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Materializing nature : discourse, practice and power in the temperate rainforest Willems-Braun, Bruce 1996

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M A T E R I A L I Z I N G N A T U R E : DISCOURSE, PRACTICE A N D POWER IN T H E T E M P E R A T E RAINFOREST by B R U C E W I L L E M S - B R A U N B . A . , The University of Winnipeg, 1988 M . A . , The University of British Columbia, 1991 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis^s conformin^-tD)the required standard. T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A December 1996 ©Bruce Willems-Braun, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of CfC&£tr&-ohL The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date 7^ vry/ta DE-6 (2/88) Abstract This study examines the cultural construction of nature on Canada's west coast and relates it to the continued presence of a 'colonial imaginary' in practices and rhetorics surrounding the use and management of nature and resources in the region. The work weaves together three arguments. First, drawing on recent scholarship in social theory, it is argued that what counts as 'nature' on Canada's west coast does not pre-exist its construction in and through a series of discursive, social, technical and institutional practices whereby it is made visible and available to forms of instrumental reason. The work therefore draws attention to the role that language plays in disclosing a world of involvements and intentions such that our exhibitions of nature are intimately related to how nature is encountered and remade in everyday practices. Second, it is argued that the construction of nature in British Columbia is always implicated in relations of power and domination, but that epistemological traditions which locate nature as something that exists completely apart from our constructions of it makes these relations difficult to recognize. In particular, the study explores how constructions of nature at various sites - from the abstractions of industrial forestry to the paintings of Emily Carr - serve to naturalize, or contest, the hierarchical power relations generated by colonialism on Canada's west coast. Third, it is argued that the construction of nature does not belong to a singular or unified History, but rather that nature is constituted in and through social practices that are multiple and discontinuous and which carry their histories with them. Thus, by relating constructions of nature to the perpetuation of colonialist practices in the region, two further arguments can be made. First, that colonial discourse is neither singular nor unified. And, second, that postcolonialism is not simply an historical stage that supersedes colonialism, but that ii the 'after-effects' of colonialism still infuse the present. This has important implications for both ecological and anti-colonial politics on Canada's west coast. Consistent with the theoretical framework, the work proceeds as a series of studies rather than a single, unified account of nature's materialization. Each chapter explores different ways that nature is 'framed', traces histories and spatialities that organize and inform its appearance, and evaluates these practices in terms of a politics of decolonization. Particular attention is paid to how these constructions of nature authorize certain social actors to 'speak for' nature in the midst of struggles over the fate of the region's temperate rainforests while marginalizing others, often those whose lives are most closely tied to the 'nature' in question. By showing the ways that a colonialist visuality continues to inform what counts as nature on Canada's west coast, the thesis insists on the urgent need for a 'reflexive environmentalism' that takes responsibility for the social and political consequences of its representational practices. iii Table of contents Abstract i i Table of Contents iv List of Tables vi List of Figures vii Acknowledgment xi Chapter One The (in)temperate rainforest 2 Clayoquot Sound 2 Materializing nature: discourse, practice and power 8 Episodes 32 Chapter Two Producing marginality 34 The isolation of Simon Lucas 34 Abstracting timber, displacing culture 40 Unthinking neo-colonial 'cultures' of nature 52 Producing marginality 70 Chapter Three 'Saving Clayoquot' 75 Blockades 75 Defending nature: Clayoquot: On the Wild Side 81 Contesting wilderness, writing open futures 106 The cultural politics of nature 119 Chapter Four Territorializing desire 124 Introduction 124 Framing adventure 129 Territorializing desire . 1 3 7 Modernity and melancholy 145 Globalizing self-formation 165 Circumnavigations: enframing nature in Clayoquot Sound 176 Appropriations 188 iv Chapter Five Purifying nature and culture 200 Framing Carr 200 Revisiting Carr 207 Mapping "BC Seeing": society, space and visuality 224 Going deeper: from primitive artifacts to primal nature 248 Thinking the clearing 264 Postscript: painting land claims 267 Chapter Six Picturing the forest crisis 276 The 'disappearing' forest 278 Building the mirror of nature 283 Dreams of unity 295 Dynamic ecology 308 Ecologizing forestry 316 Back to the future? The problem of wilderness 325 Conclusion 330 Bibliography 338 V List of Tables Table 6.1 Watershed planning. vi List of Figures Figure 1.1 Map showing location of Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia. 3 Figure 1.2 The Clayoquot Land Use Decision, 1993. Source: British Columbia, 7 1993a. Figure 1.3 Map showing traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth. 31 Figure 2.1 Cover. Beyond the Cut (MacMillan Bloedel n.d.). 41 Figure 2.2 Framing forestry. Technical rationality as legitimation. 43 Figure 2.3 Diagram of forest management practices. By convening debates in forestry around the management of the resource the forest is constructed as an abstraction separate from its social, cultural and ecological contexts. 50 Figure 2.4 Normalizing the forest. Sustained-yield forestry is perhaps the clearest articulation of the abstraction of 'timber' from its cultural and ecological surrounds, remaking nature in the image of an undifferentiated 'public interest'. 50 Figure 2.5 Geological Map of Skidegate Inlet. Source: Dawson 1880. 61 Figure 2.6 Nature's architecture. Cross sections of regions near Limestone Islands and Burnaby Islands off Queen Charlotte Islands. Source, Dawson 1880. 64 Figure 3.1 "The World is Watching". Cover of Maclean's Magazine, August 16, 1993. 78 Figure 3.2 Cover of Adrian Dorst and Cameron Young (1990) Clayoquot: On the Wild Side. Vancvouer: Western Canada Wilderness Committee. 83 Figure 3.3 "On the wild side": framing nature as spectacle. Photographer, Adrian Dorst. Source, Clayoquot: On the Wild Side. 88 Figure 3.4 "On the wild side": framing nature as harmony. Photographer, Adrian Dorst. Source, Clayoquot: On the Wild Side. 89 Figure 3.5. Nature's representative. Photographer, Ron Grover. Source, Clayoquot: On the Wild Side. 92 Figure 3.6 Framing native culture as traditional: Tla-o-qui-aht paddlers. Photographer, Source, Clayoquot: On the Wild Side. 98 V l l Figure 3.7. Tropes of decay: fallen totem 'reclaimed' by nature. Photographer, Adrian Dorst. Source, Clayoquot: On the Wild Side. 98 Figure 3.8 Framing imperial nostalgia: capturing the last vestiges of the disappearing 'primitive'. Photographer, Adrian Dorst. Source, Clayoquot: On the Wild Side. 99 Figure 3.9 The colonial rhetorics of 'wilderness'. By mapping these dualism onto each other (culture - nature, modern - traditional) native peoples are conflated with nature and areas are seen to remain 'natural' only if the cultures that live there remain'traditional'. 101 Figure 3.10 Map showing native tree use on Meares Island. Source, Stryd (1986). 107 Figure 3.11 Enrolling allies: photograph and diagram of tree-ring sample from culturally bark-stripped tree showing phenol staining on edge of scar face. Archaeologists have enrolled knowledges from plant biology in order to locate 'archaeologically invisible' human tree use. Source, Stryd (1986). 110 Figure 4.1 Framing Adventure: Bowron Lakes, Canada. Source, Ecosummer Expeditions. 131 Figure 4.2 Framing Adventure: Irian Jaya, Papau New Guinea. Source, Ecosummer Expeditions. 134 Figure 4.3 "Somewhere down there is your soul". Adventure travel and the journey into the 'inner self. Source: Yukon Tourism Bureau. 161 Figure 4.4 "There you are." Mediascapes and imaginative geographies. Photograph by author. 170 Figure 4.5. The World is full of Possibilities". Territorializing desire in the global cultural economy. Source: Ecotraveller Magazine, January/February, 1995.173 Figure 4.6 Map showing Clayoquot Sound. Tofino is the last point accessible by road. 178 Figure 4.7 Planning viewscapes: Remaking nature as a visual resource. Source: MacMillan Bloedel (n.d.) Future Forests. 185 Figure 4.8 "Walk on the Wild Side". Pamphlet, courtesy Women of Ahousaht. 190 Figure 5.1 Kitwancool [1928] Emily Carr. 208 V l l l Figure 5.2 Cedar [1942] Emily Carr 209 Figure 5.3 Blunden Harbour. Photographer, C.F. Newcombe. 1901. 216 Figure 5.4 A Christian Village - A Heathen Village. Newcombe's source enrolled by Christian missionaries. Source: Crosby (1914). 218 Figure 5.5 Blunden Harbour. Photographer, Edmunde Schwine (?) circa. 1915. Source: Holm and Quimby (1980). 220 Figure 5.6 Blunden Harbour. [1930] Emily Carr. 221 Figure 5.7 Tanoo. Queen Charlotte Islands. [1913] Emily Carr. 225 Figure 5.8 Skidegate. [1912] Emily Carr. 226 Figure 5.9 Map showing route of Grafton's tours to Alaska. 1894. Source: Grafton (1894). 234 Figure 5.10 Cover of guide for Grafton's tours to Alaksa. Source: Grafton (1894). 236 Figure 5.11 Memalilaqua, Knight's Inlet. [1912 or 1913] Emily Carr. 245 Figure 5.12 Tenaktak House, Harbledown Island. Photographer, Edward Curtis, 1914. 246 Figure 5.13 Emily Carr painting in 1913. 249 Figure 5.14 Reconstructing pre-contact native societies. Edward Curtis in Blunden Harbour, circa 1915. Photographer, Edmunde Schwinke (?). 250 Figure 5.15 Edward Curtis and Indian actors clowning for camera. Blunden Harbour. Photographer, Edmunde Schwinke [1914(?)]. 252 Figure 5.16. Totem in Forest. [1931] Emily Carr. 258 Figure 5.17 Vanquished. [1031] 260 Figure 5.18 Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky [1935] Emily Carr. 261 Figure 5.19 Scorched Earth, Clear-cut Logging on Native Sovereign Lands, Shaman Coming to Fix. [1991] Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. 270 Figure 5.20 Clayoquot. [1993] Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. 271 Figure 5.21 Unititled (Longhouse Interior). Detail Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. 273 Figure 6.1 'Ancient temperate rainforests' Source: Sierra Club of Western Canada (1991) 279 Figure 6.2 Nature as self-regulating system. Howard Odum's conception of (a) Energy flows and (b) Material flows in a simple terrestrial ecosystem. Source: Stoddard (1986) 299 Figure 6.3 Nature as harmony. Source: Hammon (1991). 304 Figure 6.4 Clearcut Sound: Clayoquot Sound. The binary logic of industrial nostalgia. 306 X Acknowledgment Like its object of study, this thesis finds its conditions of possibility in multiple sites. Financial support was provided in the form of a doctoral fellowship by the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada (1991-1995). Many from outside U B C aided my research. Dorothy Baert, Adrian Carr, Jim Darling, Cathryn France, Susan Jones and Joanne Stark all deserve thanks. Staff at the Provincial Archives in Victoria and Special Collections at U B C provided advice and tracked down obscure texts. During the time that this study was completed Vancouver became my home. Randy Konrad, Sue Bailey and Steve Blair made my stay in the city memorable. This thesis could never have been completed without the care, encouragement and generosity of friends and colleagues in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. Trina Bester, Alison Blunt, Noel Castree, Dan Clayton, David Demeritt, Averill Groeneveld-Meijer, Jennifer Hyndman, Michael Smith, Matt Sparke and Lynn Stewart provided a stimulating intellectual environment and taught me far more than could be learned in seminars and books. Michael Brown, Brett Christophers, Sarah Jain and Nicky Hicks deserve special thanks. Each could be counted on to bring a sense of humour, perspective and necessary distractions. Without them the thesis may have been completed earlier. At various points Trevor Barnes, Dan Hiebert and Geraldine Prattmade themselves available despite busy schedules. As always Cole Harris mixed advice with charm. Derek Gregory patiently watched as this work took many different forms and was always exceedingly generous with comments, resources and encouragement. Finally, I owe the most to Ruby Willems whose patience, support and companionship mark every page. xi That which is can only be, as a being, if it stands within and stands out within what is lighted in this clearing. (Martin Heidegger) 1 CHAPTER 1 THE (IN) TEMPERATE RAINFOREST Clayoquot Sound It was hard not to be drawn into the events that surrounded Clayoquot Sound in the summer of 1993. Until then the region seemed only a remote and insignificant corner of British Columbia (Figure 1.1). Yet here, on a small wooden bridge along a gravel logging road, a drama would unfold of which few Canadians could remain unaware. Each day for three months, protesters would arrive before sunrise and await the arrival of vehicles that carried loggers to cutblocks further along the valley. At the first sight of headlights, those who had volunteered to be arrested would take their positions on the bridge. Often they would sit tightly bunched, arms locked together. The bright lights of T V cameras would illuminate the scene, an injunction would be read, and members of the local R C M P detachment would begin the thankless task of unwinding limbs, lifting bodies and carrying or dragging blockaders to the buses contracted to transport protesters to the nearby town of Ucluelet where they would be charged and released. As brief as these encounters were - often less than thirty minutes - they had the desired result. Images of heroic environmentalists defending a pristine nature from a rapacious forest industry flashed across T V screens in Canada and abroad. As the summer wore on, protesters came from further afield - France, England, Germany, Australia, United States - and by early fall, when rains brought the logging season and protests to a close, over 900 people had been arrested, making the blockade one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in Canada's history. By the time that an article in the Globe and Mail broke news of the pending stand-off in May 1993, I had been following events in the Sound for over two years. My acquaintance with the conflict began in 1990 when, at the invitation of a friend, I traveled 2 Figure 1.1. Map showing location of Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia 3 to Port Alberni to observe and participate in a weekend meeting that had been designed to draw together people representing different 'stakeholders' in what was then already referred to as BC's 'war in the woods'. At few other occasions would such a diverse assortment of individuals be present: members of province's forestry workers unions (PPWC and IWA), representatives from various Nuu-chah-nulth communities,' non-native residents of Tofino, Ucluelet and Port Alberni, environmentalists, tourism operators, workers in the fishery, several members from the caucus of the social democratic party that formed the opposition in the legislative assembly in Victoria, and even a professor of social work from Vancouver. The purpose of the gathering was to find common ground in conflicts over the fate of the region's immensely valuable temperate rainforests. At the time I was interested in strategies and tactics of building local coalitions that could challenge the hegemony of global capital. At this event transnational forestry companies had been excluded, since many thought that the formation of a truly 'local' agenda was possible only if corporations, with their interests in global markets and competition, were not allowed to set the terms of debate. One of my lasting memories from that weekend was that at various points we sat in circles. At the time I assumed - no doubt correctly - that this was done to facilitate open and frank discussion. Circles undermine hierarchy and provide opportunities for face-to-face interactions. I now realize that the circles also presupposed an epistemology, Circles assume centers, and the physical arrangement of chairs implied that despite our varied interests we were all contemplating and discussing the same 'object' - the 'temperate rainforest'. If we could all describe to the group - clearly and precisely - what this object 1 The Nuu-chah-nulth (literally "all along the mountains") live along the west coast of Vancouver Island and consist of thirteen groups organized into an umbrella political structure called the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. The Council is divided into a northern, central and southern district. Clayoquot Sound lies in the central district and includes the traditional territories of five bands (Tla-o-qui-aht, Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Toquaht and Ucluelet). In anthropological literature the Nuu-chah-nulth have long been referred to as the "Nootka", an appellation commonly attributed to Captain Cook. 4 looked like from where we sat, then perhaps we could come to a complete understanding, recognize the points that we had in common, and reconcile our differences. From this meeting would then emerge a 'common front'. As the events of the weekend unfolded it became clear that, far from achieving this, any dreams of unity that participants had brought with them would remain unfulfilled. Tempers rose and fell, participants left and then were convinced to return, speakers berated others for their intolerance and fixed positions. When the dispute over Clayoquot Sound exploded into the national and international media two years later, few people acquainted with the area and its crosscutting social, cultural and economic tensions were caught by surprise. In one respect, this thesis is an account of the failure of consensus. Where participants had sought unity, they found disparity. In the place of accord, difference. Instead of a single vision, multiple refractions. Uneasy agreements reached after long and vigorous debate were destabilized almost as soon as they were forged. Perhaps foolishly, I still believe in the value of such gatherings. This is not because I believe that they somehow provide the possibility of undistorted communication. I am as convinced as any by critiques of the metaphysics of presence, which have shown that speech always occurs within an already constituted textuality and that locate relations of power in the knowledges and images that make communication possible. Speech, after all, assumes difference. Yet, the central assumption of this gathering - that if we listen to each other we can find points of connection and work towards locating other better ways of being-together - still provides a political fiction that I am unwilling to do without. It is the terms through which I see these events that have now changed. Where before I imagined that consensus could be reached by 'getting clear' about matters, stripping away ideological preconceptions and seeing things in the clear light of Reason, I now realize that if any 'center' existed in these circles, if any consensus was to be reached, it would be something built rather than found, and thus always provisional, always constituted by what was left 'outside' the frame, always open to contestation. 5 With this in mind, the events of that weekend in 1990 and the protests that captivated audiences in 1993 can be viewed through a different lens. The failure of consensus lay not in inadequate reason or in the mystifications of ideology, but in the fact that the singular 'object' around which we had supposedly convened - the 'temperate rainforest' - was not singular at all. This can be best illustrated through the colourful map that accompanied the contentious land-use plan which the BC government imposed on Clayoquot Sound in April 1993 (Figure 1.2). The map became the focal point for vigorous public debate and civil disobedience. But it also provides a useful metaphor. In this map the landscape is divided between various 'interests', part of an attempt to mediate between 'stakeholders' in the Sound. Rather than evaluate this map in terms of whether the right decisions were made, this study inquires after its conditions of possibility. In a corner of the map a legend relates colours to specific uses. I prefer to see this legend as a menu and each box as an icon. Click on any one, and a further series of screens and menus appear, each outlining further practices and discourses that lie 'behind' the 'self-evidence' of the land-use depicted in the original box. Thus, not only does the map bring together and mediate between various ways of constructing the temperate rainforest (each with its own social and cultural logics), but each construction can be seen as the product of further practices and myriad histories. A nature that appears singular and self-evident now appears multiple and provisional, continually displaced and never fixed. Distorted communication was not the cause of a failure of consensus, but nature's multiplicity. We were rarely talking about the same thing. Significantly, this is also a map of nature's production. If it were only a matter of incommensurable 'images' of nature, no protesters would be placing their bodies on the line, no desperate attempts at consensus would occur and no forest company executives, environmentalists or government leaders would travel to Europe carrying with them an array of maps, statistics, pamphlets and videos. Maps have a way of remaking reality. Yet if this map draws together and mediates between many ways of disclosing nature, then 6 Figure 1.2. The Clayoquot Land Use Decision. Source: British Columbia (1993a) 7 clearly nature's production in Clayoquot also follows no singular logic - it occurs in and through practices that find their conditions of possibility in multiple sites and which carry their histories within them; it is animated by temporal rhythms and spatial patterns that exceed the singular stories of teleology and place. It is to these rhythms and patterns that this study attends. Materializing nature: discourse, practice and power In what follows I take the dispute over the fate of the temperate rainforest in Clayoquot Sound as a point of departure for a wider discussion about the ways that discourse, practice and power are intertwined in the materialization of nature in British Columbia. This study is therefore organized around three related questions. How is nature constructed? How are these constructions both multiple and discontinuous with each other and what histories and spatialities does each carry within it? And, in what ways is nature's construction political and how does writing the 'politics of nature' offer serious political and analytical hope? Let me turn to each of these in greater detail. The cultural construction of nature. In what ways and with what effects is nature constructed? With the publication of Alexander Wilson's Culture of Nature in 1991, the 'cultural construction of nature' entered the mainstream of contemporary social theory and cultural criticism.2 This phrase has itself come to take on several meanings. Most immediately, it is taken to mean that what counts as nature is for us always 'culturally mediated'. Whenever we look out into a physical world that we assume to be external to 2Wilson's book was intended for a wide audience and pitched at a popular level. As such, it provided far more in the form of examples than it did in theoretical or philosophical argument. While its strength lay in Wilson's uncanny ability to find examples that placed in question an identity that had often been seen as pre-given, it provided few tools for interrogating the cultural and economic dynamics that underwrite nature's semiotic and material construction, leaves science undertheorized, and, beyond showing the obvious ecological implications of nature's cultural construction, rarely gives attention to the other political implications that are closely intertwined with how nature is understood. For accounts of what Andrew Ross calls 'nature's debt to society' that are more rigorous and occasionally more politically attuned, see Smith 1984; Haraway 1989,1991; Ross 1991, 1994; Cronon 1991, 1995; Latour 1993 and Wark 1994) 8, culture, we do so in ways that are invariably bound up with the practices that make it visible. Heidegger's (1962) notion of the 'clearing' (literally 'forest clearing' [Lichtung]) is helpful in this context. Heidegger argued that it is only within the clearing that things are made visible, that they can be dis-closed or come into presence. Importantly, Heidegger explained the clearing as always already historical.3 It is only through the construction of spaces of visibility (Rajchmann 1988; Gregory 1994) that range from the laboratories of technoscience (Latour 1987; Haraway 1992) to nature documentaries (Wilson 1991) that 'nature', or more specifically in this case, the 'temperate rainforest' is given form and meaning. This is not to say that the nonhuman world is merely a figment of our imagination, or that it does not have an existence apart from our descriptions of it. 4 Rather, it is to say that we can never know nature on its own terms: "The way we describe and understand the world," Cronon (1995:296) explains, "is so entangled with our own values and assumptions that the two can never be fully separated." It is precisely this meaning of the 'culture' of nature that Donna Haraway captures so brilliantly in her work, and which she sums up succinctly in discussing nature as tropos - as figure, construction, artifact, movement, displacement. In short, Haraway writes (1992:296), nature cannot pre-exist its construction. When we assume nature's self-presence, we mistake our discursive practices for the things themselves.5 Drawing her 3Heidegger's argument has important - and often troubling - implications for ethics. For Heidegger, 'ethics' is always problematic to the extent that it fails to examine its conditions of possibility, or, in other words, so long as it remains forgetful of the world's worlding. Heidegger's call for a more originary ethics, although itself deeply problematic in its detachment from the 'everyday' (which Heidegger thought was compromised by the forgetting of Being), nevertheless reminds us that our debates over 'ethics' and !morality' assumes the clearing within which they occur. See Heidegger (1977a). 4Some have felt that theories of social nature have gone too far in writing out the materialty of nature (or nature as itself an actant). The historian of ecological ideas, Donald Worster (1988) is among the most vocal critics. See Benton (1989) for an approach that remains within the orbit of Marxist theory. Callon (1986), Haraway (1992), and Latour (1993) all attempt to retain the agency of 'nature' within science studies without falling into realist accounts. Yet, it is not at all clear how this agency can be figured without recourse to further representational practices. This tension is particularly pronounced in Haraway's work. On the one hand, for Haraway nature can never pre-exist its construction. Yet, on the other, she keeps reminding us that we are not the only 'actors' in this drama. But at no point does she elaborate on how this second point makes any difference to how we produce knowledges of nature. 5 As I explain below, for Haraway nature's 'construction' refers to far more than its 'framing' in language. 9 examples from the field where she was initially trained, Haraway explains that biology is a discourse and not the world itself. Thus, the further that we inquire into the practices of knowledge-building in biology, the more we encounter a series of discursive, social, technological and institutional relations that range from science-funding agencies to patriarchy and even imperialism. A similar point - albeit far less politicized - is made by Bruno Latour (1993), who argues that 'nature' emerges as a discrete entity only through practices of purification whereby the quasi-objects of our world - those proliferating hybrids of culture and nature - are assigned unambiguously to either one identity or the other. Only in this way can some things appear as 'cultural' and others 'natural' where in reality the two are always mixed together.6 In the work of Latour and Haraway, then, our traditional lenses are reversed; What must be explained is not how things become hybrids (how nature is 'polluted' by culture) but rather how such hybrids are made to appear as if they were not, an appearance which, as Latour has shown, is the product of considerable work. There is another, equally important sense in which we might speak of the culture of nature. So far, I have paid attention to the way that 'nature' is imbued with cultural meanings. Yet, when writers like Haraway and Latour insist on the culture of nature, they are referring to much more than a layer of cultural meanings spread over nature like a veneer, which, when stripped away, leaves only a natural essence. For Haraway and Latour, nature is cultural in ways that are deeply material (as is also true of the reverse). Haraway (1992) for instance, insists that nature (including the 'body') is relentlessly artifactual. This is particularly evident at the end of the twentieth century when: (1) nature everywhere is 'remade' in the image of the commodity, or in Fredric Jameson's (1984) words, capitalism has penetrated -1 retain the masculinist phrase intentionally - into nature's very structure; and, (2) rapid technological advances have resulted in the mixing 6 Again, for Latour this is an element of nature's material production, only it remains invisible to us, because we assume the prior existence of the 'purified' realms. 10 of the technical and the organic in ever more sectors of social and economic life. 7 Thus, it has become increasingly difficult to locate any 'site' which is unambiguously 'natural'. Human modification of the physical world occurs today on a global scale, from global warming and holes in the ozone to the mapping and manipulation of genetic material, leading some to write nostalgically about the 'end' of Nature (McKibben 1989).8 Neil Smith (1990) has provided what remains the most systematic and sustained attempt to theorize nature's production, but it is one that this study seeks to both problematize and extend. Smith's project follows two paths. First, his focus on nature's production is meant to undermine the naturalization of capitalist social relations. This had occurred, he argued, because of a dualistic conception of nature (as external and universal). By positing nature as external, he argued, Western cultures had come to assume that it is an immutable order that exists outside and prior to culture (and thus free of ideology). This has important implications. Once the social content of nature is evacuated it is nature itself that appears to set limits, not the historical development of particular social formations. These limits could then be known through a positivist science. On the other hand, by assuming humans to be part of nature (nature as universal), existing social relations are 'naturalized' (seen as 'God-given' and immutable). By writing of nature as produced, Smith undermines the reification of nature and culture as separate entities and shows both to be internal to the other. Equally as important, Smith's project builds an account of nature's production that places the focus clearly on the ways that nature is remade under capitalist forms of production. As Castree (1995:20) summarizes, the production of nature thesis captures the 7Haraway's 'cyborg' metaphor - although used broadly to signify nature as always a hybrid of the natural, social and technical - best captures, I think, the acceleration of the mixing of the technical and the organic in late twentieth century technocultures. 8 McKibbon's account, of course, relies on exactly the distinctions between nature and culture that so many recent accounts have sought to undermine. If nature and culture stand in an internal relation to each other, then no transformation of nature can be said to be unnatural. It should be noted that this is a very different argument than saying that we therefore have no means by which to judge whether transformations are desirable or undesirable. 11 way that "the imperatives of capitalism bring all manner of natural environments and concrete labour processes upon them together in an abstract framework of market exchange....and in so doing, actively appropriate, transform, and creatively destroy it." In essence, at the end of the twentieth century "first nature" is everywhere transformed into "second nature" according to the logic of capitalist accumulation, a process related nowhere else with such brilliance as in Cronon's (1991) Nature's metropolis. Castree argues that Smith's thesis, although one of the most sophisticated theoretical maps produced, remains incomplete. Like a number of other writers (both within and outside marxist scholarship) he indicts marxist accounts for failing to adequately recognize the 'materiality' of nature, or, in other words, the ways that nature is an agent and presence in history (see also Worster 1988). I agree with Castree's argument (and with Demeritt (1994) who similarly critiques the 'new cultural geography' for locating agency only in humans). And, I can also see why critics wish to remind us, first, that our scientific knowledges are possible only because there is a material world to which they refer and thus which allows for certain representations and not others (see Hayles 1993); and, second, that there are consequences to our productions of nature. Yet, I fail to see how the language of agency is helpful, since there is no way to figure nature's 'role' in producing scientific knowledge, nor to know the 'impact' of human activities on a non : human world, outside yet other practices of representation. The language of agency, I fear, risks reintroducing an unacknowledged realism (see Lenoir 1994). As important as these issues are, I wish to extend Smith's thesis along different lines. As I have discussed elsewhere (Willems-Braun 1992, see also Castree 1995), drawing on Paul Smith (1988), theoretical explanations necessarily 'cerne' their subjects -that is, they 'encircle' or 'enclose' their subjects within accounts that limit in order to explain. As Paul Smith notes, to 'dis-cern' implies more than to 'perceive clearly', but more correctly, involves locating and taking responsibility for precisely those moments of theoretical 'enclosure' that limit possibilities for alternatives. Although Smith was 12 concerned foremost with locating the various ways that theories of subjectivity 'cerned' the 'subject', I argued that the same could be said for how marxist theory 'cerned' Nature. The problem with marxist accounts of produced nature, I suggested, was not simply that they were anthropocentric, although certainly one can see how this charge can be made (see Eckersley 1992), but instead that they 'enclosed' nature's production around a rather narrowly circumscribed notion of 'labour'. The 'ecocentric' critique is, I think, clear enough, and needs little elaboration. By privileging human labour (as nature's 'metabolism'), marxist accounts are seen to be guilty of reinforcing an instrumental relation to non-human nature, essentially complicit in the domination of nature. That said, it is difficult to imagine a relation to the non-human that is neither anthropocentric nor instrumental, simply because our relation to things is always already mediated through language (see Bennet and Chaloupka 1993).9 My concern takes a different tack. By narrowly circumscribing 'labour' as that which occurs within capitalist production, Smith (and others) essentially locate a singular 'motor' to nature's production: the logic of capital. Uneven development - as important as this concept is for tracing the 'geographical logic' of capital accumulation - becomes for Smith (1990:xvi) the "concrete process and pattern of the production of nature under capitalism." Certainly marxist accounts have much to contribute to explanations for why deforestation is a growing problem in South-East Asia, or why plantations of fast-growing trees in Georgia and Kentucky are related to and threaten to re-organize the form of industrial forestry in British Columbia (see Marchak 1995). But they are less able to explain how it is that things are able to 'show up' as objects with 'value' to begin with. Here Haraway's work provides insight. When Haraway speaks of nature as 'artifactual', she brings attention to bear on how nature is 'made' through a series of practices. Yet, I think Haraway's phrase -artifactual nature - is able to say much more, for it draws together both nature's cultural 9In this sense, ecocentrism can stand as an ethical position (i.e. one can choose to make decisions that take into account a series of relations that are described to us by the science of ecology), but it cannot claim an epistemological foundation (i.e. we cannot claim to know what it means to 'think like a mountain'!). 13 construction and its material production. Nature is always and everywhere both semiotic and material. This does not mean that nature is divisible into 'concrete' and 'discursive' elements, nor do I think that Haraway wishes to limit herself to the point that we can only know the concrete discursively. Rather, it is precisely because nature is known through a system of signs (semiotics) that it is made available to economic and political calculation.10 Smith's production of nature thesis - as much as it defies our understanding of the "sacrosanct separation of nature and culture" - perhaps needs to be reworked through an approach that seems equally 'quixotic': that nature is produced through representation. This can be made more clear by turning to Charles Taylor's (1992) elaboration of Heidegger's concept of language. Taylor locates two traditions in Western philosophy and science. The first - associated with Hobbes, Locke, and Condillac - is a doctrine of language that developed within the confines of modern epistemology and assumes language as instrumental. The second, beginning with Herder and finding its strongest expression in Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault and Derrida, asserts instead that language has a constitutive function. It is this second tradition that informs my critique." However, we must be careful not to assume that language produces the reality it seeks to describe. When Heidegger argues that language transforms the world, it is important to keep in mind that 'world' for Heidegger is not the cosmos (which is indifferent to and precedes us) but the world of our involvements, or, in short, a sphere of intelligibility. It is in the world of our involvements that the things that surround us become bearers of properties, or are made available to us (in an instrumental manner).12 In essence, Heidegger argues that language provides a clearing [Lichtung] in which things come into presence (language is the 'house of being'). Thus, it is precisely through our discursive practices that things can 10Smith does note that "the appropriation of knowledge is equally a part of this metabolism between human beings and nature" (1990:20), but does not develop this in any depth. 1 1 This does not mean that the former is incorrect. Stephen White (1991) is useful here. Language is always both action-coordinating (it helps us do things) and world-disclosing (it makes things intelligible to begin with). Both aspects of language function simultaneously. 1 2 Heidegger distinguishes between that which is 'ready-at-hand' and that which is merely 'present-at-hand'. 14 be 'grasped' (both mentally and physically). But, it is also precisely this constitutive aspect of language that tends to be 'screened out' in everyday life when we approach the 'world' as consisting of pre-given objects. Let me relate this back to notions of nature's production. Language discloses. Thus, objects can have use and exchange value only after they are made visible within specific discursive practices.13 Political and economic calculation assumes a horizon of intelligibility. The practices that transform nature materially (production) occur only within this horizon. In short, culture is not simply implicated in the stories we tell about the natural world, but thoroughly imbricated in this world, in how it is made and remade. If we turn to the BC landscape this is immediately evident. Before British Columbia's coalfields could be 'capitalized' (and incorporated into global circuits of extractive capital), they required the development of visual technologies that saw the land in terms of stratigraphy and correlations across space, thereby transforming the science of 'reading the rocks' into one that was predictive. Nature provided 'signs' that could be read and on which further calculations could be made. As I will show in Chapter 2, these visual technologies were also far from politically innocent since they allowed scientists and entrepreneurs to separate nature's architecture from the native inhabitants that occupied the land. Likewise, Clayoquot Sound becomes the site for nature's production as a visual commodity only with the emergence of a complex semiotics that links this remote landscape to the metropolitan center. Elsewhere, biologists have shown that even our wilderness 'preservations' bear the marks of our ideas about nature (homeostasis, balance, etc.) which are made material in how these areas are managed (Botkin 1990; Chase 1986). The same is true for the human body. As Nelly Oudshoorn (1994) demonstrates, it is possible to map relays between how the body is imaged in medical discourses surrounding 'sex hormones' and the way that it is subsequently made a site of medical and 13Baudrillard (1981) makes a similar point when he notes that Marxist theory has assumed that use value stands in relation to exchange value in much the same way that nature stands in relation to culture. Use value, just like exchange value, Baudrillard argues, is already always a sign relation. 15 pharmacalogical intervention (and, capital accumulation). These interventions are at once political (male and female bodies are differentiated and subject to different practices of regulation) and material (the physical composition of the 'body' is altered in accord with the maps of the body that medical discourse provides). Over a century ago Marx wrote that society and nature were mediated through a metabolic interaction. As Smith (1990) explains, what was original in Marx's notion was that he saw labour as the 'motive force' of this interaction, essentially nature 'working on itself. Yet, in political ecology this has conventionally been understood through a narrow definition of 'labour': the mill-worker, farmer, and so on, transforming physical objects into commodities while at the same time physically transforming the material conditions of production (nature). Thus we can speak of a political ecology whereby nature is remade within the social, economic and institutional relations of production. Yet, perhaps what is included in 'labour' can be widened. If, as Alfred Schmidt argued, through labour "men (sic) incorporate their own essential forces into natural objects [and] natural things gain a new social quality as use value" (quoted in Smith, p. 19), there is no reason to exclude from this representational practices. The work of culture - if one can use such a phrase -has rarely been noted in political ecology accounts (beyond culture providing a set of beliefs or attitudes towards the environment), yet it is precisely because nature exists first as tropos that nature can be remade as commodity, just as the tropes of Orientalism underwrote European imperialism and channeled its development along various lines. In other words, we can imagine a politics of ecology (of how nature is made visible and available) that is equally part of any political ecology. This study stands - at one level - as an exploration of the relation between enframing and production. 'Enframing' is not solely about metaphors and representations. Making things visible does not leave things unchanged - it produces a 'world' in which calculation is possible. Following from this, the task of critical inquiry is not one of first noting the world of metaphor before turning to the 'real' world of materiality, but of 16 recognizing how metaphor and materiality are necessarily woven together. Borrowing from Judith Butler (1990), I use the phrase 'materializing nature' in order to capture this double movement by which our discursive practices at one and the same time demarcate and differentiate a material world and in this way open it to practices that materialize nature along certain paths. What constitutes the matter and fixity of nature, in other words, is no less material, but materiality is rethought as, in part, the effect of power. Nature and differential history. How are nature's constructions both multiple and discontinuous with each other, and what are the histories and spatialities that each carries with them ? In this thesis I argue that the production of nature does not occur according to any one historical or social 'logic'. Rather, nature is produced at any one moment and at any one place at the conjunction of multiple discursive, social, technological and institutional relations. This much, I think, is not new. However, to claim that nature is not produced as part of the unfolding of History or in terms of a social totality is not to claim that the production of nature is not historical or social. To clarify what I mean, let me turn briefly to Althusser's critique of Hegelian History in order to prise open the nature of historical time and the historical time(s) of nature.14 Althusser's critique was intended in part to place in question how notions of history had been conceptualized and deployed in Western Marxism. In short, Althusser's complaint was that Western Marxism had introduced History as a theoretical solution rather than a theoretical problem, thereby importing into Marxism a Hegelian notion of historical time that Althusser thought was antithetical to that found in Marx. In order to prosecute his case, Althusser isolates two 'essential characteristics' that structure Hegel's model of history - the homogenous continuity of time and the contemporaneity of time. 1 4 Althusser's critique is indebted in large measure to Bachelard's discussion of discontinuity in the history of the natural sciences and Levi-Strauss's attack on Sartre's notion of History as a series of progressive dialectical totalizations. I leave these to the side and focus only on Althusser since in many ways he brought them together in his articulation of differential history. 17 The arguments arrayed against the first characteristic of Hegelian history (homogenous continuity) are relatively uncomplicated. Hegel's notion of history, Althusser (1970:94) argues, is related to his particular understanding of dialectics as the unfolding of the Idea. This led Hegel to treat time as a continuum "in which the dialectical continuity of the process of development of the Idea is manifest." Thus, Althusser writes, for Hegel, "historical time is merely the reflection in the continuity of time of the internal essence of the historical totality incarnating a moment of the development of the concept." (p. 93). The implication, stated succinctly by Althusser, was that, given this assumption, "the whole problem of the science of history would consist of the division of this continuum according to a periodization corresponding to the succession of one dialectical totality after another" (p. 94). Events simply follow upon each other like links in a chain. The second characteristic - the contemporaneity of time - is related to the former and is somewhat more complicated. Althusser claims that this notion is bound up with Hegel's conception of the 'social totality'. For Hegel, the social totality was characterized by an intrinsic unity - a totality wherein every part expresses all others, and where each expresses the social totality that contains them. Althusser referred to this as a 'spiritual' unity, wherein all parts of the social totality existed in the same temporal relation. For Hegel, Althusser writes, the structure of historical existence is such that all the elements of the whole always co-exist in one and the same time, one and the same present, and are therefore contemporaneous with one another in one and the same present. This means that the structure of the historical existence of the Hegelian social totality allows what I propose to call an 'essential section' {coupe d'essence), i.e. an intellectual operation in which a vertical break is made at any moment in historical time, a break in the present such that all the elements of the whole revealed by this section are in an immediate relationship with one another, a relationship that immediately expresses their internal essence....Each [element] in itself contains in the immediate form of its expression the essence of the totality itself" (p. 94). In essence, the contemporaneity of time assumes that all elements in the present respond to the same historical logic. 18 In a sense the two characteristics of Hegel's notion of historical time can be understood through the structuralist terms of synchrony and diachrony, where synchrony is taken to mean contemporaneity in time while diachrony refers to continuity through time. Seen in this way it is a relatively simply matter of relating the synchronic and diachronic. The synchronic - seen as an 'essential section' where all parts are in an immediate relationship to all others - presupposes the continuous-homogenous time of History where the diachronic is conceived as "merely the development of this present in the sequence of a temporal continuity in which the 'events' to which 'history' in the strict sense can be reduced are merely successive contingent presents in the time continuum." (p. 96). Not only do events follow upon each other like links in a chain, but each link in the chain is indivisible, it consists as a totality. Precisely because the Hegelian whole is a 'spiritual whole', in which all the parts 'conspire' together, Althusser argues, the unity of this double aspect of historical time (homogenous-continuity/contemporaneity) is, for Hegel, both possible and necessary. In essence, history becomes a succession of internally unified 'essential sections', one following upon another. As will become clear shortly, I will follow Althusser only part way along his argument. Althusser's primary objective was to show that our understanding of the 'social totality' determines our understanding of historical time. For Hegel, the social totality was a unified, singular essence, what Althusser called an 'expressive' or 'spiritual' unity. Thus, history must necessarily consist of an unfolding of successive unified moments. In Marx, Althusser finds a model of the social totality that departs significantly from this unity, and thus leads to a very different conception of historical time. Building on his earlier discussion (in For Marx) of the overdetermination of the social, Althusser argues that Marx formulated an understanding of the social totality that was constituted by complexity. Although still conceiving the social as a structured whole, Althusser argues that this social totality, rather than existing as a 'spiritual unity' contained levels or instances that were distinct or 'relatively autonomous', and which co-existed and perhaps 19 more importantly, were articulated together according to specific determinations. Although Althusser continued to assert that the social could be conceived as a unified totality, or, in other words, that the relative autonomy of its elements existed within a 'structure of dominance', he insisted that this could not be reduced to the primacy of a center but existed instead as a hierarchy of differential levels.15 Much debate has focused on whether Althusser - with his notion of determination by the economic in the 'last instance' and his 'science' of history - reproduced the totalizing sins of structuralism (see Laclau and Mouffe 1985; Young 1990). I will not reproduce those debates here. Most who have found Althusser's critique useful - Foucault and Derrida for instance - have simply jettisoned his notion of a 'social totality' and his preoccupation with locating determinations between 'levels' and retained Althusser's emphasis on multiple temporalities and historical discontinuity. If we follow this route, the implications that follow upon Althusser's critique are worth emphasizing. First, if, as Althusser asserts, the 'social' consists of differential levels, it becomes impossible to think the existence of this totality through the Hegelian category of the contemporaneity of the present, for any cross-section of the 'social' at any one particular 'moment' would reveal an array of presences and absences, each responding to the rhythm of different histories. Second, and following from this, the model of continuous and homogenous time can no longer be regarded as the single time of history. Let me here quote Althusser (1970:99-100) in some length. We can argue from the specific structure of the Marxist whole that it is no longer possible to think the process of the development of the different levels of the whole in the same historical time. Each of these different 'levels' does not have the same type of historical existence. On the contrary, we have to assign to each level a peculiar time, relatively autonomous and hence relatively independent, even in its dependence, of the 1 5As is well known Althusser retained the notion that these 'specific' determinations were fixed in the last instance by the level or instance of the economy, although, as Robert Young argues, this 'in the last instance' has been subject to much misunderstanding. The point, Young argues, is not that the economic should be seen as a simple causal function that operates alone, but rather, quoting from Althusser's For Marx, that "the economic dialectic is never active in the pure state...From the first moment to the last, the lonely hour of the 'last instance' never comes." (FM, p. 113. Quoted in Young 1990, pp. 57-59) 20 'times' of the other levels. We can and must say: for each mode of production there is a peculiar time and history, punctuated in a specific way by the development of the productive forces; the relations of production have their peculiar time and history, punctuated in a specific way; the political superstructure has its own history...; philosophy has its own time and history...; aesthetic productions have their own time and history...; scientific formations have their own time and history, etc. Each of these peculiar histories is punctuated with peculiar rhythms and can only be known on condition that we have defined the concept of the specificity of its historical temporality and its punctuations (continuous development, revolutions, breaks, etc.). If we return to the land-use map (Figure 1.2), with which I began, we can gain a sense of Althusser's argument. On this map, if we conceive of each coded land-use as 'levels', each with its own specific determinations, it quickly becomes evident that each responds to and is informed by temporalities that draw the past into the present in particular ways. The dynamics informing the production of nature as a visual resource are not the same, nor belong to the same history as those that have resulted in the production of nature as 'ecological reserves'. In short, Clayoquot Sound is not an 'essential section', it reverberates with multiple histories. The same, of course, can be said of the Sound's spatialities. Each level can be seen to define a series of relations of time and space that are unique and cannot be reduced to any other. Of course, all this is far more mixed up than the clearly demarcated spaces of the map suggest. Histories become articulated together, concepts move from one social site to another, metaphors are borrowed, and so on. At best, the Clayoquot map provides a snapshot of a production that integrates and relates these various levels and distributes them across the spaces of the landscape. Althusser's critique of Hegel is not without its contradictions. Throughout it lies a tension between the multiplicity of levels (with their various temporalities) and the notion of a social totality (where these levels are articulated into a whole).,16 Like Hegel, 16This can be clearly seen in the passage that follows immediately after the one quoted above. The fact that each of these times and each of these histories is relatively autonomous does not make them so many domains which are independent of the whole: the specificity of each of these times and each of these histories - in other words, their relative autonomy and independence - is based on a certain type of articulation in the whole and therefore on a certain type of dependence with respect to the whole....The specificity of these times and histories is therefore differential, since it is based on 21 Althusser assumes a unity of the present, which later writers like Lyotard - with his notion of a multiplicity of heterogeneous, conflicting and incommensurable histories - would come to reject. Lyotard (1988) points towards a much more ambiguous and complex, but, I think, infinitely more rich and politically useful notion of the social and of history that, at least for my purposes, suggests the need to pay particular attention to the multiple, intersecting points of emergence for identities and subjectivities. Yet, despite the many problems that later post-structural and postmodern writers have found in Althusser's work, they remain deeply indebted to his critique of Hegel, which, as Derrida (1981:57-58) succinctly summarizes, has shown "that there is not one single history, a general history, but rather histories different in their type, rhythm, mode of inscription - intervallic, differentiated histories." In short, our different materializations of nature carry within them their own histories and spatialities. What we encounter as 'nature' or as a 'natural landscape' contains in it innumerable beginnings and events and draws together countless configurations of people and places across space and time. Two additional observations need to be made. First, Althusser's critique of Hegelian historical time did not dispense with history so much as open the way for history to itself become an object of historical investigation, leading in turn to the radical revision of writing history and a new awareness that historical accounts were at once strategic and rooted in present concerns. In other words, if Hegelian historical time, with its dialectical unfolding of the Idea through successive unified 'moments', was fatally undermined by Althusser's critique, this did not spell the end of historical inquiry so much as alter what questions were posed and how 'history' and 'events' were mobilized. In this light, Foucault's genealogical method can be seen to emerge in the conceptual space opened by the differential relations between the different levels within the whole: the mode and degree of independence of each time and history is therefore necessarily determined by the mode and degree of dependence of each level within the set of articulations of the whole. The conception of the 'relative' independence of a history and of a level can therefore never be reduced to the positive affirmation of an independence in vacuo, nor even to the mere negation of a dependence in itself; the conception of this 'relative' independence defines its 'relativity'." (Althusser 1970:100). 22 Althusser (along with Bachelard and others). Foucault was concerned less with advancing notions of differential history (i.e. showing the relation between elements in the present) so much as demonstrating how the writing of history - prised free from teleology - could itself become a disruptive event by showing how identities in the present were neither necessary nor essential. Foucault's work was deeply historical, yet his project was far from that of the conventional historian retrieving the unbroken continuity of dialectical history in which the present appears as the last moment in the predestined unfolding of a historical logic, nor were his historical accounts bound to the attempt to capture the essence of things in their primordial origins. Rather than tracing a continuous development from origin to present, Foucault (1977) argued that for every identity could be found numberless beginnings and myriad events.17 Writing history, then, could never be a project of 'recovering' essences. Instead, faced with the proliferation of beginnings, the problem the historian poses is unavoidably grounded in the present (even if this remains 'outside' the picture) and determines - from amid these numberless beginnings - what constitutes an event, and its status in any 'series'. Rather than showing the solidity and inevitability of present identities, Foucault shows their contingent. "What is found at the historical beginning of things is not the inviolable identity of their origin," Foucault writes (1977:142), "it is the dissension of other things. It is disparity." Foucault's genealogies, therefore, took those identities that we feel are without history (like Nature or the Body), and showed their emergence in the details and accidents of history, in order to show how their 'essences' were "fabricated in a piecemeal fashion from many alien forms" (p. 142). Genealogy, Foucault wrote, "disturbs what was previously considered immobile; it fragments what was thought unified; it shows the heterogeneity of what was imagined consistent with itself." (p. 147).18 Thus, where history 1 7To the extent that my argument could be taken to suggest that although discontinuous with each other, each level is discrete and unfolds according to its own unified historical logic, it is misleading. Each level continually opens up into multiple heterogeneous pasts. 18Seen in this light, it is not difficult to see why Foucault was continually irritated by, and sought to deflect inquiries into to how his genealogies could be politically useful. If, as Foucault argued, power and 23 is invoked in this thesis, it is in precisely this manner, not as a History of conflicts like Clayoquot Sound, but rather to destabilize the self-evidence of present-day constructions of 'nature' by which 'history' is being made today. Finally, Althusser's critique of History and Foucault's genealogical method have important implications for a politics of 'nature' (and, as I explain below, a politics of decolonization). Nature - if it is constituted at the intersection of multiple histories and socio-spatial practices - is a highly contested identity. But it follows from this that there is no one singular 'politics' of nature (or any privileged site of 'resistance' to how nature is 'enframed'). The fate of the temperate forest in a place like Clayoquot Sound is contested through a series of local and contingent struggles over what counts as nature, over how nature is materialized and over who has authority to speak for nature. The cultural politics of nature. In what ways and in terms of which relations is nature's construction political? And, how does writing nature's construction offer serious political and analytical hope? In most cases - with the possible exception of Bruno Latour -drawing attention to the culture of nature has been more than a philosophical quarrel or a self-congratulatory exercise in demystification. Instead it has usually proceeded as a component of a critique of ideology and inequality in existing social formations, often drawing attention to how nature has been enrolled to legitimate relations of domination. Thus, we can speak not only of a culture of nature (which in accounts like Wilson's amounts to little more than the recognition that nature is culturally mediated), but also a cultural politics of nature (which takes the insight of the former and shows its political implications). Engaging long-standing Western beliefs that Nature is at once ordered and planned, and thus that it can be read as a template for how life should be lived, cultural knowledge were as deeply imbricated in each other as his historical writings implied, then politics was inseparable from the writing of history, at work continuously in any practice that makes visible precisely that which remains 'invisible' in our taken-for-granted identities, what Rajchmann (1988) has come to call Foucault's art of seeing. 24 critics have sought to show how our appeals to Nature are always already ideological. A n early example, as I discussed earlier, is found in Neil Smith's (1984) Uneven Development where he provides tools by which to unpack what at the time he called "bourgeois ideologies of nature". By positing nature as both external and universal social relations become naturalized. However, the political implications of the dualistic conception of nature that Smith identified can be pushed further. It is not simply the case that social relations become naturalized because human society is seen as itself 'natural'. Rather, the dualistic conceptions of nature licenses relays between our 'construction' of nature and social relations. Precisely because nature is viewed as both 'external' (and thus as a reality that can be objectively known through positivist natural science), and as 'universal' (including 'human' natures and social relations) our historically contingent and socially situated constructions of external nature can be mapped back onto the social (which, since nature is universal, becomes subsumed under external nature) as is commonly done, for instance, by sociobiologists.19 It is this sort of dynamic that Haraway traces with such brilliance through the pages of her Primate Visions (1989) where primatology (admittedly a site where the 'culture of nature' is easily located) is shown to be subject to these relays between culture and nature. Scientific knowledges, as Latour and Haraway both show, draw together physical, textual, technical, political and institutional elements. This is not to say that science misrepresents nature (i.e. that science is always and only fiction), only that the knowledges that science produces are always partial, and therefore can be evaluated, and if necessary challenged, on the basis of what is excluded from the picture.20 Thus knowledges produced in twentieth century primatology invariably carry the marks of their enabling conditions in the circuits of twentieth century patriarchy and imperialism, at 1 9For further discussion of the politics of sociobiology see Ross (1995, chapter 5). 20Haraway, for instance, shows how patriarchal assumptions resulted in particular questions being asked of primate communities. By placing these assumptions in question it became possible to fashion new lenses that were open to different accounts. The question of 'good' science or 'objectivity' is not ruled out, only refashioned as always already situated in social and historical contexts (see Haraway 1991). 25 the same time that primates are made surrogates for human culture, enrolled as participants in myths of origins (that in turn naturalize discourses on race, gender and sexuality). Writing the culture of Nature is therefore more than mere description of the various lenses through which what 'counts' as nature is framed, but also a means of short-circuiting mechanisms of social domination, using the acid tools of critical discourse to corrode the self-certainty of representation.21 Although Haraway, and many others in what might be called the 'science as culture' movement, appear reluctant to identify their own intellectual debts, their work fits broadly, I think, within the ethical-political horizon that Richard Bernstein (1991) finds woven intimately into the philosophical ethos of modernity.22 Let me expand on this briefly, in order to clarify and perhaps moderate some of the claims of political relevance made by writers like Haraway and the claims made by others that writers like Haraway obscure the 'real' site of politics. Drawing on an exchange between Foucault and Habermas, Bernstein explains that Foucault sets out a position for critique that rejects the search for transcendental and immutable truth, and takes the function of criticism to be no longer that of denouncing 'falsity' in order to unveil 'truth', but of continually locating and interrogating 'truth-effects'. Criticism is no longer...practices in the search for formal structures with universal value, but rather...historical investigation into events that have led us to constitute ourselves and to recognize ourselves as subjects of what we are doing, thinking, saying. In that sense criticism is not transcendental, and its goal is not that of making metaphysics possible...it will not seek to identify the universal structures of all knowledge or of all possible moral 21While writers like Smith and Haraway are concerned to locate how nature is made an unwitting social actor, they do not share the same epistemological certainties about their own work. Smith - at least in his early work - employs the language of 'ideology'. Although far from unsophisticated in his use of the term, for Smith the term 'ideology' refers to 'an inverted, truncated, distorted reflection of reality' (p. 15), which in turn holds open the possibility of explanatory frameworks that 'get it right'. Haraway is more circumspect, speaking only of partial knowledges built within the rich tapestry of our social texts. To speak of ideology is to use the language of 'misrepresentation' (Mitchell 1990) and thus to assert the critic's role as a demythologizer located somewhere outside the social text. Subverting traditional understandings of 'objectivity', Haraway (1991) writes that such 'disembodied' accounts are not objective enough since they don't take into account their own enabling conditions. 22Foucault, in his essay "What is enlightenment" (1984:42) described the philosophical ethos of modernity as a "permanent critique of our historical era." 26 action, but will seek to treat the instances of discourse that articulate what we think, say, and do as so many historical events....it will not deduce from the form of what we are what is impossible for us to do and to know; but it will separate out, from the contingency that has made us what we are, the possibility of no longer being, doing, thinking what we are, do, or think. It is not seeking to make possible a metaphysics that has finally become a science; it is seeking to give new impetus, as far and wide as possible, to the undefined work of freedom (Foucault 1984:46). The claims made in this remarkable passage require further attention, for with them, I think, we can further sharpen the political potential of writing nature's culture. In the same essay Foucault suggests that the significance of such critique is precisely that it allows us to grasp "the points where change is possible and desirable, and to determine the precise form this change should take" (p. 46). But how does one imagine the 'work of freedom' and the 'points where change is possible and desirable' without metaphysics or without universal structures of knowledge: without, in short, a nature and a human nature! As Nancy Fraser (1989) and Jiirgen Habermas (1987b) have both shown, it is difficult to reconcile Foucault's Nietzschean anti-foundationalism with such quasi-normative statements. The same is true of Haraway's work. Like Foucault, she assumes criticism as purposive yet nowhere provides unambiguous maps to a promised land. Writing theory, she asserts, is to produce "a patterned vision of how to move and what to fear in the topography of an impossible but all-too-real present, in order to find an absent, but perhaps possible, other present" (1992:295). Yet, Haraway claims to "not seek the address of some full presence"; reluctantly, she "knows better." Theory, then, is meant to orient, to provide rough sketches for travel to "a science fictional, speculative factual, SF place called, simply, elsewhere" (p. 295). How can Haraway argue that an approach like this offers serious political and analytical hope? How does writing the culture of nature square with a progressive politics, one that requires both identity and normativity? A clue, perhaps, is found in what Gayatri Spivak calls a "politics of an open end." For Spivak (1990), the role of the critic is to read 27 strategically, paying attention to precisely that which disrupts closure.23 The goal of criticism is thus not to replace one orthodoxy with a new one, but to identify the play of absence and presence, to locate the drawing of boundaries and the 'fixing' of identities. What deconstruction offers is not a new 'map', but rather 'openings' by which to imagine other possible configurations. In a sense, what Foucault, Spivak and Haraway are insisting upon - each in their own way - is the specific and local, rather than universal, role of the intellectual. To the extent that prescriptive social science and vanguard politics assumes the universality of its claims, and thus replaces one system of domination with another, the work of the specific intellectual is at once more modest, and perhaps, ironically, more attuned with what Foucault called the 'work of freedom'. William Connolly (1985) I think, best captures this sense. Foucault's intent, he argues - and I would claim that this extends to both his precursors (like Nietzsche and Heidegger - at least apart from the latter's disastrous political philosophy) and his contemporaries (Derrida, Spivak, Lyotard and others) - was to incite his readers to 'listen to a different claim' rather than accept unquestioned the self-certain arguments of universal reason. In the context of the present work, an analogy drawn from the more radical strains of American environmentalism is perhaps appropriate. To the extent that the distinctions between deconstruction and activism blur in projects like Haraway's, cultural critics writing the 'culture of nature' may have affinities with Edward Abbey's (1985) 'monkeywrench gang'.2 4 Only, where the characters in Abbey's novels mixed sand in the oil of industrial machinery (resulting, I suspect, in considerable racket), 23In a wonderful summary, Spivak (1990:47) writes: "Deconstruction obliges you to say yes to everything. You have to say yes to that which interrupts your project. And in terms of that, you can't have a political program which says 'no' to something." In Edward Abbey's novels, 'monkeywrenchers' defended 'nature' by sabotaging the machinery used by developers. At one level Abbey stands at the extreme opposite of Haraway. Where for Haraway (1992:296) nature is "one of those impossible things that we can never have but can never live without", and thus must be continuously placed in question at the same time as it is continuously invoked, for Abbey, nature is truly unambiguous, a natural foundation for all life that must be protected at any cost (regardless of the political consequences for human communities). Ironically, the very different philosophical positions does not rule out the possibility that both could be on the same 'side' in political struggles. 28 these cultural monkeywrenchers mix sand in the oil of our representational machinery, not for the hedonistic pleasure of tearing apart, but simply to make the operation of these semiotic technologies more noisy and thus nature's culture and politics more evident.25 Again, care must be taken to not revert to a position that holds the semiotic apart from the material as discrete spheres. If making things visible does not leave the physical world untouched, neither does it leave unaltered the social text in which these objects and entities are intricately woven. Bruno Latour (1988; 1993; 1995b) has persuasively shown how the 'social' is infused with physical objects (machines, natural entities, etc.) ranging from Boyle's air-pump in the eighteenth century and the lowly door closer in the twentieth, to Aramis, a futuristic high-tech people-mover designed for the twenty-first century (but scrapped on the planning table). From these studies Latour concludes that our Hobbesian . mythology about a body politic that consists, in essence, of naked individuals, is gravely mistaken. Everywhere the 'social' is stitched together by things (natural objects, texts, machines, etc.). In every instance, then, the transformation of the physical world of things results in the transformation of the 'social'. In this light, the materialization of nature on Canada's west coast can be seen to transform the social relations of the rainforest at the same time as it transforms its physical nature. Equally as important, our cultural discourses and social practices not only render a natural world visible and available, they also construct and differentiate subjectivities -ecologists, foresters, environmentalists, natives, tourists - that find their conditions of possibility prescribed in the discourses and practices that relate them to 'nature'. As I explore at points in this work, these discourses about nature simultaneously establish 25In the words of Susan Bordo (1992), the role of cultural critic is to engage in "epistemological guerrilla warfare." Of course deconstructing 'nature' in order to undermine the self-evidence of social identities is not a straightforward matter, philosophically or politically. This is evident in questions surrounding sexuality. In debates over gay rights, for instance, actors on both sides have appealed to nature to strengthen their position and weaken the case put forward by opponents. In the case of issues of gender, on the other hand, appeals to 'nature' offer much less to progressive politics. See Butler (1990; 1993) for an account that emphasizes the social construction of both gender and sex. Bordo, on the other hand, while not opposed to theories that see the 'body' as a discursive 'battleground', cautions against writing out the materiality of the body. 29 subject positions and authorize subjects to 'speak for' nature. Whether in the geological surveys of George Dawson from the l'870s (Chapter 2), the landscape paintings of Emily Carr in the early 1900s (Chapter 5), or the ecosystem diagrams of systems ecologists in the 1960s (Chapter 6), each at once posits a world and authorizes nature's 'representatives'. As the work proceeds, it will hopefully become clear that at each site is therefore found struggles over who is able to be heard in the vociferous and often rancorous debates over the fate of the region's temperate rainforests. Authority in the forest, I will argue, has less to do with juridico-political pronouncements and more to do with the various ways that we construct nature and relate it to social life. Clearly, then, the materialization of nature is related intimately to questions of class, gender, race, and ecology and this study continually highlights the politics of nature. Keeping each of these dynamics in focus at the same time is, in practice, almost impossible. So, while each makes its appearance, I focus primarily on one issue: how the materialization of nature is woven into the dynamics of colonialism/post-colonialism. British Columbia is profoundly marked by its colonial past, and its political terrain in the present is cross-cut by the continuing anti-colonial struggles of various First Nations. Look again at Figure 1.2. Nowhere on the map or legend are we provided with any indication that the entirety of Clayoquot Sound falls within the traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth (Figure 1.3).26 What accounts for this absence? What are the mechanisms by which marginality is produced in the temperate rainforest? Thus, in several chapters I seek to show how our constructions of nature are often complicit with the perpetuation of If one looks carefully, Indian reservations can be seen at various sites, thereby continuing the colonial strategies of marking Indian presence while simultaneously containing it. One region - Meares Island - is coded as 'not included in decision'. The island was at the time the subject of a lengthy court struggle over native sovereignty. 30 Figure 1.3. Map showing traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth. 31 colonial relations, implicated in the prescription of subject positions and the denial of voice, autonomy or agency to First Nations people.27 This raises a final question. At what point can we be said to have entered the 'post'colonial? Considerable debate has swirled around what is meant by the 'post-colonial' . Many have found in this term a deeply problematic periodization whereby the 'post' implies a historical stage 'beyond' colonialism. This study takes seriously the call made by Mieke Bal (1991) and others that we pay close attention to how a colonial past continues to inform a postcolonial present. Yet, it is clear that the world we live in today is not the same as that of the colonial period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. As I have shown with recourse to Althusser, and as has been argued eloquently in relation to the 'time' of colonialism/postcolonialism by Stuart Hall (1996), the present reverberates with the rhythms of many temporalities. There is no single history of colonialism/postcolonialism any more than there is any single colonial discourse. The operation of colonial power occurs in many different ways and across many different sites, including, as I argue in this work, the materialization of nature. Episodes This study proceeds as a series of episodes. Each begins with an event, artifact or image related to contemporary struggles over 'nature' in British Columbia's temperate rainforests. In turn, these provide points of departure into accounts that relate nature's materialization to a series of discursive, social, technological and institutional practices. This strategy is marked in the titles to each chapter, which emphasise the contingency of 2 7 To wield an anti-colonial optic is a decidedly awkward maneuver for a non-Native writer whose body has not been marked and inscribed by colonialist practices. No doubt too much remains 'common sense' to me, and therefore remains outside my political consciousness. But to leave this task to First Nations people alone suggests that it is their problem, one for which we share no responsibility. All Canadians are implicated in intersecting relations of oppression and thus responsible to think - and thereby unthink - colonialism's cultures. But to disrupt colonialist discourse is not to write from a First Nations perspective - it simply contributes to a politics of decolonization that proceeds by dismantling structures of domination and thereby opening spaces for difference. 32 nature's materializations by converting into verbs the noun forms that have customarily given solidity to modern conceptions of truth: producing, saving, territorializing, purifying, ecologizing. At a number of points I explore how the past is implicated in the present in order to show how what seems self-evident in the present has embedded within it a series of complex and multiple histories, often histories that carry within them the legacy of colonialism. How nature is made visible today is political precisely because it contains unmarked traces of past practices, what Shohat and Stam (1994) call "buried epistemologies". Because our sightings/sitings of nature seem ahistorical and objective, we locate these hidden colonial histories only with difficulty. Let me summarize what follows. Chapters 2 and 3 interrogate who is able to 'speak for' nature in places like Clayoquot Sound, how others - particularly First Nations -are marginalized, and how our constructions of nature are implicated in this. Chapter 2 looks specifically at the displacement of the 'forest' into the abstract spaces of capital and the state and suggests how a colonial past is buried in the representations and concepts organizing industrial forestry. Chapter 3 examines the paradoxical nature of the environmental movement's support for First Nation's land rights by exploring some of the contradictions that run through their representations of 'wilderness' and 'traditional' native culture. Chapter 4 explores how adventure travel incorporates areas like Clayoquot Sound into the libidinal economies of metropolitan subjects and shows how this results in reconfigurations of both nature and society in Clayoquot Sound. Chapter 5 looks at the work of Emily Carr, an artist whose west coast paintings form an important archive of images through which Canadians' imaginative geographies of the temperate rainforest are built. Chapter 6 turns from aesthetics to the supposedly solid-ground of science and explores how contesting strands of ecology lead to very different ways of envisioning the 'crisis' in the rainforest. I conclude with some more general comments on postcoloniality and the politics of nature. 33 CHAPTER 2 PRODUCING MARGINALITY: ABSTRACTION AND DISPLACEMENT IN THE TEMPERATE RAINFOREST What 'post-colonial' certainly is not is one of those periodisations based on epochal 'stages', when everything is reversed at the same moment, all the old relations disappear for ever and entirely new ones come to replace them. Clearly, the disengagement from the colonizing process has been a long, drawn-out and differentiated affair (Hall 1996:247). The Isolation of Simon Lucas Framing forestry. In British Columbia the provincial government owns 95 percent of commercial forest lands.1 A variety of forms of tenure provide forestry companies with rights of access to the timber on these lands, ranging from long-term licenses (Tree Farm Licenses) to short-term cutting permits. Since 1945, Royal Commissions on Forestry have regularly been held in order to obtain public input into how to align the administration of these forests with a 'public interest'.2 That the BC government has found it necessary to convene these Commissions on a regular basis underlines the significance of the industry to the province's economy and social order.3 But this necessity also marks a significant failure: what the Commissions sought to 'fix' in a series of timeless management principles that related and regulated the 1 One percent of commercial forest land lies within Indians reserves, while four percent is owned by forest companies. For a history of land tenure and land policy in BC, see Cail (1974) and Pearse (1976). 2Peter Pearse (1976) for instance, wrote that his recommendations would allow the public's interest to be "protected in the legislation, policies, procedures and practices affecting the allocation and use of forest resources of the province", and would also ensure "the full contribution of the forest resources to the economic and social welfare of British Columbians...in terms of the diverse commercial and environmental benefits they potentially may generate." (Pearse 1976:xi-xii). The first "Royal Commission of Inquiry on Timber and Forestry" was held in 1909-1910 (Fulton 1910) and is often referred to as the Fulton Report. Commissions since then have included two chaired by Judge Gordon Sloan (1945; 1957), the Pearse Report (1976) and the Peel Report (1991). 3The Forest Alliance of BC (1994), an industry-funded lobby group, claims that in 1993 forestry products contributed over half of BC's, manufacturing shipments, that forestry accounted for 17% of the province's GDP, and that the industry directly employed 89,500 workers province-wide and supported a further 168,500 (together amounting to 16.5% of the workforce. 34 'nation' and its 'populations' and 'resources' has continually escaped these frames of reference. The Sloan Commission of 1945, for instance, generated recommendations for the spatial and temporal rationalization of the forest and forest industry and related this to the long-term stability of forestry-dependent communities.4 Yet, the policies of 'sustained yield' advanced by Sloan and implemented by subsequent provincial governments have failed to deliver what they promised: a forest industry that harvests a uniform quantity of timber from set territories on a regular and sustainable basis (in perpetuity); and, an industry which generates predictable and stable levels of employment and revenue. Quite the opposite has occurred. After years of overcutting, the forest industry now faces dramatic reductions in its annual allowable cut; poor forestry practices have led to degraded forest lands (despite Sloan's assumption that long-term leases held by large corporations over sizable territories would lengthen planning horizons beyond market cycles or beyond one 'forest rotation'); technological innovation and global competitiveness have resulted in major job losses with serious consequences for local 4 Sloan's (1945) recommendations revolved around two axes: one temporal, the other spatial. The temporal axis dealt with sustained yield, which Sloan defined to mean "a perpetual yield of wood of commercially usable quality...in yearly or periodic quantities." (p. 127). The spatial axis had two components. First, Sloan visualized sustained-yield in terms of a 'working circle', a spatial metaphor borrowed from conservation discourse in the United States and which imagined the systematic harvesting of the resource in equal increments such that when one cycle had been completed, a second cycle would be ready to begin. In other words, harvesting must be spatially and temporally organized so that at no time would there be a period without production. Second, Sloan argued that these working circles should be organized into 'regional areas' in the interest of industrial and community stability. Following Mulholland (1937), he argued that it would make little sense to manage the entire coast as a single working circle or sustained yield unit. The reasons were simple. Management on a coastal scale could result in specific areas being heavily logged some years and not at all on others. The result, for particular communities, would be a permanent level of instability and social displacements as logging activity shifted up and down the coast. The 'working circle' thus became closely articulated with two other state objectives: industrial development and community stability. Rationalizing the forest regionally in terms of perpetual supplies, Sloan believed, would provide incentive for investment in production facilities and intensive forest management, and thus, would result in long-term community stability. On the coast, he suggested, this could be accomplished by encouraging holders of Crown-granted forest lands to combine these holdings with their temporary leases and additional Crown lands into large management units that would then be managed on a sustainable yield basis. In the interior, it was suggested that public sustained yield units be established over 'unencumbered' Crown lands. In these, timber rights would be allocated, and the Minister would retain the right to prescribe terms and conditions of lease. More controversially, Sloan further argued that the coastal units should be allocated to large companies with long-term investments in processing facilities, rather than the 'small man', since large firms, or so Sloan reasoned, would not be influenced by 'short-term' interests. 35 forestry-dependent communities; corporate consolidation and foreign ownership have led to worries that the benefits of forestry are not retained by local communities; and, conflicting claims to the land have placed in question both forest inventories and security of tenure (Drushka, et al 1993; Marchak 1995). In short, amid shifting configurations of social, technological, economic and political forces, BC's forests, forest industry and forestry-dependent communities have been marked more by transformation than stability, and by political struggle rather than consensus. Despite this, each subsequent Commission has presented itself as further refining forest management, applying new knowledges from biology and economics and thereby addressing past mistakes. Thus, with each Commission, forestry appears to proceed to an ever more rational base. In such a narrative, the report of the 1945 Commission appears as a founding document in a story of enlightened forestry. In this chapter my intention is neither to affirm nor deny 'progress' in the rational management of a public resource. Rather, I seek to place in question precisely those terms in which forestry has been 'framed' - levels of harvest, royalty rates, forest practices, planning processes, public vs. private tenure - in order to bring into focus that which remains 'outside' the picture. If we accept the framing of forestry in these terms as self-evident, I argue, we remain unable to recognize what is made marginal through them. A simple statement by one participant at the Pearse Commission of 1975 can be used to disrupt this frame. Speaking before Pearse in Victoria on October 30, 1975, Simon Lucas, chair of the West Coast District Council of Indian Chiefs (Nuu-chah-nulth), expressed his people's frustrations: "We feel more isolated from the resources to which we have claim than at any time in the past," to which he added simply: "This is becoming more so. " 5 In a sense, then, this chapter is a reflection on the isolation of Simon Lucas. 5Pearse Commission public hearings, Victoria, Oct. 30, 1975. Until the 1980's, anthropologists referred to the indigenous peoples of the west side of Vancouver Island as the "Nootka", an appellation commonly attributed to Captain Cook. The West Coast District Council of Indians Chiefs is now known as the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, and consists of representatives of the council's fourteen member tribes from the west coast of Vancouver Island. 36 Representing isolation. Speaking as a 'representative' of his people, Lucas' poignant words gave clear expression to the experience of the Nuu-chah-nulth. With the rapid expansion and consolidation of British Columbia's coastal forest industry in the twenty years preceding the Pearse Commission, they had seen their traditional territories on the west coast of Vancouver Island rationalized within the regional and global space-economies of industrial capitalism, reterritorialized according to the spatial and temporal logics of 'sustained yield' forestry, and incorporated into the social and economic logics of corporations, forestry-based communities and state institutions far removed from their villages.6 Segregated and contained on a system of reserves imposed late in the nineteenth-century, Lucas's people found themselves living amongst forests of immeasurable value yet without any access to their great wealth except as labourers on the shifting margins of the white wage labour force. As a representative, Lucas spoke of a specific historical experience. But, Lucas also can be seen to represent (in the sense of 'stand for') a more general condition of colonialism (and its aftermath) in British Columbia. His appearance before the Commission at once marked the isolation of the Nuu-chah-nulth and exposed the 'limit-point' of forestry discourse in the province. His presence threatened the accepted bounds of the Commission by bringing within the frame - if only momentarily - the constitutive 'outside' that made the Commission's positive knowledges possible. In short, Lucas made the colonial frame of forestry in BC visible ? Indeed, Lucas's testimony, duly reported in the Commission's proceedings, brought into view how thoroughly a colonial past had been inscribed on BC's forest landscapes. Despite his poignant appeal, Pearse remained silent on questions of native rights. In the 6 These displacements were not all new. Dan Clayton (1995) shows the many ways that these landscapes were displaced into European regimes of power/knowledge beginning already with the observations and writings produced during Captain Cook's third voyage to the Pacific. 7 Two other First Nation groups also made submissions to Pearse. These were the Skidegate Band Council (Haida) and the Nicola Valley Indian Administration (Nlka7kapmx). Both made oral and written submissions. 37 381 pages of his report Pearse's only comments directed specifically to native concerns appear in a section discussing the possibility of new allocations of timber licenses. "Native Indian reserves," Pearse wrote, "present another potential source of forest land that might be combined with provincial Crown land into sustained yield units, under band management" (p. 118). However, as Pearse noted elsewhere, there remained little Crown land outside existing Tree-Farm Licenses to form the core of any new licenses. His comments therefore effectively contained the irruption of native concerns into the space of the Commission by naturalizing the past production of colonial space. Twenty years later, it is not clear that much has changed.8 This became evident most recently in events surrounding Clayoquot Sound. Despite the massive media attention the dispute was most often framed as one pitting environmentalists against the forest industry. Even the long article that broke the Clayoquot Sound story to a national audience in May 1994 - covering more than two pages in Canada's largest circulation newspaper - reiterated the same themes, at no point mentioning the Nuu-chah-nulth (Matas 1993). In the months that followed the release of the plan considerable attention would be given to its details - which areas were preserved, how much of this was 'old-growth', how many jobs might be lost - while much less attention was given to a subsequent report by the provincial ombudsman (British Columbia 1993b) which asserted that throughout the events leading to the Clayoquot Sound decision, the Nuu-chah-nulth had not been adequately consulted, even though the land at issue lay entirely within their traditional The Task Force on Native Forestry in BC (Derickson 1991) found that First Nations people remain underrepresented in the industry, that few bands hold forest tenures and that natives continue to 'hear about' decisions made elsewhere rather than participate in them. Even in the face of ongoing treaty negotiations national and transnational corporations continue to strip the land of the resources upon which present and future native communities must depend. One of the most recent cases involved the 5,000 hectare Pavilian Creek watershed near Cache Creek, part of the traditional territories of the Ts'kw'ayalxw Indian band, and the last remaining region in the band's traditional territories that had not yet been mined of its resources. Despite the region being under treaty negotiations since April 1994, the band learned early in 1995 that the Ministry of Forests was planning to issue cutting permits in the watershed (see Hume 1996). The federal minister responsible for Indian Affairs has admitted that as treaty negotiations have proceeded in the 1990s the pace of resource extraction by non-native corporations has accelerated (see O'Neil 1996). For summaries of issues surrounding native participation in the forestry industry, see Nathan (1993) and Wolfe-Keddie (1995). 38 territories and had never been ceded to colonial authorities prior to 1871 or to the federal state after that date.9 How do we account for the inadequate attention paid to Nuu-chah-nulth concerns in events leading to the Clayoquot decision? How is it that twenty years after Simon Lucas spoke of his people's increasing isolation, forestry issues were still being discussed without consulting the First Nations on whose territories these resources were located? In this chapter and the next I examine the production of marginality in the temperate rainforest. Here I examine the rhetorics that underwrite the authority of transnational forestry companies to speak as 'custodians' of the forest. In Chapter 3 I turn my attention to the environmental movement. In both I locate representational practices that marginalize the voice of First Nations in forestry and conservation issues. I argue that it is precisely because these representational practices have become ' common-sense' that we find it difficult to recognize the buried colonialist epistemologies that are carried with them and the manner in which they serve to naturalize power relations generated by colonialism. I begin the next section with the representational practices of a company holding tenure rights in Clayoquot Sound - MacMillan Bloedel - in order to show how they displace the 'forest' from its cultural surrounds and resituate it in the abstract spaces of the market and nation. I then turn to the late nineteenth century texts of the geologist George Dawson, an important figure in the production and dissemination of knowledge about BC. By placing his texts in relation to those of MacMillan Bloedel it may be possible to suggest continuities between a colonial past and a postcolonial present and thereby undermine the assumption that colonialism belongs only to an unfortunate 'ugly chapter' of Canadian history. 9 Following the release of the Ombudsman's report, an interim agreement was signed between the central region tribes of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and the provincial government that essentially incorporated the Nuu-chah-nulth as co-managers of certain regions. Interim agreements are increasingly prevalent as First Nations and the provincial government seek ways to manage resources on the traditional territories of various First Nations during the often lengthy negotiation of treaty settlements (see Wolfe-Keddie, 1995). 39 Abstracting timber, displacing culture: staging 'pure' spaces of economic and political calculation in the temperate rainforest British Columbia's environmental conflicts are today played out in a highly mediatized terrain in which actors vie for 'public opinion'. Appropriately, then, I begin my discussion of contemporary 'itineraries of silencing' by turning to a cultural artifact drawn from the midst of these media wars. 'Custodians of the forest': the rhetorics and rights of access of transnational capital Technological rationality...protects rather than cancels the legitimacy of domination (Marcuse 1964). Beyond the cut (Figure 2.1) - my first exhibit in this story of nature and its representatives - is a public relations document in which the forest industry conglomerate MacMillan Bloedel (MB) seeks to legitimate its authority as the forest's 'custodian' in the face of strong criticism of industrial forestry as practiced under advanced capitalism.1 0 The document is one of several that the company has produced; it is attractively packaged, and organized in an easy-to-read format that mixes glossy photographs, graphics and written text (including boxed quotes from scientific 'experts'). What intrigues me, however, is not this format - which is ubiquitous today - but the two 'invitations' that this document offers readers and through which MB's authority is built. The first is an invitation to evaluate MB's forest management practices. The second, implicit in the first, is an invitation to forget the colonial histories which have made MacMillan Bloedel's position as 'custodian' possible. It is the second that enables the first to be taken up as 'common-sense' by the reader. I will trace both in turn. 10That MacMillan Bloedel has come to represent corporate forestry in BC is the result of a number of factors: it is one of the only large corporations working in the forest today that began as a local firm (and thus is highly identified with the province, and closely tied to various stages in the development of the forest industry, including its internationalization); its forest tenures include some of the most spectacular stands of 'old growth'; these same tenures are accessible to Vancouver residents; and, it has at different times publicly challenged environmentalists, resulting in considerable media exposure. 40 ;ure 2.1: Cover of Beyond the Cut (MacMillan Bloedel n. 41 The booklet opens with a statement by Ray Smith, then President and CEO of MacMillan Bloedel. At MacMillan Bloedel we are proud of our history of forest management in BC - we believe that we are among the best in the world when it comes to forestry practices and integrated resource management. We asked British Columbians about their views on managing and using the forests in this province, and we are now convinced that M B shares the same constructive values, concerns, and expectations for use of the forest resource as do the majority of people living in the province. We are committed to manage our forestlands in the best interests of the public (p. 1). Smith's statement sets the tone for the remainder of the document, where in a seemingly selfless act of 'corporate responsibility', M B turns the spotlight of public scrutiny on its own practices. This emphasis on management is in large part a response to critics who claim that the forest industry in BC is ecologically destructive and unsustainable (Hammond 1991; Drushka, et al. 1993), but as I demonstrate below, it also carefully delineates what is at stake and whose voices can be considered authoritative in BC's forest disputes. Organized thus, MB's public relations initiatives frame forestry issues in terms of scientific expertise, efficient production, and corporate responsiveness to 'public concerns'. The first is achieved through a rhetoric of 'expert', 'scientific' management. The booklet is filled with photographs of experts at work. "MB road engineers", readers are told in a caption beside a photograph of road builders, "know that poor road construction practices can cause erosion and mud build-up in streams." Photographs depict environmental scientists engaged in research "in the field", or in the "lab", or working with "computer simulations" (Figure 2.2) - all privileged sites of 'authority' in Western cultures of science (Haraway 1989). Other photographs depict "high tech greenhouses" which grow "genetically superior offspring", 'assisting' rather than 'destroying' nature, while tables and graphs provide the reader with extensive 'technical' information about the forests and 42 (CXENO is a family of computer simulation programs that help MB's foresters do their jobs more effectively. Y-XENO simulates forest growth from seedlings to harvcslablc trees in just 15 minutes. Foresters provide the model with basic information about the site and the kinds of silviculture treatments they zvish to test. For each option, it predicts the number, size, and volume of trees per hectare at ten-year intervals. Simulation can help the foresters decide which treatments offer the best return on the investment.}} Sieve Northway, Resource Analyst, Woodlands Services Figure 2.2. Framing forestry. Technical rationality as legitimation. 43 forest management. L U P A T - a Land Use Planning Advisory Team - is introduced as a crack-team of "environmental specialists" with expertise in "soils, wildlife, fish, water resources, and growth and yield projections". Other experts, we are assured, are consulted about "recreation and aesthetics". Finally, the corporation notes that it consults with the state at every level: BC Forest Service; Ministry of Environment and Parks; Heritage Branch; and the federal department of Fisheries and Ocean. Similar strategies are evident in the company's visitor centers in Port Alberni and Tofino. Here displays, models, audio-visual presentations and interactive exhibits detail MB ' s forest management cycle, invite visitors to 'test their knowledge' of temperate rainforest ecosystems, or, as does one computer game, interpolate visitors as corporate forest managers whose natural objective is to maximize profits through rational management practices (the moral in the game, of course, is that this is possible only by understanding and accounting for 'nature').11 In the case of MB's forest management cycle display, the focus is held firmly on scientific expertise, documenting the careful assessment and diligent monitoring necessary to develop ecologically sensitive 'site-specific' plans. For example, the display informs visitors that after harvest "a site treatment plan is prescribed based on consideration of soil depth and texture, the amount of wood debris, and the species and health of small trees already growing on the site." Like a kind father holding a child's hand in the strange, chaotic and bewildering public spaces of the city, M B guides urban visitors through the equally alien spaces of the 'working forest'. Indeed, after visiting the center, visitors can take a company-led tour of its tenure lands, seeing 'outside' the center what the company so carefully enframes 'inside'. What makes this representational strategy effective is what Jiirgen Habermas (1971; 1972; 1987) has described as the 'splitting off of expert cultures from the lifeworld, such that communicative action becomes truncated or colonized by systems-imperatives. 1 1 MB makes 'learning' about the forest and forest practices 'fun'. Further, this public face allows the company to appear 'open and honest', subverting the widely held belief that major decisions about BC's forests occur behind closed doors and that forestry companies are not forthright about their intentions. 44 Questions of politics and legitimation are therefore displaced from the social realm ('value' or moral reason) to technical realms (instrumental reason). Likewise, instrumental action becomes estranged from what Habermas calls 'enlightened action' and thus technique comes to be established itself as 'value' such that rationality (as technique) is no longer 12 critique but the basis of legitimation. The issue then is not whether MB's scientific credentials are solid but how instrumental reason becomes a surrogate for moral or political reason. Placed together with aesthetic displays of forest renewal (inverting the 'before' and 'after' photos that the environmental movement has used so effectively) these rhetorics permit the company to narrate a comforting story of rational management and temporary disturbance of a 'public resource'. The message is unmistakable: M B holds the most advanced knowledges and employs 'state-of-the-art' technologies; left to the company the forest will be renewed, if not improved, for future generations. In conjunction with this technical discourse, M B also sets out to demonstrate that it is managing the resource in the best interest of the public. This takes two forms: first, showing that the company obtains the greatest 'value' from the resource (efficiency); and, second, demonstrating that the company is responsive to other non-timber forest values (responsibility). The first is accomplished by drawing direct links between MB's activities and the consumer demands and economic health of the province. Thus, M B explains that its operations are in a sense 'necessary' since it is simply meeting society's basic material needs by "grow[ing] and harvesting] trees and turn[ing] them into quality forest products that help satisfy society's need for communication, shelter and commerce" (p. 2). In other publications, M B emphasizes its contributions to employment and government revenues, showing itself to be indispensable to the provincial economy. Likewise, in a recent series 1 2 Habermas's argument is first articulated in Towards a Rational Society (1971) and Knowledge and Human Interests (1972). Here Habermas develops an argument that knowledge is grounded in two quasi-transcendental cognitive interests: social labour and social interaction. The first is organized around instrumental action (and thus involves the realization of a technical interest that relies on 'empirical-analytical' sciences). The second is organized around communicative action (and thus involves a practical intent that relies on historical-hermeneutical sciences). Problems arise when technical interests come to replace practical interests. 45 of T V ads, the company responds to criticisms that it is more interested in achieving windfall profits by liquidating forest resources and selling them as raw material or as primary manufactured goods than in contributing to the further development of the provincial economy. By focusing on new 'value-added' products like Microllam and Parallam (laminated veneer lumber, and parallel strand lumber respectively), which can use fiber from 'less-than-perfect-trees', the company demonstrates that it is committed to obtaining ever new and increased 'value' from the forest resource. As important, by using plantation timber in shorter rotations, or trees that were previously underutilized or left as 'waste', the company can give the impression that its practices will result in less pressure on the region's 'old-growth' forests. MacMillan Bloedel, we are assured at the end of its ads, is 'making the most of a renewable resource'.13 Finally, the company demonstrates its responsiveness to public concerns. In its publications, it notes that it incorporates public input, opens 'its' forests to multiple users, and goes far beyond its legislated responsibilities in preservation of forests and wildlife habitat. We are assured that the company holds the same concerns as the average citizen about preserving areas of "special importance". "The forests of British Columbia" we read, "are a great source of pride and concern for the people of the province. No one wants to see them decimated or devoted exclusively to timber production." (p. 12). M B therefore cooperates with government agencies in preserving examples of old-growth forests in areas of special beauty and in critical wildlife habitats. Thousands of hectares of forestland on Vancouver Island, it claims, have been transferred from M B ownership or licence tenure to parks and ecological reserves, while logging in other "sensitive" or "aesthetic" regions has been deferred indefinitely. At the end of the day, M B appears as the public's trusted spokesperson, possessing the most objective knowledge and advanced 13The question of 'waste' in timber harvesting has long been a contentious item. Initially it became an issue for conservationists worried over the long-term sustainability of harvest levels (Hays 1959). More recently the 'gospel of efficiently' has taken a new turn. Environmentalists argue for increased efficiency and wood recovery (both in the forest and in mills) as a way of reducing the area needed for industrial forestry. 46 technology, and mediating - in a 'disinterested' manner - between the claims of various "interest groups". As custodians of the forest, M B protects, cares for, and renews this great resource for the benefit of present and future generations.... The company's forestry policies are based on achieving an optimum balance for all users taking into account economic, recreational and environmental factors (p. 2, italics mine). In a world of competing demands and uncertain economic and ecological futures, MacMillan Bloedel knows best. Normalizing the forest: public fictions and national displacements. Questions of forest management are vital, but this is not the place to debate the sustainability of current forest practices, nor to ask whether MacMillan Bloedel has been a good 'steward'. These are important questions, but to convene debate only in these terms would be to accept the first invitation without recognizing the second invitation that accompanies it - the invitation to forget the colonial histories that enable and legitimate present-day constructions of authority in the temperate rainforest. How is it that the forest appears in MB ' s publications, visitor centers and T V ads - and in much 'public' debate over forest management - as a purified space of economic and political calculation (containing visual, ecological and economic resources) without any other competing claims'? Why should this appear so 'natural'? Why is it 'common-sense' to debate rights of access to forest resources in terms of technical expertise and the strategic interest of the 'nation' without any acknowledgment that other 'nations' - First Nations like the Nuu-chah-nulth - may dispute these territorial claims? In turn, how is it that MacMillan Bloedel (or, for that matter, BC's Ministry of Forests) appears as the forest's legitimate custodian? What dynamics lie behind and establish this authority? Perhaps more to the point, how is it that in BC a discourse of resource management (bound to a new and powerful meta-narrative of sustainability and tied to the administrative space of the nation) has been constructed and 47 institutionalized in a conceptual and administrative space entirely separate from another, unmarked, but certainly not unrelated, management discourse that never appears in these discussion, yet which by its absence naturalizes the abstract space of the Canadian state and economy: the demarcation, segregation, management and administration of native communities and lands? These are difficult questions, but we can begin our inquiry into this invitation to forget by returning to Beyond the cut, and by paying attention to the absences and silences that structure its narrative. To begin, MB's rhetoric of accountability can be seen to pivot on the mobilization of a potent (and often necessary) political fiction - the 'public'. MB ' s authority appears legitimate because the company is seen to be meeting the standards of rational management, economic development and ecological sustainability that the 'public' demands. As Bruce Robbins (1993) notes, in Western democracies the 'public' has often served as a rallying cry against private greed, propertied interests, and corporate and bureaucratic secrecy. But it equally has served to further silence already marginalized groups (Fraser 1991; Polan 1991). In this case, constructing and appealing to a 'public interest' serves M B well. Through it the company is able to posit a singular body politic, situate the reader within it, and thus assume a unified, collective interest in the forest which all readers, on sober reflection, must share. This allows the company to draw an important equivalence: the health of the resource is by extension the health of the province and its 'citizens'. Any challenge to MB's authority becomes by extension, a challenge to the well being of the province's population. Legitimacy is thus framed in terms of who is the best manager of the resource. This merits further attention. Not only does this rhetoric flatten out any difference within BC society - in this case rendering native concerns either illegitimate, or at best, only one of many 'special', and thus self-serving rather than common, interests - but it enacts an important erasure that in many ways structures and enables the company's representational practices. What remains completely unmarked in MB's publications, T V 48 advertisements and visitor centers is a subtle maneuver whereby the 'land', the 'forest' and a commodity, 'timber', are simultaneously abstracted and displaced from existing local cultural and political contexts, and resituated in the conceptual space of the 'nation' and its 'public'. The forest that the M B document discusses is at once any forest and no forest at all: it appears simply as a pure space of economic and political calculation that exists only as a ground and raw material for the self-creation and rational management of the nation-state. With the exception of a small map that superimposes MB's forest tenures over the 'empty' space of the province, MB's forests are devoid of specificity - geographical or historical. Emptied of cultural histories, the forest becomes a unit governed by natural history, and thus is free to be subsumed into a discourse of resource management and tied to the administrative spaces of the province, rather than the local lifeworlds of its native inhabitants. Framed solely as 'resource' landscapes, places like Clayoquot Sound are at once ^territorialized and reterritorialized as the 'nation's' forest, divided into units (Tree Farm Licenses), allotted to lease-holders (like MB) and subjected to rational management (computerized models, scientific and economic rationalities) so as to produce 'sustained yield' through rationalized 'forest rotations', all part of the administration of a national 'population' and 'economy' (Figure 2.3). Indeed, in one of the many ironies found in BC's forests, foresters and economists today refer to this rationalized forest as the 'normal' forest.14 In short, it is the absence of any cultural claims to the forest - rather The normalization of nature in forms of modern power remains undertheorized. Michel Foucault (1979; 1980), for instance, rarely looked beyond human subjects, bodies and institutions, but clearly the normalization of 'life' that he documented with such brilliance - its ordering and disciplining through modalities of power, knowledge and spatiality - extends to and incorporates not only human subjects but 'nature' itself. The regulation of populations and economy in BC required not simply the exploitation of the 'forest' but its construction in discursive practices that at once constituted, rendered available and rationalized the 'forest' within an administrative apparatus, making it adequate for models of social and ecological productivity. The relation between modernity, modernization and nature has generally been discussed in terms of the domination (even death) of nature in the face of instrumental reason (Leiss, 1972; Merchant 1980). One of the problems with such work is that it assumes that modernity marks a transition from harmony with, to exploitation of, nature. While the scale and intensity of nature's production by human societies has certainly changed, an argument can be made that what differentiates premodern from modern relations with nature is not harmony vs. domination so much as different knowledges and technologies that articulated nature as a social object and made it available to economic and political calculation in new ways. 49 Figure 2.3. Diagram of forest management practices. By convening debates in forestry around the management of the resource the forest is constructed as an abstraction separate from its social, cultural and ecological contexts. Sustaining the yield in the normal forest . cut over 50-60 50-60 30-40 20-30 A mm 20-30 lit Year 1 30-40 20-30 10-ZO ill 50-60 Cut Over 50-60 * X 0-10 0-10 30-40 Year 10 20-30 40-50 cut over 10-20 10-20 0-10 A A A A A A 0-10 40-50 Year 20 S t a n d age (years) Figure 2.4. Normalizing the forest. Sustained-yield forestry is perhaps the clearest articulation of the abstraction of 'timber' from its cultural and ecological surrounds, remaking nature in the image of an undifferentiated 'public interest'. 50 than the positive discourse of scientific management - that makes MB's claim to 'custodianship' transparent. In this light, the 'normal forest' (Figure 2.4) so dear to BC foresters is much more than a model of the most 'rational' means of forestry, it is also perhaps the most clear articulation of the abstraction of 'timber' from its cultural surrounds and relocation within temporal and spatial logics that have no 'intrinsic' relation to local native communities. As one critic has noted in relation to the Clayoquot Sound dispute, MB ' s forest planning maps impose an entirely different 'cultural geography' on the landscape, erasing and displacing already existing territorialities (Ingram 1994). Ecologists have argued that the 'normal' forest is in many respects 'abnormal', but this is not my primary concern. (Nor do I share belief in a 'normal' forest that can be si(gh)ted independent of regimes of knowledge - even the science of ecology). Rather, in the midst of a putatively 'post-colonial' context, I argue that this abstraction displaces discussions of authority from questions of territory, tenure and rights of access (and their constitutive colonial histories), and convenes them instead - precisely through the normalization of the 'forest' and its integration into the administration of the 'nation-state' and regulation of 'society' - around questions of rational management and conservation. In this way it is not rights of access but the economic and ecological details of the 'normal' forest that are at stake. MB ' s rhetorics assume a priori the juridical, political and geographical space of the nation-state and ignore its historico-geographical constitution (and contestation). By staging the nation-state as accomplished rather than continually articulated, the Tree Farm Licenses which M B holds, and the 'normal' forest it manages, are rendered transparent and thus 'common-sense'. In a neat symmetry, what M B authors, authorizes M B . Detached from their local cultural relations, it becomes a short step to see these territories as empty and public lands ('wilderness'), leased to transnational companies for the 'benefit' of the general population. In light of incomplete decolonization in British Columbia, such rhetorics risk re-inscribing colonial relations, erasing present-day First Nation struggles 51 over sovereignty' and ignoring their continual assertion that what appears as 'wilderness' in one rhetoric is a highly cultural landscape in another. Assuming the fixity of these 'national/natural' spaces (and their staging as an abstract 'void' and normalization within a 'national economy') is, I suggest, a bad epistemic habit, one that simultaneously incorporates and renders invisible the colonial histories through which these spaces have been constituted and naturalized, and which in turn authorize certain voices - resource managers, bureaucrats, nature's defenders - to speak for nature. Unthinking neo-colonial 'cultures' of nature: genealogies of 'wilderness'. Focusing attention on the presence of the colonial imagination in today's post-colonial society is not a gesture of ahistoricism - on the contrary. Problematizing historical distance and analyzing the way streams of the past still infuse the present make historical inquiry meaningful (Mieke Bal 1991:34). If the genealogist refuses to extend his faith in metaphysics, if he listens to history, he finds that there is 'something altogether different' behind things: not a timeless and essential secret, but the secret that they have no essence or that their essence was fabricated in a piecemeal fashion from alien forms... .What is found at the historical beginning of things is not the inviolable identity of their origins; it is the dissension of other things. It is disparity. (Foucault 1977:142). It is to these colonial histories and practices that I now want to turn. MacMillan Bloedel's 'authority' is built, in part, by establishing the forest as a 'natural' and 'public' resource. But this is facilitated, in turn, by a history of 'seeing nature' on Canada's West Coast that is itself both colonial and, perhaps more important, colonizing. In other words, the authority of corporate capital today is related in important ways to historical practices of imagining, representing and purifying 'natural' landscapes. As I will argue, these practices permitted 'natural' spaces to be apprehended apart from forms of native territoriality. Wedded to a Western metaphysics of truth, such representations could be seen as revealing the 'real' structure of the landscape. By showing the mechanics of the 52 production of this rhetorical space called 'nature', it becomes possible to write a genealogy of 'nature' as the absence of culture ('wilderness') in late twentieth century British Columbia, and possible also to destabilize claims of authority that are built on this absence.15 I will be necessarily selective; to wnthink the neo-colonial assumptions buried in MB ' s text, I enlist the writings of George Dawson, a geologist and amateur ethnologist, who traveled the coast with the Geological Survey of Canada in the 1870s and 1880s. By reading Dawson's texts against the grain, the fixity of this national/natural space - and its representation as a non-humanized hinterland - appears less certain, its construction as such, upon which subsequent 'rights' of access are built, made visible at the moment of its emergence. Displacements: bounding the 'native' and producing 'nature'. Dawson's travels coincided roughly with the years that the federal Indian Reserve Commission (IRC) was allocating and demarcating Indian Reserves in the province. This makes Dawson's texts particularly significant. It is the reserve commissions that cartographically inscribed colonialist discourse onto the territory of the province; bounding, within a quasi-legal discourse, the space of native villages and beyond their extent, positing an empty nature open to settlement or enterprise. This in turn has authorized subsequent depictions of BC as a 'resource landscape' rather than a 'cultural landscape'. Considerable attention in BC historiography has focused on the Indian Land Question, debating the relative 'generosity' to the Indians of successive colonial administrators, and later, after the colony joined Canada in 1871, specific provincial and federal authorities (Fisher 1977; Tenant 1990). However, as Gayatri Spivak (1990) reminds us, administrative practice presupposes an irreducible theoretical moment. In other words, practices such as those of the IRC occurred not simply through administrative fiat, but were made possible through a series of 15Foucault (1977) develops his notion of genealogy to trace the 'emergence' of objects and identities in the present, rather than understanding these as pre-existing their construction. 53 discursive practices by which a 'space' of administration could appear, and that at once invited and legitimated the actions of administrators. The cartographic inscription of colonialist rhetoric in the 'reserve' was prefigured and facilitated by a more general textualization, which included not only the appearance of written records, but also the emergence of a sense of order and totality through the production and dissemination of knowledge pertaining to the land and its inhabitants. In this way a 'landscape' could be known and made available. As a scientist, Dawson appears 'disinterested' rather than a colonial apologist. That is, his texts assume to provide an objective account of what existed in the landscape, quite apart from the social and political contexts in which he traveled and wrote. Thus his texts provide a valuable window onto the extent of a colonialist visuality that at once ordered and naturalized BC's natural/cultural landscapes, and at the same time underwrote the bounding of native territories and the shape and future direction of state policy. What I wish to trace in Dawson's work, then, is the process by which the 'land' was made to appear as 'nature'; a space that held no signs of 'culture' and therefore could be appropriated into the administrative space of the 'nation'. This occurred, I will argue, not through the denial by Dawson and others of native claims to the land (Dawson personally suggested the opposite) but through a series of representational practices that at once located and contained a native presence, dividing west coast territories into the 'primitive' spaces of native villages, and the 'modern' spaces of the emerging Canadian nation. Dawson's official writings took the form of survey reports for the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). These surveys fulfilled one of the conditions that the colony of British Columbia attached to union with the Dominion of Canada in 1871: that geological surveys be made of the new province's 'domain'. Several scholars have shown the significance of the geological survey in the development and spatial extension of the Canadian nation. Zaslov (1975) notes that the survey was a prime instrument in "pushing back the frontiers" and that it was in many places the "first arm" of the Canadian 54 government. More recently, Keller (1987) has tied the formation and activities of the GSC more closely to imagined geographies of a 'trancontinental' Canadian nation, and also to utilitarian concerns for national economic development. Both, however, view the survey primarily as a process of enumeration; documenting, through careful observation, the wealth of the new nation. This the survey certainly was. But it was also much more. The GSC not only enumerated, but brought a particular mode of intelligibility to bear on the landscape. This was no mere accounting, it was a means of simultaneously staging and availing, a way of producing 'spaces of visibility' (Rajchmann 1988; Gregory 1994) and by extension 'spaces of /^visibility' that in turn authorized the activities of certain actors.16 The outline of Dawson's (1880) report on his 1878 explorations in the Queen Charlotte Islands (located north of Vancouver Island) makes the construction of spaces of visibility/invisibility in the practice of enumeration abundantly clear. Like most GSC reports, it begins with a general description of the islands - a bird's eye view that situates them in relation to the rest of the nation, and provides a general outline of their physical geography - coastline, harbours, rivers, mountains, and so on. This provides readers with a general 'frame' that relates and incorporates the landscape as a component of the 'nation-state' and can then be filled with more detail. Subsequent chapters and appendices locate and describe the islands' geology, Indians, zoology, and botany - divisions in the text which apparently 'mirrored' what could be 'found' in nature. Plants, animals, Indians, rocks - each were separated and evaluated as discrete entities which, in turn, could be further subdivided, providing, through the 16The erasure of native presence - textually and physically - occurred in many ways, and was in any case uneven across the Americas. Historians of the American West, for instance, have emphasized how the frontier mythology was central to the removal of native people from their lands (Drinnon 1980; Slotkin 1985; Limerick 1987; Limerick argues that this continues to underwrite American imperialism.). In Canada, this mythology did not take hold in any comparable way. Regardless, what I trace here is not the evacuation of the 'real' into 'mythology' (and thus into the realm of the 'untruthful'), but the very ways that locating the 'real' or the 'truthful' through representational practices became aligned with colonialism. In a sense the subtitle to Drinnon's book - 'the metaphysics of Indian-hating' - captures this conjoining of knowledge and power in the marginalization of natives, even if his account does not work directly with this constellation of ideas. 55 enumeration of the 'parts', a picture of the 'whole'. Geological observations, for instance, were divided into further classifications: Triassic; Cretaceous coal bearing; Tertiary; and glaciated and superficial deposits. Likewise, Dawson's notes on the Haida distinguish and analyze physical appearance, social organization, religion and 'medicine', the potlatch and distribution of property, folklore, villages and population. Through the construction of particular circumscribed knowledge domains these landscapes were encountered, organized and enumerated. More than enumeration, Dawson's survey also stood as a remarkable case of 'anticipatory vision'. At the time he undertook this task, the white settler population in BC was still outnumbered by natives, and, further, this settler population was clustered almost entirely at the extreme SW corner of the province (Galois and Harris 1994). Beyond its extent the land was still known and experienced through native territorialities and temporalities. The survey therefore embodied and inscribed a national teleology on a landscape that, although bounded by the cartographic abstraction of national borders, had not yet been rationalized in relation to them. Yet these boundaries - however abstract -were of great significance. As Benedict Anderson (1991) persuasively argues, it is only subsequent to the demarcation of a 'national territory' that surveys like Dawson's could become part of the accounting ledgers of the nation. Only subsequent to this bounding could 'interiors' appear 'empty' and available to be 'f i l led' . 1 7 In a series of telling metaphors, Robert Brown, an explorer on Vancouver Island who preceded Dawson by fifteen years, makes this anticipatory filling explicit. It was the intention...that we should strike through the unexplored sections of the Island, carefully examine that tract as a specimen, and thus form a skeleton to be filled up afterwards (Hayman 1989:9) It is no accident that Dawson first traveled to the west coast as part of a joint British and American survey of the international boundary between Canada and the United States. 56 Later, Brown described the findings of his explorations as "tests of the whole" (Brown 1869), by which the regions between his traverses could be "judged". At more than one occasion he fantasized of its future transformation at the hands of settlers: The trail from Victoria to Comox crosses the Quall-e-hum River close to the coast, and an extension of this would form a transinsular road connecting coal miners of Nanaimo and the farmers of Comox with the wild savage of Nootka, Klay-o-quot [Clayoquot] and Barclay Sound (1864:25) Likewise, Dawson (1880a:38) speculated in the Queen Charlottes that "before many years extensive saw-mills will doubtless be established....The quality of the spruce timber is excellent, and beside the immediate shores of the harbour, logs might probably be run down the Naden River from the lake above." Both Brown and Dawson assumed and enacted the bounded space of the colony and nation respectively, reproducing in a speculative fantasy what had already been accomplished elsewhere in the Americas. The GSC, then, and Dawson's writings more specifically, must be seen not only as an enumeration, but also, quite literally, as a means of national in-corporation - constructing and filling the 'body' (skeleton) of the 'nation' (specimen); inscribing this corporeal fiction - and its territorializations - onto west coast lands. Significantly, in the colonial context, the in-corporation of the nation (as a body) and the 'visualization' of its 'internal structure' involved also a fundamental division and displacement. This occurred in two ways. First, at the same time that the skeleton of the nation was being given flesh, it was also anatomized - divided into its component parts. The divisions of the survey introduced categories by which the land could be known and appropriated. Second, by constructing discrete entities - minerals, trees, Indians - these could be apprehended entirely apart from their surrounds, dis-placing and re-situating objects within quite specific, but very different, orders of signification. These processes of division and displacement can be seen in Dawson's journals. In these, Dawson recorded observations and kept a daily account of his movements, including descriptions of the social and technical mediations that made his movement and his scientific observations 57 possible: people he met, how he traveled, where he stayed, who acted as his guides, instruments used, measurements made, and so on. On the reverse side of his journal pages, Dawson occasionally inserted details that he had missed. More often, Dawson used these blank spaces to write a second 'parallel' text. In this he elaborated upon aspects of the physical landscape or native culture. Much of the information found on the back of these pages was later incorporated into his 'scientific' texts on the geology, resources and native cultures of the west coast, but it is the organization of these parallel texts that is of interest. Some passages dealt exclusively with geology or botany, others only with native culture, while yet others synthesized both into an enumeration of different aspects of the country (but even here - like in his reports - the two identities were rarely brought into relation; natives appeared as yet another element to be documented). One example will suffice. From August 8, 1878 to August 10, 1878, Dawson, accompanied by his brother Rankine, an Indian guide named Mills and the crew of the schooner Wanderer traveled from Skidegate to Masset, along the east and north coast of Graham Island. On, August 11, the day following his arrival in Masset, Dawson attended church, dined with the missionary Mr . Collison, read recent newspapers, and "wrote up notes". The events of the four days are duly recorded in his daily journal entries. On the reverse, two parallel texts are found. The Coast between Skidegate & Masset, in Potlatch. Mr . Collinson gives me some some respects resembles that between additional light on this custom. Cumshewa & Skidegate. A bare open stretch with no harbour & scarcely even a When a man is about make a potlatch, Creek or protected bay for Canoes or boats, for any reason, such as raising a house for long distances. The beach is gravelly & &c. &c. he first, some Months before sometimes coarsely stony to a point near hand, gives out property, money & c , windbound camp of track Survey. Beyond So much to each man, in proportion to this it becomes sandy, & though not without their various ranks & standing. Some gravel continues generally of Sand, all the time before the potlatch, this is all way to Masset. returned, with interest. Thus a man receiving four dollars, gives back six, Lawn Hi l l is evidently Caused by the & so on. A l l the property & funds thus outcrop of volcanic rock described in field collected are then given away at the 58 book, is probably Tertiary. Beyond this for some distance, & including the region about Cape Ball, cliffs, or low banks of drift-clay, & sands characterize. They are generally wearing away under the action of the waves, & trees & stumps may be seen in various stages of descent to the beach. In some places dense woods of fine upright clear trees, are thus exposed in section, & there must be much fine spruce lumber back from the sea everywhere. Very frequently the timber seen on the immediate verge of the cliffs, & shore is of an inferior quality, rather scrubby & full of knots. The soil is generally very Sandy where shown in the cliffs, or peaty in bottom places where water has Collected. Sand hills or sandy elevations resembling Such, are seen in some places on the cliffs, in section, & there is nothing to show that the Soil away from the Coast is universally sandy, but the fact that the upper deposits of the drift spread very uniformly & are of this character. Further north the shore is almost everywhere bordered by higher or lower sand hills, Covered with rank Coarse grass; beach peas, &c. &c. Behind these are woods, generally living though burnt in some places. The trees are of various degrees of excellince, but most generally rather undersized & scrubby. This part of the coast is also characterized by lagoons, & is evidently making, under the frequent action of the heavy South East sea. potlatch. The more times a man potlatches, the more important he becomes in the eyes of his tribe, & the more is owing to him when next some one distributes property & potlatches. The blankets, ictus &c. are not torn up & destroyed except on certain special occasions. If for instance a contest is to be carried on between two men or three as to who is to be chief, One may tear up ten blankets, scattering the fragments, the others must do the same, or retire, & so on till one has mastered the others. It really amounts to voting in most cases, for in such trial a mans personal property soon becomes exhausted, but there an under-current of supply from his friends who would wish him to be chief, & he in most popular favour is likely to be the chosen one. At Masset last winter, a young man made some improper advances to a young woman, whose father hearing of the matter, was very angry, & immediately tore up twenty blankets. This was not merely to give vent to his feelings, for the young man had to follow suite, & in this Case not having the requisite amount of property, the others of his tribe had to subscribe & furnish it, or leave a lasting disgrace in the tribe. Their feelings toward the young man were not naturally, of the Kindest, though they did not turn him out of the tribe as they might have done after having atoned for his fault. Totems are found among the indians here as elsewhere. The chief ones about Masset are the Bear & the Eagle. Those of one totem must marry in the other. (Cole and Lockner 1993:57-59) 59 In one text we find an enumeration of the 'wealth of nature'. Here the sciences of botany and geology play a large part. Specimens are located and related in space. Physical processes are described and possibilities for establishing communications (or lack thereof) duly noted. In the parallel text Dawson describes native peoples, their customs and behaviour (and, on other occasions, their villages). This appears, quite literally, as a turning of Dawson's gaze from one 'object domain' to another. The same separation is found is his photographs: native villages and individuals on the one hand, geological sites 18 and landscape vistas on the other. So, while indigenous peoples were at once described in great detail - their physical features and cultural forms documented and enumerated -they were simultaneously detached from the landscape, which could then be subsequently encountered and described as devoid of human occupation. In other words, Dawson distilled the complex social-ecological worlds of his travels into neat unambiguous categories: primitive culture and pristine nature. No relations are drawn between the two. Instead, the former is contained within the 'village', fixing a native presence in 'place', while beyond the bounds of the native villages, Dawson filled the blank spaces of the imperial map with the coloured spaces of geological and botanical maps (Figure 2.5). Indeed, the science of geology in the nineteenth-century was uniquely suited to these practices of abstraction and displacement. The late eighteenth and early nineteenth century has seen a slow shift among natural historians from collecting mineral specimens to developing a science of geological formations (Rudwick 1996). This shift was facilitated by two related developments. The first - the discovery of strata in the early nineteenth century - permitted geognosists to identify and locate formations. The second -the association of specific fossils with specific formations - allowed further refinements in the practice of correlation (the identification of given formations with its equivalents in other regions or even other continents, or, in other words, the 'long-distance' correlation l8Dawson's photographs are collected in the National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. 60 Figure 2.5. Geological Map of Skidegate Inlet. Source: Dawson (1880) (.1 of rock formations). While these developments had no necessary relation with either colonialism or imperialism (although certainly both facilitated the global nature of geological fieldwork), they allowed geology to be aligned with colonialism in important ways. So, while geology appears merely the 'innocent' language of 'nature' it is possible to locate in its knowledges the possibility for these to be articulated with colonial practice. To begin, the new science of stratigraphy permitted geologists to develop chronological orders and three-dimensional maps of the layered rocks of the earth's crust. The geological map became the centerpiece of an emerging visual language that displayed boundaries of rock strata according to a colour scheme keyed to the 'stratigraphic column'. In other words, these maps permitted the viewer to 'see' both the areal and vertical (sequential) structure of any one area. In turn, the science of correlation permitted the geologist to draw distant places into relation. These 'visual technologies' allowed what Latour has called an 'optical consistency'. Without it, the layers of the earth stay hidden and no matter how many travelers and diggers move around there is no way to sum up their travels, visions and claims. The Copernican revolution...is an idealist rendering of a very simple mechanism: if we cannot go to the earth, let the earth come to us, or, more accurately, let us all go too many places on the earth, and come back with the same, but different homogenous pictures, that can be gathered, compared, superimposed and redrawn in a few places, together with the carefully labeled specimens of rocks and fossils. (Latour 1986:15). In short, far away places could be related and compared. The science of correlation gave geology (and empire) a global reach; if the presence of coal or a certain mineral was associated with a sequence of strata at one site it was reasonable to expect the same presence at another.19 Equally as important, accompanying this new focus on stratigraphy 19Writing in the Canadian Pacific Railway Report, Dawson (1877:227,234) notes of western anthracitic coals that, Valuable deposits may, however, yet be found in the carboniferous formation proper of the far west; and where, as on some parts of the west coast, the calcareous, rocks of this age are largely replaced by argillaceous and arenaceous beds, the probability of the discovery of coal is greatest. I believe, indeed, that in a few localities in Nevada, coal shales, used to some extent as fuel in the absence of better, are found in rocks supposed to be of this age. The discovery of certain fossils in 1876 in the limestones of the lower Cache Creek group 62 and correlation were new notions of geological time. Human history, it was becoming evident, was put a brief final chapter in a far longer story. This worked further to prise apart human occupants of a given territory and the geology of a region. Nature existed as a separate global 'system' that could be known and related apart from its inhabitants and thus incorporated into imperial structures of knowledge and practice. The extension of geology's visual technologies was therefore in many ways simultaneously a means of annexing new territories into domains of Imperial science, and into Imperial modes of political and economic rationality. Dawson's geological maps exemplify this 'geological imagination', drawing those spaces 'outside' the primitive spaces of native villages into new visual regimes which saw the land in terms of stratigraphy and geological time, 'revealing' an 'environmental architecture' that could be appropriated as yet new frontiers for capital (Figure 2.6). In turn, the enterprising settler, armed with a rudimentary knowledge of geology, could 'read 20 the rocks' according to an assumed plan, and indeed was encouraged to do so. Dawson himself would go on to write texts about Canada as a "field for mining investment" (1896), and create provincial maps of the region's "important trees" (1880b) - important not for native inhabitants, but for the nascent forest industry. What we find in Dawson's writings, then, is the unveiling of nature's 'plan', a plan which both preceded and lay external to a now allow these, and probably also the associated quartzites and other rocks to be correlated with this period....Rocks of the same age with the coal-bearing series of the Queen Charlotte Islands are probably present also on the Mainland, where fossils indicating a horizon both somewhat higher and a little lower in the geological scale have already been found, and apparently occur in different parts of a great conformable rock series. 'A British Colonist (Victoria) editorial from July 27, 1863 makes this explicit, Every school in the colonies where boys are taught should make these branches [geology and mineralogy] part and parcel of its curriculum. Small cabinets of rocks and ores could be easily made or imported for the purpose of giving the pupils a practical acquaintance with the subject matter of those sciences....The mountains, the hills, and the rocks of the island and the mainland would be no longer trodden over in ignorance without attention....Combining this acquaintance with theory they may learn from books, they would in their prospecting tours be alive to metaliferous indications, and would no longer walk blindfolded, passing unconsciously material for untold wealth, as must now be often the case (De Cosmos 1863:2) 63 a. b. b. a. FlO. 1—POINTE AU NORD DES ILES DE LA PlERRE-A-ClIAUX, MONTRANT LA DISLOCATION ET LES FAILLES DES ASSISES, a. Caleaire. b. Lits volcaniques contemporaiiis. s.w. N. E.. HHS 8! It 1 III i i I a. b. c. b. c, b. c b. F i o . 2 COUPE DE HOCHES TRIASSIQUES, ANSE DE LA SECTION, ILE BURNABY. a. Matiere volcanique conteiuporaine. b. Calcaires et argilites. c. Dykes et injections, Echelle, dix pouces au mille. Figure 2.6. Nature's architecture. Cross sections of regions near Limestone Islands and Burnaby Islands off Queen Charlotte Islands. Source, Dawson 1880. 64 native presence and which would be fulfilled only through the judicious mixing of European (Canadian) capital and labour. The appearance of natural order and the ordering of nature's appearance. Dawson's texts suggest the possibility of writings genealogies of unmarked categories such as 'nature', the 'land', and the 'nation', genealogies that find in these inviolable identities numberless histories and marginal events. But they also help clarify how colonizing power works. As Timothy Mitchell (1988) notes, the illusion of representations like the survey, the journal or the map, was that they appeared to be without illusion: they were faithful to the 'things' represented, promising complete and certain knowledge (even if this was continually deferred, as Robert Brown (1869) noted, leaving "details" to "more minute after inspection"). This promise allowed readers (and writers) to apprehend an appearance of order that was thought to emanate from nature itself, rather than from the ordering of natural appearances in representational practices. Reading the survey only as a more-or-less accurate 'record' within a story of progressive European acquaintance with west coast lands, obscures the manner that the survey enframed the land within regimes of visibility. It is important to be clear about what is meant by this. What is at issue is not questions of accuracy. Dawson's surveys did not get it wrong; they did not misrepresent. Rather, they produced an 'effect' of truthfulness that was tied to a metaphysics which assumed that behind representation lay an order that representation continually approached. Through the hold of this metaphysic, the survey could be taken as approaching 'nature' itself, effacing the particular technologies of vision through which it was produced and finding in the 'order' of representation the order of 'reality' itself. Dawson's surveys and journals did not invent objects and landscapes in flights of fancy. These were material practices that engaged material worlds. Rather, in rendering the land visible the surveys constructed from what was encountered an ordered scene that could be read. Such practices, as Paul Carter (1987) notes, were not simply textual, but 65 highly material; they did not leave the land untouched. Instead they actively dis-placed and re-situated landscapes within new orders of vision and visuality, and within regimes of power and knowledge that at once authorized particular activities and facilitated new forms of governmentality. It was only after the land was staged as a 'theatre' of 'nature', after all, that it could be made available to political and economic calculation.21 Significantly, the production of 'nature' in colonial discourse did not occur through a straightforward erasure of native presence. In Dawson's texts (as in others of his time) indigenous 'populations' were identified and described in great detail. This presence, however, was ordered and contained in a discourse of 'primitive culture': a culture that lay outside, and had no place in, the unfolding history of the modern 'nation'. At the same time that Dawson placed native peoples 'on view', he displaced them both temporally and geographically from their surroundings. Concurrently, Dawson described a national (physical) landscape consisting of certain geological and botanical entities, containing certain landforms and waterways, and subject to particular climates and meteorological phenomena. What resulted, then, was a textual and spatial separation of the 'tribal' village from the 'modern' nation. Native village sites became tied to a traditional, ahistorical culture, and separated from a surrounding landscape that was figured, in turn, as a field for the enterprise of a dynamic modern culture. Colonial discourse in this instance did not zlCultural geographers have recently placed considerable attention on 'reading' the landscape as a 'text' (Duncan 1990; see also the edited collections by Cosgrove and Daniels 1988; Barnes and Duncan 1992). This has had the important effect of shifting attention away from the previous concerns of cultural geographers with mapping the material transformation of 'natural' landscapes into 'cultural' landscapes by successive culture groups, and instead has drawn attention to the cultural construction of landscape through contested practices of signification. Demeritt (1994), drawing on Latour and Haraway, has recently criticized the 'new' cultural geography for locating agency wholly in humans (or the 'social'). I share Demeritt's concerns (although caution that the agency of non-humans - animals and machines - can never be marked apart from a further set of contested practices of signification). However, I find the new cultural geography problematic in other ways. First, by its almost exclusive focus on 'cultural' landscapes, it has left unexamined how so-called 'natural' landscapes have themselves been constructed and contested. Second, and perhaps more important, by presuming the landscape as a 'text' to be decoded, much attention has been given to 'interpreting' landscapes and less attention paid to how the 'landscape' is made to appear as a text to be read in the first place. In this section I have sought to demonstrate how landscapes are made intelligible. Although focusing on different 'mechanisms' of landscape production, I share Mitchell's (1994) desire to retain within the concept of landscape a clear focus on "how landscapes are produced and in what ways they structure social action" (p. 10). 66 erase, it displaced. Erasure occurred, to be certain, but not through lack of attention. Rather it occurred in the movement/translation between different orders of signification. Only subsequent to this original displacement did it become a matter of course to represent BC's natural landscape with no regard to its original inhabitants. By the time Judge Sloan wrote his Report on Forest Resources in 1945 - a document that in many ways is responsible for the present form of forestry in BC - this erasure was a constitutive but invisible aspect of 'forest epistemology' in the province. The 'forest' stood as an entity entirely separate from its inhabitants and thus subject to other administrative and political objectives.22 Sloan saw the forest as a single system and could therefore generalize and extend a model of sustainable forestry - and accompanying tenure system - across the entire extent of the province's known exploitable forest resources. Perhaps more than any other single 'act' since the separation and segregation of First Nations on a 'reserve' This is encapsulated well in an analogy that appears early in Sloan's (1945:19) text. If there were a mountain near Vancouver with a gently ascending slope, the climber would find as he progressed upwards that beyond the 2,000-foot line a gradual change in the forest species was encountered. He would notice the Douglas fir was thinning out and the stand was now made up of cedar, hemlock, and balsam, in that order of importance. Still climbing, he would find himself in a forest of hemlock, cedar, spruce, and balsam. Higher up his forest would now be hemlock, balsam, spruce, and cedar. Soon the cedar is left below and the hemlock, spruce, and balsam remain in that order. Should he persist in his climb, he would get into scrub and non-commercial mountain species. Now, let us conceive of our gradually ascending slope, not as a mountain near Vancouver, but as the coastal plane of the province, stretched out from south to north. Let us assume our climber is traveling north up the latitudes instead of up the mountain. He would come upon the same general classification of forest-cover in the same order of species as he encountered on our imaginary Vancouver mountain. Judge Sloan's passage is more than merely metaphorical. Although Sloan quickly returns to the more prosaic language that we associate with Commission reports. Yet, on closer examination, his analogy merits further attention. This is so not because Sloan simplifies what in reality is a complex biogeography (i.e. Sloan abstracts 'trees' from their ecological surrounds). Rather, what concerns me is what lies buried in this analogy, or, to say this differently, the absent presence that allows this metaphorical language to do the work it is being asked to do. The issue here is not that Sloan's mountain is imaginary. Rather, like MB's promotional literature, Sloan's text asks its readers to see the forest in a particular way; Sloan extends an invitation to see the forest as an abstract category. Further, in a fantasy of transcendent vision, we are invited to extend this to the whole extent of the coastal plane. Thus, Sloan's reader is able to apprehend the forest as a whole, and to assume that what is 'out there' corresponds with what is found in the text. Thus, what Sloan maps -metaphorically, and, in the years that followed quite literally - is a landscape that is full of 'timber' (and the bio-physical factors that support trees) but devoid of people. By staging the forests in this way, Sloan was able to generalize a model of sustainable forestry - and an accompanying tenure system - across the entire extent of known exploitable forest reserves. Sloan's metaphor is thus central rather than supplemental. 67 system in the late 1800s this would work to 'isolate' Native peoples like Simon Lucas and the Nuu-chah-nulth from their physical surrounds. For Sloan to unproblematically rationalize the forest in this manner, however, required first that it be made available as an 'empty space' of 'wilderness'. Here lies the significance, in the present, of rereading historical texts like Dawson's. Mary Louise Pratt (1992) has argued that this displacement of the 'native' from their physical surroundings was a common trope in nineteenth-century travel writings produced by Europeans moving through the 'primitive' spaces of Africa and the Americas. As Pratt notes, scientific accounts - like Dawson's - did not exist in a realm apart from imperialism and European expansion, they actively facilitated both. "Natural history", she writes, "extracted specimens not only from their organic or ecological relations with each other, but also from their place in other people's economies, histories, social and symbolic systems" (1992:31). In Dawson's texts, native peoples were spatially 'fixed' at certain sites -usually villages or resource procurement sites - and surrounded solely by what appeared as the empty space of nature. Across this empty space primitive peoples only 'moved', leaving little trace of occupation or, in the same discourse, few claims of possession. As people possessing only a transient, undisciplined gaze, it could be assumed that they had no real knowledge of the tremendous riches that lay upon or beneath the "face of the country". In this way, Pratt writes, the Americas were re-invented as "a primal world of nature, an unclaimed and timeless space occupied by plants and creatures (some of them human), but not organized by societies and economies; a world whose only history was the one about to begin." (1992:126) Dawson's textual divisions and rhetorical displacements were, in effect, agents of deterritorialization, rendering invisible existing relations between native peoples, their immediate surroundings and the complex cultural/political institutions that organized these relations. In turn, other notions of property and ownership particular to European societies could be inscribed over the extent of the territory and institutionalized in legal and political discourse. 68 Indeed, there is an entire institutional/administrative history to the construction of 'natural/national' space. I have deliberately not focused on this here. The separation of the 'land' and its 'resources' from native peoples and their communities and its relocation into the abstract space of the nation is not solely, or even primarily, the result of juridico-political statements and public administration (colonialism proper). Nor are neo-colonial practices today solely the result of administrative policy (i.e. forest tenure systems). The conditions of possibility for modern Tree Farm Licenses - abstracted as ahistorical, rationalized, spaces - are multiple and disparate. In part, they were prefigured and facilitated in the manner that the BC landscape was encountered and described by explorers, travelers, scientists and settlers and the cultural, economic and institutional forms that were subsequently inscribed and reproduced in BC society. "The act [practice] of language" Paul Carter (1987, 144) notes "[brings] a living space into being and render[s] it habitable, a place that [can] be communicated, a place where communication [can] occur." This is an important point to make in the political present. In legal struggles today, and in recent "government to government" negotiations, First Nations must always deal with the question of 'evidence' for native claims. Most commentators on native 'dispossession' have debated colonial policy and legal pronouncements. (Tenant 1990) While this is important for tracing the quasi-legal apparatus of dispossession, it fails to sufficiently identify the many ways that past colonial policy (and administrative practices today) relied upon and incorporated representational practices that as a matter of course already depicted the land through colonialist rhetorics which narrowly circumscribed notions of native territoriality within a larger narrative of the emerging nation, nor how present practices normalize the hierarchical power relations generated by colonialism. The displacement that occurred in the 'spatial writings' of settler societies rendered invisible existing territorializations, making the land appear "as Eden". This was, figuratively and materiality, the "worlding of a world on a supposedly uninscribed territory, part of an imperialist project which had to assume that the earth that it [re]territorialized was in fact 69 previously uninscribed." (Spivak 1990: 1). MB's public relations materials re-enact much the same erasure. Native land rights have been notoriously difficult for Western colonial cultures to see. Indeed, countering colonialism's 'itineraries of silencing' - both historical and contemporary - was a central task faced by the Gitksan and Wet'suwet'en in their early 1990s land claims case (See Monet and Skan'nu 1992; Solnick 1992). If these founding rhetorics and territorializations are left unexamined, then past colonial authority appears legitimate, and by extension, so also does the authority claimed today by transnational forest companies. By noting that dispossession occurred not simply through legal pronouncements, but also, and primarily, through a visuality that at once geographically located and spatially contained native presence (and therefore authorized European claims to an empty land), a narrative that sees the land as unoccupied can be contested and dismantled, creating a conceptual space within juridico-political discourses in which past and present forms of native territoriality and possession might be made visible. Producing marginality To conclude, let me return to the figure of Simon Lucas. In British Columbia today, Royal Commissions on Forest Resources and discourses of resource management seem far removed from a colonial past. They are about trees, about abstracting the most value from them, and about doing this in the 'best interests' of the 'public'. The experience of Simon Lucas and the Nuu-chah-nulth suggest that behind these identities lies something entirely different. This chapter has raised a series of questions surrounding the relation between a colonial past and a supposedly postcolonial present. The result has been to place in question what is included or contained in the term 'postcolonial', an issue to which I will return at the end of this work. The 'isolation' of Simon Lucas can also be used to help rethink the production of marginality. As I have shown in this chapter, the marginalization 70 of subaltern groups does not simply originate in administrative processes and state policies. It is not solely the product of unequally distributed abilities to wield allocative and authoritative power in juridical-political fields. As important as policy is for the implementation of colonialist practices (even today after the end of 'formal' colonialism), such policies and processes cannot be fully understood or resisted without paying attention to their conditions of possibility, or, in other words, to the discursive practices that underwrite and legitimate their authority. In short, the figure of Simon Lucas suggests that we need to re-orient both how we understand marginality and where we locate processes of marginalization. To begin, marginality does not refer foremost to a spatial category (as in writing from the margins). To write marginality as a spatial category risks essentializing the margin as a site that exists 'outside' or 'prior to' its discursive production, and which is subsequently excluded from, made subject to, or incorporated within forms of power. Marginality is produced in and through colonial discourse and practice. In the words of Seshadri-Crooks (1995:60), it refers to that 'constitutive negativity' that makes 'positive knowing' possible - to that which must be excluded from the frame for identities to appear coherent and complete. However, this does not mean that space is incidental. As is evident in the writings of George Dawson and in colonialist forest practices, marginality was produced precisely through the representation and production of space. It was through the discursive and spatial separation of native peoples from their lands, for instance, that 'wilderness' is able to appear as an object in and of itself, an identity whose constitutive 'outside' becomes visible and contestable in the figure of Simon Lucas. This has important implications for where we locate the production of marginality and how it might be disrupted. To begin with policy and administration is to overlook what Gayatri Spivak (1990) calls the 'theoretical moment' presupposed in these - the marking and regulation of difference such that subjects are interpolated within discourse as subordinate and without agency, while others are bestowed with both agency and 71 authority. In other words, colonialism can be seen to have been, and continues to be today, a product of signifying practices and productions of knowledge that legitimate authority. As Nicholas Thomas (1994:2) explains, Colonialism is not best understood primarily as a political or economic relationship that is legitimated or justified through ideologies of racism or progress. Rather, colonialism has always equally importantly and deeply, been a cultural process; its discoveries and trespasses are imagined and energized through signs, metaphors, and narratives; even what would seem its purest moments of profit and violence have been mediated and enframed by structures of meaning. Colonial cultures are not simply ideologies that mask, mystify, or rationalize forms of oppression that are external to them; they are also expressive and constitutive of colonial relationships in themselves. Thus, rather than focus on state policy, histories of forest-tenure, or legal judgments to explain why, in the words of a witness to the Task Force on Native Forestry, First Nations live as 'prisoners in their own lands', it is equally as important to interrogate the representational practices which have worked to abstract the 'forest' from its cultural 'surrounds' and subsequently re-situate it within very different cultural and spatial logics. As I have shown, such practices authorize very different spokespeople to 'speak for' the forest: no longer traditional 'owners' and 'stewards' (such as articulated in the Nuu-chah-nulth system of hahuulhi24), but rather forestry corporations, professional foresters, economic planners and environmentalists.25 It should also be noted that by employing such an approach I depart in significant ways from the current fascination in British Columbia with 'round tables' on the environment, which assume that such arenas provide possibilities for 'ideal speech situations' (see Mason 1996). Although these arenas do often increase possibilities for participation they do not by themselves mitigate the relations of power that are inscribed into public debate through the categories and identities by which conflicts are organized and understood. By establishing their resolutions as products of 'open' public processes, existing relations are often legitimated. 24Hahuulhi is the name given by the Nuu-chah-nulth to the system of resource ownership, control and use practiced by its various constituent groups. Resource procurement sites were owned by individual chiefs and this was recounted and reinforced in oral traditions during feasts and other cultural gatherings. Along with ownership came certain responsibilities (see Scientific Panel 1995a). 25The abstraction and displacement of the local into the global has become a well rehearsed theme and it is not only aboriginal communities that are marginalized by such processes (see Hecht and Cockburn, 1989). However, in the case of British Columbia, for this abstraction and displacement to proceed a native presence must be at once erased or marked in ways that de-link indigenous peoples from their surrounds. This occurs in different ways from the marginalization of other social groups. 72 Seen in the context of current political struggles by First Nations, writing the 'war in the woods' as in part a crisis of representation does not reduce it to 'mere' philosophical or literary concerns. On the contrary, it insists on the political significance of representation. This is an especially important argument to make today when First Nations, in their struggle to seek redress for past colonialist practices (dispossession of lands, the physical separation and segregation of native peoples on reserves, the paternalistic administration of 'native affairs' through the Indian Act, and so on), must also confront a growing non-Native backlash that has girded itself in the seductive rhetorics of liberalism and which questions why First Nations should be granted 'special privileges' to which no others are 'entitled', or which might limit the individual 'freedoms' of non-native 26 Canadians. This backlash, I argue, is underwritten by the presumed self-evident nature of identities such as the 'nation', 'property', 'wilderness', and the 'public good'. In other words, a whole series of cultural practices prevent Canadians from seeing native 'rights' as pre-existing the 'nation-state' and impede recognition of how the 'fixity' of the Canadian nation-state is achieved precisely through this constitutive absence. Our constructions of 'nature' play an important role in this. As I showed in this chapter, with each representation of the forest as only a 'resource landscape', unrelated to the colonial production of space, an existing native presence is marginalized, and in a sleight of hand, the forest appears as an uncontested space of economic and political calculation that has neither a culture nor a history. In such an 'empty' space no other claims than those of the 'nation' and its 'public' are seen to exist. This has had important effects. Not only have native peoples in the past derived few benefits from the activity of extractive capital on their territories, but in recent years discussion over the fate of the forest has been convened within a logic (jobs vs. environment) that seems common-sense, but which has worked to yet again marginalize This has recently become the rhetoric of the BC Liberal Party. 73 First Nations. As important as this binary staging has been for bringing attention to bear on the consequences of forest modification, the responsibilities of forest users, and the problems inherent in maintaining a sustainable forest industry and sustainable forest communities, it has also worked hand-in-hand with, and indeed relied upon, the marginalization of voices that do not 'fit' either of the positions ascribed. In the next chapter I explore the other side of this binary code. 27Baudrillard (1984) argues that this sort of 'regulated opposition' comprises both the form and content of politics in highly mediatized societies, without which the singular collapses under its own weight. If this^ is true, First Nations in BC face two 'cultural' obstacles: historical practices that rendered natives invisible;1, and, a mediatized culture in the present which makes it difficult for the articulation of multiple perspectives 74 CHAPTER 3 "SAVING CLAYOQUOT": ENVIRONMENTALISM, COLONIALISM AND THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF NATURE Blockades and the spatial and temporal logics of the normal forest Since Judge Sloan's report in 1945, industrial forestry in BC has followed the spatial and temporal logics of sustained-yield forestry. The principle involved is simple - harvest only the amount necessary each year such that once the entire forest has been logged once, it consists of a regular age distribution of even-aged stands and a second rotation can begin. In practice of course, determining the rotation period has proved difficult, dependent upon adequate knowledge of inventories, and on a variety of economic, ecological and technological variables that determine at what age and in what areas it is viable or desirable to harvest. Two consequences merit attention. First, sustained yield policies assume that over time the entire 'working forest' will be remade in the image of a single commodity: timber. Second, there has been a predictable geographical (and political) pattern to this production of nature. In each sustained-yield unit harvesting has generally begun with stands nearest to manufacturing centers. As these were depleted and networks of roads extended into outlying areas, more remote forests were brought into production. This left distant areas 'untouched' until the final stages of the first rotation. Today, few unlogged regions remain, but those that do often appear 'pristine'. Since 'modified' landscapes are considered by many to be 'unnatural' (see Chapter 6), the result is that the 'end of nature' on places like Vancouver Island appears imminent: industrial forestry now appears on the verge of 'liquidating' the last vestiges of 'ancient rainforest'. Yet, these unlogged forests have been part of the economic and social equation of forestry in BC for many years. Without them the spatial and temporal patterns of forestry are disrupted and thus so also are its social logics. Predictably then, valley-by-valley conflicts between forest-dependent 75 communities and environmentalists have sharpened with the final stages of the forest's normalization. Speaking for nature. In the 1980s logging began to push further into the "wild side" of Vancouver Island.1 With each valley entered, the scale of conflict increased. Carmanah, Walbran, Tsitika; for many in British Columbia these remote valleys have become household names. Until 1993, what had previously seemed only an accelerating series of local conflicts spilled into the international arena as thousands of activists arrived at the blockades set up to halt logging activity in Clayoquot Sound, one of the last and largest regions of temperate rainforest that remained 'intact' on the Island. As I noted earlier, on most days the blockades delayed the progress of loggers by only a matter of minutes. Yet all recognized that this was in many ways immaterial, for with the blockades, BC's environmental movement showed that what was crucial was not whether in the short term the trucks rolled on, but whether the images produced were suitable for consumption and circulation in the mediatized circuits that have become such important local/global sites of political contestation at the end of the twentieth century. By staging the logging road confrontations in the ways that they did, environmentalists clearly recognized the changing configuration of public spheres within what one commentator has called the global "mediascapes" and "technoscapes" of advanced capitalism, and adopted strategies appropriate to these new social spaces. Through the production of scenes that could be filmed and readily disseminated on network news broadcasts; through computer bulletin boards and networks of electronic mail; and on other occasions by choosing as the site of protests large cities such as San Francisco, Bonn and London, the movement 'The designation 'wild side' used by environmentalists refers both to the grandeur of the region's natural forces (it is exposed to the Pacific) and to the limited scale of development in the region, in comparison to the east side of the island facing Georgia Strait. 2Arjun Appadurai (1990) coins these terms in an attempt to locate the new terrains of social identity and political struggle emerging in the media circuits and technologized spaces of our global cultures. See also Thompson (1995). 76 appropriated spaces of publicity and built a constituency in and across disparate geographical locations, strategically mimicking the same circuits of capital and consumption that have so quickly remade much of BC's environment in the image of a single commodity: timber.3 Such spatial and representational practices are today highly effective local/global tactics of resistance. As a recent cover of Canada's most popular newsmagazine declared (not without some anxiety), in many ways the world was watching (Figure 3.1).4 Rather than focus on the shifting contours of 'publicity' in global media and transnational public spheres, their significance for political strategies, or the specific tactics employed by BC and international environmental groups, in this chapter I raise a series of more immediate questions about the manner in which 'nature' in Clayoquot Sound has been represented by environmental groups within these local/global public spaces, and, subsequently, the way that the environmental movement has built its authority to speak for nature in the region. As I hope to show, in the politically charged context of 'postcolonial' British Columbia, representing nature and speaking for nature is never innocent, but always bound up with cultural histories and cultural politics. A deceptively simple image from the 1993 summer of protest can set the stage and clarify the issues in question. In this scene a male protester is dragged off the barricades by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. As he is dragged in front of the news cameras he seizes the moment: "Here I stand for the wild things who have no voice in our courts, our boardrooms and our politics. I speak for the wolves, the trees, and eagles." 3 One of the most effective transnational strategies used by BC's Green movement has been to make visible the ecological relations of consumption for various forest products. Greenpeace, for instance, has been highly successful in its campaign directed at the readers (and publishers) of German newsmagazines, resulting in many publications switching to alternate paper sources. 4 The globalization of BC's environmental conflicts has raised a number of important questions ranging from how conventional social and political identities like 'nation', 'community', 'citizenship' and 'sovereignty' are reconfigured by new spaces of publicity, who is included and who is excluded from these spaces, and the effects on local political autonomy when the 'local' is displaced into 'global' circuits of information, images, commodities and capital. Residents of local forestry-dependent communities, for instance, have expressed resentment at the intervention of 'outsiders'. 77 Figure 3.1. "The World is Watching". Cover of Maclean's Magazine, August 16, 1993. 78 This statement can be read at various levels, and for various ends. Most immediately, it is a conscious and effective tactic of resistance made by an individual fully aware of its potential reproduction and circulation in the global spectacle of television news. It is without doubt, dramatic. More substantively, the protester's statement also articulates an important political and moral challenge that locates, questions and undermines how limits to moral and legal discourse in our public cultures have been drawn.5 Around what figures do we organize responsibility? How do we define these boundaries? Who and what has rights? To what does our 'democratic imaginary' extend? Further, the statement displaces the dominant economic rationalities that have organized life in the region and asserts in their place the priority of ecological relations.6 In short, the protester seeks to give voice to a 'mute' nature - those 'wild things' that have conventionally been figured within Western humanism only as inert and voiceless 'resources'.7 Thus the significance of the Clayoquot blockades should not be underestimated as an important challenge to the 'ecology' of Western capitalism. Yet, as important as such statements are, they are problematic, for - as writers like Donna Haraway have shown - it is impossible to imagine a site from which speaking for nature is not also a staging of nature. In short, the claim to 'speak for' presupposes both the constituency represented - in this case 'nature' - and the authority of the representative. Perhaps neither should be so readily assumed. As I did in the previous chapter for the literature of MacMillan Bloedel, in this chapter I explore one way that BC's environmental movement builds its authority to 'speak for' nature. As I 5This is similar to the arguments of animal rights activists and eco-centric theorists who question the way that notions of responsibility to the 'other' have been narrowly circumscribed around the figure of the 'human', despite the evident problem of separating this figure from an 'ecological' context and the always unstable boundary between the 'human' and 'non-human'. See Eckersley (1992). 61 explore the ecologization of nature more fully in Chapter 6. 7This is consistent with much "green" thought that finds in western industrialized societies a narrow instrumental relation to the non-human world. See Naess (1989). Against this instrumental reason is posited a holistic or spiritual relation which is assumed to be more primary or original. See Devall and Sessions (1985). Others have questioned the possibility of transcending instrumental relations, arguing that our understanding and experience of nature is always bounded in language and practice, suggesting instead that all that can be fostered within these power-charged fields is an ethical relation to the non-human. These questions are addressed in the collection of essays edited by Bennett and Chaloupka (1993). 79 hope to show, the question of 'saving Clayoquot' opens up into a set of larger issues relating to the boundaries that we draw between 'nature' and 'culture' and between the 'traditional' and the 'modern'. On these much turns. Siting/sighting the natural/cultural. This chapter proceeds by relating and comparing two specific 'sightings/sitings' of landscapes in Clayoquot Sound.8 The first is a popular and widely distributed book of photography published by a local environmental group in the context of its fight to 'save' Clayoquot Sound from industrial forestry. The second is a map from an archaeological study produced in the context of a land-claims trial in the same area. Both documents construct landscapes for viewers. But, as I hope to show, they authorize very different spokespersons for 'nature' in the region, and license very different political projects. Much hinges on how 'nature' and 'culture' are represented and related. As will become clear as I proceed, the presence of First Nations in BC's 'wilderness' has proven problematic for BC's Greens, and has resulted in representational practices and political commitments that are often both complex and contradictory. Before proceeding, I should note that this is a cautionary tale which I tell with a certain reluctance, lest it be used to dismiss the legitimate ecological concerns of the environmental movement. Theoretical purity can be a dangerous game when it undermines the identities that ground political agency. The inherent risk is that such a critique may be used by forestry interests in a way that minimizes an ecological critique while at the same time buttressing the assumed 'value-free' rhetorics of 'benevolent management' and 'community stability' deployed by the forest industry. It is precisely these rhetorics that 8I use the dual term sight/site to intentionally foreground representation as involving both 'seeing' and 'making objects to be seen' (Shapiro 1993:129). In this first sense, 'sight' refers also to the corporeality of sight, positioning representation resolutely in the historical, em-bodied viewer, rather than prior or external to the particular historical, social, political and technical dynamics within which observers are constituted (Crary 1990). The second sense - site - refers to the historical practices by which 'things' come into presence as visual objects. By writing of vision as the product of many practices, the still widely-held belief that seeing is both passive and transcendent can be shown to be ideological since it refuses to acknowledge how vision is located and enabled in specific material and discursive practices. 80 transnational capital has used so effectively to link their continued control over the region's forests to the future economic and social health of forestry communities. And it is these also that have proved so effective for constructing and maintaining antagonisms between labour and the environmental movement whereby labour becomes enrolled by capital to resist changes to forest practices or reductions in land-areas open to industrial forestry. In this rhetoric, any reorganization of BC's forest-land tenure system, changes to methods of industrial production, redistribution of the ownership of the means of production, or protection of forest areas becomes closely articulated with the deeply held fears of forest workers about continued security of employment and community and family stability. My objectives are different. I agree fully with the calls currently made by BC's Greens for a broader sense of responsibility and accountability in our modifications of physical environments and support the alternative narratives that these groups put forward that re-inscribe nature in terms of a series of interdependent relations rather than detached and abstracted commodities. My reservations lie instead in the unintended cultural politics that these narratives incorporate. Deconstructing narrative is not a detached or disinterested practice; it engages that which is close at hand (and heart), identifying critical absences and enabling moments in order to locate other possible worlds where current practices of • marginalization have a less secure hold. "Blasphemy", Donna Haraway (1991:149) writes, "protects one from the moral majority within, while still insisting on the need for community. Blasphemy is not apostasy." If this chapter is blasphemous, it is so in order to contribute towards a reflexive environmentalism that carefully considers what is gained and lost in commonly deployed languages of nature. Defending nature: Clayoquot: On the Wild Side9 The 'after-effects' of colonialism - as I showed in Chapter 2 - continue to infuse the activities of extractive capital and state-economic planning. Indeed, the situation in BC is 9Adrian Dorst and Cameron Young, Clayoquot: On the wild side, Vancouver, 1990. 81 not unique within Canada. From Clayoquot Sound in BC to the Great Whale hydro project in Quebec, race, colonial histories and staples development have been closely intertwined (Cohen 1994). In each instance, the explicit environmental racism has been contained and naturalized in practices that abstract and displace resource commodities from cultural contexts. Many First Nations speakers have argued precisely this point, that the economic exploitation of nature-as-resource has tended to rely on, and reproduce, colonial relations in B C . Recently, native groups have begun to ask whether the same might be said of environmentalist rhetorics articulated in the defense of nature? To what extent does the defense of nature merely reverse rather than displace the staging of nature-as-resource in staples economies? This question was recently brought foreword forcefully in criticisms leveled by George Watts during the European tour of the BC Premier in February 1994, who argued before German Greens and the German media that the environmental movement is guilty of its own forms of neo-colonialism.10 To explore Watts' complaint I return to the same 'media wars' from which I drew my material in the last chapter in order to tell another, different story of 'nature' and its 'representatives'. On the wild side: showcasing Nature. Clayoquot: On the Wild Side (Figure 3.2) is one of the most popular coffee-table books published by the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. Consisting of both photographs and text - both significant in their own right -it is the 160-odd photographs that grace every page which are clearly asked to bear the 10Premier Harcourt's tour of European cities was intended to forestall a boycott of BC forest products which Greenpeace had threatened to organize. Watts' statements became the most provocative aspect of the trip, and the most widely reported back in British Columbia. The 'accuracy' of news reports and Watts' own position as a Nuu-chah-nulth spokesperson - Watts is a former chair of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council -came under considerable attack from both natives and non-natives in the days and weeks that followed. Regardless of how either issue is answered, Watts' comments brought to the fore the problem of conflating two very different political struggles - environmentalism and anti-colonialism. Similar issues surfaced again in the summer of 1996 when members of the Nuu-chah-nulth asked Greenpeace to withdraw from the Sound, after the organization planned road blockades without first obtaining the approval of native leaders, (see Hamilton 1996). 82 Western Canada Wilderness Committee Figure 3.2. Cover of Adrian Dorst and Cameron Young (1990) Clayoquot: On the Wild Side. Vancvouer: Western Canada Wilderness Committee. 83 narrative burden.11 Like the representational strategies of National Geographic, the text and the photographs hold no necessary relation (see Lutz and Collins 1993); both can be viewed/read independently of the other. By paying close attention to the textual strategies employed, we can begin to recognize and subvert situations where environmentalism is articulated with colonialist representational practices. Taken as a whole, the book - not unlike MacMillan Bloedel's literature (see Chapter 2) - is an attractively packaged, visually arresting collection that follows a time-tested formula. Indeed, photographic collections have been used effectively to mobilize support for the preservation of certain landscapes (usually 'wilderness') in the United States and Canada since the 1930s when the Sierra Club first published Ansel Adam's photographs in its struggle to preserve Kings Canyon, California from resource development (Turner 1991). It is important to note, however, that photographs - even in documentary photography - do not 'mirror' nature; they actively construct landscapes that observers are invited to grasp as the 'real'. As John Tagg (1988:8) notes, The photographer turns his or her camera on a world of objects already constructed as a world of uses, values and meanings, though in the perceptual process these may not appear as such but only as qualities discerned in the "natural" recognition of "what is there" ... The image is therefore to be seen as a composite of signs ... Its meanings are multiple, concrete and most important, constructed.12 So, although Clayoquot: On the Wild Side disrupts the representational logic of extractive capital, it does not necessarily reveal an essential 'reality' that is obscured behind the commodity form. Rather, it invites the viewer to engage the landscape of Clayoquot Sound in highly selective ways. In itself this is not a problem - it is the nature of all representational practices. But it means that rather than accept these photographs as a nCameron Young makes exactly this point in his own "personal statement" in the introductory pages. "This is Adrian's book, a testament to his commitment to the wild side of Vancouver Island. Over the years he has assembled a spectacular portfolio of wilderness photographs of the coast, and believed that a selection of this work might reach a wide audience with a fundamental message: the remaining wilderness areas on the west coast of Vancouver Island are in urgent need of protection... .1 was honoured when asked to write the supporting text" (p. 6). I 2For further critical discussion of photography, see Barthes (1981) and Sontag (1977). 84 transparent reflection of 'nature itself we should read such images as texts that at one and the same time are organized through a particular optic and actively construct what counts as 'nature' and 'culture' in this landscape. In short, Dorst's photographs constitute and organize a 'field of vision�