M. Collins and Robert Evans, “The Third Wave of Science Studies: Studies of Expertise and Experience,” Social Studies of Science 32, 2 (2002): 235-296; Gregory Ferguson-Cradler, “Sciences, States, and Salmon: Communicating Through Disagreement over a Cold War Fault Line,” Environment and Planning A 48, 9 (2016): 1864-1880; Michael Gordin, The Pseudoscience Ward: Immanuel Velokovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012). Gieryn, “Boundary-Work,” 781-795. 14 seemingly sharp boundaries between science and policy,” Jasanoff writes, “scientists in effect post ‘keep out’ signs to prevent nonscientists from challenging or reinterpreting claims labeled as ‘science’.”42 In this dissertation, I consider the temporal and spatial relationships among boundary-making practices in caribou science and the broader process of scientific boundary-work in the western Arctic. As scientists and wildlife managers negotiated and contested the placement of metaphorical boundaries around caribou, I argue, they not only reshaped the epistemological foundations of scientific caribou management, but also reconstituted the institutional makeup of caribou science. Once demarcated, none of the metaphorical boundaries examined in this dissertation – from the line drawn between wild and domesticated animals to the conceptual boundaries that ostensibly separated science from non-science – proved to be static or inviolable. Rather, as I demonstrate, each boundary has been shaped not only by challenges both from within and outside of the scientific community, but also by the fact that migratory caribou have transgressed every boundary that humans have created in an effort to contain and manage them. Through an examination of scientific boundary-making in the western Arctic, this dissertation further demonstrates that location mattered in the production of scientific knowledge.43 Over the past two decades, geographers and historians of science have turned their attention to the spaces and sites in which scientists work and produce scientific knowledge, thereby demonstrating the social contingencies of scientific practices, and critiquing notions of scientific objectivity.44 In this dissertation, I do not draw hard boundaries around the spaces of 42 Jasasnoff, Fifth Branch, 236. 43 A key contribution of science studies, claim Noel Castree and Bruce Braun, is that “scientific knowledges are made in historically specific, socially situated practices, rather than “found.”’ See Castree and Braun, “The Construction of Nature and the Nature of Construction: Analytical and Political Tools for Building Survivable Futures,” in Remaking Reality: Nature at the Millennium, eds. Bruce Braun and Noel Castree (Routledge: London, 1998), 27. 44 David Livingstone, Putting Science in its Place: Geographies of Scientific Knowledge (Chicago: University of 15 caribou science, nor do I conceptualize the field entirely within the range of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. During the twentieth century, I argue, the spaces of caribou science extended beyond the western Arctic and included field locations in which caribou were observed or captured, labs in which caribou were taken apart and transformed into specimens, transportation and communication networks through which caribou specimens and scientific knowledge moved, and museums in which specimens were displayed and examined by scientists. Further, I do not treat the Porcupine Caribou Herd as a discrete environmental object that can be separated from its broader socio-natural context, or understood in isolation from the web of social, natural, and environmental relations of which it is co-constitutive. Rather, as I consider salient changes in scientific understandings of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, the historical analysis inevitably crosses species lines, transects political and cultural boundaries, and, quite often, involves caribou herds with migratory routes that are distant from the geographical region at the heart of this dissertation. The western Arctic (See figure 1.2) is an ideal location in which to study the role that political borders and metaphorical boundaries have played in shaping caribou science and management in the twentieth century. As historians and geographers of science have demonstrated, the kinds of environmental politics that inform scientific boundary-work are often Chicago Press, 2003); David Livingstone and Charles Withers, eds. Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011); Felix Driver, “Editorial: Field-work in Geography,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 25, 3 (2000): 267-268; Matthew Evenden, “Locating Science, Locating Salmon: Institutions, Linkages, and Spatial Practices in Early British Columbia Fisheries Science,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 22 (2004): 355-372; Stephen Bocking, “Science and Spaces in the Northern Environment,” Environmental History 12, 4 (2007): 867-894; Beth Greenhough, “Tales of an island-laboratory: defining the field in geography and science studies,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 31, 2 (2006): 224-237. Much of this scholarship built upon work in the field of science studies. See, Donna Haraway, “Situated knowledges: the science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective,” Feminist Studies 14, 3 (1988): 575-599; Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar, Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979); Bruno Latour, Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987). 16 obscured by the discursive and institutional regimes within which science is produced.45 However, as scientists and state-based wildlife managers worked to align national programs and produce a synoptic vision of the Porcupine Caribou Herd throughout its range, they also produced a substantial historical record, which has been preserved in archives throughout Canada and the US. The same is true of the multiple and often competing cross-border efforts to protect the herd’s critical habitat (which spans across the International Boundary), and to secure this region’s place within a continental network of energy production and transportation. The transboundary flow of animals and scientific ideas about caribou and the transnational alignment of national institutions and research programs bring into sharp relief the metaphorical and conceptual boundaries examined in this dissertation. 45 For examples from the history of nuclear and radiation science, see Shannon Cram, “Living in Dose: Nuclear Work and the Politics of Permissible Exposure.” Public Culture 28, 3: 519-539; Shannon Cram, “Becoming Jane: The Making and Unmaking of Hanford’s Nuclear Body.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 33, 5: 796-812; William Kinsella, “Nuclear Boundaries: Material and Discursive Containment at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.” Science as Culture 10, 2: 163-194; Adriana Petryna, Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013). 17 Figure 1.2. The Western Arctic. Map by Eric Leinberger. Finally, this dissertation is situated within the emerging fields of critical northern geography and northern environmental history. In recent years, there has been an upsurge in academic and popular interest in the Earth’s polar regions. In North America, this has resulted in an increase in attention being placed on the Canadian north and Alaska. As scientists continue to disentangle the complexities of global climate change, and demonstrate the uneven impact that climactic warming is having on northern environments, governments representing the global Arctic powers have become involved in a scramble to lay claim to once inaccessible northern 18 regions, resources, and territories.46 Buoyed by visions of ice-free shipping lanes, accessible oil and gas reserves, and warming terrestrial ecosystems, scholars, commentators, and politicians have begun to speak of the emergence of a “New North”, which is defined by unprecedented rates and scales of social, cultural, economic, and environmental change.47 Yet, as environmental historian Andrew Stuhl argues, “New North” narratives are not simple depictions of changing northern landscapes and environments. Rather, he argues that the idea of a “New North” relies on the discursive production of an imagined “old North.” In the North American geographical imagination, Stuhl suggests, this “old North” is “a remote and unchanging place, a wilderness that has been shielded from civilization until the very moment.”48 Produced primarily by non-northerners, “New North” narratives are not politically neutral. Although dramatic changes are occurring within northern communities and across Arctic environments, geographer Emilie Cameron argues these shifts are not entirely novel or unprecedented.49 However, as Cameron notes, the notion of a “New North” tends to obscure the way in which “[c]ontemporary Arctic geographies are shaped by histories of imperialism and colonialism, by the specific racializations elaborated in settler societies, by historical and contemporary flows of capital and resources, by state and missionary activities in the region, by traditional cultural, economic, and ecological 46 Michael Byers, Who Owns the Arctic: Understanding Sovereignty Disputesin the North (Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 2009), 9-11; Scott Borgerson, “Arctic Meltdown: The Economic and Security Implications of Global Warming,” Foreign Affairs 87, 2 (2008): 63-77; Klaus Dodds, “A Polar Mediterranean? Accessibility, Resources and Sovereignty in the Arctic Ocean,” Global Policy, 1, 3 (2010): 303-311. 47 On sea-ice loss, see A. Mahoney, S. Gearheard, T. Oshima, and T. Qillaq, “Sea ice thickness measurements from a community-based observing network,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 90, no. 3 (2009): 370-377. For articulations of this concept, see “Special Issue on the Arctic: After the Ice,” Nature 478, 171 (2011): 172-182; Gwynne Dyer, Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats (Oxford: Oneworld, 2011) 48 Stuhl, Unfreezing the Arctic, 49 Emilie Cameron, Far Off Metal River: Settler Stories, and the Making of the Contemporary Arctic (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015), 12. 19 practices, by Inuit and other Indigenous political movements, and by changes in the nuna (land) itself.”50 In this dissertation, I am interested in understanding how the emergence of caribou science and scientific wildlife management shaped environmental geographies in and southern representations of the western Arctic. Following Cameron and Stuhl, I present this region not as an unchanging landscape that is being dragged into modernity in the present moment through a series of geopolitical machinations and environmental consequences that have been unleashed by a rapidly warming climate. Rather, I develop a relational approach that situates scientific representations of northern environments within their particular social, cultural, and historical contexts.51 Although I consider scientific descriptions of certain areas of the north as “remote” and inaccessible, I do not portray these as universal understandings or empirical truths about northern locations. Instead, I aim to demonstrate how these understandings of northern environments were reciprocally shaped by and produced through scientific and managerial responses to the geographical problems posed by northern field research, and the transboundary migration of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Further, the dissertation questions rather than accepts prevailing ideas of the North produced in the south. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, Alaska (and, to a lesser extent, the Yukon) has occupied an increasingly conflicted position in the North American environmental imaginary: as both an unspoiled wilderness that should be protected for future generations, and as a vast hydrocarbon frontier that should be 50 Although Cameron’s historical geographical analysis relates to the making and remaking of social and environmental relations in Inuit territory, her conclusions have wide implications for historical engagements with the North American Arctic. Cameron, Far Off Metal River, 12. 51 In taking this approach, I aim to move beyond the notion of “Nordicity”, and its inherent attempt to define the north according to a series of ostensibly “northern” characteristics. See Louis Edmond Hamelin, Canadian Nordicity: It’s Your North Too (Montreal: Harvest House, 1979) 20 opened for business.52 An historical geographical examination of the Porcupine Caribou Herd’s transboundary migration, I suggest, complicates this reductive framing, which relies on the maintenance of a socially-constructed boundary between nature and culture. Through an examination of scientists and migratory caribou, I argue that the emergence and coalescence of scientific caribou management in the western Arctic were key factors in the northern expansion of the state during the twentieth century. In 2002, American environmental historian Adam Rome argued that the “environmental-management state” should be a central concern among political and other historians of the United States.53 Throughout the twentieth century, he argued, environmental issues have played a key role in the growth of the state and in liberal arguments for a “vastly expanded public sphere.”54 Since Rome’s conceptualization of environmental management as a formative area of state-building, historian Paul Sutter argues, American environmental historiography has produced an “increasingly detailed portrait” of the environmental-management state.55 Indeed, over the past two decades, scholars have demonstrated that modern regimes of environmental management have transcended political borders, impacted human communities unevenly along lines social difference, and, importantly, expanded historical attention “beyond conservation, preservation, and environmental regulation to include a broader array of statist activities in areas such as agriculture, science and engineering, public health, internal improvement, warfare and national defense, and international 52 For a discussion of this dichotomous framing, see Finis Dunaway, “Reframing the Last Frontier: Subhankar Banerjee and the Visual Politics of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” American Quarterly 58, 1 (2006): 159-180; Susan Kollin, Nature’s State: Imagining Alaska as the Last Frontier (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001); Stephen Haycox, Frigid Embrace: Politics, Economics, and Environment in Alaska (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2002). 53 Adam Rome, “What Really Matters in History: Environmental Perspectives in Modern America,” Environmental History 7, 2 (2002): 303-318. 54 Rome, “What Really Matters,” 305. 55 Paul Sutter, “The World with Us: The State of American Environmental History,” Journal of American History 100, 1 (2013): 100. 21 relations.”56 Through a consideration of the interactions among the multiplicity of actors and institutions engaged in caribou science and wildlife management, I demonstrate that the state sought to expand its control over the landscapes, people, and animals of the western Arctic through specific responses to environmental issues involving migratory caribou.57 1.3. Analytical Boundaries, Conceptual Limitations: Framing the Research In organizing the dissertation around the role of boundary-making in the coalescence of caribou science and scientific caribou management in the western Arctic, I have been deliberate, though not comprehensive, in my choice of which boundaries to emphasize. Each chapter focuses on the way in which different institutions – including scientific institutions, state-based wildlife management agencies, oil and gas companies, and public health departments (among others) – produced and marshalled scientific knowledge as they negotiated the placement of conceptual and metaphorical boundaries around caribou. In many ways, the boundaries considered in this dissertation have been central to the state’s attempt to manage its natural 56 Sutter, “The World with Us,” 100-105. For historical examinations of conservation and scientific wildlife management in the US, see Karl Jacoby, Crimes against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001); Louis Warren, The Hunter’s Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997); Thomas Dunlap, Saving America’s Wildlife (New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1988). For work on Canadian wildlife management, see Janet Foster, Working for Wildlife: The Beginnings of Preservation in Canada, 2 ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998); Tina Loo, States of Nature: Conserving Canada’s Wildlife in the Twentieth Century (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006); Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin. For key transnational, transboundary, and international environmental histories, see Wilson, Seeking Refuge; Dorsey, The Dawn of Conservation Diplomacy; Stuhl, Unfreezing the Arctic; Wadewitz, The Nature of Borders; Matthew Evenden, Fish Versus Power: An Environmental History of the Fraser River (Cambridge University Press, 2004). 57 For a discussion of scientific wildlife management and colonialism in the Canadian north, see Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin; Kulchyski and Tester, Kiumajut; Nadasdy, Hunters and Bureaucrats. For a broader circumpolar perspective, see the essays included in David Anderson and Mark Nuttall, eds., Cultivating Arctic Landscapes: Knowing and Managing Animals in the Circumpolar North (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004); Michael Bravo and Sverker Sörlin, Narrating the Arctic: A Cultural History of Nordic Scientific Practices (Canton, MA: Science History Publications, 2002). For a discussion of science, transnational environmental history, and colonialism in the western Arctic (Alaska-Yukon), see Stuhl, Unfreezing the Arctic. 22 resources through the exertion of control over relationships among humans and the more-than-human world.58 While the boundaries considered in this dissertation have been central to the emergence and development of scientific caribou management in the twentieth century, other boundaries (and forms of boundary-making) have mattered to the dynamic relationship among people and caribou in the western Arctic. In recent decades, historians and geographers of science and scholars in the field of STS have considered the complex interactions among social relations of race, class, and gender and the production of scientific knowledge.59 As Donna Haraway has argued, these social categories have not only shaped the content of modern science, but also have cohered through specific historical geographies of science.60 Similarly, an examination of the way in which race, class, and gender shaped twentieth-century caribou science would demonstrate important historical and geographical particularities in the reciprocal relationship between the hardening of the boundaries around these social categories and the production of scientific knowledge. Although I do not focus specifically on the relationships among race, class, gender, and science in the western Arctic, this conceptual absence does not suggest that caribou science emerged outside of – or divorced from – these social relations. 58 As environmental geographer Dean Bavington argues, modern regimes of natural resource management have operated to organize and order particular human relationships with nature while precluding others. Dean Bavington, Managed Annihilation: An Unnatural History of the Newfoundland Cod Collapse (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010), 7-8. See also Carolyn Merchant, Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and Scientific Revolution (New York: Harper & Row, 1980); David Natcher, Susan Davis, and Clifford Hickey, “Co-Management: Managing Relationships, Not Resources,” Human Organization 64, 3 (2005): 240-250. 59 Donna Haraway, Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science (New York: Routledge, 1989), 8-9. In the Canadian Arctic, geographer Richard Powell has examined the way that power differentials along lines of race, class and gender have structured the scientific community in the late twentieth century. See Richard Powell, Studying Arctic Fields: Cultures, Practices, and Environmental Sciences (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017), 7-8. Environmental historian Mark Carey has developed a feminist framework through which he aims to examine the role of gender in the development of the epistemological foundations of glaciology. See Mark Carey, M. Jackson, Alessandro Antonello, and Jaclyn Rushing, “Glaciers, Gender, and Science: A Feminist Glaciology Framework for Global Environmental Change,” Progress in Human Geography 40, 6 (2016): 770793. 60 Haraway, Primate Visions, 8-9. 23 Despite borrowing from the “more-than-human” methodological approaches developed by scholars working in the fields of critical animal studies and animal geography, this dissertation does not focus specifically on the making and hardening of the socially-constructed animal-human divide in the western Arctic.61 In a 1984 essay, anthropologist Tim Ingold reflected on the challenges posed for academics by the cultural diversity and historical plurality of human attitudes towards animality.62 While the question, “What is an animal?” can be construed in multiple ways, each approach to answering the question, Ingold wrote, has been “concerned with problems surrounding the definition of boundaries…”.63 A central issue, he argues, has involved the placement, negotiation, and contestation of a socially-determined boundary between human and non-human beings. Since Ingold examined this question in the mid-1980s, a new approach to animal geography has emerged around the critical interrogation of the conceptual boundary between human and non-human animals.64 Though socially-constructed, this divide is not inconsequential for animal life, nor is it divorced from politics and power relations. As Kathryn Gillespie and Rosemary-Claire Collard argue, the animal-human dualism not only implies difference, but also produces hierarchical relationships among humans and non-humans.65 Although this dissertation does not address explicitly the maintenance of the 61 Henry Buller, “Animal Geographies II: Methods,” Progress in Human Geography 39, 3 (2015): 374-384. 62 Timothy Ingold, “Introduction,” in What is an Animal?, ed. Timothy Ingold (London: Routledge, 1984), 1-15. 63 Ingold, “Introduction,” 1-2. 64 As Julie Urbanik argues, this conceptual focus characterizes the “third wave” of animal geography, which succeeds developments in animal geography which oriented around zoogeographical and cultural ecological approaches to animals. Julie Urbanik, Placing Animals: An Introduction to the Geography of Animal-Human Relations (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2012), 21-48. For a discussion of the field and the third wave of animal studies, see Kathryn Gillespie and Rosemary-Claire Collard, eds., Critical Animal Geographies: Politics, Intersections and Hierarchies in a Multispecies World (London: Routledge, 2015). Seminal works that influenced the development of the field include: Jennifer Wolch and Jacque Emel, “Bringing the Animals Back In,” Environment and Planning D 13, 6 (1995): 632-636; Jennifer Wolch and Jody Emel, eds., Animal Geographies: Place, Politics, and Identity in the Nature-Culture Borderlands (London: Verso, 1998); Chris Philo and Chris Wilbert, eds., Animal Spaces, Beastly Places: New Geographies of Human-Animal Relations (London: Routledge, 2000). 65 Kathryn Gillespie and Rosemary-Claire Collard, “Introduction,” in Kathryn Gillespie and Rosemary-Claire Collard, eds., Critical Animal Geographies: Politics, Intersections and Hierarchies in a Multispecies World 24 dualistic positioning of humans and non-human animals, it seeks to broaden our understanding of the epistemological foundations of this socially-constructed divide by examining the ongoing contestation over the authority to answer the question, “What is a caribou?”. As Ingold suggested, for caribou scientists and state-based wildlife managers, this basic question has always been bound up with problems surrounding the demarcation and enforcement of boundaries. Further, it is important to note that the forms of boundary-making examined in this dissertation occurred largely within and had profound implications for preexisting and historically dynamic Indigenous territories. In the early to mid-twentieth century, for example, the hardening and enforcement of the Alaska-Yukon border impacted social, cultural, kin-based, and animal-human relationships among Gwich’in communities, which span across the International Boundary.66 Throughout the western Arctic, Indigenous groups employed various forms of social and cultural boundaries that shaped their relationships with the human and more-than-human world, and structured their multiple “forms of socio-political organization.”67 Although Indigenous peoples in the southwest Yukon established trade networks and maintained (London: Routledge, 2015), 7. For more on the power relations and structures of violence that are constitutive of this hierarchical divide, see Donna Haraway, When Species Meet (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008); David Lulka, “Safe From the Wolf: Biosecurity, Biodiversity, and Competing Philosophies of Nature,” Environment and Planning A 40, 7 (2008): 1583-1597; David Lulka, “Form and Formlessness: The Spatiocorporeal Politics of the American Kennel Club,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 27, 3 (2009): 531-553; Rosemary-Claire Collard, “Cougar-Human Entanglements and the Biopolitical Un/Making of Safe Space,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30, 1 (2012): 23-42. 66 For oral histories of the border’s impact on the Vuntut Gwitchin, see Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and Shirleen Smith, People of the Lakes: Stories of our Van Tat Gwich’in Elders / Googwandak Nakhwach’ànjòo Van Tat Gwich’in (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2009). For more on the official marking of the border, see Lewis Green, The Boundary Hunters: Surveying the 141st Meridian and the Alaska Panhandle (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1982); International Boundary Commission, Joint Report Upon the Survey and Demarcation of the International Boundary Between the United States and Canada Along the 141st Meridian from the Arctic Ocean to Mount St. Elias (Washington, D.C.: International Boundary Commission, 1918). 67 Paul Nadasdy, “Boundaries Among Kin: Sovereignty, the Modern Treaty Process, and the Rise of Ethno-Territorial Nationalism Among Yukon First Nations,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 54, 3 (2012): 503. 25 cultural relationships across natural boundaries prior to the arrival of Europeans, anthropologist Julie Cruikshank argues, “the social meanings of such barriers seem to have varied regionally along the coast.”68 In the contemporary period, the land claims process and the signing of self-government agreements have granted First Nations in the Yukon specific, though limited, “powers of governance” over traditional territories.69 Despite the establishment of jurisdictional boundaries around the various traditional territories of Yukon First Nations, we cannot assume that these territorialities – and their constitutive boundaries – represent an historical continuity with preexisting spatial arrangements and relationships. Anthropologist Paul Nadasdy argues that Indigenous society in the Yukon “was not in fact composed of distinct political entities each with jurisdiction over its own territory; such entities are a quite recent phenomenon in the Yukon.”70 Rather than formalizing jurisdictional boundaries, Nadasdy argues, the land claims process and self-government agreements are “mechanisms for creating the legal and administrative systems that bring those polities into being.”71 In the western Arctic, the reorganization of Indigenous space and the remaking of Indigenous relationships with caribou (and the broader more-than-human world) is an historical and ongoing process shaped by the northern expansion of the state, colonialism, and capitalist social relations.72 In this dissertation, however, I do not claim to reconstruct or recover those 68 Cruikshank, Do Glaciers Listen?, 213. 69 Nadasdy, “Boundaries Among Kin,” 503. 70 Nadasdy, “Boundaries Among Kin,” 503. 71 Nadasdy, “Boundaries Among Kin,” 503. 72 The enrollment of Indigenous labour and in the fur trade, for example, had immense implications for social and spatial relations throughout the north. For example, see Arthur Ray, Indians in the Fur Trade: Trappers, Hunters, and Middlemen in the Lands Southwest of Hudson Bay, 1660-1870 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998 ); Kurt Korneski, “Planters, Eskimos, and Indians: Race and the Organization of Trade under the Hudson’s Bay Company in Labrador, Journal of Social History 50, 2 (2016): 307-335; Shepard Krech, “The Eastern Kutchin and the Fur Trade, 1800-1860,” Ethnohistory (1976): 213-235. Scholars have also demonstrated the ways in which colonialism continues to shape northern social and environmental relationships in the post-colonial present. See Nadasdy, Hunters and Bureaucrats; Stuhl, Unfreezing the Arctic, 111-143. 26 Indigenous boundaries that shaped human-caribou relationships prior to and following the arrival of those naturalists, scientists, and state-based actors that sought to describe, classify, and manage migratory caribou. These stories exist, but they are not mine to tell. Further, though important to the historical narrative and argument crafted in this dissertation, my primary goal is not to articulate how the hardening of political and scientific boundaries reshaped and transformed preexisting Indigenous relationships with migratory caribou.73 In their oral histories, the Gwich’in and other Indigenous groups have addressed the impact of colonialism and the hardening of political borders on their interactions with the migratory Porcupine Caribou Herd.74 By focusing on the forms of boundary-making involved in the stabilization of scientific and managerial categories, I aim to provide greater context for those scholars whose projects examine more directly the colonial (including settler-colonial) and capitalist remaking of space and social relations in the contemporary Arctic. Though beyond the scope of this dissertation, my historical geographical examination of caribou science contributes to our understanding of the ways in which settler colonialism operated in the North American Arctic during the twentieth century. Indeed, as Emilie Cameron notes, historical and geographical changes in the land – which include shifting regimes of territoriality, the establishment and legitimation of state-based jurisdictional control over natural resources, and attendant impacts on Indigenous land-based relationships – have been shaped and structured by the specific spatio-temporal dynamics of settler colonialism.75 Following scholars in the field of settler colonial studies, and informed by 73 For a recent historical study that develops an archival approach to the remaking of Indigenous boundaries, see Wadewitz, Nature of Borders, 3-88. 74 VGFN and Smith, Googwandak Nakhwach’ànjòo Van Tat Gwich’in; Sherry and VGFN, The Land Still Speaks. 75 Cameron, Far off Metal River, 17. On territoriality and colonial relations, see Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments, 88-135 on law and jurisdiction, see Shiri Pasternak, “Jurisdiction and Settler Colonialism: Where do Laws Meet?” Canadian Journal of Law and Society/La Revue Canadienne Droit et Société 29, 2 (2014): 145-161. Cameron is speaking specifically about settler colonialism in Inuit territory in northern Canada. Walter Hixson describes the way in which American settler colonialism shaped Alaska’s historical development since the eighteenth century. See 27 key contributions made by critical northern geographers, I conceptualize settler colonialism as a specific articulation of the colonial project that is marked by the logic of elimination, the replacement of Indigenous populations, and the continued and sustained dispossession of Indigenous lands and territories by settler societies.76 Indeed, as Patrick Wolfe argues, the primary motive for elimination is access to territory; “Territoriality,” Wolfe states, “is settler colonialism’s specific, irreducible element.”77 In articulating the relationship between elimination and territory, it is important to note the conceptual limits of a Western epistemological framework for understanding land and territory. Land, argues Dene political theorist Glen Coulthard, is not simply a material object that is profoundly important to Indigenous peoples and cultures; it also represents an “ontological framework for understanding relationships.”78 In describing of the system of land-based relations maintained in Sahtu Dene territory, Coulthard explains that humans are not the only beings believed to possess “spirit and agency.”79 Thus, just as humans hold certain ethical obligations to other people, they are also responsible for maintaining and meeting their obligations to the land. If these obligations were met, he notes, “then the land, animals, plants, and lakes would reciprocate and meet their obligations to humans, thus ensuring the survival and well-being of all over time.”80 Walter Hixson, American Settler Colonialism: A History (New York: Palgrave and Macmillan, 2013): 160-168; 190-192. 76 Patrick Wolfe, Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Anthropology: The Politics and Poetics of an Ethnographic Event (London: Cassell, 1999); Lorenzo Veracini, Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview (London: Palgrave & Macmillan, 2010); Patrick Wolfe, “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native,” Journal of Genocide Research 8, 4 (2006): 387-409; Glen Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, 6-7; Emilie Cameron, Far off Metal River, 17. 77 Wolfe, “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination,” 388. 78 Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, 61. 79 Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, 61. 80 Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, 61. 28 Coulthard’s discussion of Sahtu Dene land-based relationships resonates with emerging research on northern animal-human relations. As Métis anthropologist Zoe Todd argues, the Inuvialuit of Paulatuuk, a community in the Inuvik region of the Northwest Territories, have multiple ways of understanding and relating to fish, or “fish pluralities,” which they employ “to negotiate the complex and dynamic pressures faced by humans, animals, and the environment in contemporary Arctic Canada.”81 Although specific elements of this relationship have changed over time, Todd argues, “the underlying legal orders and cosmologies that they represent are rooted in long-term, reciprocal engagement between humans and a sentient, storied landscape.”82 Todd writes specifically about human-fish relations among the Inuvialuit of Paulatuuq, yet her conclusions about fish pluralities, which are situated within a broader theoretical conceptualization of Indigenous epistemologies that transcends “dualistic notions of nature/culture and human/animal,” have broad implications for and resonances with scholarship on animal-human relations throughout the North American Arctic.83 Relatedly, as Eben Kirksey and Stefan Helmreich have noted, scholars employing multispecies ethnographic methods have increasingly drawn attention to the way in which the lives and death of a “host of organisms” are “linked to human and social worlds.”84 In developing this approach, multispecies ethnography has produced an “anthropology of life” that is not constrained by the category of the human, and, ultimately, demonstrated “how a multitude of organisms’ livelihoods shape and are shaped by political, economic, and cultural forces.”85 81 Zoe Todd, “Fish Pluralities: Human-Animal Relations and Sites of Engagement in Paulatuuq, Arctic Canada,” Études/Inuit/Studies 38, 1-2 (2014): 217. 82 Todd, “Fish Pluralities,” 231. 83 Todd, “Fish Pluralities,” 218. 84 Eben Kirksey and Stefan Helmreich, “The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography,” Cultural Anthropology 25, 4 (2010): 545. See also, Rosemary-Claire Collard, Jessica Dempsey, and Juanita Sundberg, “A Manifesto for Abundant Futures,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105, 2 (2015): 322-330. 85 Kirksey and Helmreich, “The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography,” 545. 29 Viewed in conversation with this emerging literature on animal-human relations, it is possible to draw connections among the development of caribou science and the northern expansion of scientific wildlife management – which were intended to replace Indigenous understandings of caribou, and mediate Indigenous relationships with the more-than-human world – and the machinations of settler colonialism in the North American Arctic. As Patrick Wolfe observes, the settler-colonial logic of elimination is tied inherently to the dissolution of Indigenous societies, and, in the western Arctic, the fabric of Indigenous societies was bound up with the maintenance of reciprocal, land-based relationships.86 Further, as Emilie Cameron argues, due to the particular historical geographies of settlement, colonial and settler colonial relations have unfolded differently in the Arctic than in southern regions.87 Although whalers, miners, missionaries, explorers, and other representatives of colonial powers targeted the land, people, and resources of the north during the early twentieth century, Cameron argues that Inuit experienced “rapid and intensive state intervention primarily by way of a modernist welfare state following the Second World War.”88 The northern expansion of environmental management and the increasing regulation of Indigenous relationships with caribou in both Canada and Alaska during the second half of the twentieth century was linked to the state’s ongoing and persistent interventions in the lives, cultures, and societies of Indigenous peoples throughout the western Arctic. Ultimately, this dissertation represents an historical examination and ethnography of caribou science. The scientists whose work forms the conceptual focus of each of the four chapters worked constantly alongside and with Indigenous knowledge holders, guides, and 86 Wolfe, “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination,” 388. 87 Cameron, Far Off Metal River, 18. 88 Cameron, Far Off Metal River, 18. 30 informants in the region, and through most of the twentieth century, caribou scientists often noted the presence and contributions of local, Indigenous peoples in their correspondence and scientific reports. Yet, as I argue in chapter three, this acknowledgement often took a form that legitimated or verified emergent scientific conceptualizations of caribou. Of course, in northern Canada, the structure of Indigenous participation in and engagement with scientific wildlife management changed dramatically after the settlement of land claims and the establishment of co-management boards for natural resource management. Although the temporal period covered in this dissertation overlaps with these later developments, I have not engaged deeply with the ways in which these structural changes in Indigenous-state relations reshaped northern scientific knowledge production. And while the Indigenous inhabitants of the region may at times not be at the center of my analysis, this does not suggest that they were not present in the region, or that they were not engaged in scientific knowledge production. Rather, it indicates that I have not yet developed an appropriate archival method to elucidate the historical and geographical dynamics that shaped the co-production of scientific knowledge about caribou in the western Arctic. 1.4. Animals in the Archives: Historical Research Methods for Migratory Caribou In this section, I describe my evolving research design and method, which is attuned to the complex spatio-temporalities of human-caribou interaction in the western Arctic during the twentieth century. Over the past three decades, environmental historical geographers have increasingly acknowledged and engaged with animals in the stories they tell about the past.89 Although animals have long held an important place in our social, cultural, and economic lives, this heightened interest among historians and geographers represents a dramatic shift after 89 Harriet Ritvo, “Animal Planet,” Environmental History 9, 2 (2004): 204-220. 31 decades of scholarly neglect.90 There are a number of factors driving this increase in academic interest. As environmental historian Harriet Ritvo argues, historical examinations of environmental change have demonstrated that “many of the difficult issues at the intersection of academic studies of the environment (historical and otherwise) and environmental politics have an animal dimension, or even an animal-triggered flashpoint.”91 By taking seriously the role of animals in historical causation, animal historians and geographers have challenged the dominance of anthropocentric interpretations of past forms of environmental change, and expanded the boundaries of key historical concepts such as the notion of “agency” to include the more-than-human world.92 Although my primary goal in this study is to understand how scientists and wildlife managers sought to understand and control caribou and the dynamic socio-natural landscapes and environments through which they move, I suggest that humans were not the only actors in this story. Caribou lead complex social lives that are shaped, structured, and inflected by changes in the natural and built environment. Similarly, through their movements, physiology, and multiple responses to human interaction and interference, migratory caribou have shaped the way in which humans have understood them and played an important role in the making of environmental relationships throughout the western Arctic. In developing this approach, I adopt a notion of animal causation that is distinct from a historical and geographical tradition that theorizes “agency” through anthropocentric understandings of intentionality, resistance, and consciousness.93 90 For a discussion of the pervasive neglect of animals in historical and cultural geography, see Robert Wilson, Seeking Refuge, 11-12. 91 Ritvo, “Animal Planet,” 204. 92 Susan Nance, Entertaining Elephants: Animal Agency and the Business of the American Circus (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), 7-9. 93 E.P. Thompson, Customs in Common: Studies in Traditional Popular Culture (New York: The New Press, 1993). 32 If animals are historical actors, how, then, do historians study their role in historical change and causation through archival research methods? Unlike human societies that have recorded their shared pasts through the production of archival spaces, animals are not involved directly in the production of historical records that document their real and imagined pasts.94 Nonetheless, animal traces are ubiquitous throughout archival collections and materials. But what do historians find when they look for and find animals in the archives? Are these archival inscriptions merely human representations of animals, or do they represent something more complex? What, I am asking, do these archival traces tell us about the past lives of animals and their historical interactions with human communities and their broader environments? Figure 1.3. “Caribou tracks on soft surface.” National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Archives II, College Park, MD. RG 22-WB, Records of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Prints: Biological Survey Photographs of Wildlife, ca. 1899-1962. Mammals: CARIBOU thru COUGAR. In many ways, addressing these questions required me to adopt a reflexive and nuanced understanding of what an archive is, and what an archival collection represents. Following recent developments in archival studies and theory, I look beyond the content of the colonial archive, 94 John Ridener, From Polders to Postmodernism: A Concise History of Archival Theory (Sacramento: Litwin Books, 2008). 33 and conceptualize archives as spaces that are shaped by the politics of knowledge production.95 Relatedly, I do not treat the archival collections I consulted as uncontested sources of information that can be mined simply for historical truths or facts about human-caribou interaction. Although I do attempt to reconstruct an historical record of the history of caribou science through archival research, archival collections, I suggest, must be viewed as partial or incomplete collections of material that reflect the conditions and processes of their production. In developing this approach, I seek to understand the relationship between knowledge production and the hardening of scientific and managerial boundaries while also revealing the way in which scientific knowledge has been a site of contested knowledge claims. The complexity and vastness of the herd’s migratory route meant that it was necessary to consult historical collections housed in multiple archives throughout Canada and the United States. Through their transboundary migration, Porcupine Caribou transect multiple political, jurisdictional, and cultural boundaries, and interact with a broad array of state and non-state institutions, human communities, and other actors. In Canada, management of the herd necessitated a complex and shifting set of agreements among federal and territorial wildlife management agencies, and scientific research involved actors from the responsible government agencies, and others from publicly- and privately-funded research organizations. The herd’s movement across the Alaska-Yukon border enrolled a similar network of actors in Alaska and throughout the United States. Indeed, the emergence of scientific caribou management in the western Arctic is a transnational story, and the excavation of this history requires a research design that is not bound by national borders. To understand this international story, I conducted historical research at multiple archives in Canada and the United States (see bibliography for 95 Ann Laura Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 1-17. 34 complete list). In addition to consulting collections at the federal archives in Canada (Library Archives Canada, Ottawa) and the United States (National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD, and Seattle, WA), I spent time working at northern archives in Alaska and the Yukon. In the Yukon, I conducted research in the territorial archives (Whitehorse), which contains a vast collection of historical materials produced by federal and territorial institutions, agencies, and departments that have held jurisdiction throughout the territory. As I followed scientific representations of caribou through colonial and state archives, my research design and conceptual framework shifted and evolved. When I began the process of conducting research, I aimed to produce an environmental historical geography that considered the spatio-temporal implications of the Porcupine Caribou Herd’s migration across the International Boundary in the western Arctic. What happens, I asked, when nature crosses borders? However, as I situated myself in the archives and the socio-natural landscapes of the western Arctic, I came to perceive serious pitfalls with this particular way of conceptualizing migratory wildlife. By framing the migratory Porcupine Caribou Herd as a form of border-crossing nature, I not only inverted the historical geographical relationship between animals and borders in the western Arctic, but also risked naturalizing those socially-constructed borders that the caribou have continually transgressed. Before caribou could cross the borders of the modern state – which in my analysis range from political borders between countries to scientific boundaries intended to order socio-natural landscapes – these borders had to be demarcated, established, and enforced. Following this conceptual shift in my framing of the dissertation’s primary research subject, I began to ask instead, how did borders come to cross, transect, and 35 divide the socio-natural landscapes (including the range of the migratory Porcupine Caribou Herd) of the western Arctic? A specific example from the archives both suggests the value of this form of boundary thinking, and outlines how I came to apply it in my research on migratory caribou in the western Arctic. While conducting early archival research at Library Archives Canada (LAC) – the primary collection of records produced by Canada’s federal institutions and agencies – I spent two frustrating weeks scanning the early records of Canada’s federal wildlife management agency in search of records related to the Porcupine Caribou Herd. As an important “international resource”, I expected to locate a sizeable collection of material related to this particular herd of migratory caribou. Yet, as I worked through the finding aids of the relevant archival collections, I was surprised to learn that there were few extant records related to this caribou herd prior to the 1960s. Subsequent reading in the history of caribou science helped me make sense of this archival silence. As I engaged with contemporaneous reports by caribou scientists and wildlife managers, I learned that the concept of a caribou herd had changed considerably during the early to mid-twentieth century. Much like the political border between northern Canada and Alaska, the biological boundary that scientists have employed to differentiate caribou populations into distinct herds is a historical construct that has shifted and evolved over time.96 When I renewed my research at LAC, I continued to search for archival traces of the Porcupine Caribou Herd within the records of the Canadian Wildlife Service (RG 109), but rather than scanning for 96 In particular, observations made by caribou biologists Don Thomas (1969) and James Hemming (1973) were helpful in my development of a method intended to excavate conceptually the idea of the caribou herd: D.C. Thomas, Status of Barren-Ground Caribou on the Mainland of Canada (Ottawa: The Queen’s Printer, 1969); James Hemming, “The Distribution and Movement Patterns of Caribou in Alaska,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game Technical Bulletin 1 (1971): 1-60. The historical emergence of the modern concept of a caribou herd – defined by calving ground fidelity – is discussed in chapter 3. 36 documents that mentioned this herd by name, I took a geographical approach, and looked instead for historical records about caribou that included references to landmarks, cultural areas, and geographical features within the contemporary range of the PCH. As I expanded my research site to include state-based archives in the US, I continued to employ this method, and compiled a considerable collection of historical material related to caribou that crossed the Porcupine River, wintered near Old Crow, or crossed the northern section of the Alaska-Yukon border. However, this geographical approach to archival research came with its own problems and limitations as the herd’s primary range has shifted over time, which made it difficult to determine whether the caribou I had located in the archives were in fact Porcupine Caribou. Gradually, however, it became apparent that an approach that prioritized the correct identification of Porcupine Caribou in the archives obscured a broader and potentially more important point about the historical development of scientific caribou management in the western Arctic. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, caribou scientists and wildlife managers had also struggled to identify migratory caribou herds west of the Mackenzie River. In the postwar period, wildlife managers addressed scientific uncertainty about the identity of the Alaska-Yukon caribou herds through the development of a set of biogeographical criteria, which they employed to refine the boundary around the caribou herd concept. As I cross-referenced documents produced by federal wildlife managers and caribou scientists in Canada and the United States, I not only began to develop a historical genealogy of the caribou herd concept (as an object of scientific concern and discourse), but also uncovered the forms of labour in which scientists engaged as they demarcated and hardened the boundaries around caribou herds in the transboundary western Arctic. In this way, a new conceptual approach and research topic began to take shape; rather than focusing solely on the movement of caribou across the International 37 Boundary, I became interested in the ways in which scientific wildlife management emerged and coalesced around the construction of conceptual and metaphorical boundaries that were intended to mediate human-caribou interactions in this transboundary region. What happens, I began to ask, when borders cross nature? In addition to working in state-based and colonial archives, I sought to ground my historical research in the region by spending one month in the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (Old Crow, Yukon) during the autumn of 2014. Prior to receiving institutional ethics approval for this research, my proposal to conduct community-based research in Old Crow was reviewed, amended, and approved by the members of the Heritage Committee of the Vuntut Gwitchin Government (VGG).97 While my primary objective in making this research trip was to work in the community’s collection of oral historical material, which includes transcripts of oral history interviews conducted in and by the community, it was my work with two members of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation that made a stronger and more important impact on my evolving research design. During my time in Old Crow, I worked with two men who generously allowed me to accompany them on the land as they hunted caribou and otherwise prepared for the coming winter months. Through a research agreement with the VGG, I was granted permission to produce a series of photographs documenting the fall hunt. I have included a selection of images produced during this period of fieldwork at the end of the introduction. In addition to providing a visual representation of the socio-natural landscapes engaged in this dissertation, these images should provide readers with a sense of the ethic of care that informs Gwitchin-caribou relationships.98 97 UBC Human Ethics BREB #H13-01412. 98 In addition to conversations with the two Vuntut Gwitchin elders, my understanding of this “code of ethics” is informed by Sherry and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation’s description of “Rules for hunting and working with caribou,” in The Land Still Speaks, 207-211. 38 I planned this research trip to coincide with the usual timing of Porcupine Caribou Herd’s fall migration through Vuntut Gwitchin traditional territory in hopes of observing the community hunt. Considering the persistent and recurring threat of oil and gas development in the herd’s critical calving grounds on Alaska’s coastal plain (covered in chapter 4 of this dissertation), I felt that it would be a valuable experience to spend time in the community to learn about and document the continued importance of the caribou to the people of Old Crow. Further, by spending time in Old Crow, I hoped to make myself and my research responsible and accountable to people whose histories and futures were linked inextricably with the migratory Porcupine Caribou Herd.99 Yet, as I worked with each of the two men, and learned about the complexity and dynamism of Vuntut Gwitchin land-based relationships, I began to discern critical limitations in my research method and design. An archival research method rooted in colonial and state-based archives, I acknowledged, would prove to be insufficient in any attempt to determine how the hardening of political and metaphorical boundaries had reshaped Indigenous understandings of and relationships with migratory caribou. As this became clear, I also acknowledged that I would not be able develop an ethnographic research design that was ethically-grounded and accountable to the community’s needs and environmental relationships within the temporal constraints of my own doctoral research project. Also, the Vuntut Gwitchin are only one among a number of Indigenous groups in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Alaska that maintains historical connections to this particular group of animals. Further, as a settler scholar visiting the traditional territory of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, I became increasingly wary of any attempt that I might make to tell the stories that had been presented to me while working on the land. The Vuntut Gwitchin have their own storytellers and historians, 99 This research objective was informed by my reading of Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (London: Zed Books, 1999). 39 and, I had to acknowledge, it was not my place to tell these stories; nor was it my goal to give the Vuntut Gwitchin voice through the production of a historical argument and narrative.100 However, the experience of working on the land with each of the two elders did reshape my conceptualization of the environmental history of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. During the month that I spent in Old Crow, I developed a healthy skepticism regarding the stability of the boundaries and concepts that I had employed previously to frame and conceptualize the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Rather than being a discrete environmental object or subject of scientific analysis, these men taught me about the ways in which caribou were embedded within a broader network of social, cultural, and ecological relationships. As I articulated my ideas and questions about Porcupine Caribou, these elders listened patiently and responded thoughtfully. But as we spoke about caribou, we also spent a fair bit of time cutting trees for winter fuel, setting and hauling fishnets in the Porcupine River, and hunting for moose. Through their patient tutelage, I began to learn to listen and read the landscape in ways that challenged me to think beyond the conceptual boundaries that I had imported into my fieldwork. I also began to learn that the different activities in which we were engaged were in no way separate or disconnected from the caribou that we all hoped would soon migrate through the traditional territory of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. However, for reasons that I cannot explain, the caribou followed a more northerly route than usual that year, and the throng of animals that characterizes the fall migration in Old Crow never materialized. Although some lucky hunters did manage to get meat for their freezers that 100 Following fieldwork, I reflected on and began to make sense of these academic anxieties and research concerns through reading on questions of indigeneity and anthropology, and the limiting nature of Western definitions of historical discourse. See Keith Basso, Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache (Albuquerque: UNM Press, 1996). For more on the politics of anthropology and Indigenous voice, see Audra Simpson, “On Ethnographic Refusal: Indigeneity, ‘Voice’, and Colonial Citizenship,” Junctures 9 (2006): 67-80. 40 fall, many people were left with little caribou for the long winter months. In the absence of caribou, I began to understand the importance of this animal to the people of the community. As a researcher who was increasingly interested in the history of science in the western Arctic, I also began to ask how I had come to believe that I could examine these animals in isolation from the broader web of relations in which they were enmeshed. When I returned to the task of conducting archival research later that fall, this experience in Old Crow helped me reshape my research method and questions. Rather than attempting to develop a method that would allow me to claim to know or understand dynamic Indigenous worldviews (and related understandings of caribou), I chose to focus instead on the ways in which scientists – primarily, though not exclusively, male, settler, and white – claimed to know caribou.101 How, I began to ask, had science been enrolled in the hardening of the conceptual boundaries through which caribou are understood and human-caribou interactions have been managed in the western Arctic? 1.5. Migratory Routes: Mapping a Path through the Dissertation The dissertation begins at the end of the nineteenth century with the introduction of domesticated reindeer to Alaska, and ends in the early 1990s with an examination of key debates about the potential impact of resource extraction and environmental contaminants on the health and survival of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Although this periodization overlaps with the signing of comprehensive land claims in northern Canada, including the Yukon Umbrella Final Agreement (1993), and the emergence of cooperative or co-management structures for natural resources, including the establishment of the Porcupine Caribou Management Board (PCMB) in 1985, I do not undertake a thorough analysis of these developments and their implications for the 101 Shortly after conducing fieldwork, I read Emilie Cameron’s Far Off Metal River (2015), and her articulations of learning to learn from Inuit (rather than claiming to know), and the importance of taking seriously southern stories about the north were helpful as I worked to make sense of my own evolving research method. 41 contemporary management of the Porcupine Caribou Herd.102 Rather, the dissertation aims to understand the shifting and contested terrain of caribou science, and its application in scientific caribou management, in the period prior to co-management in northern Canada. While the dissertation outlines the historical emergence of caribou science and scientific caribou management in the western Arctic, the chapters do not adhere to a strict chronological narrative. Through the development of a framework that focuses on the establishment and enforcement of scientific boundaries, there is considerable temporal overlap among each of the four related case studies. I begin the dissertation (Chapter Two) in late nineteenth-century Alaska, and consider the way in which the introduction of domesticated reindeer, and the subsequent growth of a reindeer industry, provoked managerial anxiety about the purity of Alaska’s wild caribou herds, and spurred scientific and managerial efforts to harden materially and discursively the boundary around wilderness in the western Arctic. Established initially by missionaries with the dual purpose of feeding Alaska Natives and converting Indigenous hunters into pastoralists engaged in capitalist social relations, the Alaskan reindeer industry expanded well beyond the scope and scale envisioned by its original architects.103 By the mid-1930s, the number of reindeer in Alaska had grown to an estimated one million animals, and there were increasing reports of 102 The Umbrella Final Agreement is a framework that outlined the negotiation process for subsequent land claims among each of the 14 First Nations and the federal and territorial governments. See Nadasdy, Sovereignty’s Entailments, 21. Other scholars have taken up questions around power, legitimacy, and the integration of Indigenous or traditional ecological knowledge and western science within the co-management framework. Paul Nadasdy has made important contributions to our understanding of co-management. See Nadasdy, Hunters and Bureaucrats. For a different interpretation of the emergence and politics of co-management, though in a different geographical context, see Loo, “Political Animals.” Biologist Gary Kofinas has considered the contestation over scientific legitimacy in the context of the Porcupine Caribou Management Board (PCMB). See Kofinas, “Caribou Hunters and Researchers.” However, the PCMB has not yet been the subject of an extensive historical study. 103 Roxanne Willis, “A New Game in the North: Alaska Native Reindeer Herding, 1890-1940,” The Western Historical Quarterly 37, 3 (2006): 277-301; Andrew Stuhl, Unfreezing the Arctic: Science, Colonialism, and the Transformation of Inuit Lands (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016), 61-88; see J. Sonnenfeld, “An Arctic Reindeer Industry: Growth and Decline,” Geographical Review 49, 1 (1959): 76-94. 42 hybridization between reindeer that escaped from their herds and migratory caribou throughout the territory. While industry officials grew increasingly concerned about the loss of reindeer to migratory caribou herds, wildlife managers and caribou scientists worried that hybridization between these two groups of animals had depleted the value, virility, and biological purity of Alaska’s stock of wild caribou. In the first half of the twentieth century, the proliferation of reindeer-caribou hybrids prompted scientists and wildlife managers to demarcate boundaries that should not be transgressed by feral reindeer. Throughout this period, scientists and conservation officials, spurred by increasing reports of reindeer-caribou hybridization, undertook measures to prevent the proliferation of this new form of animal life. In the first instance, this included managerial attempts to determine the extent and impact of reindeer-caribou hybridization. Further, in response to the perceived biological threat to migratory caribou, officials ordered the killing of any hybrids found within critical areas of caribou habitat. Ultimately, wildlife managers attempted to implement a spatial division of Alaska into reindeer and caribou territories. For scientists and wildlife managers, northeastern Alaska – which scientists subsequently described as the range of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and the future site of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – represented a critical location for the preservation of ostensibly pure and wild migratory caribou. In these ways, managerial attempts to preserve the wildness of the territory’s migratory caribou herds became enmeshed with the environmental politics of wilderness protection in the western Arctic. In Chapter Three, I focus on scientific and managerial efforts to demarcate and stabilize the boundaries around the species, subspecies, and caribou herd concepts. The stabilization of these managerial categories, I argue, was central to the emergence of modern scientific wildlife 43 management, and the ascendance and legitimacy of population-based models of caribou management in Arctic North America. In the first section of this chapter, I consider the scientific labour that went into Frank Banfield’s 1961 revision of the genus Rangifer, which had major implications for the taxonomic classification of the Alaska-Yukon caribou herds. The second section examines a series of joint scientific investigations by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) in the 1950s and 1960s, which focused on the caribou that crossed the border between Alaska and the Yukon. Through aerial surveillance, these investigations produced new information about the centrality of the calving grounds to the annual movement of caribou herds, and, ultimately, contributed to the transformation of the caribou herd concept. Throughout this chapter, I follow the movement of scientists and their ideas about caribou across the Alaska-Yukon border, and argue that the establishment of a transnational network of caribou science was fundamental to the stabilization of these core managerial categories in the postwar period. Despite the institutional structure of state-based wildlife management agencies in Canada and the United States, wildlife managers and caribou scientists worked across the International Boundary as they sought to produce new scientific information that they could use to classify and describe the migratory caribou herds of the transboundary western Arctic. Although I pay close attention to the ways in which wildlife managers deployed technologies of aerial surveillance to refine scientific modes of representation, I argue that the stabilization of core managerial categories was not the result of technological developments alone. Rather, I suggest that establishment of a “crucial boundary” between legitimate and 44 rejected forms of knowledge production was central to the stabilization of the herd and species concepts in the transboundary western Arctic.104 In the fourth chapter, I engage with the environmental politics of Arctic resource extraction, and ask how caribou scientists have contributed to the debate about oil and gas development on Alaska’s coastal plain. As documented by scientists (the subject of Chapter Three) and Gwich’in oral histories, the coastal plain is the site of the Porcupine Caribou Herd’s primary calving grounds. Since the 1968 discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay, there has been a protracted scientific debate about the potential impact that the development of energy infrastructure would have on migratory caribou herds. This debate intensified after the US Government passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980, which expanded the total acreage of lands designated as wilderness throughout the state, but also established the controversial 1002 lands on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Rather than expanding wilderness designation to this area, Congress postponed any future decisions about conservation or development until after the completion of an environmental impact statement, which sought to determine both the extent of the oil and gas deposits under the coastal plain, and the environmental impact of development on the Porcupine Caribou Herd’s calving grounds. The outcome of this debate, which holds considerable implications for the Porcupine Caribou Herd and Indigenous communities on both sides of the Alaska-Yukon, has turned on the making and remaking of conceptual and scientific boundaries in the western Arctic. As in the preceding chapters, the historical and geographical analysis here concerns the way in which the community of northern scientists drew boundaries around accepted and rejected modes of 104 The notion of a “crucial boundary” between forms of knowledge production comes from Shapin and Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump, 80. 45 scientific knowledge production. In the postwar period, the oil and gas industry became an increasingly active participant in the production of northern environmental science, and this trend accelerated after the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay in 1968. After outlining the emergence of the oil and gas industry as an actor in the history of northern science, I consider the role that industry-sponsored ecologists and biologists played in scientific debates about oil and gas extraction and caribou habitat at three critical moments in the environmental history of the western Arctic: the development of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (1969-1974), the public inquiry into the feasibility and impact of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline (1972-1977), and the crafting of the environmental impact statement regarding oil and gas extraction on Alaska’s coastal plain (1980-1987). After a long history of defining and bounding spatially Alaskan wilderness, scientists were now engaged in a debate about the ability of the oil and gas industry to work within important wilderness areas without compromising the state’s wilderness values. Throughout this period, the industry asserted the authority of its northern environmental knowledge, and touted its plans to pursue responsible energy development within ANWR, which promised to protect northern wilderness – and caribou – while extracting the oil and gas reserves from below the Porcupine Caribou Herd’s calving grounds. The final chapter considers a less visible, though no less threatening disturbance to the migratory Porcupine Caribou Herd. In the early years of the Cold War, scientists began to detect trace amounts of radioactive contamination in the bodies of reindeer and caribou throughout the circumpolar north. By the early 1960s, scientists feared that cesium-137 and strontium-90 – radionuclides produced by atmospheric nuclear tests and distributed globally through radioactive fallout – had contaminated the entire northern food chain through the “lichen-caribou-man” pathway of exposure. Due to its particular physiological adaptations, lichen (Cladonia 46 rangiferina), scientists noted, was vulnerable to the accumulation of fallout and other airborne contaminants. As scientists monitored fallout across the North American Arctic, they began to document the bioaccumulation of radiocesium in the bodies of caribou, which depend on lichen as a critical source of winter nutrients, and those human communities that hunted and consumed caribou. In addition to mapping the pathways through which radionuclides accumulated in human bodies, scientists attempted to identify a threshold for safe levels of human exposure to nuclear material. In the North American Arctic, public health officials and scientists asked whether the consumption of contaminated caribou meat had caused human exposure levels to exceed the threshold. But rather than a natural or stable boundary, the threshold has been a site of contested knowledge claims and assertions of scientific authority. Yet, as I demonstrate in this chapter, these forms of boundary-work have been obscured by the discursive and institutional regimes within which scientists produce and contain nuclear knowledge.105 To better understand the environmental politics of the threshold, I examine the production of scientific knowledge about radioactive contamination in Alaska and the Yukon between 1958 and 1993. I consider three moments in which the threshold came to matter: the discovery of radioactive cesium-137 in caribou bodies during the period of atmospheric nuclear testing (1958-1963); the expansion of human experimentation as scientists aimed to map the spatial and temporal boundaries of radioactivity in northern communities (1960-1979); and, following the Chernobyl accident, scientific and managerial attempts to assuage the fears of Indigenous communities regarding the 105 Jacob Darwin Hamblin, Poison in the Well: Radioactive Waste in the Oceans at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2008), 10-38; Shannon Cram, “Living in Dose: Nuclear Work and the Politics of Permissible Exposure,” Public Culture 28, 3 (2016): 519-539; Adriana Petryna, Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 49-62; Scott Kirsch, Proving Grounds: Project Plowshare and the Unrealized Dream of Nuclear Earthmoving (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005), 31. 47 potential impact of radioactive fallout on migratory caribou herds (1986-1993). Although scientists determined that radioactivity did not exceed “permissible” levels, and therefore posed no danger to caribou or humans, I argue that the scientific application of the threshold concept shaped environmental relationships and human-caribou interactions throughout the nuclear north. 48 A Note on the Images: Produced during the autumn of 2014, these photographs represent my own situated and partial observation of the Vuntut Gwitchin fall caribou hunt. During my fieldwork in Old Crow, I worked with two elders from the community, and these men both made indelible impressions on my research and understanding of caribou. The first, a respected hunter, devoted much of his life to teaching Vuntut Gwitchin youth about traditional land-based relationships. Indeed, as people in the community learned about my research and my reasons for traveling to Old Crow, many told me that I absolutely had to speak with this particular individual. Although he agreed to let me accompany him as he hunted caribou and moose, he asked that I not use his name in my dissertation or in any subsequent publications. Joel Peter, the second individual with whom I worked, is also a respected elder in Old Crow. In addition to participating in the vital activity of language revitalization, Mr. Peter has worked with other researchers, including scientists and wildlife managers who have studied contaminants in caribou meat. From the outset, my goal in working with photographic field methods was to develop a visual representation that offered a counternarrative to prevailing representations of the North, which, all too often, portray the region as an unpeopled wilderness. Although I do employ visual frames of reference and techniques that are common in landscape photography, I do not suggest that the images document landscapes that are separate from human society. As I moved through the traditional territory of the Vuntut Gwitchin – in motorboat, canoe, and by foot – each of the elders described their cultural, kin-based, and spiritual connections to the different locations we encountered. For one unfamiliar with the socio-natural landscapes of the region, it might have been easy to confuse these seemingly remote places as being separate from human society. However, as each elder narrated our movement through the landscape, it became apparent that this was a deeply peopled space. From traplines to family fishing camps to traditional locations for the gathering of medicine, every place within this landscape, I learned, was animated by stories that connected the people of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation to these landscapes and their relations across time and space. Further, I learned that the connections that tied these men to the places we visited were strengthened by the annual movement of the Porcupine Caribou through the traditional territory of the Vuntut Gwitchin. As I worked to photograph the fall hunt, it was this human connection to the animals and the landscape that I hoped to emphasize. The photographs below contain a number of images that document the care and labour involved in the caribou hunt. Rather than viewing the shooting and butchering of the caribou as a violent act, I see it as one that is informed by a Gwitchin code of ethics, which emphasizes respect for the caribou, the land, and people. Each aspect of the hunt, I learned, is a carefully planned process that operates to ensure that every part of the caribou is used, leaving nothing to waste. In this way, one elder informed me, hunters show caribou the respect and gratitude the animal deserves for presenting itself to the hunter. Further, the sharing of caribou meat plays an important role in the maintenance of Gwitchin social relations and cultural connections. For example, the caribou butchered in the images below were not shot by the elder with whom I worked, but rather, had been shot by his brother. After ferrying the caribou to the riverbank, where we skinned and butchered the animals, the 49 man who had shot the caribou gifted two of them to his older brother. As we worked with the animals, and the elder explained to me the significance of each aspect of the butchering process, he reiterated how important it was that his brother had given him the two caribou. He asked me to remember this gift as I wrote my dissertation about the caribou. Make sure you let people know, he said, that my brother shot the caribou and gave it to me for my family for the winter. Since the 1980s, US lawmakers and representatives of the oil and gas industry have been clamoring to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to resource extraction. Gwich’in communities in Canada and Alaska, along with a broad group of allied environmentalists, scientists, and conservationists, have pointed out that Porcupine Caribou Herd’s core calving area sits on top of the area being eyed by the oil and gas industry. Exploration and drilling in this area, they have argued, would likely have catastrophic consequences for the caribou and the Indigenous people who have for thousands of years depended on these migratory animals. Given the persistence of this existential threat to the Porcupine Caribou Herd, I also hoped to emphasize the continued importance of the caribou to the Vuntut Gwitchin through these photographs. Although my dissertation moved in a very different direction than I had originally envisioned, my experience in Old Crow played a formative role in the development of my research method and design. For this reason, I have chosen to include a collection of images produced during my fieldwork in Old Crow, which, in my mind, suggests what is at stake when the US Congress moves to open the herd’s calving grounds to the oil and gas industry. Image 1.4. The Porcupine River 50 Figure 1.5. Autumn moon reflecting in the Porcupine River 51 Figure 1.6. Aurora Borealis above Old Crow, Yukon Figure 1.7. The Slash: The Alaska-Yukon Border 52 Figure 1.8. Hunting regulations displayed prominently in Old Crow. Figure 1.9. Antlers and cotton grass on Old Crow Mountain 53 Figure 1.10. A hunter on the Porcupine River. Figure 1.11. Driving to camp. 54 Figure 1.12. Ancient caribou trails etched on the landscape. Figure 1.13. Vadzaih (Caribou) on the bank of the Porcupine River. 55 Figure 1.14. Butchering Figure 1.15. The head of the caribou is removed first. 56 Image 1.16. Skinning the caribou. Figure 1.17. The hind and forequarters are placed on willows to protect the meat. 57 Figure 1.18. Packing the meat. Figure 1.19. Driving downriver to the smokehouse. 58 Figure 1.20. Cooking in the smokehouse. Figure 1.21. Preserving the skin. 59 Figure 1.22. Reading the landscape. Figure 1.23. Collecting firewood for winter. 60 Figure 1.24. Smoked salmon. Figure 1.25. Swans prepare to migrate south for the winter. 61 Chapter 2: Securing the Boundaries of Wildness in the Alaska-Yukon Borderlands 2.1. Introduction: The Problem of Hybridity On 4 July 1892, Captain Michael Healy of the US Revenue Marine Service, ferried 171 domesticated reindeer from Siberia across the Bering Strait to the Teller Reindeer Station in northeastern Alaska.1 Though related biologically, reindeer and caribou evolved in geographically separate regions of the circumpolar north, and while they shared many biological and behavioural traits, their distinct socio-natural connections to human communities marked reindeer and caribou as different forms of animal life.2 The introduction of domesticated reindeer to the range of migratory caribou in Alaska, therefore, marked an important moment in the evolutionary histories of these two groups of ungulates. Indeed, as Alaskan anthropologist Ernest Burch argues, since 1892, “the affairs of the two subspecies in Northwest Alaska were inextricably linked,” and “the history of one cannot be understood without knowledge of the other.”3 The introduction of reindeer herds to Alaska in the late nineteenth century also represented a significant development in the environmental history of the western Arctic. During the first three decades of its existence, the industry’s rapid growth and spatial expansion exceeded the expectations of its original architects. During the first 10 years of the program, the 1 Willis, “A New Game,” 277. For more on Captain Michael Healy, and his role in the plan to introduce reindeer to Alaska, see Sheldon Jackson, Introduction of Reindeer into Alaska: Preliminary Report of the General Agent of Education for Alaska to the Commissioner of Education (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1891). This was, in fact, the second group of reindeer introduced to Alaska. In 1891, ten Siberian reindeer had been brought to Teller, Alaska. See A.D. Johnson, “Brief History of the Reindeer in the Arctic,” NARA-A (Seattle, WA), RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33, File: History Reindeer in Brower Region, 1942. 2 Indeed, as Edmund Russell argues in his seminal text on evolutionary history: “Social forces have been evolutionary forces.” Edmund Russell, Evolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology to Understand Life on Earth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 3. For more on the biological, ecological, and socio-natural similarities and differences between reindeer and caribou, see Ernest S. Burch Jr., Caribou Herds of Northwest Alaska, eds. Igor Krupnik and Jim Dau (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2012), 17-36. 3 Burch, Caribou Herds, 17. 62 Bureau of Education oversaw the introduction of 1280 Siberian reindeer to Alaska, which formed the principle or “Mother Herd” at Teller on the Seward Peninsula.4 By 1922, this original herd had grown to more than 200,000 animals, and had been used as the source for the establishment of new herds at multiple locations throughout the Territory. During the 1920s, the reindeer population continued to grow, and, by 1935, officials in the Alaska Reindeer Service estimated that there were approximately one million reindeer “scattered” between Point Barrow in the North and Kodiak Island in the south.5 Yet, as quickly as the industry had grown, by the mid-1930s, Alaska’s reindeer herds began to suffer substantial losses, and the industry entered a period of rapid decline. By the end of the Second World War, there were fewer than 25,000 reindeer remaining in herds throughout Alaska.6 While historians of the western Arctic have interpreted the rise and eventual collapse of the reindeer industry differently, the historiography has developed around the role of domesticated reindeer in the northern expansion of colonial relations and administration.7 Environmental historian Andrew Stuhl focuses on the development of reindeer science in Alaska 4 A.D. Johnson, “Brief History of the Reindeer in the Arctic,” NARA-A (Seattle, WA), RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33, File: History Reindeer in Brower Region, 1942. 5 Johnson, “Brief History,” NARA-A, RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33. For more on the growth of the Alaskan reindeer industry, see J. Sonnenfeld, “An Arctic Reindeer Industry: Growth and Decline,” Geographical Review 49, 1 (1959): 76-94; Stuhl, Unfreezing, 61-63. 6 Willis, “A New Game in the North,” 301; Olson, Reindeer Herdsmen, 14-15. 7 Although the reindeer industry had a profound impact on environmental politics and relationships in the western Arctic, compared to other historical developments – such as the Klondike Gold Rush, the construction of the Alaska Highway, or the emergence of the oil and gas industry in the western Arctic – it remains relatively under-examined in northern historiography. Kathryn Morse, The Nature of Gold: An Environmental History of the Klondike Gold Rush (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003); Peter Coates, The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Controversy: Technology, Conservation, and the Frontier (Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press, 1991); K.S. Coates and W.R. Morrison, The Alaska Highway in World War II: The US Army of Occupation in Canada’s Northwest (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992); Julie Cruikshank, “The Gravel Magnet: Some Social Impacts of the Alaska Highway on Yukon Indians,” in The Alaska Highway: Papers of the 40th Anniversary Symposium, edited by Ken Coates (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1985); Paul Sabin, “Voices from the Hydrocarbon Frontier: Canada’s Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry (1974-1977),” Environmental History Review 19, 1 (1995): 17-48. For important exceptions, which deal with the raising of reindeer for commercial purposes in both Alaska and the Northwest Territories, see Stuhl, Unfreezing the Arctic, 61-87; Roxanne Willis, “New Game.” For a historical biological perspective on the resulting reindeer-caribou hybridization, see Mager, “’I’d Be Foolish,’” 162-181; Mager et al., “High Genetic Connectivity,” 1111-1123. 63 and northern Canada, and argues that domesticated reindeer were technologies of colonial administration used by governments to foster socioeconomic development.8 But unlike northern wildlife management and the establishment of national parks, Stuhl argues that the administration of the reindeer industry required the state to engage more directly with Inuit people and communities.9 Historian Roxanne Willis emphasizes the agency of Indigenous reindeer herders in her examination of the industry.10 Rather than portraying Indigenous participation in the industry as a tragic narrative of cultural loss, reindeer herding, Willis argues, became a “means of both individual and cultural survival for Native people in a rapidly changing world.”11 Importantly, for historians of northern Canada and Alaska, the reindeer’s status as a domesticated animal was central to its role in state attempts to exert control over northern landscapes and peoples. As Stuhl argues, reindeer scientists and Arctic botanists argued that the northern tundra was wild, and the “rational approach – the natural thing to do – was to tame it.”12 In this chapter, I take a different approach, and consider the unintended environmental consequences of the state’s attempt to “tame” the tundra by focusing on the resultant interactions between reindeer and migratory caribou during the first half of the twentieth century. Despite the industry’s eventual collapse, the introduction of domesticated reindeer to the range of Alaska’s migratory caribou had unforeseen social and ecological impacts, which shaped environmental politics in the western Arctic. Indeed, as early as the mid-1920s, wildlife managers and scientists in Alaska began to perceive domesticated reindeer as a threat to Alaska’s stock of migratory 8 Stuhl, Unfreezing the Arctic, 62-63. 9 For more on national parks and wildlife management, see John Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin: Native People and Wildlife Conservation in the Northwest Territories (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007); Peter Kulchyski and Frank Tester, Kiumajut (Talking Back): Game Management and Inuit Rights, 1950-1970 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008); Claire Campbell, ed. A Century of Parks Canada, 1911-2011 (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2011). 10 Willis, “A New Game,” 278-279. 11 Willis, “A New Game,” 279. 12 Stuhl, Unfreezing, 62. For more on “taming” the tundra, see Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin, 119. 64 caribou. As the industry expanded, and the territory’s reindeer population exploded, wildlife managers became concerned about potential impacts on caribou and their habitat, which included disease transmission and overgrazing. However, it was the scientific uncertainty surrounding the biological impact that domesticated reindeer were having on wild caribou that created the most anxiety for Alaskan wildlife managers. Although reindeer and caribou have divergent evolutionary histories, they are related at the subspecies level, and, therefore, can interbreed to produce hybridized offspring. For wildlife managers and scientists in the western Arctic, reindeer-caribou hybridization was not only an unfavourable environmental development, but also represented a fundamental violation of the critical boundary between wild and domesticated animals. With origins in the natural sciences, scientists have used the term “hybridity” to describe and categorize the offspring formed when animals of different species interbreed.13 In recent years, however, geographers have adopted the concept of hybridity as a challenge to the binary or Cartesian modes of thought that have dominated analyses of nature-society relations.14 Central to the project of hybrid geographies is the idea that the world – including ontological claims about its constitutive elements – is always in a state of becoming. Although scholars conceptualize hybrids as boundary transgressing beings or spaces, they also reject the notion that a hybrid represents the meeting or “mixture of two pure forms.”15 In the western Arctic, wildlife 13 Alice Hovorka, “Animal geographies II: Hybridizing,” Progress in Human Geography (31 March 2017): 2. 14 Sarah Whatmore, “Hybridity,” in Derek Gregory, Ron Johnston, Geraldine Pratt, Michael Watts, and Sarah Whatmore, eds., The Dictionary of Human Geography, 5th Edition (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 361-362. 15 Quote from Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern, translated by Catherine Porter (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), 78. For other key articulations of the concept, see Sarah Whatmore, Hybrid Geographies: Natures, Cultures, Spaces (London: Sage Publications, 2002); Donna Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York: Routledge, 1991). Geographer David Lulka has argued that the “pervasive centrality of humans” in Latour and Haraway’s contributions has circumscribed the project of hybrid geographies, and limited its ability to represent the natural landscape. See Lulka, “The Residual Humanism of Hybridity: Retaining a Sense of the Earth,” Transactions of Institute of British Geographers 34, 3 (2009): 378-393. For a historically grounded discussion of hybrid animals, see Harriet Ritvo, The Animal Estate: The English and 65 managers and scientists responded to the real and perceived threats of reindeer-caribou hybridization by reinforcing the conceptual and material boundary between wild and domesticated animals. At the most basic level, this involved managerial attempts to protect the “purity” of Alaska’s wild caribou by preventing escaped reindeer from “intermingling” with their wild, migratory cousins. Hybridization and the resulting managerial responses were spatial processes, which shaped the geographies of wilderness in Alaska. As scientists and wildlife managers worked to determine the extent to which hybridization had impacted the ostensible purity of Alaska’s wild caribou, they also sought to demarcate spatial boundaries that should not be transgressed by domesticated reindeer. Ultimately, wildlife managers aimed to protect the wildness of certain spaces in Alaska, such as Mt. McKinley National Park, by preventing reindeer-caribou hybridization within the boundaries of those areas. This involved the conceptual and material division of the territory into reindeer and caribou space. In addition to the national park, however, wildlife managers also suggested that northeastern Alaska – an area that scientists would subsequently define as the range of the Porcupine Caribou Herd – should be protected from feral reindeer, and preserved as a space for wild, migratory caribou herds. Indeed, by the beginning of the twentieth century, the Alaska-Yukon borderlands had emerged as a “Last Frontier” in the American spatial imagination, marking a geography that was constructed Other Creatures in the Victorian Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987); Harriet Ritvo, Noble Cows and Hybrid Zebras: Essays on Animals and History (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010). For a critique of the social monism – or the idea that society, particularly capitalist social relations, has subsumed nature – prevalent in social constructionists’ theoretical hybridity, and the development of an ecological dialectical approach to environmental relations, see: John Bellamy Foster, “Marxism in the Anthropocene: Dialectical Rifts on the Left,” International Critical Thought 6, 3 (2016): 393-421; Andreas Malm, “The Origins of Fossil Capital,” Historical Materialism 21, 1 (2013): 15-68; Paul Burkett, Marx and Nature: A Red Green Perspective (Chicago: Haymarket, 2014). 66 discursively as external to human society, and its attendant environmental depredations.16 Although the managerial and scientific dynamics considered in this chapter preceded the emergence of the conservationist-led movement to establish a wildlife preserve in northeastern Alaska and northern Yukon, the discursive and material bounding of this region as a wilderness area for wild caribou was an important moment in the spatial history of the western Arctic. In this chapter, I examine the way in which wildlife managers framed this region as a wild space that should be protected from the threat of reindeer-caribou hybridization during the first half of the twentieth century.17 2.2. Intersecting Evolutionary Histories: Reindeer and Caribou in the Western Arctic The introduction of reindeer to Alaska marked an important moment in the colonial administration of northern landscapes, people, and animals. Initially proposed in 1890 by Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian missionary and the General Agent of Education for Alaska, the 16 Susan Kollin, Nature’s State: Imagining Alaska as the Last Frontier (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), 2-22. For more on borderlands historiography and theorization, see Jeremy Adelman and Stephen Aron, “From Borderlands to Borders: Empires, Nation-States, and the Peoples in Between in North American History,” The American Historical Review 104, 3 (1999): 814-841. 17 In northern Alaska, managerial anxieties about the biological purity of wild caribou were bound up with broader concerns about race and efforts to conserve an ostensibly pure, national nature. In an examination of wilderness conservation in New Mexico, Geographer Jake Kosek considers historical notions of purity, and argues that at the turn of the twentieth century, anxieties about the “dilution and degradation of race – in particular, of forms of whiteness – became entangled with fears of the degradation of New Mexico’s ‘pristine’ forest landscapes.” The concept of wilderness in the American environmental imagination, Kosek argues, was forged through “discourses of purity,” which placed “diluted racial subjects and degraded landscapes into the same ‘grid of intelligibility’”. I share Kosek’s concern with the way in which historical understandings of racial purity – both animal and human – shaped the conservation movement in northern Alaska and northern Canada. However, at this point in my research, I have not yet drawn the necessary connections between managerial attempts to protect the purity of wild caribou (and their landscapes) and efforts to classify humans into specific racial categories to be able to speak to the way in which “discourses of purity” shaped the conservation movement in this region during the first half of the twentieth century. Although there are particular historical resonances and parallels between landscape conservation in the north and the southern United States, distinct settlement patterns and particular historical geographies of whiteness distinguish in important ways the Alaskan case from the historical processes outlined by Kosek. Although this important historical geography is not developed in my analysis, it does represent one of the next steps in my research plan. I am currently working on a paper that draws from material used in Chapters two and three, and seeks to articulate connections among human efforts to classify race and managerial efforts to protect “pristine”, national natures in northern Alaska and northern Canada. For above quotes, see Jake Kosek, “Purity and Power: Racial Degradation and Environmental Anxieties,” in Liberation Ecologies: Environment, Development, Social Movements, edited by Richard Peet and Michael Watts (London: Routledge, 2004), 129. 67 establishment and early development of the reindeer program was driven by a mistaken belief among government officials and wildlife managers that Alaskan caribou were nearing extinction, and, as a result, Alaskan Native communities were on the “verge of starvation.”18 Reindeer, which would be purchased in Siberia, and herded by Alaskan Natives, were expected to replace caribou in the northern diet. But reindeer represented more than a simple solution to the problem of sustenance; through much of 1890, Jackson and his colleagues sought to drum up political support for the program by arguing that reindeer ultimately would play a valuable social and cultural role in Alaskan Native communities.19 According to US Commissioner of the Bureau of Education W.T. Harris, the passage of legislation permitting the establishment of agricultural experimental stations for the purposes of reindeer herding in Alaska represented a “great step forward in lifting the native races of that boreal region out of barbarism and starting them toward civilization, a step from the grade of wild hunter to the grade of herdsmen who live on domesticated cattle.”20 Further, the establishment of a reindeer industry, he argued, would “furnish” Alaskan Native communities with “an article of exportation and commerce.”21 As Harris’s comments demonstrate, domesticated reindeer were viewed by many involved in the administration of Alaska as transformative animals – grazers with the potential to convert the northern tundra into a valuable resource, and, ultimately, change the course of history for Alaskan Native communities.22 18 Sheldon Jackson, Introduction of Reindeer, Appendix K: 18 December 1890, Henry Woolfe to Sheldon Jackson. 19 Stuhl, Unfreezing, 62-63. 20 Jackson, Introduction of Reindeer, 3. 21 Jackson, Introduction of Reindeer, 3. 22 For more on the power of these imagined conversions, see: Stuhl, Unfreezing the Arctic, 63. 68 Although it is likely that officials would have eventually established reindeer herds on Alaska’s Arctic coastal plain, the northern expansion of the industry occurred relatively early in its history due to an unforeseen set of circumstances.23 In September of 1897, eight whaling ships became caught in ice during an early freeze in the Arctic Ocean, and, as a result, 300 men were forced to overwinter at Point Barrow. After receiving news of the incident, President McKinley, who believed that the men would not make it through the Arctic winter without outside assistance, organized an “Overland Relief Expedition”, which included plans to drive a small group of reindeer to Barrow. Purchased from established herds to the south of Barrow, the animals were intended to provide the stranded whalers with a source of food and winter clothing. With the assistance of W.T. Lopp, missionary and future chief of the Alaska Division of the Bureau of Education, volunteers working for the relief expedition purchased 448 reindeer in western Alaska, and, on 28 March, 382 of these reindeer arrived in Barrow. According to local reports, however, the reindeer did not fare well on the drive, and when they arrived they were in such an emaciated condition that they were unsuitable for human consumption. Nonetheless, the whalers killed and butchered more than 100 of the reindeer in what was reported to be a show of appreciation for the relief expedition.24 Following the disposition of the remaining animals at Barrow, Reverend H.R. Marsh, then head of the local Presbyterian Mission, assumed responsibility for the animals, and Charles Brower, a prominent trader in the region, agreed to finance the maintenance of the herd until it became self-supporting. Thus, as A.D. Johnson notes in his history of the Arctic reindeer herds, “[a]s a result of the shipwrecked whaling ships 23 L.J. Palmer described the coastal plain as an “ideal” site for the “production” of reindeer. L.J. Palmer, Raising Reindeer in Alaska (Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture, 1934), 5. 24 Details regarding the Overland Relief Expedition taken from: Johnson, “Brief History,” NARA-A, RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33, 1942; Sonnenfeld, “An Arctic Reindeer Industry.” 69 reindeer were brought into the Arctic region. Of course the Arctic Region would have had their reindeer but it would have been many years later than 1898.”25 Despite this inauspicious start, the Arctic coast reindeer industry grew at a rate comparable to other districts throughout Alaska. In 1942, A.D. Johnson, a unit manager in the Alaska Reindeer Service, described this growth in a history of the Barrow reindeer industry. As Johnson explained, the animals that were brought to Barrow as part of the Overland Relief Expedition formed the nucleus of the industry on the North Slope. Between 1898 and 1924, Alaskan Inuit established nine additional herds from this original group of reindeer. Then, in 1924, at the suggestion of W.T. Lopp, several Inuit herders combined their animals to form the “Farthest North Reindeer Company”, the first reindeer company in northern Alaska. According to Johnson, this new herd grew rapidly, and by 1928, it was “so large that it was almost impossible to handle.”26 Although the herders “were never able to get a complete check of the deer on the range,” by 1935, Johnson claimed, there were an estimated 30,000 reindeer in the Barrow region.27 Further, during this period, the spatial expansion of the reindeer industry extended across the Alaska-Yukon border. In the mid-1920s, the Canadian government began to explore the possibility of establishing a reindeer industry in the area near the Mackenzie Delta as a means of both providing Inuit communities with a stable source of food, and stimulating economic development in the western Arctic.28 Encouraged by the initial success of the Alaskan industry, 25 Johnson, “Brief History,” NARA-A, RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33, 1942. 26 Johnson, “Brief History,” NARA-A, RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33, 1942. 27 Johnson, “Brief History,” NARA-A, RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33, 1942. 28 Stuhl, Unfreezing, 66. For more on the history of the Canadian reindeer herds, including discussions of the driving forces behind the state’s efforts to establish a reindeer industry, see Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin, 7-20; Tina Loo, States of Nature, 121-148. For contemporary perspectives on the state’s efforts, see O.M. McMillion, “Reindeer Trek,” The Journal of Geography 38, 4 (1939): 133-141; Canada Department of Mines and Resources, Canada’s Reindeer (Ottawa: Lands, Parks, and Forests Branch, 1940). 70 the Dominion Government purchased 3,440 reindeer from the Lomen Company in 1929, and began making arrangements for herders to drive the animals across the Arctic coast to the Mackenzie Delta.29 But the 4,000-kilometer drive from Alaska to the Delta, which officials expected to complete in 24 months, lasted more than five years, and involved almost insurmountable challenges for herders and reindeer alike. “Some of the hazards which men and deer would have to face,” wrote O.M. McMillion in his 1939 account of the trek, “were snowslides, avalanches, exposure, stampeding and milling of the herds, attacks from wolves and bears, ice traps, and starvation.”30 Moreover, the proximity of migratory caribou herds, and the desire of reindeer to return to their home range, resulted in the loss of several hundred reindeer during the drive.31 The reindeer that did escape, argued Adolph Murie, a wildlife biologist with the National Park Service, most likely joined with migratory caribou herds in the surrounding mountains.32 Despite these challenges, in 1935, the herders drove almost 2,400 reindeer across the Mackenzie River, and delivered the animals to their Canadian range near Kittigazuit, located on the Arctic coast east of the Mackenzie Delta. By 1940, this herd was experiencing steady growth and had increased to more than 5,000 animals.33 Although the industry’s expansion and growth exceeded the visions of its original architects, the population of Alaska’s reindeer herds actually fell somewhat below the expectations of the industry’s 20th-century managers. As environmental historian Andrew Stuhl notes, Carl Lomen, who was the head of the largest privately-owned reindeer company, and 29 McMillion, “Reindeer Trek,” 133. 30 McMillion, “Reindeeer Trek,” 134. 31 Department of Mines, Canada’s Reindeer, 2. 32 Adolph Murie to George Wright, 16 April 1935, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, MD, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. For more on the loss of these reindeer to migratory caribou, see Max Miller, The Great Trek: The Story of the Five-Year Drive of a Reindeer Herd Through the Icy Wastes of Alaska and Northwestern Canada (New York: Doubleday, Doran, and Company, 1935), 149. 33 Department of Mines, Canada’s Reindeer, 3. 71 E.W. Nelson, the chief of the US Bureau of Biological Survey, believed that range conditions could be “better managed with science,” and worked to maximize herd populations through the scientific management of lichens and reindeer grazing.34 Yet, despite their intentions – and the development of an intensive experimental program – the managers of the Alaskan reindeer industry did not succeed in increasing reindeer populations to the carrying capacity that scientists calculated for the Alaskan reindeer ranges. Writing at the end of the 1950s, geographer Joseph Sonnenfeld noted the disparity between the population of the Barrow herds and the scientifically-derived carrying capacity of the Barrow region; although the reindeer population peaked at 30,000 in the mid-1930s, Sonnenfeld noted, scientists believed the Barrow range could support approximately 67,000 reindeer.35 Indeed, based on a series of scientific investigations into lichen productivity and reindeer grazing – an experimental research program initiated by the US Bureau of Biological Survey – Lawrence Palmer concluded in 1926 that Alaska could support approximately three million reindeer if the herds were properly managed and handled.36 Despite the Bureau’s belief in the productive capacity of scientific range management, Alaska’s reindeer herds would never reach the levels calculated by Palmer. In fact, by the end of the 1930s, the reindeer industry entered a period that witnessed the depletion of herd populations throughout the territory. Nonetheless, the industry’s spatial expansion and the related increase in reindeer populations between 1892 and the mid-1930s caused significant socio-ecological issues for officials in the Reindeer Service and Alaskan wildlife managers. By the mid-1920s, Lawrence 34 Stuhl, Unfreezing, 63. 35 Sonnenfeld, “Arctic Reindeer Industry,” 84. 36 Lawrence Palmer, Progress of Reindeer Grazing Investigations in Alaska (Washington: US Department of Agriculture, 1926), 30-31. For a more detailed discussion of Palmer’s experimental research program and the application of the carrying capacity concept in the reindeer industry, see Stuhl, Unfreezing, 61-87. 72 Palmer noted that despite being far below his suggested carrying capacity for the territory, individual reindeer herds had the potential to overgraze and deplete local sources of lichen, a slow-growing plant that formed a critical part of the reindeer diet.37 The depletion of lichen not only raised issues of range management for herders and officials in the reindeer industry, but also posed serious concerns for Alaskan game managers. “Depletion of the ranges will doubtless result in deterioration and starvation of the animals on a large scale,” H.W. Terhune, Executive Officer of the Alaska Game Commission, and W.B. Bell, Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey’s Research Division, explained in a 1935 memo to the Director of the National Park Service. “[W]hat is more serious from the game standpoint,” Terhune and Bell cautioned, was the possibility that lichen depletion in critical forage areas would trigger “a migration of the reindeer eastward to important ranges of the native wild caribou.”38 According to reports from those within the industry, by the mid-1930s, overgrazing had already forced herders to move their animals beyond their ranges in search of food. As the population of the reindeer herds scattered along Alaska’s coasts approached 200,000 animals, A.D. Johnson noted in his history of the Arctic reindeer herds, local sources of lichen were being depleted, and herders were increasingly moving their animals inland to secure feed during the summer months.39 For Alaskan wildlife managers, the invasion of caribou range by herds of reindeer represented a serious threat to the preservation of Alaska’s migratory caribou. Indeed, many of Alaska’s game managers agreed with biologist Adolph Murie, who, in 1935, cautioned against allowing reindeer to move beyond their ranges on the coast into the interior of Alaska; the 37 Palmer, Reindeer Grazing Investigations in Alaska, 30-31; Stuhl, Unfreezing, 72. 38 H.W. Terhune and W.B Bell to George Wright, 19 April 1935, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, MD, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 39 Johnson, “Brief History,” NARA-A, RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33, 1942. 73 resulting intensification in range utilization, he argued in a letter to the Chief of the National Park Service, would lead inevitably to the extirpation of caribou populations throughout the territory.40 Writing shortly after mid-century, Aldo Starker Leopold – the son of American ecologist Aldo Leopold – and Fraser Darling articulated the threat reindeer overgrazing posed to caribou populations in an ecological treatise on Alaskan wildlife. The status of the caribou, they argued, “seems to be intimately associated with the presence of undisturbed climax vegetation of which the lichens are a prominent part.”41 In the northwestern coastal region of Alaska, the authors claimed, the “great herds of reindeer” had overgrazed the “climax lichen” by the beginning of the 1920s.42 The impact of overgrazing on Alaska’s migratory caribou, they argued, was evident in the spatial distribution of these two animals, and the fact that caribou herds had not returned to most of the ranges vacated by reindeer during the industry’s contraction in the 1940s (see figure 2.1).43 Caribou, the authors reminded readers, had once occupied the entirety of the Territory outside of the Alaskan panhandle. 40 Adolph Murie to George Wright, 16 April 1935, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, MD, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 41 A. Starker Leopold and Fraser Darling, Wildlife in Alaska: An Ecological Reconnaissance (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1953), 54. 42 Leopold and Starker, Wildlife in Alaska, 54. 43 The authors represented this cartographically in two maps. See Leopold and Starker, Wildlife in Alaska, 49; 72. 74 Figure 2.1: A comparison of reindeer and caribou ranges in the mid-twentieth century. Based on two maps included in A.S. Leopold and F. Darling, Wildlife in Alaska: An Ecological Reconnaissance (1951). Map by Eric Leinberger The invasion of the caribou range by reindeer did not stem solely from the spatial expansion of the industry and the associated increase in reindeer populations. Rather, two structural changes initiated by those in control of the industry created the socio-environmental conditions that drove the increasing interaction between, and hybridization of, reindeer and caribou in the early part of the twentieth century. The first shift involved the reorganization of reindeer ownership between the late 1910s and the early 1920s. Corresponding with the original designs of the industry, through the early 1900s, officials in the Department of the Interior 75 pushed to ensure that reindeer were a resource primarily for the benefit of Alaskan Natives.44 These efforts, it would seem, shaped the makeup of reindeer ownership. During the first decade of the twentieth century, Inuit herders became the largest group of reindeer owners in the territory, replacing the Sami herders who had previously owned a majority of the herds.45 Further, in 1939, a Senate Subcommittee on Indian Affairs reported that Inuit ownership of reindeer had increased from 41 to 64 percent between 1909 and 1914.46 As Alaskan anthropologist Margaret Lantis explained in a 1950 paper, during this early period in the history of the Alaskan reindeer industry, white ownership of reindeer herds was limited by legislation prohibiting the sale of female reindeer to non-Natives.47 By the end of the decade, however, the situation was changing. After an outbreak of Spanish influenza in 1918 took the lives of many of the Inuit herders working in the growing industry, a significant percentage of the reindeer from Native-owned herds escaped their ranges and began mixing with other animals as they wandered throughout western Alaska.48 This prompted two related responses by the state and local capitalists. First, in response to the loss of experienced herders, the state sought to impose a corporate structure on the reindeer industry. In the years following the influenza epidemic, W.T. Lopp, who was at that time the Chief of the Alaska Division of the Bureau of Education, urged Native herders to consolidate their reindeer into “company” herds, which, he believed, would lead to the development of more effective herding methods and better range management.49 Under this system, Native herders became 44 Willis, “A New Game,” 291. For primary documentation, see Frank Churchill, Reports on the Condition of Education and School Service and the Management of Reindeer Service in the District of Alaska, 59th Cong., First Session, Senate Executive Document No. 483 (Washington D.C., 1906). 45 Willis, “A New Game,” 291. 46 Figures reported in Margaret Lantis, “The Reindeer Industry in Alaska,” Arctic 3, 1 (1950): 30. 47 Lantis, “The Reindeer Industry in Alaska,” 32. 48 Willis, “A New Game,” 295. See also Stuhl, Unfreezing, 62-63. 49 Richard Stern, Edward Arobio, Larry Naylor, and Wayne Thomas, Eskimos, Reindeer, and Land (Fairbanks: Agriculture and Forestry Experiment State, 1980), 23-24. 76 shareholders in joint stock company herds, and their profits were derived from their investment of reindeer and their labour.50 Second, as historians Andrew Stuhl and Roxanne Willis have argued, local capitalists viewed the changing social context of reindeer ownership and management as a business opportunity. The Lomen family, which was based in Nome, rushed to acquire ownership of reindeer in the years following the influenza epidemic. Despite regulations limiting the terms of white ownership, by the mid-1920s, the family had purchased more than 14,000 reindeer, making the Lomen Company the “largest private owner of livestock in Alaska.”51 The second shift involved efforts by state actors to transform herding methods through the application of modern science.52 For more than three decades, Inuit herders had followed the Sami practice of close herding, which meant that they stayed with their reindeer during the entirety of the year as the herds moved throughout their range in search of forage. Although close herding was not without its problems, this method was a relatively effective preventative measure against threats to reindeer herds, particularly predation by wolves, and the loss of reindeer to migratory caribou.53 In the mid-1920s, however, L.J. Palmer, whose scientific investigations were central to the Bureau of Biological Survey’s attempts to modernize the industry, proposed a system of rotational grazing, which was based on the Department of Agriculture’s science of range management in the American west.54 In addition to dividing Alaska into grazing units, and investing a considerable amount of capital in the development of 50 Willis, “A New Game,” 295; Stern et al., Eskimos, Reindeer, and Land, 23-26; Dean Olson, Alaska Reindeer Herdsmen: A Study of Native Management in Transition, (Fairbanks: Institute of Sociual, Economic, and Government Research: University of Alaska, 1969), 57-60. 51 Quote from Stuhl, Unfreezing, 63. For more on the Lomen brothers and their acquisition of reindeer, see Willis, “A New Game,” 295. 52 Stuhl, Unfreezing, 73; Stern et al., Eskimo, Reindeer, and Land, 25. 53 Mager, “I’d be Foolish,” 166-168; Lantis, “Reindeer Industry,” 30; Stuhl, Unfreezing, 73-74. 54 Stuhl, Unfreezing, 72-74. 77 new herding infrastructure, proponents of the Bureau’s modernization scheme also advocated for the industry to adopt a system of “open” or loose herding, which contrasted starkly with the method being employed by most Native herders.55 Unlike close herding, which necessitated a relationship based on the spatial proximity between herders and reindeer, the establishment of a policy of open herding meant that reindeer were left free to graze and find their own forage during most of the year.56 Inevitably, the industry’s adoption of open herding resulted in the mixing of different reindeer herds on the range, which created considerable confusion and social conflict between Native and non-Native herd owners. By the mid-1930s, officials in the Reindeer Service had begun to express concerns about the socio-environmental implications of the shift from close to open herding. In a 1937 report commissioned by the Indian Rights Association, W.T. Lopp, a fierce critic of the new system, argued that the introduction of open herding had not only contributed to the demoralization of Native herders, but had also constituted a serious threat to their livelihood and the industry more generally. The big cattle ranch idea that had been “foisted” upon the Alaskan reindeer industry by commercial interests, he wrote, had proven to be a “miserable and threatening failure.” 57 In the absence of Native herders, Lopp claimed, reindeer were escaping their ranges, and the herds, “like the melting snow in the spring,” were disappearing at an alarming rate.58 If the herding issue was not resolved quickly, he wrote, “there will be no future reindeer question to be solved.”59 55 Stern et al., Eskimo, Reindeer, and Land, 25; Stuhl, Unfreezing, 73. 56 Stuhl, Unfreezing, 73; Lantis, “The Reindeer Industry,” 32 57 Report quoted in “Reindeer Report,” Indian Truth 14, 2 (1937): 1. 58 Lopp was here quoting an Inuit herder that he interviewed while conducting his investigation. See “Reindeer Report,” Indian Truth 14, 2 (1937): 1. 59 Quoted in “Reindeer Report,” Indian Truth 14, 2 (1937): 1. 78 In the years following the shift to open herding, historical records suggest that there was an increase in the loss of reindeer to migratory caribou herds. Indeed, since the establishment of the first herds in the 1890s, herders and government officials had wrestled with the risk posed by reindeer-caribou interactions.60 As W.M. Hemsing, a Unit Manager in the Alaskan Reindeer Service, explained in the mid-1930s, the general opinion in western Alaska was that “reindeer do tend to drift away with the caribou” during encounters on the open range. But through the 1930s and much of the 1940s, officials focused not on interactions with caribou herds, but rather argued that wolf predation was the primary cause of reindeer loss.61 It was not only the loss of livestock that concerned officials in the Reindeer Service. Lopp, for example, was particularly concerned about the social implications of open herding. In his 1937 report on the reindeer industry, he argued that the organizational transformations that had occurred in the reindeer industry had stymied the social progress of Alaskan Natives. Whereas close herding necessitated constant engagement with the reindeer, and had encouraged the transformation of Inuit into a “pastoral people”, open herding, he argued, “is turning them back towards the old caribou roundups and drives of their forefathers, when thousands of caribou were driven into lakes and crude corrals for slaughter – back to the feast and famine days.”62 In 60 Karen Mager, a biologist who has conducted historical and ethnographic research in the Barrow region, argues that while officials did not this problem until the 1930s and 1940s, caribou posed a threat to reindeer herders on the North Slope from the very beginnings of the industry in that region. See Mager, “I’d be Foolish,” 166-168. For primary documentation of this issue, see NARA-A (Seattle, WA), RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Decimal Series, Box 1 and Box 3. 61 Robert Rausch, “Notes on the Nunamiut Eskimo and Mammals of the Anaktuvuk Pass Region, Brooks Range, Alaska,” Arctic 4, 3 (1951): 190. 62 As reported in “Herders Should Stay Close to Reindeer Herds,” Seward Gateway, 12 December 1936. Indeed, the issue of the industry’s failure to promote racial progress was one of many concerns that Lopp and his colleagues would express about the transformations occurring in the industry. Indeed, many believed that the commercialism that had been introduced into the industry during the late 1920s and early 1930s violated the original intent of the industry, which was to benefit Alaskan Native communities. Further, there were also widespread concerns about Native reports that the Lomen Company was stealing Native owned reindeer during annual roundups. For more on these and other concerns, see Willis, “A New Game in the North,” 298. See also “We Are Proud of Our Eskimos and Our Service,” The Eskimo 3, 1 (1936): 1. 79 response to this and other problems in the reindeer industry, Anthony Dimond, the Alaska Territory Delegate in the US House of Representatives, introduced legislation that aimed at preserving the “native character” of the reindeer industry.63 More specifically, the legislation authorized the Secretary of the Interior to purchase all non-Native owned reindeer, reindeer-range equipment, and other property associated with reindeer herding “for and on behalf of the Eskimos and other natives of Alaska.”64 Passed on 1 September 1937, the Reindeer Act effectively restricted domestic reindeer ownership in Alaska to Natives only, and eventually led to the government’s purchase of the Lomen Company’s assets.65 Yet, the passage of the Reindeer Act, which many in the industry viewed as a “complete victory” for Alaska Natives, did not resolve the herding question, nor did it address the related problem of livestock loss.66 Prior to the bill’s passage, Lopp expressed doubts about the state’s ability to legislate the changes necessary to solve the herding problem. Although most of the “deermen” interviewed for his report favoured the government plan to purchase non-Native reindeer, they were concerned that the legislation “would neither simplify the herding question nor prevent or postpone the crisis which now threatens the entire industry.”67 Indeed, their fears seem to have been well founded. Despite the passage of the Act, reindeer continued to escape their ranges, and herd populations declined steadily following their peak in the mid-1930s, leading government officials and industry observers to apply pressure on Native herders to resolve lingering issues in range management. In a 1938 editorial in the overtly paternalistic 63 Bill H.R. 9959, 74th Congress 2nd Session. Introduced in the House of Representatives 8 January 1936. Excerpt from proposed Legislation quoted in The Eskimo 3, 1 (1936): 1. 64 Bill H.R. 9959, 74th Congress 2nd Session. Introduced in the House of Representatives 8 January 1936. Excerpt from proposed Legislation quoted in The Eskimo 3, 1 (1936): 1-2. 65 Willis, “A New Game,” 300. 66 Quote from Willis, “A New Game,” 300. 67 Lopp would continue to argue that education was necessary to remedy to these issues. During this period, he would propose the establishment of an outdoor vocational herding school, in which Native herders would receive extensive training in “deermanship”. For more, see: “Reindeer Report,” Indian Truth 14, 2 (1937): 2. 80 magazine The Eskimo, Clarence Andrews, a former employee of the Reindeer Service and the publisher of the magazine, reproached the “Eskimo People” for failing to take proper care of their livestock. After reminding Alaskan Natives that the industry had been established for their benefit, Andrews wrote: “You have let yourselves fall down, and your herds have all gone nearly wild, nearly ‘GONE CARIBOU.’” In such a wild state, he argued, reindeer herds “will not be of any more use to you than the caribou were, if you do not keep them tame – DOMESTICATED.”68 Despite increasing pressure being placed on Native herders, the ongoing contraction of the reindeer industry would not be halted by government interventions. In the years following the government’s purchase of non-Native owned herds, the territory’s reindeer population collapsed completely. After reaching a peak of almost one million reindeer, by 1940 there were an estimated 250,000 reindeer in the territory. The downward trend continued through the decade, and at mid-century there were only 25,000 reindeer left in small herds scattered throughout Alaska.69 On the Artic Slope, fewer than 5,000 reindeer remained after 1940.70 The government herds established in Canada followed a similar trajectory. After experiencing modest growth in the years following the Canadian Government’s purchase of Alaskan reindeer, the Canadian herds began to decline during the late 1940s, and the Inuit-controlled operations in the Mackenzie Valley region had all collapsed by 1959.71 In that year, the government transferred control of the remaining reindeer herds to private developers, thus marking another step in the dissolution of the state’s reindeer experiment in the western Arctic.72 68 C.L. Andrews, “To the Eskimo People,” The Eskimo 4, 4 (1938): 1. 69 Willis, “A New Game in the North,” 301; Olson, Reindeer Herdsmen, 14-15. 70 Stuhl, Unfreezing, 62; Sonenfeld, “An Arctic Reindeer Industry,” 84. 71 Department of Mines and Resources, Canada’s Reindeer, 4. 72 Stuhl, Unfreezing, 63. 81 At mid-century, scientists linked the collapse of reindeer populations in the western Arctic to a complex suite of socio-environmental determinants. In addition to the herding problems discussed above, scientists and others involved in the reindeer industry suggested that a combination of disease and parasites within reindeer herds, predation by wolves, the loss of reindeer to caribou, excessive butchering by handlers, and starvation on the range had led to the collapse of Alaska’s reindeer populations and the demise of the industry.73 In a 1948 survey of Alaskan reindeer operations, however, biologist C.H. Rouse noted a strong discrepancy among Native and non-Native perspectives on the causes of the collapse. While Natives emphasized the loss of reindeer to migratory caribou herds, non-Native reindeer operators believed that predation by wolves was the primary cause of population decline.74 During the reindeer industry’s collapse, the ongoing interaction between reindeer and caribou raised different sets of concerns for officials in the reindeer service and wildlife managers. By the end of the 1940s, government officials and industry leaders had acknowledged the role that migratory caribou played in the collapse of reindeer populations throughout Alaska.75 For many years, Native herders had argued that migratory caribou posed considerable risks to their reindeer herds. In southwestern Alaska, where Yupik herders referred to this period as the “great die out”, many believed that reindeer simply did not want to be herded any longer and ran off with migratory caribou herds.76 But it would be several years before non-Native 73 Lantis, “The Reindeer Industry in Alaska,” 36. 74 Lantis, “The Reindeer Industry in Alaska,” 36; Mager, “’I’d Be Foolish,” 169. The survey report can be found in NARA-A (Seattle, WA), RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33, Historical Files, 1929-1948, File: Reports – Special, Reindeer Survey. 75 NARA-A (Seattle, WA), RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Decimal Series, Box 1, File 011.1 (1942 -1962): Publications, Reindeer Predators. 76 Willis, “A New Game in the North,” 300; Mager, ‘’I’d Be Foolish,” 162-181. 82 reindeer-herd operators and officials began to acknowledge caribou as a legitimate threat to reindeer herds.77 2.3. Crossing Boundaries: Feral Reindeer and Hybrid Caribou In the early to mid-twentieth century, the problem of feral reindeer threatened to disrupt emergent forms of state-based caribou management in the western Arctic. During this period, wildlife managers in northern Canada and Alaska increasingly employed scientific methods and modes of representation as they sought to demarcate conceptual boundaries around the natural world. The historical development of scientific caribou management, then, not only involved the state’s ostensible objective of protecting and conserving caribou populations, but also emerged around the efforts of wildlife managers to categorize the natural world by fixing the identity of nonhuman animals.78 Feral reindeer and hybrid caribou provoked managerial anxiety precisely because they were boundary transgressing animals that challenged the legitimacy of the categories the state employed in and through managerial regimes. The rapid decline of the reindeer industry, however, did not serve to ease managerial anxieties about the reindeer industry’s impact on migratory caribou herds in the western Arctic. In addition to the threat of overgrazing, Alaskan game officials and wildlife scientists worried that reindeer-caribou hybridization would degrade the health and virility of Alaska’s stock of wild caribou.79 As reindeer continued to escape from their ranges, game officials in Alaska and 77 NARA-A (Seattle, WA), RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Box 33, Historical Files, 1929-1948, File: Reports – Special, Reindeer Survey; Mager, “I’d be Foolish,” 169. 78 Though wildlife management in northern Canada and Alaska shared many commonalities, there were distinct temporal differences between the development of caribou management in these two national contexts. These historical developments are examined in more depth in the next chapter. Further, as historian John Sandlos argues, by the mid-1940s, the Canadian state increasingly used the management of wildlife to intervene in the lives of Native peoples in the Northwest Territories. See Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin, 18. For more on the way in which conservation officials have sought to “fix” the identity of nonhumans, see: Lulka, “Stabilizing the Herd,” 439-463. 79 NARA (College Park), RG 79, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. For more on the issue of reindeer-caribou hybridization, see: Robert Scott, Edward Chatelain, and Winston Elkins, “The Status of Dall Sheep and Caribou in Alaska,” Transactions of the Fifteenth North American Wildlife Conference 15 (1950): 612-626; Karen Mager, “’I’d Be Foolish to Tell You They Were Caribou’: Local Knowledge of Historical Interactions between Reindeer and 83 northern Canada became increasingly concerned about the purity of the region’s stock of migratory caribou. Indeed, it was this unintended consequence of the state’s attempt to tame the tundra that led wildlife managers and game officials to shore up in material and conceptual terms the boundary between wild and domesticated animals. Further, feral reindeer presented Alaskan game managers and officials in the Reindeer Service with complex jurisdictional issues that stemmed from the differing legal and property statuses of reindeer and caribou. Unlike their wild cousins, domesticated reindeer were considered to be private property, and, therefore, “capable of being owned, transferred and inherited in accordance with property laws.”80 As Lyman Brewster, General Supervisor of the US Reindeer Service, explained in 1933, reindeer owned by Natives were “restricted property” and, thus, were “subject to regulation through the Department of the Interior.”81 Once a reindeer escaped from its herd, however, its legal status as private property would be called into question. And the issue only become more complex when feral reindeer mixed with herds of wild caribou. After learning that “thousands” of domesticated reindeer in southeastern Alaska had gone “wild” and joined with migratory caribou herds, J. Sidney Rood, the former Superintendent of the Alaska Reindeer Service, would reflect on the shifting property status of escaped reindeer. Once the reindeer had “crossed” with caribou, noted Rood, they were not only “written off” as domestic stock, but also “considered entirely as wildlife under control of the Game Caribou in Barrow, Alaska,” Arctic Anthropology 49, 2 (2012): 162-181; Karen Mager, Kevin Colson, and Kris Hundertmark, “High Genetic Connectivity and Introgression from Domestic Reindeer Characterize Northern Alaska Caribou Herds,” Conservation Genetics 14 (2013): 1111-1123. 80 Quote taken from a draft letter written by Brewster in response to an article published in the April 1933 issue of The Producer, in which the author argued that the reindeer industry represented an unfair source of competition for American cattle producers. See: NARA-A (Seattle, WA), RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Decimal Series, Box 1, Folder 010 (1933-1935): Lyman Brewster, “Reindeer in Alaska,” N.D. 81 NARA-A (Seattle, WA), RG 75: Alaska Reindeer Services, Decimal Series, Box 1, Folder 010 (1933-1935): Lyman Brewster, “Reindeer in Alaska,” N.D. 84 Commission.”82 As reindeer escaped from their ranges and joined with migratory caribou herds, they not only crossed multiple socionatural boundaries (wild/domesticated, for example), but also transformed profoundly the network of social and legal relations through which they were owned, regulated, and managed. For caribou managers, the problems raised by reindeer-caribou hybridization were in many ways rooted in unresolved questions about the identity of caribou. Since the mid-eighteenth century, taxonomy had played a critical role in scientific attempts to differentiate North America’s caribou from the reindeer herds of northern Europe and Asia. Between Linnaeus’ 1758 description of reindeer and the mid-twentieth century, naturalists and taxonomists described 55 species and subspecies of reindeer.83 In 1898, English naturalist Richard Lydekker attempted to impose a semblance of order on the increasingly unruly systems of classification that had proliferated since the mid-eighteenth century, arguing that “reindeer from all parts of the northern hemisphere present such a marked similarity in general appearance that it seems preferable to regard them as all belonging to a single wide-spread species.” Within the species, he acknowledged six geographically distinct “races” of reindeer and caribou.84 While the Barren-Ground Race extended from the “barren districts lying to the northward of the forest zone in Arctic America…to the confines of the polar sea,” the Scandinavian reindeer, he wrote, “inhabits a large part of Norway, Sweden, and Lapland, and extends into Russia.”85 Despite the clear geographical boundaries between these two groups of animals, the intersection of their evolutionary paths in the late nineteenth-century, which was made possible when Alaskan 82 As reported in “Private Herds Give Reindeer Comeback Way,” Juneau Empire, 6 April 1945. 83 A.W.F. Banfield, A Revision of the Reindeer and Caribou, Genus Rangifer (Ottawa: Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources, 1961), 6-7. 84 Lydekker, The Deer, 37. 85 Lydekker, The Deer, 39; 48. 85 missionaries arranged for reindeer to cross the Bering Strait, complicated scientific attempts to stabilize the taxonomic boundaries around, and fix the identity of, North America’s reindeer and caribou. As scientific investigations intensified through the first half of the twentieth century, scientists argued that divergent evolutionary and social histories had resulted in the development of distinct biological, morphological, and behavioural traits that favoured caribou over reindeer.86 In a 1934 publication, Lawrence Palmer outlined some of the commonly accepted morphological dissimilarities between these two groups of animals, noting that there is “some difference…in conformation and general coloration between reindeer of Siberian descent and the caribou of Alaska and Canada.” Further, the caribou’s ears, he wrote, are a “trifle longer,” and it is more “ungainly in appearance” than the Siberian reindeer. In his discussion of the most prominent differences in facial characteristics, Palmer drew on the racially charged – and pseudoscientific – terminology associated with early twentieth-century discourses of racial morphology: the caribou’s nose, he wrote “is inclined to the Roman type, and the underlip is short and drawn up; whereas the reindeer is frequently dish-faced, and the underlip not so trim.”87 Ultimately, however, scientists focused on the virility and supposed biological superiority of the male caribou when discussing the difference between these two groups of animals: whereas caribou bucks were stronger, larger, and natural leaders, their domesticated counterparts were described by scientists as being weak, prone to disease, and, in general, more 86 For more on the development of scientific understandings of the differences between reindeer and caribou, see Burch, Caribou Herds, 17-36; Mager, et al., “High Genetic Connectivity,” 1111-1123. 87 Palmer, Raising Reindeer in Alaska, 7. These remarks, which represent Palmer’s descriptions of general characteristics and dissimilarities, do not encompass the entire range of scientific descriptions of reindeer and caribou in Alaska. Though scientists acknowledged a variety of morphological types, they did tend to focus on the way in which evolution had led to the development of biologically superior traits in wild caribou. For more, see Palmer’s 1926 discussion of “breeds and types of reindeer,” in Progress of Reindeer Grazing, 5-6. 86 “phlegmatic” in their behavior.88 Reindeer-caribou hybridization, Alaskan game managers feared, was creating a breed of animal that was not only biologically inferior to wild caribou, but also one that was “less hardy” and, therefore, less capable of surviving the long Arctic winter.89 With reports of feral reindeer and hybrid caribou proliferating, wildlife managers grew increasingly concerned about the transmission of “degenerate” reindeer traits to western Arctic caribou herds during the first half of the twentieth century.90 Indeed, by the late 1940s, wildlife managers in Alaska believed that hybridization had already altered the physical traits of caribou in some geographically isolated herds. In a letter to his Canadian counterparts, Robert Scott, a senior wildlife biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska, explained the impact that he believed hybridization was having on Alaskan caribou. “The outstanding example of this mixing seems to have occurred on the Alaska Peninsula – a geographically isolated habitat occupied by the Grant Caribou,” wrote Scott. Although naturalists and biologists had long considered the Alaska Peninsula caribou to be “somewhat smaller” than those found in other regions, Scott argued, “the remnant form now found on the peninsula is best described as scrawny.”91 Alaskan wildlife managers, he noted, attributed the physical deterioration of the region’s caribou to the “heavy infusion of reindeer stock” that occurred in the early to mid-twentieth century.92 Following the establishment of the reindeer industry in the region, Scott 88 Palmer, Raising Reindeer in Alaska, 36; Burch, Caribou Herds, 17, Olaus J. Murie, “Alaska-Yukon Caribou,” 8. Although wildlife managers were concerned about the transmission of these “degenerate” traits to caribou, officials in the Reindeer Service were amenable to the inverse, and in 1920, initiated an experimental program to “upbreed” caribou traits into reindeer herds. The crossbreeding experiment, however, was ultimately a failure. For more on these efforts, see Palmer, Raising Reindeer in Alaska, 37; Stuhl, Unfreezing, 63-82. 89 These concerns were expressed by A.S. Leopold following a US Fish and Wildlife Service presentation on the status of Alaska’s caribou at the Fifteenth North American Wildlife Conference. For more on this matter, and for Scott’s response, which is recorded in the conference proceedings, see Scott et al., “The status of the Dall Sheep and Caribou in Alaska,” 625-626. 90 Dixon to Wright, NARA (College Park), RG 79, Box 7, Folder Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 91 Robert Scott to Harrison Lewis, 14 December 1950, LAC, RG 109, Vol 395, WL.U. 228, Part 6. 92 Scott to Lewis, 14 December 1950, RG 109, Vol 395, WL.U. 228, Part 6. 87 wrote, caribou and reindeer ranges overlapped at the base of the Alaska Peninsula. Undoubtedly, he stated, hybridization occurred as reindeer escaped their herders and joined migratory caribou herds. The problem was exacerbated at the beginning of the Second World War, when herders released thousands of reindeer into the wild. On the Alaska Peninsula, Scott argued, the condition of the local caribou herds deteriorated as they absorbed the domesticated reindeer that once inhabited this geographically isolated region.93 Beyond the geographically isolated herds on the Alaska Peninsula, however, there was considerable scientific uncertainty regarding the biological impact of hybridization on caribou herds in the western Arctic. But reports from game officials, trappers, and Indigenous hunters on both sides of the border made it clear that the potential for hybridization was not bound by spatial parameters. In a 1952 report for Canada’s Northern Administration and Lands Branch, Knud Lang, a trapper with more than two decades of experience in the western Arctic, claimed that reindeer carrying diseases like tuberculosis and “footrot” were scattered among caribou herds in the transboundary western Arctic. “Indians,” he wrote, “told me about killing spotted caribou the likes of which was never known before.” The spotted caribou, which he believed to be reindeer that escaped during the Dominion Government’s reindeer drive from Alaska in the early 1930s, had wandered as far south as the Peel River, a critical winter habitat for caribou in the region.94 In a presentation at the North American Wildlife Conference in 1950, Robert Scott of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, elaborated on the ability of feral reindeer to cover great distances. In the 1940s, he noted, a game warden shot a reindeer that was traveling with a 93 In addition to his correspondence with Canadian wildlife managers, Scott used this case as an example to describe the physical impact of reindeer-caribou hybridization at international wildlife conferences. See Scott et al., “The Status of the Dall Sheep and Caribou in Alaska,” 619. 94 Knud Lang, “Comments on the Caribou Herds – West of the Mackenzie Delta, based on conversations with old Eskimo and Loucheaux and personal observations during a period of twenty-four years,” March 1952, LAC, RG 109, Vol. 401, WL.U. 228-6, Part 2 (1960-1959). 88 migratory caribou herd in the Forty-mile area near the Alaska-Yukon border. The reindeer, the warden noticed, was carrying an ear tag from the Bethel Mission, which was located at the mouth of the Kuskokwim River in western Alaska. “This animal,” Scott explained to his audience, “traveled across the entire Territory from west to east.”95 For wildlife managers on both sides of the border, the potential for reindeer-caribou hybridization represented a very serious threat to the ostensible purity of the region’s migratory caribou herds. In 1922, Alfred Bailey and Russell Hendee of the Colorado Natural History Museum conducted a scientific expedition to Alaska to collect biological specimens from the Arctic Coast. Given that “[l]arge numbers of reindeer are constantly escaping their herders and joining with the wild caribou,” the two mammalogists wrote, “[i]t seems that it will be but a short time until there will be no pure bred caribou along that part of the coast.”96 Writing in the mid-1920s, Bailey and Hendee were among the earliest and most influential scientists to mobilize the discourse of purity to describe the impact that hybridization was having on migratory caribou in the region. In the years following the publication of their report, scientists would increasingly take up their terms, and repeat their claims about the biological purity of the caribou herds on Alaska’s Arctic Coast. In an important study of the Alaska-Yukon caribou herds published in 1935, for example, Olaus Murie, who was among the first university-trained biologists to work for the Bureau of Biological Survey in Alaska and the brother of biologist Adolph Murie, argued, “[t]he caribou’s greatest menace is not the wolf, nor the hunter, but man’s economic developments, principally the raising of reindeer.”97 Citing Bailey and Hendee, Murie suggested that hybridization had likely already occurred on the Arctic slope, where large 95 Scott et al., “The Status of Dall Sheep and Caribou in Alaska,” 617-619. 96 Alfred Bailey and Russell Hendee, “Notes on the Mammals of Northwestern Alaska,” Journal of Mammalogy 7, 1 (1926): 22. 97 Murie, “Alaska-Yukon Caribou,” 7. 89 numbers of reindeer were believed to “intermingle” with caribou. “Since reindeer have been straying along the Arctic coast for years, and the caribou have been comparatively scarce in the same districts for a considerable time,” Murie wrote, “perhaps hybridization has already taken place to a large extent.”98 In 1935, Joseph Dixon, a wildlife biologist with the Department of the Interior, outlined his concerns about reindeer-caribou hybridization in a letter to the Director of the Wildlife Division. In 1926, he noted, while working as a field agent in Mt. McKinley National Park, he had discovered several “feral reindeer” mixing with a migratory caribou herd within the boundaries of the park. Like others in the Wildlife Division, Dixon viewed the hybridization of reindeer and caribou as a dangerous violation of the critical boundary between domesticated and wild animals, and he believed that federal officials in the Department of the Interior had a responsibility to prevent such forms of boundary crossing. “Wherever caribou and reindeer come together during the breeding season,” he warned officials in the Department of the Interior, “hybrids result.” And the reindeer, he argued, “is merely a domesticated and degenerated caribou from across the Pacific Ocean.” To emphasize the danger that “non-native” reindeer posed to wild caribou herds, Dixon drew a direct comparison with the “Eskimos of northern Alaska,” whose populations had been decimated by the “white man’s many children’s diseases.”99 Domesticated reindeer, he argued, could similarly introduce new diseases to wild caribou herds, and therefore, “[e]very effort should be made to protect and preserve a pure native strain of caribou in Alaska.”100 98 Murie, “Alaska-Yukon Caribou,” 79. 99 Dixon to Wright, NARA (College Park), RG 79, Box 7, Folder Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 100 Quotes from: Dixon to Wright, NARA (College Park), RG 79, Box 7, Folder Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 90 Yet, when it came to measuring and assessing the extent to which hybridization had occurred in the western Arctic caribou herds, by the mid-1930s, wildlife managers had little empirical or scientific evidence on which they could draw. Spurred by concerns about the increasing occurrence of feral reindeer within the boundaries of Mount McKinley National Park, in 1935, J.N. Darling, Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, began an informal investigation into the problem of reindeer-caribou hybridization in the Alaskan caribou herds. Through correspondence with officials in the National Park Service, the Alaska Game Commission, and from within the ranks of the Bureau of Biological Survey, Darling not only attempted to ascertain the severity and extent of reindeer-caribou hybridity, but also worked to gain an understanding of measures being taken by the responsible agencies to protect the purity of Alaska’s migratory caribou herds.101 Through this correspondence, Darling learned that despite ongoing discussion of the problem, and potential solutions, no formal policy had been established by the mid-1930s. There was, however, some appetite among officials in the Alaska Game Commission for their federal counterparts in the Department of the Interior to establish a formal policy directed towards mitigating the reindeer-caribou problem.102 In the meantime, Darling issued instructions to officials in the National Park Service to “kill any reindeer or hybrids” located within the boundaries of Mount McKinley National Park.103 As wildlife managers sought ways to protect the wildness of Alaskan caribou, they emphasized the demarcation of spatial boundaries that should not be transgressed by feral 101 National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, MD, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 102 Terhune and Bell to J.N. Darling, 9 April 1935, NARA, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 103 Harry Liek (Superintendent Mount McKinley National Park) to Darling, 7 May 1935, NARA, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 91 reindeer. In many respects, this involved the division of Alaska into reindeer and caribou territories. As Olaus Murie stated in his 1935 study of the Alaska-Yukon caribou, both reindeer and caribou “are of incalculable value to Alaska, and neither should be sacrificed in any misguided attempt to combine them.”104 That same year, H.W. Terhune and W.B Bell, Executive Officer of the Alaska Game Commission and the Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey’s Research Division, articulated a similar perspective in their response to J.N. Darling’s request for information regarding the reindeer-caribou problem. “The Biological Survey and the Alaska Game Commission,” the two senior bureaucrats stated, “take the position that the important ranges of the native caribou must be protected against invasion by reindeer in order to preserve the wild stock unmodified by cross-breeding with reindeer.”105 In outlining their recommendations, the pair argued that officials in the reindeer industry should keep herd populations down to the carrying capacity of the range to prevent reindeer from moving eastward into caribou territory, and interbreeding with the “native caribou stock.” Terhune and Bell enclosed a map in their correspondence with Darling, which, they noted, documented the “important caribou ranges that should be fully protected from reindeer invasion.” On the map, they indicated the “dead-line beyond which the reindeer should not be permitted to migrate.” Any invasion of caribou range, they stated firmly, “should be controlled either by shooting or otherwise disposing of the reindeer.”106 For wildlife managers, northeastern Alaska represented critical caribou range that should be protected from feral reindeer. In 1913, Dixon had spent several months on the north slope 104 Murie, “Alaska-Yukon Caribou,” 7. 105 Terhune and Bell to J.N. Darling, 9 April 1935, NARA, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 106 The map, which was enclosed in the original correspondence, was not located in the archive. Quotes from: Terhune and Bell to J.N. Darling, 9 April 1935, NARA, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 92 near the Alaska-Yukon border as a member of a Harvard scientific expedition, and during that time he came to understand the biological importance of the tundra, or the “arctic treeless plain”, between Point Barrow in Alaska and Herschel Island in the Yukon. This area, he noted, was “the summer range and fawning ground of thousands of native caribou.”107 In recent years, however, reports led Dixon to believe that the situation had changed dramatically. “I understand that the reindeer herds have pushed northward and eastward around Point Barrow so that it seems only a question of time until the entire coastal tundra plain of Alaska from the mouth of the Yukon to the mouth of the Mackenzie will come under the trampling hoofs of the expanding reindeer herds.”108 As scientists identified increasing numbers of reindeer-caribou hybrids at sites across Alaska, conservation officials and wildlife managers began to consider measures to prevent the proliferation of this new form of animal, including the killing of any hybrids or reindeer located within critical wilderness areas, including northeastern Alaska. Again, Adolph Murie spoke for many of his counterparts when he stated: “To save our native caribou, the first thing to be considered is distribution, for obviously the caribou and the reindeer which interbreed so readily cannot exist on the same range without eliminating the caribou.”109 While Adolph Murie agreed with the establishment of firm boundaries between reindeer and caribou ranges, he suggested some of the challenges associated with the spatial division of the Territory based on contemporary scientific understandings of the migratory habits of Alaskan caribou. “To prevent the mixing of reindeer with caribou, the range of the caribou, taking into 107 Joseph Dixon (Director, Wildlife Division) to George Wright (National Park Service, US Department of the Interior), 22 April 1935, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, MD, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska; Dixon, “Birds Observed,” 49-51. See also Joseph Dixon, “Birds Observed Between Point Barrow and Herschel Island on the Arctic Coast of Alaska,” The Condor, 45 (March 1943): 49-57. 108 Dixon to Wright, NARA (College Park), RG 79, Box 7, Folder Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 109 Adolph Murie to George Wright, 16 April 1935, NARA (College Park, MD), RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 93 account the vast fluctuations in migration routes,” argued Murie, “should be mapped and declared caribou country.” “Within these boundaries” he argued, “no reindeer herds should be permitted.” Noting that conditions on the caribou range were never static, Murie argued that these boundaries should be expected to shift over time, and would require close observation by a team of field biologists.110 In 1938, Adolph’s brother, Olaus, further explained the spatial dynamics of the territorial division being conceptualized by himself and other scientists and wildlife managers in Alaska. The reindeer industry, he noted, should be confined to the Bering Sea coast. But the establishment of a spatial division, he argued was not necessarily a matter of establishing a hard boundary, or constructing a fence to separate reindeer from caribou herds. Rather, “[i]t is simply a matter of designating an area where the reindeer should be normally kept,” and providing sufficient “neutral zone” between the reindeer and caribou herds to minimize the intermingling of the two groups of animals.111 Though acknowledged as ever-shifting and somewhat illusory, for Alaskan wildlife managers, the establishment of spatial division between reindeer and caribou ranges constituted an important step in the maintenance of the boundary around wilderness in the western Arctic. Further, Alaskan wildlife managers stressed that the issue of hybridization could not be managed at the national scale alone. In addition to Mount McKinley National Park, where officers had been instructed to shoot suspected hybrids, the Alaskan interior and the eastern section of the Arctic coast emerged as key sites in managerial efforts to protect the wildness of the western Arctic caribou herds. “As a game resource these interior Alaska herds should be kept 110 Adolph Murie to J.N. Darling, 16 April 1935, NARA, RG 79: Records of the National Park Service, Records of the Washington Office of the Wildlife Division, 1934-1936, Box 7, Folder: Reindeer/Caribou Alaska. 111 Murie’s description of the spatial boundary between reindeer and caribou territory is taken from a letter the biologist wrote to the Secretary of the Boone and Crockett Club, who had inquired about the enforcement of the division. See Murie to Dean Sage, 12 January 1938, Denver Public Library: Western History Collection, Olaus Murie Papers (1917-1973), Box 1, FF23: Caribou Correspondence. 94 pure,” argued Olaus Murie in his 1935 report, “and as the principal herds now remaining are international in range, passing back and forth with the seasons between Yukon Territory and Alaska, concerted action by Canada and the United States would seem necessary for the proper administration of this resource.”112 Indeed, during the period of the reindeer industry’s decline, wildlife managers on both sides of the border would continue to discuss the issue of reindeer-caribou hybridization. Yet, as Alaska’s reindeer population continued to decline during the 1940s, Canadian and American wildlife managers took few concrete steps toward addressing the reindeer-caribou hybridization problem, outside of instructing game managers to kill feral reindeer and suspected hybrids. Further, as late as 1949, Frank Banfield, a senior bureaucrat with the Canadian Wildlife Service (at that time the Dominion Wildlife Service), argued that the “intermingling” of reindeer and caribou that had been so prevalent in Alaska had not occurred to a considerable degree among Canadian herds.113 However, as I demonstrate in the next chapter, Banfield’s position on the issue was challenged after he undertook a scientific investigation of the unresolved problem of caribou taxonomy. Rather, as the reindeer industry underwent structural changes intended to address herding issues, and the number of livestock in the Territory continued to decrease, wildlife management agencies seemed content to let officials in the Reindeer Service deal with the problem of feral reindeer. However, during the 1940s, the steady decline in reindeer populations was related directly to the ongoing problem of escaped reindeer. As the industry continued to contract, and herds continued to disappear into the wilderness, the sustained 112 Murie, “Alaska-Yukon Caribou,” 7. 113 Banfield made this comment during the discussion following his presentation at the Fourteenth North American Wildlife Conference. See A.W.F. Banfield, “The Present Status of North American Caribou,” Transactions of the Fourteenth North American Wildlife Conference 14 (1949): 489. 95 “intermingling” of wild caribou and domesticated reindeer would continue to trouble the inchoate boundaries established by Alaskan wildlife managers. 2.4. Conclusion: The Problem of Purity By 1950, the Alaskan reindeer industry had almost completely disappeared, save for a small number of herds scattered throughout the Territory. Since the mid-1930s, Thomas Paniattaaq Brower had been one of the few remaining Native herders on Alaska’s North Slope. Indeed, Thomas Brower had inherited the reindeer from his father, Charles, shortly after the trader had financed the establishment of the first herd at Barrow in the late 1890s. In the early 1920s, Thomas had taken over the fledgling family business, and by the end of the decade had become one of the most successful herders on the North Slope. Although Brower worked to protect his reindeer from encounters with other humans, in the early 1950s, he learned that one of the most significant threats facing Alaskan reindeer herders was the proximity of migratory caribou. Reflecting on the loss of his herd during an interview in the early 1980s, Brower insisted that the trouble began in 1944.114 His herd’s range, he explained, was surrounded by the US Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4. Established in 1923 by President Warren Harding, the 95,000-square kilometer reserve sat between the Brooks Range and the Arctic coast on Alaska’s North Slope. Though designated a petroleum reserve in 1923, industrial activity did not truly begin until 1944 when the Department of the Navy initiated a ten-year exploratory period to determine the extent of oil deposits on the North Slope.115 As a result, the potential for human-animal 114 Details regarding the loss of Thomas Brower’s reindeer herd are taken from an oral history project conducted by the North Slope Borough. See: University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program: Project Jukebox, “Thomas Brower, Sr. Paniattaaq,” interviewed by Wendy Arundale and Bill Schneider, 1982, Accessed online at www.jukebox.uaf.edu/northslope/Chipp/ html2/tobr.html on 30 June 2015. 115 John Reed, Exploration of Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 and Adjacent Areas Northern Alaska, 1944-53, Part 1, History of the Exploration: Geological Survey Professional Paper 301 (Washington, DC: US Department of the Interior, 1958). 96 encounters in the region increased dramatically.116 Brower was particularly concerned about the risk posed by encounters with people working for the Navy. In an effort to mitigate the threat of such encounters, Brower made arrangements with the Navy to ensure that workers would not unwittingly disturb his herd. This agreement was effective for almost seven years. During the summer of 1951, however, Brower was forced to spend several weeks away from his reindeer, and during his absence from the North Slope, the Navy conducted a series of seismic tests near his herd’s summer range. According to the Brower, a “bunch of college kids” employed by the Navy attempted to photograph the reindeer from his herd. But photographing these skittish animals proved to be a difficult task. In the interview, Brower stated that the would-be photographers used one of the Navy’s tracked vehicles to get close to the herd, which, understandably spooked the reindeer, and caused them to stampede toward the open range. Despite the response of the reindeer, their harassers did not relent. They chased the frightened animals over rough terrain, and pursued them all the way to the Chipp River, which formed the southern boundary of the herd’s summer range. As the reindeer approached the river, however, they encountered a group of migrating caribou. Frightened and in a confused state, all 2,500 of the reindeer in Thomas Brower’s herd fell in behind the leaders of the caribou, crossed the Chipp River, and ran off with their wild, migratory cousins. The herd’s crossing of the Chipp River not only hastened the demise of the reindeer industry on the North Slope, but also unleashed a series of cascading ecological and historical consequences for human-animal relationships in the western Arctic. For wildlife managers in 116 There has been sustained public and scientific debate about the impact of oil and gas exploration on the wildlife of the western Arctic. I examine the historical geography of these debates in more depth in chapter 4. For a discussion of the ongoing debate around industrial activity and conservation in the region being discussed here, see Stephen Murphy, “Oil and Gas Development, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and Our Wildlife Heritage,” in Peak Oil, Economic Growth, and Wildlife Conservation, eds. J.E. Gates, D. Trauger, and Brian Czech (Springer: New York, 2014): 157-169. 97 Alaska and Canada, the loss of Brower’s herd intensified concerns about the purity of the caribou herds that migrated throughout the region, and crossed the international boundary. By crossing the Chipp River, and “intermingling” with a herd of migratory caribou, Thomas Brower’s reindeer both demonstrated the violability of the conceptual boundaries through which scientists and wildlife managers were attempting to order the nonhuman world, and troubled the inchoate categories they increasingly employed in emergent managerial regimes. Questions of purity, however, would remain unresolved through much of the twentieth century. Indeed, it would not be until the scientific development of a method of analyzing mitochondrial DNA to define genetic populations that scientists would be able to quantify – though with questionable levels of accuracy – the biological extent and impact of reindeer-caribou hybridization in Alaska. Yet, even as scientists developed increasingly refined modes of scientific representation and measurement, questions remained about the extent to which reindeer genes had been introduced into caribou populations.117 Questions of accuracy and measurement, however, are somewhat extraneous to my discussion of the scientific and managerial employment of the concept of purity. Rather, in this chapter, I have been concerned with the way in which wildlife managers increasingly equated the wildness of migratory caribou with their biological purity, and, relatedly, the spatio-temporal dynamics that shaped managerial responses to the conceptual and material threats posed by the proliferation of reindeer-caribou hybridization. 117 See Mager et al.’s response to Røed and Whitten (1986) and Cronin et al.’s claims that reindeer genes are not widespread among North Slope caribou. Mager et al., “High Genetic Connectivity,” 1111-1123. 98 Chapter 3: Science, Boundary-Making, and the Creation of the Modern Caribou 3.1. Introduction On 26 March 1949, an interview with Frank Banfield, Chief Mammalogist with the Dominion Wildlife Service (DWS), aired on CBC Radio.1 In the interview, Banfield discussed the preliminary results of the service’s first major scientific study of the caribou herds of northern Canada. Since January 1948, he had been at the helm of the research programme, which saw biologists and wildlife managers employ technologies of aerial surveillance to locate and count migratory caribou populations across the vast expanse of the Canadian north.2 As Canada’s caribou herds had “never before been scientifically investigated on a large scale,” he stated, the DWS had to begin its investigation “pretty well from scratch.”3 The host of the program, however, was skeptical about the Service’s “sudden interest” in caribou. With so many issues facing the federal government in the Canadian north, he asserted, “it seems… there are more important aspects than herds of wild animals.”4 Banfield countered by reminding the host that caribou remained a vital element of the northern economy, further arguing that if the herds disappeared, the government would “be faced with the almost impossible task of keeping [northerners] supplied with food and clothing.”5 To avoid such a scenario, Banfield explained, federal wildlife managers aimed to prevent the depletion of caribou populations through the development of a system of scientific management.6 From a managerial perspective, caribou 1 The Dominion Wildlife Service was the precursor to the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). Prior to broadcast, the Chief of the Dominion Wildlife Service reviewed the manuscript of the interview. He made editorial suggestions and recommended that the CBC cut one section of the interview in which Banfield joked about gender roles in caribou “families”, stating that the “lady caribou” are the bosses of the herds. For complete manuscript, see: A.J. Baxter to R.A. Gibson, 25 March 1949, Library Archives Canada (LAC) RG 109, Vol. 394, WL.U. 228, Part 3. 2 Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin, 196-203. 3 Baxter to Gibson, 25 March 1949, LAC, RG 109, Vol. 394, WL.U. 228, Part 3. 4 Baxter to Gibson, 25 March 1949, RG 109, Vol. 394, WL.U. 228, Part 3. 5 Baxter to Gibson, 25 March 1949, RG 109, Vol. 394, WL.U. 228, Part 3. 6 Baxter to Gibson, 25 March 1949, RG 109, Vol. 394, WL.U. 228, Part 3. 99 conservation and scientific research were inextricably linked with social order and economic development in the Canadian north. Caribou, however, proved to be uncooperative scientific subjects. During the first year of the project, Banfield and his colleagues began to comprehend some of the challenges they would face as they attempted to resolve lingering questions about migratory caribou. Not only did the agency’s scientists have to deal with a significant gap in their knowledge about this group of ungulates, but also their scientific methods and surveillance technologies would be stretched to the limit by the movement of barren-ground caribou as they followed unpredictable migratory routes throughout their expansive northern ranges. The temporal and geographical dynamics of caribou migration forced federal wildlife managers to work across political boundaries, and necessitated collaborations with provincial and territorial colleagues in northern Canada and counterparts in Alaska. But despite the obvious difficulties, after only one year of research, Banfield was confident that Canadian scientists were “gradually clearing up the mystery surrounding this great northern game animal.”7 Through scientific research, he suggested, wildlife managers were rendering the once enigmatic caribou visible, legible, and, therefore, manageable. In this chapter, I examine the way in which Canadian and American wildlife managers employed new scientific research methods and modes of representation as they sought to refine the boundaries around two key categories in the inchoate field of caribou biology: the species and herd concepts. The mid-twentieth century was an important period in the stabilization of scientific understandings of these concepts, which emerged as central units in the development of 7 Baxter to Gibson, 25 March 1949, RG 109, Vol. 394, WL.U. 228, Part 3. 100 population-based models of caribou management.8 By acknowledging the way in which the species and herd concepts emerged over time, and were the products of particular historical and social contexts, I am not attempting to reduce them to mere social constructions. Rather, following anthropologist John Hartigan, I ask how scientific “modes of recognition and encounter” were mediated by historical and geographical relationships, and guided by institutional and social practices.9 In the postwar period, caribou biologists and federal wildlife managers relied increasingly on technologies and methods of research that expanded their visual range over northern environments and increased their capacity to discern and catalog life forms.10 Yet, the stabilization of core managerial categories was not the result of technological developments alone. The demarcation and maintenance of a crucial boundary between legitimate and rejected forms of knowledge production about caribou was central to the stabilization of managerial categories.11 During the early twentieth century – and increasingly in the postwar period – caribou biologists and wildlife managers prioritized scientific knowledge production over other ways of knowing caribou. The scientific method, they suggested, represented a 8 Herd-based management remains an important model for caribou management in the Canadian north, despite the way in which caribou from multiple herds intermingle at different points during their migrations. For a discussion of methods of herd-based management, see Anne Kendrick and Micheline Manseau, “Representing Traditional Knowledge: Resource Management and Inuit Knowledge of Barren-Ground Caribou,” Society and Natural Resources 21, 5 (2008): 404-418. 9 Hartigan is speaking specifically about species, but his argument is helpful for my discussion of the caribou herd concept. John Hartigan, “Species,” in The Multispecies Salon: A Companion to the Book, ed. Eben Kirksey, accessed on 20 November 2016 at http://www.multispecies-salon.org/species. 10 Hartigan, “Species.” For more on ways of seeing and the production of scientific knowledge, see Stephen Bocking, “Ecological Concepts: Seeing, Placing, Imposing,” Geoforum 65 (2015): 490-491. For a discussion of the debate surrounding the use of aerial surveillance to survey caribou in Canada, see Sandlos, Hunters at the Margin, 196-205. 11 The notion of a “crucial boundary” between forms of knowledge production comes from Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 80. 101 “solution to the problem of order.”12 As caribou biologists and wildlife managers sought to impose order on the migratory caribou of the western Arctic, they were also working to order the way in which people understood and related to caribou. Following Shapin and Schaffer, who argue that problems of knowledge production and social order are, in essence, one in the same, I argue that managerial efforts to address what was described as disorder in the scientific description and classification of caribou herds represented state-based attempts to exert control over and order social relations in the western Arctic.13 In this area of the circumpolar north, it was necessary for scientists and federal wildlife managers to work across the International Boundary as they attempted to describe, classify, and count migratory caribou herds. In addition to the development of scientific research methods, the establishment of a transnational network of caribou science was essential to the stabilization of core managerial categories in the postwar period.14 For wildlife managers in Canada and the United States, institutional linkages within this transnational network were essential to overcoming the problem of distance, which had long-troubled scientific investigations of the Alaska-Yukon caribou herds. Specimens circulated through this network and accumulated at key nodes or sites that Bruno Latour calls “centres of calculation.”15 However, as Latour argues, mobilization by itself merely threatens to drown the scient
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Science, borders, and boundaries in the western Arctic : environmental histories of the Porcupine Caribou… Luedee, Jonathan 2018
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