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Sunday walks and seed traps : the many natural histories of British Columbia forest conservation, 1890-1925 Brownstein, David 2006

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S U N D A Y W A L K S A N D S E E D T R A P S : T H E M A N Y N A T U R A L H I S T O R I E S O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A F O R E S T C O N S E R V A T I O N , 1890-1925 by David Brownstein B . E . S . , The University of Water loo, 1995 M . E . S . , The University of Water loo, 1997 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F D O C T O R O F P H I L O S O P H Y h T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Ju ly 2006 © David Brownstein, 2006 A b s t r a c t British Columbia amateur natural historians were among the most vocal advocates of scientific forest conservation at the turn of the twentieth century. They were uniquely positioned to document the environmental changes that their colonial society had brought to the province and their observations enl ivened them to petition government to control these changes. In response to the appeals of such individuals as J a m e s Robert Anderson (1841-1930), John Dav idson (1878-1970), and Char t res Cec i l Pember ton (1864-1945), government embraced the empirical theories of Prussian Forstwissenschaft. However, the forest botany that complemented these forest mensuration techniques (and necessary to implement sustained-yield forestry) did not survive the trip from Europe intact. Upon creation of the B .C . Forest Branch in 1912, staff adopted natural history techniques to make sense of, and then manage, the provincial forests under its control. The natural historians and the foresters were thus joined by the causeway of ecology as it was then emerging in North Amer ica. It was over this ecological bridge that traffic flowed back and forth between the old scientific culture of the natural historians and the new North American forestry. The Branch initially pursued a brand of egalitarian science whereby each and every employee was responsible for compil ing policy-relevant sample-plot observations. A lack of trust between headquarters and those in the field changed this strategy and gave rise to a different geography of expertise, with the consequence that the original structure of scientific interaction became obstructed from historical view. By jettisoning the idea that the science that underpinned early forest management was solely an homogenous uptake of European Forstwissenschaft, we allow for different (and often competing) scientific cultures to exist at the same time and in the same place. W e can also better understand the naturalists' influence upon and their eventual marginalization by the Forest Branch and its nascent phi losophy of sustained-yield. The thesis explores each of these themes by way of chapters on scientific culture in British Columbia; three quite different botanists; and research as practised by the British Columbia Forest Branch. ii Table of Contents Abstract ii List of Figures v List of abbreviations vii Acknowledgements viii Dedication x Introduction 1 The traditional account 1 The traditional account scrutinized — 3 A n alternate interpretation of the same events 6 1. Scientific Culture in British Columbia and beyond 13 Formative relations between foresters and natural historians 13 Natural History in context 15 A nascent plant Ecology: Natural History categories meet Physiological p rocesses 18 Science in the Canadian Civil service 25 Sc ience in the provinces: The Natural History Society of British Co lumbia — 26 Natural History in Vancouver 34 Summary 37 2. Duelling Herbaria: James Robert Anderson and the British Columbia amateur naturalist tradition 38 Early life and Natural History Interests 38 A Venue within which to explore his interests 43 The Relationship between Agriculture and Trees; Natural History 45 Land-clearing and large-scale vegetation change 49 Forest Policy 53 Government ambivalence, boundaries revealed, and value in retrospect — 60 The Work of a Lifetime, and Summary 68 3. The "Moses" of British Columbia Botany, or John Davidson and the Vancouver Natural History Society 75 Early life in Scotland 75 A new start in British Columbia , 81 Activities of the Botanical Office 87 Abolition of the Botanical Office, a "wasteful economy" 117 Natural Historians and Urban Reformers 124 Natural History, Political Engagement and the "Watershed War." . . — 128 Davidson 's Publ ished Output 135 Summary 137 iii 4. An Odd Study of Tree Stumps: Chartres Cecil Pern be rt on and the Natural History Society of British Columbia 140 Introduction 140 Biography 140 Pemberton's Pre-war Scientific Activities 145 Creating a Network 145 Extending the Network 167 Building the network South 173 Summary of Pemberton's Pre-War Scientific Activities (1913-1916). . . 177 Pemberton's Laboratory, Tree Cross-sect ions and the First World War 178 The Forestry Co rps 179 Back home in British Columbia 187 Pemberton in Print 194 Graft for Profit, biological engineering 206 Twining Conifers 210 Pemberton the Forestry Advocate 213 The Conclusion of a Botanical Career 218 Summary 220 5. "Spasmodic research as executive duties permit," or Practice and Authority in the British Columbia Forest Branch 224 Introduction 224 The Government-Forest Relationship in British Co lumbia 224 A n argument for forest conservation 230 The British Columbia Forest Branch 236 The Forest Branch structure in practice 238 Federally sponsored research 240 Provincially sponsored research 248 After the War: or, if you want something done properly you have to do it yourself 256 The first dedicated researchers 262 Limited sites, a call for experiment stations 269 The further demarcation of scientists from administrators 276 Conclusions 279 Bibliography 286 iv List of Figures Figure 1-1. Relation of Mensuration to Other Subjects in Forestry. 5 Figure 1-1 Natural History Society of British Columbia on Little Saanich Mountain near Victoria, circa 1895 ' .' 27 Figure 2-1. J a m e s Robert Anderson, son of A . C . Anderson, c a 187? 39 Figure 2-2. Mr and Mrs J .R . Anderson 's home, Victoria, c a 1883 42 Figure 2-3. J .R . Anderson on Gonza les Hill, Victoria, as taken by an unknown photographer, c a 1915 69 Figure 2-4. Meeting of the Provincial Entomological Associat ion, January 1913, in the Provincial Legislature, Victoria 74 Figure 3-1. John Davidson in kilt, Scot land, c a 1911 76 Figure 3-2. The Offending Kew Bulletin article, 1908, no 2 79 Figure 3-3. Landclearing in Kerrisdale, c a 1914 90 Figure 3-4. Davidson at Black Tusk, Garibaldi, c a 1914 96 Figure 3-5. Watershed map from First Annual Report, 1915, p 9 98 Figure 3-6. Botanical office staff at Botanical Gardens, Essondale, Coquit lam, 1911-1916 109 Figure 3-7. Effect of irrigation on the flora, B .C. central interior 111 Figure 4-1. Portrait of Chartres Cec i l Pemberton, c a 1894 141 Figure 4-2. Public Servants, Legislative staff photo, 1897 143 Figure 4-3. Photo of Pemberton and friends at work, H ibben-Bone Building, Government Street, Victoria. 1924 144 Figure 4-4. Victoria, 1864 148 Figure 4-5. Aged Garry Oak in an area experiencing rapid urbanization. 149 Figure 4-6. "A .K . O a k Kil led by young growth of fir (Pseudotsuga) Mount Douglas Park ("Cedar Hill")." 150 Figure 4-7. Douglas-fir cal lused stumps 152 v Figure 4-8. Three cal lused stumps • • • 153 Figure 4-9. Surface root connection 154 Figure 4-10. Photograph of callus stump cross section 159 Figure 4-11. Photograph of a particularly impressive secondary leader 162 Figure 4-12. A n excavated Douglas-fir root graft 165 Figure 4-13. Excavated roots showing grafts, living stumps, Victoria 166 Figure 4-14. Pemberton and others at Cheri ton C a m p , Folkstone, c a 1913 180 Figure 4-15. Image from the letter 209 Figure 4-16. Twining firs, or "Remarkable Instances of Natura Phenomena in the Growth Habit of Fir Spec ies . " 211 Figure 4-17. C . C . Pemberton and large tree exhibiting multiple leaders, nd 221 Figure 5-1. Wil l iam John Sutton, F .G .S . , M .E , c a 1895 232 VI List of abbreviations B C A British Co lumb ia archives. C V A City of Vancouver Arch ives. J R A J a m e s Robert Anderson papers, B . C . Arch ives . C C P Char t res Cec i l Pember ton papers, B . C . Arch ives. J D - C V A John Dav idson papers, City of Vancouver Arch ives . J D - U B C J o h n Dav idson papers , U B C Spec ia l Col lect ions. vii A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s The single name on the cover of any thesis belies the cast of thousands responsible for its creation. A more accurate accounting is far more complicated but let me attempt one here. I have benefited enormously from my examining committee's constructive criticism, including co-supervisors Terre Satterfield ( R M E S ) and Graeme Wynn (Geography), and committee members Keith Benson (History), John Rob inson (RMES/Geog raphy ) and lain Taylor (Botany). The Bank of Brownstein provided me with credit when other sources of funding failed and for this I will always be grateful. Morley, Diane and Jonathan, thank you. In the Archives a researcher is only as good as those assisting them and in this regard I have also been b lessed. Katy Hughes, Clai re Gilbert, Mart ina Steffen, Chr is Spi res and Beverly Paty helped me a c c e s s count less documents and photographs. At the end of five months of research in Victoria I consider them not archivists and retrieval clerks but friends. I am also thankful for help from Susanne Barker at the Ministry of Forests Library, the staff of the City of Vancouver Archives, U B C Spec ia l Col lect ions including May Y a n , U B C Interlibrary loan, and Lawrence Stark of Washington State University Archives. The past eight years have introduced me to many people whose contributions can be found within these covers. Those who went out of their way to help me along include V . C . 'Bert' Brink, Professor Emeritus U B C ; John Parminter, Ministry of Forests and Range; Ralph Schmidt, retired head, B .C . Forest Service Research Branch; Jack Maze , Professor Emeritus, U B C ; Laurie Ricou, U B C , Dept of Engl ish; Julie Cruikshank, Professor Emerita, U B C ; Matthew Evenden , U B C , Dept of Geography ; John P inde r -Moss , R B C M Herbarium; Daniel Mosquin, U B C Botanical Garden; Terry Honer, Pacific Forestry Centre; Henry Lowood, Stanford University Library; Christ ina Matta, University of Wiscons in , History; Les Lavkulich, Professor Emeritus, U B C ; Joan Schwartz, National Archives of C a n a d a ; Laura Cameron , now of Queens University; Stephane Castonguay, Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres and Peter Nash , Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo. During my time in R M E S there have been four Graduate Program coordinators and I am sure that each has done more on my behalf than I will ever know. They were Nancy Dick, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Jenny Shaw and L isa Belanger. My peers have provided academic support and advice on count less other matters. Each name is a story and they include John Thistle, Shannon Stunden Bower, Lynn Hilchie, A m Keel ing, Kathy McKay , Jenny Clayton, J a m e s Murton, Al ison Shaw, Nick Page, Patricia Keen , May du Monceau , Ze lda Brownstein, Pau l Luchkow, G lenys Webster, Baseer Khan, viii Jennifer Howes, Juan Caste lao, G len McKay , Nicole Smith, Evan Fraser, Darrin Magee, Beth Kinne, Bronwen G e d d e s , Sharon C h a n g , Daryl Lin, Kate Schende l and Wendy Hatch. My involvement with the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra hindered my progress through the program by at least two years. I consider this to have been a good thing. Finally, a previous incarnation of my committee also included Tony Dorcy (School of Planning), Pame la Courtenay-Hall (Education) and the late Stephen Straker (History). Their fingerprints are here as well. This version of the thesis is a snapshot in time rather than a definitive statement. Certainly my thinking is still evolving. External examiner Richard Judd has provided me with a fantastic blueprint to transform this f lawed document into something yet greater. I hope I can return this favour by doing so in the future. ix D e d i c a t i o n In memory of a superb mentor, S tephen Straker (1942-2005). He bought me books and took me to the beach to talk about them. Things don't get much better than that. 1 I n t r o d u c t i o n Few European immigrants knew much about the secret lives of British Columbia 's trees. The forest was almost everywhere, but newcomers were ill equipped to understand the aboriginal inhabitants' intimate familiarity with the region's flora. Some wanted to correct this general ignorance, and the advent of forestry in B .C. early in the twentieth century followed decades of lobbying for government-sponsored tree research. Polit icians and captains of industry readily endorsed the idea that the relationship between British Columbians and their trees should be structured by scientific knowledge, and so granted decision-making power over forests to civil servant scientists. The move was premised on the understanding that science could arbitrate between competing social visions and provide unbiased policies to curate this vital public resource. 1 The traditional account That this nascent domain—forestry—had scientific ambitions for both knowledge and regulation is hardly surprising. More intriguing is the extent to which standard accounts of B .C . forest history assume that forest conservation was an outgrowth of imported European forestry ideals. Almost without exception, histories of North Amer ican forest conservation begin with a citation to Samue l Hays ' 1959 book, Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency. Hays, who was interested in how resource management came to be increasingly centralized in larger hierarchies, described conservation as a scientific movement originating with scientific managers; "a limited group of people with a particular set of goals who played a special role in society." Further, he saw this scientific elite as engaged in a struggle with the grass roots of resource users united only by their revulsion toward the calculated methods of resource use favoured by the conservationists.2 1 The phrase 'secret lives' refers to a longstanding tradition in natural history. E.J.H. Corner (1964). The Life of Plants, University of Chicago Press, Chicago; Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird (1973). The Secret Life of Plants, Harper & Row Publishers, New York; David Attenborough (1995). The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behaviour, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey; For an example of indigenous botanical knowledge consult, Nancy J . Turner et al (2004). Plants ofHaida Gwaii, Sono Nis Press, Winlaw, B.C., or indeed any of Turner's many ethnobotanical titles. 2 Samuel P. Hays (1969). Conservation and The Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920, 2nd edition, Atheneum, New York, p 4. The work of Samuel Hays is the jumping off point for most scholarship on turn of the twentieth century resource histories in North America. The experience in British Columbia as rendered here does not seem to fit Samuel Hays's description of events in the United States. 2 This orthodox history of North Amer ican forest conservation, formulated by Hays and extended by his intellectual descendants, sees the movement as an outgrowth of ideas imported from France and Germany and advocated by a few fanatically vocal , scientifically-trained foresters. Broadly stated, it has been assumed that forestry in B .C . and beyond was developed from European and Amer ican scholarship treating forestry as an agricultural process that could ensure the continued reproduction of a 'tree' crop. The challenge for proponents of this scheme was to accrue the authority necessary to implement their ideals. Descr ibed in this way, the forester's project became one of implementing a body of universal theory in a new location. Subsequent failures to realize European forestry's promises in North Amer ica are ascribed to causes including powerful political-economic forces and the limitations of centralized scientific exper t i se 3 Traditional histories of forest exploitation in British Columbia have been underpinned by Harold Innis' staples theory and are thus especial ly focused on markets, labour and capital. The staples approach seeks to explain social institutions as the products of economic development. W. A . Carrothers' 1938 "Forest Industries of British Co lumbia" is one embodiment of this tradition. Subsequent generations of forest history were informed by the same emphasis on political economy and led to an unsympathetic reading of the motivations for a conservationist agenda. In a 1979 M A thesis, Robert Marris called the adoption of conservationist language by B .C . lumbermen in 1910 an attempt to disguise the profit-oriented nature of their policy p roposa ls * Modern critics present an even more cynical reading, seeing turn-of-the twentieth-century conservationists as handmaidens of capital. Hak feels that forest conservation was taken up in B .C. because it was in the corporate interest, and that "scientific conservationists" 3 Paul Hirt (1994). A Conspiracy of Optimism: Management of the National Forests since World War Two, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln; Nancy Langston (1995). Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares: The Paradox of Old Growth in the Inland West, University of Washington Press, Seattle; Richard Rajala (1998) Clearcutting the Pacific Rainforest: Production, Science, and Regulation, University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver. 4 W.A. Carrothers (1938). "Forest Industries of British Columbia" in The North American Assault on the Canadian Forest: A History of the Lumber Trade Between Canada and the United States, by A . R . M . Lower, The Ryerson Press, Toronto, pp 225-344. Interestingly, Harold Innis edited this volume; Robert Howard Marris (1979). '"Pretty Sleek and Fat': The Genesis of Forest Policy in British Columbia, 1903-1914" unpublished MA thesis, Department of History, University of British Columbia, p 43 and 44. Marris is perhaps correct that not many were interested in conservation, but in his study he incorrectly categorized and thus ignored at least two who were. Namely, W.J . Sutton of the Natural History Society of British Columbia (whom Marris categorized "unclassified business") and geologist R.H. Chapman. 3 were closely aligned with industry by 1913. In a similar vein, Rajala writes that the technocratic vision of forest conservation "elevated experts in land use to new levels of influence just as it met the needs of large corporations capable of providing the 'efficiency, stability of operations, and long-range planning inherent to the conservation ideal.'" Gill is and Roach conclude that "since 1900 politicians and businessmen have talked increasingly about the possibilities of renewing the forest, but, in the end, it is impossible not to conclude that, for the most part, this has been mere rhetoric." They continue by noting that "wealthy and politically influential [lumbermen] tended to foist their own agenda on the early conservationists." Gillis and Roach also write more optimistically however, that Canadians should be thankful that the forest conservation movement accompl ished as much as it did, led as it was by a small group that also included "scientists, scientific farmers, and public servants."5 The traditional account scrutinized This thesis represents a significant departure from these standard accounts. It begins with the supposition that the relative failure of conservationists to implement their ideals is not in itself proof that they were the allies of corporate power. It chal lenges the widespread tendency in B .C . scholarship to ignore the complicated process by which individuals actually produced knowledge in support of forest policy. By continually emphasiz ing the political economy of the B .C . forest industry, scholars have "black boxed" the forestry profession so that its inputs and outputs are described but its inner workings are ignored. Existing narratives of B .C . forest conservation hinge on forestry knowledge but though specific forestry practices are necessarily included in the story they are not generally understood in any detail. 5 Gordon Hak (2000). Turning Trees into Dollars: The British Columbia Coastal Lumber Industry: 1858-1913, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, p 83, and p 170; Rajala p 89; R Peter Gillis and Thomas R Roach (1986) Lost Initiatives: Canada's Forest Industries, Forest Policy and Forest Conservation, Greenwood Press, New York, p 258, 260. Gillis and Roach (p 262) also recognize that those men who entered the public service to push a conservationist agenda became muted by the political process and could only express themselves through professional organizations. This was a cause of distress to many of them, and a contributing factor in Director of the Dominion Forest Service, E.H. Finlayson's suicide. Business was supportive of conservation in the early days. When theoretical restrictions turned into real logging restrictions this support became less enthusiastic. 4 Broadly stated, the orthodox account of B .C . forest conservation rests upon three assumptions. • Forestry Pract ices were imported from Europe. • These European Practices were advocated by a few vocal fanatics. • The challenge for these advocates was to accrue authority and implement their ideals. A s a study in intellectual history, this thesis seeks to scrutinize this traditional account by recognizing first that the umbrella term 'forester' has been used as shorthand to describe logging engineering; a forest police and fire department; public educators; scientists and researchers; and the combined roles of manager, bureaucrat and politician. If we start to pull these meanings apart, as does Chapman in Figure 1-1, we see just how many different disciplines combine to produce the domain we know as forestry. What can such a close examination tell us of forestry in British Columbia? The evidence presented in the pages that follow, drawn from a c lose reading of the archives, demands a revision of the three assumpt ions descr ibed above, namely that • Forestry Practices were imported only in part, not in their entirety. • Forest Conservation came from many sources rather than a few and • Forestry Pract ices were as unstable in Europe as they were in B .C . My first point is that what passed as forestry in British Co lumbia between 1890 and 1925 was but a subset of the field. Initially, foresters in B .C . practised logging engineering or forest mensuration. These were the disciplines that were successfully transferred from Europe. Fields such as silviculture and dendrology were left behind. The few men in B .C . who were trained foresters became divorced from the European botanical and silvical literature. Instead they spent their time engaged in a quest for political legitimacy, promoting their goals rather than performing research relevant to local conditions. Group Applied S c i e n c e s Economic and Technical Economics Human R E L A T I O N O F M E N S U R A T I O N TO O T H E R S U B J E C T S IN F O R E S T R Y Business Mathematical Basis Language f Sciences History Economics IIISIIIII-f Forest Sciences Forest Economics Forest History Mathematics Accounting Forest Finance Surveying < Forest Surveying: FOREST MENSURATION! Forest Policy and .Laws Business or Organization. Forest Management Forest Protection Lumber Business Forestry Practice Technique Physical Physics Chemistry Geology Botany Zoology Mechanics Forest Physiography Dendrology Forest Ecology Forest Entomology Wood Technology Silvicnlture Forest Engineering ' Lumbering Wood Usingr Industrie^ Forest Protection F l « . 1-Figure 1-1 taken from Herman Haupt C h a p m a n (1924). Forest Mensuration, second edit ion, John Wi ley & S o n s , New York, p 4. 6 Second , I argue that there were many British Columbian advocates of forest conservation and more often than not they were not foresters. O n this general point there is a happy consensus emerging in the literature. Observat ions of environmental change by natural historians were ubiquitous in nineteenth century North America and calls for forest management were common .6 Third, forestry practices were as unstable in Europe and Eastern North Amer ica as they were in British Columbia. In Europe, the foundations of the North Amer ican forestry project were contested points rather than canonized principles. The discipline's uptake in North Amer ica cannot be descr ibed as the implementation of a general body of theory in a new locale. Instead we must think of forestry's dispersal as local knowledge from one place being retooled as local knowledge in another. Understood in this way my interpretation follows that of standpoint theorists, so influential in the recent 'geographical turn' in the history of sc ience7 A n alternate interpretation of the same events When we consider these three alternate readings, our understanding of the origins of B .C . Forest conservation is modified in subtle but significant ways. Amateur natural historians assume a new importance along with those advocates already identified in the literature. They were among the first proponents of forest management in British Columbia and they were also among the first in all of Canada f i Put simply, the Sunday afternoon walks of a group of individuals on the scientific margins were converted, with varying levels 6 Richard W. Judd (2006). "A 'wonderful order and balance': Natural History and the Beginnings of Forest Conservation in America, 1730-1830" in Environmental History, vol 11, no 1, pp 8-36; Richard W. Judd (2004). "George Perkins Marsh: The Times and their Man" in Environment and History, vol 10, no 2, pp 169-190; Graeme Wynn (2004). '"On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic' in Environmental History" in Environment and History, vol 10, no 2, pp 133-151. 7 David N. Livingstone (2003). Putting Science in its Place: Geographies of Scientific Knowledge, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 8 For example, John Langton (1862). "On the Age of Timber Trees, and the Prospects of a Continuous Supply of Timber in Canada" in Transactions of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, read before the Society on 15th January, 1862, published 1 May, 1862, pp 61-79; see also Wynn op cit for the earlier work of Titus Smith Jr. Smith was the author of "Conclusions on the Results on the Vegetation of Nova Scotia, and on Vegetation in general, and on Man in general, of certain Natural and Artificial Causes deemed to actuate and affect them" in The Magazine of Natural History & Journal of Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, Geology and Meteorology, VIII (December 1835), pp 641-62. 7 of success , into positions from which to make policy arguments. These largely unrecognized natural historians practised an inventorial science that had a centuries-old history, also European but with an intellectual genealogy very different from forestry. Thus they were in a unique position to document the environmental changes that their colonial society had brought to the province. Their concern about what they perceived as mismanagement of B .C . forests convinced them that their knowledge should be used to mitigate the environmental problems unfolding before them.9 Canadian historians of sc ience have missed the important role played by natural historians in the development of forest conservation because they have minimized the importance of twentieth century natural history.10 Amateur naturalists do not figure prominently in histories of resource management because many scholars have concluded falsely that natural history ceased to be of consequence with the decline of natural theology and the rise of more special ized modern biology. The descriptive naturalist and analytical experimentalist traditions have been characterized as two antipodes in conflict throughout much of the nineteenth century. The former was the province of amateurs (whose importance was rapidly declining), while the latter was the home of emerging professionals. 1 ! The history of the natural historians-cum early professional ecologists is 9 Grove makes a similar point writing of global trends. He goes so far as to suggest that " the course of the emergence of colonial state conservation, the significance of initiatives taken by local actors on the basis of local and indigenous knowledge cannot be overestimated... The experience of perceiving and countering deforestation and land degradation at first hand... proved to be... influential." Richard H. Grove (1995). Green Imperialism: Colonial expansion, tropical island Edens and the origins of environmentalism, 1600-1860, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 475. 1 0 This minimization is not necessarily intentional. 'The history of science in Canada is still largely unexplored, and its place in the formation of Canadian culture has not been fully assessed." So wrote Suzanne Zeller in 1987, and little has changed to alter this statement in the intervening period. Suzanne Zeller (1987). Inventing Canada: Early Victorian Science and the Idea of a Transcontinental Nation, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, p vii. 1 1 Garland E. Allen. (1979). "Naturalists and Experimentalists: The Genotype and the Phenotype" in Studies in the History of Biology, vol 3, William Coleman and Camille Limoges (eds), The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 179-209; Elizabeth B Keeney. (1992). The Botanizers: Amateur Scientists in Nineteenth-Century America, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. A volume dedicated to exploring these ideas has responded that biology was not "so monolithic or unified as the core advocates or popular impressions might suggest." Ronald Rainger, Keith R Benson and Jane Maienschein (eds). (1988). The American Development of Biology, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, p 5. Still others have written that whether natural history had been marginalized in universities or not, it certainly continued to maintain a robust public profile in Canada and around the globe; Carl Berger. (1983). Science, God and Nature in Victorian Canada, The 1982 Joanne Goodman 8 usually written (if it is written at all) as having nothing to do with the conservation movement and forest management; at best the relationship between the two is unclear. 1 2 In British Columbia, natural history had a great deal to do with forest conservation. Natural historians responded to their observations by petitioning government to control and thus slow environmental change. By common consensus, the response they advocated was to implement French and Prussian forestry ideals embraced by similarly-minded proponents in the United StatesJ3 This endeavour, Forstwissenschaft, is the mathematical ly-based management of t imberlands to provide a consistent, yearly maximized harvest of lumber.14 The literature fails to recognize however, that Forstwissenschaftwas but a limited subset of European forestry. The classical writers of Prussian forestry science, Georg Lectures, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, p 78; Paul Lawrence Farber. (2000). Finding Order in Nature: The Naturalist Tradition from Linnaeus to E.O. Wilson, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, p 86. Farber goes so far as to describe 1880 to 1900 as the golden age of Natural History. 12 For instance, "Certainly, botanists were aware of, and participated in, this general concern for America's natural environments. Yet, once again, the connection to the emergence of plant ecology is not clear. The published works of the botanists under consideration here do not reveal a strong sense of concern for the vanishing American wilderness." Eugene Cittadino (1976). "Ecology and the Professionalization of Botany in America, 1890-1905" in Studies in the History of Biology, William Coleman and Camille Limoges (eds), The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, p 173. In direct contrast, the botanists described on the following pages reveal a very strong sense of concern. 13 Forestry concepts had already travelled from Europe to the U.S. as carried by Carl Schurz (1829-1906), Bernhard Fernow (1851-1923), Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) and Carl Schenck (1868-1955). Schurz immigrated to the U S in 1852 and later become Secretary of the U S Department of the Interior; Fernow arrived in North American in 1876, later to become the first U.S. Parks Service Chief Forester and Dean of the University of Toronto School of Forestry; an American, Pinchot, the future first U.S. Forest Service Chief Forester travelled to France to study Forestry in 1889-1890; Schenck arrived in the U.S. in 1894, the first trained European Forester in North America, and founded the Biltmore Forestry School in North Carolina. Andrew Denny Rodgers (1951). Bernhard Eduard Fernow; a story of North American forestry, Princeton University Press; see also Phil McManus (1999). "Histories of Forestry: Ideas, Networks and Silences" in Environment and History, vol 5, no 2, pp 185-208. 1 4 Trees were considered a crop (often contrasted with the single exploitation of a mine) that could be grown according to a regular, predictable schedule such as that demanded by a science of stable state finances. To realize this goal methods of forest mathematics were developed in Prussia during the last half of the eighteenth century. For the original story see, Henry E Lowood (1990). "The Calculating Forester: Quantification, Cameral Science, and the Emergence of Scientific Forestry Management in Germany" in The Quantifying Spirit in the 18th Century, Tore Frangsmyr, J.L. Heilbron and Robin E. Rider (eds), University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 315-342. 9 Hartig, Johann Heinrich Cotta, Johann Hundeshagen and Friedrich Pfeil built on the empirical basis of Forstwissenschaftto include biological factors in their determinations. In 1852 Gustav Heyer published one of the earliest attempts to analyze the site factors that gave rise to tree growth and he developed the theory of light and shade to leranceJs in the nineteenth-century when Prussian forestry ideals made their way to North America, government and business embraced the empirical theories of Forstwissenschaft but the forest botany necessary for its implementation did not survive the trip intact. Despite foresters' claims to the contrary, North American enthusiasm for forest conservation was not rooted in even a rudimentary understanding of silvicultural practices. 16 Scholarship regarding the expression of forestry ideas in North Amer ica has ignored this very complicated picture. Even in an area as restricted as British Columbia, the single subject of tree study prompted several overlapping scientific cultures with different practices, some more immediately useful for public administration (and intelligible to politicians and the public) than others. Existing historical scholarship, which by and large has adopted a naive view of science and its realization, assumes that the forest science practised during the period was homogeneous in opinion and conducted by an intellectual elite. Neither assumption withstands sustained scrutiny. Those engaged in tree study represented a diversity of approaches to generating knowledge of Canad ian trees and forests, each claiming insight by virtue of their scientific status. Scientific knowledge of B .C. trees was no more homogenous than were the views of the more general population, "i? 1 5 Gustav Heyer (1852). Verhalten der Waldbame gegen Licht und Schatten, F. Enke, Erlagen [Germany]. 1 6 At the American Forestry Congress in Cincinnati, 1882, "only one paper discussed how rudimentary silviculture could be used to improve forest production and growth, and so... certainly foresters like Fernow found little to support at the proceedings." R. Peter Gillis and Thomas R. Roach (1986). Lost Initiatives: Canada's Forest Industries, Forest Policy and Forest Conservation, Greenwood Press, London, p 41; "But of the congress's proceedings, [Bernhard Fernow] confessed,"The real science of forestry, questions pertaining to the management of forests, effects of particular measures to be adopted in the management, proper methods of propagation, suitable times of rotation for divers [sic] species and conditions, et cetera, did not find much consideration.'" Andrew Denny Rodgers III (1951). Bernhard Eduard Fernow: A Story of North American Forestry, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, p 60. 1 7 My entire argument hinges on this point. For an exploration of this consult Peter Galison and David J . Stump (eds), (1996). The Disunity of Science: Boundaries, Contexts, and Power, Stanford University Press, Stanford. 10 Emily Brock's recent work has made an excellent start at opening the forestry black box by trying to understand where foresters were getting the ideas that supported their claims to scientific authority. Brock suggests that American foresters did not know how to regenerate logged Douglas-fir forests and so looked to the emerging discipline of ecology for This is correct in so far as it goes, but an examination of the wider context shows us that this was only necessary because North Amer ican foresters had not themselves been trained in forest botany, as many of their European counterparts had been. Turn of the twentieth century foresters in North Amer ica had little to no botanical training. They were advocates of forest mensuration techniques in search of political power to implement their management ideals. Once granted the authority to manage forests as civil servants, their public face as experts masked their ignorance of natural history. Natural historians and ecologists stepped in to fill this gap, but it was a breach quickly reclaimed by the foresters. In April 1903, Bernhard Fernow wrote in Science that botanists and ecologists were in the debt of silviculturalists, who had first recognized the importance of light in structuring forest vegetation. 19 J a m e s W. Tourney was even more explicit. In his 1928 text, Foundations of Silviculture Upon an Ecological Basis, the American forest regeneration authority wrote that silviculture "as we conceive it today, is not an outgrowth of plant ecology, but rather plant ecology is an outgrowth of it."2o Fernow was writing of his mentor Heyer rather than his own work as a political forestry advocate. Tourney was also writing of the European Forestry tradition, rather than North American practice. The nascent foresters and the natural historians were joined by the causeway of ecology as it was then emerging in North Amer ica. It was over this ecological bridge that traffic flowed back and forth between the old scientific culture of natural historians and the new 18 Emily Brock (2004). "The Challenge of Reforestation: Ecological Experiments in the Douglas Fir Forest, 1920-1940" in Environmental History, vol 9, no 1, pp 57-79. 1 9 "But, although the physiological relations of light to plant growth have been studied by botanists, the ecologic relations have been hardly recognized. On this field the ecologists owe an apology to the silviculturists for having failed to perceive the importance, which the latter have pointed out and appreciated for the last hundred years." B.E. Fernow (1903). "Applied Ecology" in Science, vol 17, No 433 (April 17, 1903), pp 605-607. 2 0 James W. Tourney (1928). Foundations of Silviculture Upon an Ecological Basis, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, p iv. What makes this statement even more interesting is that before Tourney secured his appointment at Yale, he had been a graduate and former assistant in botany at Michigan State College. 11 North Amer ican forestry, in an attempt to learn of and then manage British Columbia 's trees. From origins common to natural history, Forest Branch investigations infused their inquiries with continental physiological questions in response to forest regeneration policy imperatives. In doing so foresters were taking their cue from the new discipline of ecology, the "rational field physiology."2i By jettisoning the idea that the sc ience that underpinned early forest management was solely an homogeneous uptake of European Forstwissenschaft, we allow for different (and often competing) scientific cultures to exist at the same time and in the same place. Because forestry was emerging as an applied arm of ecology, the old-style natural history appears to have disappeared. In fact it did not disappear, it just d isappeared from the view of historians. Upon its creation in 1912, the B .C. Forest Branch adopted natural history techniques to make sense of, and then manage, the provincial forests under its control. These techniques included the production of species range maps, tree life histories and long-term sample plot observations. The forester's uptake of natural history practices did not leave those methods unchanged however, because the trust required to maintain amateur naturalist networks did not exist in the new bureaucracy. The dispersed staff had neither the training nor the time to perform research, so Forest Branch leadership chose to bestow research duties on a select few individuals. The intellectual territory briefly occupied by B .C. amateur natural historians was colonized by government resource managers and university researchers. The colonization took some time but was so complete that the amateur naturalists' intellectual contributions to contemporary forest management have been all but erased.22 in selecting amateur scientists as an historical object of study I chose to give voice to a group previously excluded from our understanding of turn-of-the twentieth-century forest conservation. At the 21 Joel B. Hagen (1992). "A Rational Field Physiology" in An Entangled Bank: The Origins of Ecosystem Ecology, Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, pp 15-32. 2 2 In making this claim I am paralleling that offered by Lynn K. Nyhart (1996) "Natural history and the 'new' biology" in N. Jardine, J.A. Secord and E.C. Spary, (eds) Cultures of natural history, Cambridge University Press, pp 426-443. 12 same time, I have sought to describe what their ideas meant for policy formulation, rather than exclusively capture their experiences as marginalized intellectuals.23 I have divided the task of making natural historians visible once again, in the pages that follow, into five parts. Each section is roughly a concurrent historical portrait of a slightly different culture of tree study. Peripheral personalities from one chapter emerge as protagonists in the next. The first chapter links natural history activities local to British Columbia with wider scientific trends. Chapter two is an examination of Victoria amateur botanist J . R . Anderson and his unsolicited efforts to introduce inventory and taxonomy to his repertoire of bureaucratic duties. The third chapter, on Vancouver professional botanist John Davidson, depicts a highly successful combination of inventory, sc ience outreach and political agitation. Victoria amateur C . C . Pemberton, the subject of the fourth chapter, pursued physiological questions not understood by his contemporaries as relevant to forestry, yet e lsewhere similar questions inspired the founding of modem ecology. The last analytical chapter explores how the nascent B .C. Forest Branch needed all of this local botanical knowledge to implement its theoretical management schemes. The challenge for any future forest management organization would be to consolidate these disparate elements: authoritative power, a universal taxonomy and a physiological understanding of the processes that gave rise to commercial ly valuable forests. Towards this end the Branch initially pursued a brand of egalitarian sc ience whereby each and every employee was responsible for compil ing policy-relevant sample-plot observations. This strategy changed over time and gave rise to a different geography of expertise, with the consequence that the original structure of scientific interaction became obstructed from historical view. It is through this constellation of chapters that we can begin to reconstruct a previously un-researched historical development. Natural Historians and their scientific practices helped to shape the forest conservation politics of British Columbia. 23 Daniel Wickberg (2001). "Intellectual History vs. the Social History of Intellectuals" in Rethinking History, vol 4, no 3, pp 383-395. By engaging in this research I have experienced the tensions between intellectual history of historians of science and the social history favoured by many geographers and environmental historians. The former consult primary texts for the patterns of meaning that they reveal, while the latter approach the same texts as registers of experience. I share the social historian's aim of restoring agency to a particular marginalized scientific group, the natural historians. I have not written anything here about restoring agency to trees and thus in this thesis trees cannot 'change history.' I do place the production of scientific ideas into context. See Peder Anker (2002). "Environmental History versus History of Science" in Reviews in Anthropology, vol 31, pp 309-322; Kevin Dann and Gregg Mitman (1997). "Essay Review: Exploring the Borders of Environmental History and the History of Ecology" in Journal of the History of Biology, vol 30, pp 291 -302. 13 1. S c i e n t i f i c C u l t u r e in B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a a n d b e y o n d . Formative relations between foresters and natural historians In Germany, foresters were well aware of their botanical compatriots who studied problems of tree physiology, but I would suggest that in North Amer ica , foresters had become divorced from this literature. North Amer ican foresters became fixated with their quest for political legitimacy and spent more time in establishing the respectability of their profession than in performing botanical research. Certainly the British Columbia Forest Branch did not engage in widespread silvicultural research until the early to mid 1920s. Even once they initiated these studies they were not citing an existing literature, choosing instead to "gather data" and build theory from their observations. In this period of Canadian neglect, a vast forestry literature accumulated in Europe that was botanical in nature, a prime example being M. Busgen 's Bau undLeben unserer Walbaume in 1897 (The Structure and Life of Forest Trees). B i i sgen, professor at the Royal Prussian Forest Academy in Hann.-Munden, escaped the attention of North Amer ican foresters, particularly those in British Columbia, who appear not to have been connected with these developments. Instead, seeking to understand the dynamics of, and then manage North American forestlands, the majority of Amer ican foresters looked to ecologists for insight. The B .C . foresters were far more independent but when they did look elsewhere, it was to the Americans. 1 A s subsequent chapters will illustrate, it was the foresters' reliance on North American ecology rather than a European botanical tradition for their understanding of nature that set the stage for conflicts over policy in both C a n a d a and the United States. Natural historians and the more special ized botanists worked at the scale of the individual plant or tree. Their tradition of species inventory made the individual plant their fundamental unit of analysis and understanding. In complete contrast, the ecologists were captivated by the larger communities and associations of plants. For the plant ecologists, single individuals did not 1 It appears that Bernhard Fernow was aware of Busgen's book, but this level of familiarity did not extend to what we might call 'second generation' foresters in North America. See The Biltmore Company, Asheville North Carolina, Museum Services Department, Archives Division, Biltmore Estate Forestry Department Manager's Records, Series P, Box 29, folder 36, Correspondence from Overton W. Price, Associate Forester, U.S.D.A., Bureau of Forestry. April 15, 1905- Notes on the translation of Professor Busgen's Structure and Life of Our Forest Trees. "Fernow bought the translation and will probably release the work." On the developing European literature, see the Thomas Thomson's "Translator's Preface" to the Third English edition (1929), of M. Busgen's The Structure and Life of Forest Trees, John Wiley & Sons, New York. For preliminary work on the link between North American natural history, ecology and forestry, consult the sixth chapter of this thesis. 14 matter, what was important were much larger vegetational structures. These epistemic values (good sc ience studied the individual plant vs good sc ience studied larger plant associations) were then translated quite differently into forest policy goals—conflict ensued. The lay public remained receptive to the natural history tradition and those inclined to value trees valued all trees as individuals. Natural historians in British Columbia had advocated the creation of a provincial Forest Branch but assumed that such a government body would possess a similar outlook. Taking their cues from ecologists however, foresters attempted to manage forestlands on a wide scale with little concern for specific trees. They assumed that with a physiological understanding of st imulus-response processes they could regenerate logged forests with commercial ly valuable spec ies . What they did not anticipate was the vehemence with which some members of the public valued trees as individuals. A century of subsequent history has been an attempt to reconcile this difference. W e encounter this theme in chapter 3, but the experience was in no way limited to British Columbia. Similar Amer ican conservation debates at the turn of the twentieth century have been descr ibed as between preservationists, who wanted to maintain areas devoid of economic activity, and conservationists, who welcomed it so long as it was regulated. This might describe these debates, but they could just as well have been characterized as conflicts between botanists and foresters. Bostonian Char les Sprague Sargent, botanist and author of Silva of North America, invited the young and inexperienced forester Gifford Pinchot onto the American National Academy of Sc ience 's Federal Forest Commiss ion in 1896. The two men approached the study of trees quite differently, approaches that became obvious when the commission travelled the Amer ican west on their fact-finding expedition. Pinchot lamented that Sargent "couldn't see the forest for the trees—the individual, botanical trees." To Sargent, Pinchot's desire to use the forest before a responsible (ie botanically informed) forest corps could be educated was foolhardy. 2 Science 's contested role in policy formulation has a long and as yet unwritten history. Natural historians had invited foresters into conversation on forest policy only to later regret the move because of their contrasting approaches. Eventually 'Sc ience ' would speak with many voices as subsets of scientific cultures offered differing interpretations of trees. At the beginning of the period in British Columbia however, the natural historians were alone as 2 Michael L. Smith (1987). Pacific Visions: California Scientists and the Environment, 1850-1915, Yale University Press, New Haven, p 160; S.B. Sutton (1970). Charles Sprague Sargent and the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, p 168. 15 students of B .C . ' s trees. Certainly they were active in the province before anybody cal led themselves a forester. Natural History in context Nineteenth-century amateur natural history, the popular study of the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms, had its European heyday between 1820 and 1870.3 Historically there had been a longstanding amateur naturalist tradition in Britain where outdoor fieldwork gained great social value because of its roots in Natural Theology.4 Amateurs were inspired to collect, describe and classify natural objects by the idea that relationships in the natural world were permanently fixed by G o d at the time of Creation.s The c lose study of these objects was meant to reinforce the overall design extant in nature and provide a teleological proof for the existence of G o d . Beyond the preoccupation with spec imen identification and classification was a search for correspondence, "for patterns of uniformity and interrelatedness in nature, which would in turn reveal nature's basic laws."6 Given that both the Bible and the book of nature were written by the same author, a reading of either would give one an indication of God 's intentions for the world. Study of the meticulously planned creation merely elaborated man's special place above nature and the proper relationship between the two. 7 The amateur naturalist tradition gained social value because it encouraged disciplined and useful activity; the attendant religious tenets of Natural Theology 3 Lynn Barber. (1980). The Heyday of Natural History, 1820-1870, Jonathan Cape, London. 4 Representative works would include John Ray's (1691) The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation, William Derham's (1713) Physico-Theology, Gilbert White's (1788) The Natural History of Selbourne, and William Paley's (1801) Natural Theology; or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of The Deity, collected from the Appearances of Nature. The reader seeking to place these in context should consult Clarence J . Glacken. (1967). Traces on the Rhodian Shore: Nature and Culture in Western Thought from Ancient Times to the end of the Eighteenth Century, University of California Press, Berkeley. 5 Carl Berger. (1983). Science, God and Nature in Victorian Canada, The 1982 Joanne Goodman Lectures, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, p 33. 6 Barton cited in Richard W Judd. (2004). "George Perkins Marsh: The Times and their Man" in Environment and History, vol 10, no 2, p 176. 7 Berger, p45 . 16 had the private benefit of personal moral improvement, directing the eyes to God ' s beneficent design in the natural world.8 European immigrants brought an enthusiasm for natural history with them to British North Amer ica where it became a part of the colonial culture.9 In Eastern and Central Canad ian urban centres, local natural history societies were established between 1820 and the 1850's. The members were middle and upper-class amateurs with a passion for nature and natural objects. 1 o A s a nineteenth-century popular pursuit, Canadian natural history was driven by lay contributions to the taxonomic sc iences in which the only requirement for the description of a new spec ies was an observant eye. In theory anybody could participate and this openness to amateurs al lowed the self-taught to converse with the highly educated within the field clubs and natural history societies, or even for the amateur to make the 8 Suzanne Zeller. (1996). Land of Promise, Promised Land: The Culture of Victorian Science in Canada, Canadian Historical Association Historical Booklet No 56, Ottawa, p 5. 9 Local examples of this can be found in chapter three on J.R. Anderson, and chapter four on John Davidson but the literature for the rest of Canada includes: Debra Lindsay (1993). Science in the Subarctic: Trappers, Traders and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington and London, Smithsonian Institution Press, p 122. For accounts of fur trader natural historians from an earlier era, see Stuart Tim Ball Houston and Mary Houston (2003). Eighteenth-Century Naturalists of Hudson Bay, McGil l-Queen's University Press, Montreal & Kingston. By observing weather, celestial phenomenon, animals and vegetation, company employees were not only pleasing their employers and the appetite of foreign naturalists for specimens and data, they were increasing their own chances of survival. An example of these activities in British Columbia were described in Hannah Gay's 1992 B.C. Studies conference presentation, "Science and Self-Improvement on the Northwest Coast of North America: The Cultural World of William Fraser Tolmie, 1830-50." A classic text would be Catherine Parr Trail's 1836 The backwoods of Canada: being letters from the wife of an emigrant officer, illustrative of the domestic economy of British America. Science as an aspect of American culture was no different to that of Canada except perhaps for a larger population of adherents upon which to draw. See both Sally Gregory Kohlstedt (1976) "The Nineteenth-Century Amateur Tradition: The Case of the Boston Society of Natural History" in G. Holton and W.A. Blanpied (eds), Science and its Public, D. Ridel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland, pp 173-190; and Keith R. Benson's (1986) "The Young Naturalists' Society and natural history in the Northwest" in a special issue of American Zoologist on "Naturalists and Natural History Institutions of the American West", vol 26, no 2, pp 351 -361. 10 Zeller, p 9. Also, for more on the development of "national" professional societies in Canada (ie Ontario and Quebec), see Peter J Bowler's (1976) "The Early Development of Scientific Societies in Canada" in Alexandra Oleson and Sanborn C Brown, The Pursuit of Knowledge in the early American Republic, American Scientific and Learned Societies from Colonial Times to the Civil War, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 326-339. 17 transition to full-time professional employment.! 1 Aside from the theological motivation, natural history also had more pragmatic nation-building goals .12 In the 1840s Upper Canadian political authorities created institutions such as the Geological Survey in an attempt to promote and sustain economic growth. Later, proponents of the Canad ian expansionist vision of the 1850s fostered botanical assessmen ts of the Hudson 's Bay Company lands they coveted because the potential of the Northwest for European-style agriculture was an open question. Early botanical exploration answered in the positive, much to the delight of political s p o n s o r s . ^ In Europe during the same period, the publication of Char les Lyell 's Principles of Geology (3 vols, 1830-1833) and Char les Darwin's The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859) shook former assumptions to the very core, though it took 1 1 In the 1880s, both Dominion Entomologist James Fletcher and Dominion Naturalist John Macoun rose to their posts after acquiring their knowledge through leisure pursuits. Especially in the case of Macoun, "except for the territorial scope of his operations, there was little about his practice of science that separated him from those amateurs from whose ranks he had come." Berger, p 17. John Macoun either figures prominently or lurks in the background in most chapters of this thesis—Macoun (1831-1920), or "the Professor" was born in Ireland and came to Canada with his family in 1850. He developed an interest in local flora when clearing land east of Toronto, and by 1856 made a career change from farmer to school teacher on the assumption that it would allow more time for botanical collecting. He ceased to be an amateur when he became botanist to the Geological and Natural History Survey of Canada in 1881, and was later promoted to the position of Survey Naturalist in 1887, extending his plant work to include cataloguing all of Canada's animal life. Macoun's move to further generalization ran counter to the trend of specialization in science, and he remained a field-collector in the old tradition until he semi-retired to Vancouver Island in 1912. For more detail on Macoun's life, see his obituary in The Canadian Field-Naturalist, September 1920, vol XXXIV, pp 110-114, and further, W.A. Waiser's 1989 biography, The Field Naturalist: John Macoun, the Geological Survey, and Natural Science, University of Toronto Press. 12 Zeller, Suzanne. (1987). Inventing Canada, Early Victorian Science and the Idea of a Transcontinental Nation, University of Toronto Press, Toronto. Suzanne Zeller has described the changing place of Victorian science in British North American society during the Confederation era. She argues that science both provided the means to asses and control nature, and developed a sense of a possible transcontinental future. Her three sections on Geology, Meteorology, and Botany document how the requirements of government attempted to define Canadian scientific practice. This was possible because at that time, the federal government was the sole Canadian employer of professional scientists. 13 Doug Owram. (1980). Promise of Eden: The Canadian Expansionist Movement and the Idea of the West, 1856-1900, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, p 156; see also W.A.Waiser (1989). The Field Naturalist: John Macoun, the Geological Survey, and Natural Science, University of Toronto Press, Toronto; and Suzanne Zeller. (1996), p 12. 18 decades for the theological implications of these books to filter out to all of the amateurs . 1 4 Lyell stressed the concepts of constant and cyclical environmental change, while Darwin suggested that spec ies evolved through time in response to those changes. Still later the publication of Amer ican George Perkins Marsh 's Man and Nature convinced Lyell that he had erred in supposing man's geological impacts to be "no greater than that of brute animals," 1 s and the relationships between G o d , nature and human beings suddenly became a matter of open debate. 1 6 Change as descr ibed in these books was not theoretical. Through the course of their collecting activities, North American natural historians were witness to the role that European immigrants played in changing the environmental relationships in their newly adopted h o m e . 1 7 A nascent plant Ecology: Natural History categories meet Physiological processes. If the first half of the nineteenth century had been devoted to revealing the variety in nature, the second was about explaining how and why this variety had come abou t j s Standard accounts of the history of natural history tell us that through a period of debate 1 4 Barber. (1980), p 222, 286. 1 5 George Perkins Marsh (1864 [1965]). Man and Nature or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action, David Lowenthal (ed), The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, p xxii. 1 6 The common intellectual context that had bound matters of European science and theology had shattered in the 1870s and 1880s. Robert M. Young (1980). "Natural Theology, Victorian Periodicals and the Fragmentation of a Common Context" in Colin Chant & John Fauvel (eds) Darwin to Einstein, Historical Studies on Science and Belief, Longman, New York, pp 69-107. It must be said though, that in Canada McGill University principal J.W. Dawson resisted a Darwinian interpretation of nature until his death in 1899. It is ironic to note that Darwin was one of the co-signers on the testimonial that led to Dawson's being elected to the Royal Society of London in 1862. "Sir John William Dawson" in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, also Berger, p 39. 1 7 A similar case has recently been made for the United States. Richard W. Judd (2003). "George Perkins Marsh: The Times and their Man" in Environment and History, vol 10, no 2, pp 169-190. 18 David Elliston Allen. (1976) The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History, Allen Lane, London, p 179; The static morphological view of nature described earlier can be contrasted with the genetic view that sought to capture nature's dynamism by explaining patterns of plant and animal distribution over the earth's surface. The first was a study of form, the second, relationship. The two broad schools existed side-by-side, and an example of the latter would perhaps be Alexander von Humboldt's global collecting activities. Evolutionary debates in the 1860s and on would see the latter supersede the former in structuring botanical investigation. For more on this in Canada see Zeller 1987, p 204. 19 scientists embarked to convert Darwin's array of evidence into proven fact, "a project that necessi tated a new type of investigator who would leave the field and explore p rocesses and mechanism via delicate manipulative skills and a strong urge to take nature apart."i9 Methods, we are told, shifted from accumulation and description of species to the study of the anatomy and physiology of organisms.20 Whereas natural historians had sought to uncover large-scale patterns of nature through collecting and classifying, the new biologists sought to understand the internal workings and fundamental causes of organisms in their laboratories. The old science was accessible to amateurs, we are instructed, but certainly not the new.21 The basic choice was whether botany post-Darwin was to emphas ize -systematics according to establ ished practice, or to explore new fields and study the plant "in all of its internal composition and potent ia ls? '^ Further, the competing experimentalist and naturalist traditions "had been at war in a number of fields... during most of the nineteenth century"23 and historians have described the emerging professional biologists as experimentalists. The end of an amateur accessible natural history had come, or as G .F . Ferris more colourfully wrote, The intellectual climate has changed and it is perhaps as well for their own sakes that the "old Time Naturalists" are gone. They would not be comfortable in the present climate! ...Natural history has changed to meet the demands of the new environment and naturalists have either disappeared or altered their outlook to meet the new conditions.24 19 David Ellison Allen (1976), p 179-180. 20 Waiser, W.A. (1989). The Field Naturalist: John Macoun, the Geological Survey, and Natural Science, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, p 204. 21 Lynn K. Nyhart. (1996). "Natural History and the 'new' biology" in Cultures of Natural History, N. Jardine, J.A. Secord and E.C. Spary (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 426-443. 22 Andrew Denny Rodgers III (1944). American Botany: 1873-1892, Decades of Transition, Princeton University Press, Princeton, p 229. 23 Garland E Allen (1979). "Naturalists and Experimentalists: The Genotype and the Phenotype" in Studies in the History of Biology, vol 3, William Coleman and Camille Limoges (eds), The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 179-209, quote taken from pg 179. 24 G.F. Ferris (1955). "The Contribution of Natural History to Human Progress" in A Century of Progress in the Natural Sciences, 1853-1953, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, pp 75-87. Quote taken from p 76. 20 I do not agree with any of these descriptions, however, and provide evidence for my beliefs in chapter five on the amateur C . C . Pemberton and his interests in tree physiology. The fact is that the field and the laboratory were not mutually exclusive, even in the time of Darwin, so it is incorrect to map amateur science as field-based and laboratories as the domain of the professionals. Further, a close examination will show that in any given place there were multiple scientific cultures, each with different traditions, yet each capable of communicating observations to the larger scientific community. Science is nowhere near as homogenous as Ferris described above. Darwin participated in overlapping cultures, and Al len has suggested that Darwin's genius was that he combined in one person two contrasting types of science that were normally quite separate: "as well as a collector and an observer he was an experimenter and a theor is t . ' ^ W e should not be too eager to draw impermeable boundaries around our epochs and our categories, a belief that will be supported by my historical portraits in the chapters to come. Darwin was an individual who participated in and contributed to several scientific traditions, and he was a hero to each. His work provided the justification and motivation for studying relationships among organisms and between organisms and environments.26 The last paragraph of Origin s t ressed the inter-relations between spec ies and the dependence of spec ies on their environment .27 Nature as the entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth ... [all] dependent upon each other in so complex a manner.28 This is a virtual description of modern ecology and a combination of two former supposedly separate scientific projects: natural history's focus on spec ies diversity and 25 David Elliston Allen, p 177. 26 Eugene Cittadino. (1976). "Ecology and Professionalization of Botany in America, 1890-1905" in Studies in the History of Biology, vol 4, William Coleman and Camille Limoges (eds), The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, p 172. 27 Barber, p 287. 28 Charles Darwin. (1859). Origin of species by means of natural selection, or, The preservation of favored races in the struggle for life, John Murray, London, p 489. 21 physiology's concern with how living things normally function. The latter interest came from continental Europe where organized German agricultural schools arose in the 1820s. Beginning in the 1860s, Jul ius S a c h s was the leading promoter of botanical physiological research within this context.29 Physiology, the science of the vital functions of an organism and its parts, could be explored more easily in plants than animals, the former being more easily manipulated and transformed than the latter. Concerned with the inter-relationship between a plant and its environment, Sachs described the plant's essential mineral nutrients, he invented hydroponics, and descr ibed the metabolism of seed Sachs ' s interest in physiology was representative of a new subject of teaching and research in German universities as early as the 1870s, a time in which British botanists devoted themselves to inventory and "the floristic exploitation of the British Dependenc ies . ' ^ A n organism's environmental response was a subject of great interest to Darwin, who was himself an admirer of Julius Sachs 's Lehrbuch der Botanik. Darwin read the English translation that appeared in 1875 as Textbook of Botany and he found the physiological ideas as expressed in the volume "a great boon to all lovers of natural sc ience in England."32 Sachs however, did not return this admiration, finding Darwin's experimental 29 There were many others in this period who performed similar research specifically on trees, but I have so far been unable to track down anything written about their efforts. These would include Karl Gustav Heyer (1797-1856) and Robert Hartig (1839-1901) among others. 30 Philip J . Pauly. (1987). Controlling Life: Jacques Loeb and the Engineering Ideal in Biology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, p 34; Duane Isely (1994). "Julius von Sachs (1832-1897)" in One Hundred and One Botanists, Iowa State University Press, Ames, pp 216-219. 31 F.O. Bower (1925). "English and German Botany in the Middle and Towards the End of Last Century" in New Phytologist, vol 24, no 3 (Aug 12,1925), pp 129-137. Citation from p 136. "A great expansion of Imperial interests had taken place in the early Victorian time. The whole energy of Kew, of the British Museum, of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in a minor degree of other centres, had been concentrated upon the floristic exploitation of the British Dependencies." Ironically, Bower's piece ends with a warning. He felt that British botany in 1925 was making the same mistake as the earlier era in which science tended to concentrate too much on the application of Imperial needs. By producing specialists in "Forestry, Plant-Pathology, and Plant-Breeding", the State was sending out botanists "too quickly and imperfectly qualified." 32 Allen, p 176, 177; Charles Darwin. (1884). The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants, 2nd edition, D. Appleton and Company, New York, pg vi. 22 work to be "unskilfully made and improperly exp la ined . " 3 3 The two men represented competing scientific cultures that employed different methods and thus different criteria for knowledge generation. Compet ing scientific cultures subscribe to different goals so when Sachs criticized Darwin's work he was making a value-judgement in that he found the tatter's methods to lack epistemic value. During the 1870s Sachs explored plant motility as influenced by access to light. These responses, known as tropisms (from the Greek for 'a turning'), were more generally any directed response to a constant stimulus. The classic example would be the tendency for a seedling to turn and grow towards a light source, but other such stimuli also include gravitation, moisture, chemicals and solid objects. O n a practical level, by manipulating these environmental factors and understanding the processes at work, it was possible for Sachs to control the growth and movement of plants. On a theoretical plane, much like those interested in natural theology, he was trying to establish the unity of nature by demonstrating similarities of 'irritability' in the vegetable kingdom.34 Darwin was aware of Sachs ' s experimental work and performed his own to determine the evolutionary relationship between the many types of plant movements. His results contradicted those of Sachs that described plant movements as mechanistic in origin. Darwin postulated that the sensitive site and reacting site of the plant were not one and the same, and that there was a transmission of the stimulus.35 He thought that such physiological p rocesses must be inherent in every plant in the vegetable kingdom, and Darwin further hypothesized that plant movement could not have evolved in so many spec ies "unless they were derived from a more trivial but almost universal tendency of all 33 Sachs as cited by Soraya De Chadarevian (1996). "Laboratory science versus country-house experiments. The controversy between Julius Sachs and Charles Darwin" in British Journal for the History of Science, vol 29, pp 17-41. Quote from p 17. 3 4 Pauly, p 34. In a book on Loeb, Pauly's point is actually that Sachs was demonstrating similarities between plants and animals, but my point still stands. Definitions from Benjamin Daydon Jackson. (1928). A Glossary of Botanic Terms With Their Derivation and Accent, 4th ed, Duckworth, London. 3 5 De Chadarevian, p 26. 2 3 plant organs to carry out tiny movements . " ^ He published his thoughts first as an essay on climbing vines in the Journal of the Linnean Society in 1865, and later in expanded book form. Eventually these inquiries encompassed all plant movements, not just climbing vines, in the much larger The Power of Movement in Plants oi 1880. This encompassed s leep movements, oscillations of vines, the arching hypocotyl in its push through soil, spreading leaves, bending of flower stalks, evasion of obstacles by roots, and the influence of light, gravity, and moisture in optimal growth orientations. These investigations required both extensive f ieldwork—"my observat ions, founded on the examination of above a hundred widely distinct living spec ies"—and experiment—"The movements... were traced in the manner which after many trials we found to be best, and which must be descr ibed . " 3 7 Darwin and Sachs studied plants as individuals but if each plant reacted in specific ways to environmental stimuli, then it was possible to answer emerging ecological questions such as why species congregated under certain environmental conditions to form definite communities. In this view, plants had minimum and maximum requirements for light, temperature and moisture, outside of which they could not exist. Danish botanist Johannes Eugen ius BCilow Warming (1841-1924) explored these issues in his 1895 book, Plantesamfund, or Oecology of Plants in its 1909 English translation. Warming used water budgets and growth forms to create a regional classification of plant associations in Northern Europe. Because the availability of environmental water is apt to change, Warming descr ibed plant associat ions as not existing in a steady-state. Rather, they may disintegrate under pressure and reform as other plants rush in to take advantage of the altered condi t ions. 3 3 The English title of Warming's book resurrected German zoologist Ernst Haeckel 's 1866 neologism Oecology to refer to the study of an organism's environmental conditions, and his research followed the Humboldtian tradition in trying to 3 6 Quote from Barbara Gillespie Pickard. (1966). "Preface" to The Power of Movement in Plants by Charles Darwin, assisted by Francis Darwin [originally published in 1880], Da Capo Press, New York, p xiv. 3 7 The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants, p 2; and The Power of Movement in Plants, "Methods of Observation," p 6. 3 8 Donald Worster. (1994). Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas, 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, p 201. 24 explain plant distributions on the basis of physical forces.39 Like Warming, the Ge rman Andreas F.W. Sch imper (1856-1901) was intrigued by water availability and the resulting adaptations of xerophyllous plants, those capable of surviving in very dry environments. Schimper 's work was neither that of the physiologist in the laboratory nor that of the systematist in the herbarium, and the publication of his observations in 1898 as Pflanzen-geographie auf Physiologischer Grundlage (or Plant Geography on a Physiological Bas is in the posthumous Engl ish edition of 1903) was of near equal importance to Warming's contribution to the field.40 Warming's slightly earlier book was very well received in North Amer ica during the 1890s where it had a tremendous impact on botanical thought. Warming rather importantly distinguished his research from the floristics more popular in Great Britain. Floristics focused on species or genera, while his vegetational studies examined the collective phenomenon produced by many spec ies together. In this way Warming was transmitting an approach with a lineage traceable back to the plant geography of Humboldt in two ways: an emphas is on physical conditions and a focus on vegetation rather than individual spec ies . 4 1 This was an approach that had great appeal to botanists in the United States. Historical accounts of plant ecology's North American origins concentrate on the work of two men, Frederic E. C lements (1874-1945) and Henry Chand ler C o w l e s (1869-1939), both of whom received P h D s in 1898. Cow les had gone to the University of Ch icago to study geology and physiography, but diverted course when botanist John Merle Coulter gave him a German- language copy of Warming's Plantesamfund. Cow les applied Warming's successional ideas to the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, and produced a thesis that described plant communities as structured in space by lakeshore 39 Duane Isely (1994). "Johannes Eugenius Biilow Warming" in One Hundred and One Botanists, Iowa State University Press, Ames, pp 227-229; Worster, p 192; Michael Dettelbach (1996). "Humboldtian science" in Cultures of Natural History, N Jardine, J.A. Secord and E.C. Spary, (eds), Cambridge University Press, pp 287-304; see also Chapter three, "Humboldtian Science" in Susan Fay Cannon (1987). Science in Culture: The Early Victorian Period, Dawson and Science History Publications, New York, pp 73-110. 4 0 "Andreas Franz Wilhelm Schimper" in Duane Islely (1994). One Hundred and One Botanists,\owa State University Press, Ames, pp 271-273. 4 1 F.E. Egler(1942). "Vegetation as an object of study" in Philosophy of Science, 9, pp 245-260; Malcolm Nicolson (1996). "Humboldtian plant geography after Humboldt: the link to ecology" in British Journal for the History of Science, vol 29, pp 289-310. 2 5 physiography. A s one moved farther away from the harsh effects of Lake Michigan, dominant spec ies changed to include those less tolerant of the pounding waves. Clements did similar work in Nebraska, focusing instead on shifting community structures in a single place through time. He produced an outline of how, guided by climate, success ive plant groups came to alter their environs for the suitable invasion of new plant associations. Ultimately and in contrast to Warming, Clements believed that these changes would reach equilibrium upon attainment of a climax formation. What was distinctly American about 'dynamic' plant ecology was the emphasis on whole plant communit ies that were treated as functionally independent uni ts. 4 2 Science in the Canadian Civil service Even if the religious underpinnings of British North American natural history were being questioned abroad, this had little effect on the increasing practical demands placed upon sc ience by governments in C a n a d a . With professionalization, the motivation for scientific practice switched in emphasis from personal moral uplift to public material benefit. Natural history thus found a patron in government and the inventory sc iences endured in federal government institutions long after the close of the nineteenth-century for three reasons. First, natural history as it had been, retained the benefits of creating resource inventories that fulfilled "the natural need of a largely unexplored country to find out about its physical geography, climatic characteristics, and strategic potential." 4 3 The explorer botanical tradition of Menz ies , Dawson, and Macoun had already proven the usefulness of plant knowledge to government and this was a legacy that would ultimately grow with time. Second, natural history was highly accessible to a lay audience, which would include the politicians who voted to fund or withhold government sponsorship of these act iv i t ies. 4 4 4 2 Cittadino, p 172, 187; Worster, p 206. 4 3 Vittorio Maria Guiseppe De Vecchi. (1978). Science and Government in Nineteenth-century Canada, Unpublished Phd thesis, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, p 156. De Vecchi's death very soon after the completion of his thesis prompted the editorial staff of Scientia Canadensis to publish three chapters so that his ideas would receive a wider circulation. These may be found in June 1984, vol VIII, no 1; December 1984, vol VIII, no 2; and December 1985, vol IX, no 2. These are most likely much easier to get ahold of than a copy of the original thesis. 4 4 Ibid, pg 164. 2 6 Political patrons placed value on, and understood this botanical fieldwork, which provided a refuge within government service for individuals whose generalist methods were no longer as valued in the emerging Canadian universities, institutions in which labwork came to compete with the traditional field-methods of natural history. Lastly, during the 1880s the usefulness of statistics became a central issue in administration for the Dominion government. The similarities between natural history inventory and administration, both of which involved "collecting, comparing, and classifying observat ions,"^ is an assumption upon which I will build all further investigation. These similar practices explain why, despite their declining popularity within great portions of the scientific community, natural history methods and techniques were conscripted by the civil service where they remained strong. Through sponsorship of research, Canad ian government intervention shaped scientific practice and in so doing initiated research that we can label as "mandated science." This is, and was, sc ience produced or interpreted for the purposes of public policy, research that differs from what we might call pure research in that "the relationships between science, values, public policy and economics are acknowledged and explicit."4©- British Columbia forestry is one such mandated science and my principal argument of the thesis is that B .C . forest management can trace its intellectual roots, at least in part, to the adoption of natural history methods by government. Sc ience in the provinces: The Natural History Society of British Columbia There is a modest literature on federally sponsored science in C a n a d a but less on that conducted on behalf of the provinces. At the federal level we are told, one of the greatest obstacles to central Canadian scientists trying to build a national scientific identity was the constitutional stipulation that both universities and resource matters fall under provincial jurisdiction. Confederation was a serious setback for the local scientific societies in Upper and Lower C a n a d a because none of the societ ies had sufficient prestige to be considered truly national in importance on its own, and the British North Amer ica Act did not allow for strong links between the federal government and the learned societies 4 7 What this 4 5 Ibid, p 164. 4 6 Liora Salter. (1988). Mandated Science: Science and Scientists in the Making of Standards, Kluwer Academic Publishers, London, p 186. 4 7 De Vecchi, p 17. Figure 1-1. Natural History Society of British Columbia on Little Saanich Mountain near Victoria, circa 1895. Photograph taken by Frederick Victor Longstaff (1879-1961). B.C. Archives NA-40863. 28 meant in British Columbia of course, was that amateur scientists tried to build very strong links between their projects and those of the provincial government. Given the c lose physical and constitutional proximity of their activities, local amateurs offered their volunteer services to the provincial government via the provincial museum. Victoria, Vancouver and Vernon were centres of amateur natural history activity but it was in Victoria that practitioners tried to assume not merely local but provincial status. There had been much collecting done in British Columbia, but as a rule collectors had "in general taken their material away with them."48 The Natural History Society of British Columbia, the first local scientific society, was created in Victoria on March 26th 1890 after invitations were sent to "gentlemen known to be interested in the study of Natural History," for a meeting in the office of the Provincial Museum. There they decided upon a name, and that "the object of [the] Society should be to acquire and promote a more extended knowledge of the natural history of the Province, and to act as an independent auxiliary to the Provincial Museum."49 This move formalized a voluntary arrangement whereby amateur collectors, or "those who have the opportunity," suppl ied the museum with spec imens collected "from all parts of the province... and forwarded [them] to the Curator..."so More than forty of these gentlemen indicated that they wished to join the society, and their first regular meeting was held on April 14th, when President Ashdown Green delivered an inaugural address and then read the first instalment of a paper on the "Salmonidae of British 48 J.K. Henry (1915). Flora of Southern British Columbia and Vancouver Island with Many References to Alaska and Northern Species, W.J . Gage & Co Ltd, Toronto, p iii. 49 Rules and by-laws were adopted at the same meeting, and the following officers appointed:—President, Ashdown Green, C .E . ; Vice-Presidents, M. Lopatecki and Dr. Hasell; Secretary, Dr. C F . Newcombe; Treasurer, J.K. Worsfold; Curator and Librarian, John Fannin; Committee, J . Deans, J . Fielding, Capt Devereux, H. Woottoni Jas A. Cohen, Victoria (1891). Papers and Communications read before the Natural History Society of British Columbia, vol 1, no 1. . [B.C. Archives library NW 971.25 N285p]. "The Provincial Museum itself was established on 25 October 1886 following a petition which was presented to the Lieutenant Governor. Signed by some of the leading men in the province, the petition requested the establishment of a museum which would classify, preserve, and exhibit "specimens of the natural products and Indian antiquities and manufactures of British Columbia" (B.C. Archives Finding Aid to accession GR-0111). The Natural History Society became the academic arm of the museum, funnelling specimens into its collections, hosting lectures and publishing the occasional paper. 5 0 Quoted from the museum entry in the 1892 British Columbia Directory , found in Peter Corley-Smith. (1989). White Bears and other curiosities: The First 100 Years of the Royal British Columbia Museum, R B C M special publication, p 18. 2 9 Co lumb ia " s i The natural history society, at least initially, was composed of prominent Victoria men. They were literate, for the most part relatively wealthy, and looking for a venue to d iscuss topics of common interest. Among these founding members there were museum staff, at least two churchmen, two engineers, two medical doctors, and two photographers. Later to join were politicians, prominent civil servants, and their patron, B.C. 's Lieutenant Governor Sir Henri Joly de Lotbiniere.52 The Society sponsored field trips to points of interest in the surrounding vicinity, and by 1901 could boast 88 regular members.53 in 1900, the constitution was amended allowing ladies to be elected as members of the Society forming a separate Associate Branch, "paying the same entrance fees and dues as ordinary members, but not eligible for holding office among the latter."54 This gender division was eliminated in 1909, at the same time as which senior school pupils were al lowed admittance without voting privileges.55 The society was created at a time when theologically inspired collection and inventory was in decline across Canada . In B .C . the late establishment of the Victoria society allowed its members to initially maintain the generalist characteristics of the earlier era. Because so little of B .C . was known to western science, Victoria, or perhaps more correctly British Columbia, was not known as a centre of scientific inquiry. Professor Schauinsland, an American visitor to the city wrote to a Victoria newspaper in 1896, stating that 51 Papers and Communications read before the Natural History Society of British Columbia, vol 1, no 1. Jas A. Cohen, Victoria (1891). Publishing Committee: Ashdown Green, O.C. Hastings, Rev A. Beanlands, C P . Wolley, Rev. J . Wastie Green. [BCA library NW 971.25 N285p]. 52 The reader interested in Lotbiniere should consult Marc Gadoury (1998). "Sir Henry Gustave Joly de Lotbiniere: Visionnaire et promoteur de la conservation des forets, au Quebec a la fin du XIXe siecle" unpublished MA thesis, Dept of History, Laval University, Laval Quebec. 53 Natural History Society of British Columbia, Revised Constitution and list of members for: 1901. [BC A R C H I V E S Library Nwp 971.25 N285r ]. 54 Revised Constitution, April 2, 1900, B C A , M S 284, Reel 534. 55 Revised constitution of 13 December, 1909, BCA, MS 284, Reel 534. 30 I take this opportunity to express my satisfaction at the active and healthy natural history life which I found in Victoria, which doubtless is owing to the endeavors of the Natural History Society... I regard your provincial museum as the visible expression of this scientific activity. I must say that I really have been astonished to find such an institute in a place, which according to European ideas after all is rather removed from scientific centres. 56 Papers read at meetings during the first year of activity were distributed among both anthropological and natural history topics, and ranged from Dr. Boas ' 'The Skulls of the Indian Tribes of B.C." to Mr. J Fannin's 'The birds of B .C . and their distribution." The society's first publication in 1893 was in true inventory style, being comprised of lists of mammals, fish, insects, crustaceans, and marine shells. The membership could not muster the resources to publish more than three bulletins during their first twenty years of activity.57 Five years after the last bulletin was re leased by the society a disappointed executive was forced to report that ...Original research work has not I believe, been carried on during the past year very extensively by any members of the Society, therefore it is a pleasure to mention Mr. C . C . Pemberton's work in this direction with regard to Root growth. W e have every reason to hope that this gent leman, who has devoted so much time and study to this particular object, will prove to have been successful in discovering something new and of value to science. P lease let me suggest to our members that there must be other lines of original research work which might well engage their attention... 58 If little original research was being conducted by the membership in the years before 1915 it was certainly not for lack of enthusiasm amongst the founding members, a zeal that never transformed into wider support. At its inception in 1890, the Provincial Secretary granted permission for the society to meet every two weeks in a room adjacent to the museum, then in the Provincial Legislature. A s a result of their location in the provincial 56 B C Archives. MS 284, Minutes of the Natural History Society 1895-1908. Reel 533, Newspaper clipping in the minutes from meeting of June 15th, 1896. 57 The first two appeared in 1893 (containing a List of the Mammals by John Fannin, Notes on new and rare fish, by Ashdown H. Green, the Entomology of British Columbia, by W.H. Danby and C. De B.Green, a List of Crustacea, by C F . Newcombe, M.D. and a report on the Marine Shells of British Columbia, also by Newcombe) and 1897 (Notice of some new or interesting species of shells from British Columbia and the adjacent region, by William Healey Dall, Honorary Curator of the Department of Mollusks, United States National Museum). 58 BCA, MS 284. Minutes Natural History Society, reel 534, March 22nd , 1915 Annual General Meeting of the N H S B C . 31 capital and with so many connections to government, the Natural History Society executive saw themselves not as an organization local to Victoria but being representative of the province as a whole. This assumption was perhaps misplaced because the society never received the government's favour, a situation which lead to chronic feelings of neglect. Except for the most active executive members such as the Newcombes (father and son), J.R. Anderson and C.C. Pemberton, most were generalists with little specific knowledge of any branch of natural history. Even Anderson was a generalist in the sense that he made a study of plant growth in all of its forms. The leadership wanted experts to emerge from within the society ranks but this did not happen. Those individuals who did mount projects found their efforts frustrated by a lack of government support at every turn. The organization fared little better. The Society was asked to vacate their room in October 1902, but postponed departure from the legislature by moving their books to an anteroom adjoining the Lieutenant Governor's office and switching their meetings to a less desirable space. By 1908 the society was forced to find alternate arrangements and moved to a room in the Carnegie library building.59 The executive approached the municipal "citizen's committee" with several schemes to construct a permanent home.eo These included suggestions that the city guarantee bonds to acquire property and erect a building, or offer a 99-year lease on "a portion of the waste land at the rear of the Empress Hotel." Writing on behalf of the society, JR Anderson outlined that the modest quarters he was suggesting "provide for a large lecture room with accommodation for at least 500 people, a smaller lecture room, an office to accommodate the library and on the ground floor a museum room." Lest civic officials feel that they were being asked to supply all the inputs to realize this collaboration, Anderson pointed out that the society already had the nucleus of a museum, including W.J. Sutton's mineral collection—"the best in the province, worth some $10,000.00"—and that he would donate his botanical collection. Further, Mr. [Calletiy] had recently presented the society with his entomological collection and once it were known that there was a safe place 59 "The President and many of the members expressed much surprise and feeling in the matters, and the President stated that he thought if the matter was placed in a proper light before those in power, perhaps the request for removal might be waived." B C Archives, MS 284, Minutes of the Natural History Society of British Columbia, 2 October, 1902, 23 October, 1902, 2 November 1902 and 17 November, 1908. 60 B.C. Archives, M S 1912, James Robert Anderson papers, box 17, file 20, Anderson to Randolph Stuart, Secy Victoria Citizens Committee, 23 November, 1912. 32 for such objects there would be more donations forthcoming from "various quarters.'^ 1 Alternatively, should the city wish to construct a building on the society's behalf, the society asked that they be accommodated "with a lecture hall, museum room and office."62 The municipal government does not appear to have been a stronger supporter of natural history than the provincial administration. The society tried to re-secure space in the legislative library in 1920 with little success , and one year later fruitlessly explored the possibility of sharing space with some of the other local scientific societies.63 Eventually they could not afford the rent of their room in the "411 Jones Building," s o the executive turned their collection of books over to the care of the provincial legislative librarian for safekeeping. Thereafter meetings were held in space donated by the Boy Scouts, the King's Daughters, and the Provincial Museum.64 The legislative library's hospitality ended in 1926 when the society was asked to remove their book collection which was transferred to the Museum library on the understanding that the vo lumes would remain the property of the society and be access ib le to the membership .65 The government had created the provincial museum, but had not provided a staff to fill it with specimens. The volunteer auxiliary that stepped forward to fill this role were never supported financially, a neglectful relationship that will be explored more fully in subsequent chapters of the thesis. J R Anderson offered to donate five dollars per month towards the rent of a room for the society in 1921, but volunteerism and private donations could not 61 Ibid. Given that the society had been created as an independent auxiliary of the Provincial Museum, that they would propose a separate museum of their own is very curious. I cannot think of a reason why they would do this unless they had aspirations of their own. 62 ibid. 63 The only other organization named was the Engineering Institute of Canada. B C Archives, M S 284, Natural History Society meeting minutes, December 13,1920; January 10,1921; Secretary's annual report, March 14th, 1921. 64 ibid, Minutes for 9 May, 1921; 27 February, 1922; 8 January, 1923; 29 September, 1924 . 65 ibid, 11 Oct, 1926; Nov 22nd, 1926, March 28th, 1927, report of the Hon Secretary. The library remained in the museum holdings until the museum library was itself liquidated in 2003 as a cost saving measure, and distributed amongst the University of Victoria, the Provincial Archives and private book dealers. 3 3 sustain the organization. There was only one field meeting in the summer of 1926, and very few papers were read at the sporadic general meetings in the late 1920s.66 Records for the last years of the Society's existence are incomplete. The last entry in the minute book on March 13 ,1930 reads "Arrangements for Annual meeting to be held in the Provincial Museum 8pm 24 March 1930. Every effort to be made to keep the organization together until such [sic] under its present name. Meeting adjourned 5.45pm."67 Activities declined in Victoria after 1915 during an era in which they were ascendant in Vancouver. The society had faced financial scandal when the treasurer embezz led funds but there were also larger forces at work that initiated a decline.68 The seat of natural history knowledge in British Columbia had been the Provincial Museum, but this dominant position as the province's intellectual centre was questioned between 1890 and 1910. The debates surrounding the siting of the new university, ultimately located at Point Grey on the mainland, indicated that the centre of gravity had shifted to the mainland.69 Ironically, it was during this period of slow decline that the Society was at its most active in conservation matters. A s we shall discover in chapters three, five and six, Victoria natural historians advocated forest management and the creation of a provincial forest branch. These concerns were not unique to Vancouver Island, and if anything the growing interest in natural history among Vancouveri tes would initiate even more public debate concerning the province's forests. 66 B.C. Archives MS 284, Reel 534, Natural History Society of British Columbia, Minutes for meetings of 11 October , 1926; 25 October, 1926; 22 November, 1926; Annual report of the Honourary Secretary, 14 March, 1912; 28 March, 1927; Monday 25 April, 1927. 67 MS 284, Nat hist soc, vol 9, March 13,1930. Another organization with more modest, local aims was created in the 1940s, The Victoria Natural History Society. It appears to have attracted at least some of the same membership as its predecessor. B.C. Archives, MS 2211, Victoria Natural History Society records. 68 still tracking down the archival reference for this, but in the meantime, see Paula Lousie Eng (1994). "Parks for the People? Strathcona Park 1905-1933" unpublished Masters thesis, History Dept, University of Victoria, Victoria British Columbia, pg 60. 69 For more detail on these debates, consult R Cole Harris. (1977). "Locating the University of British Columbia" in B.C. Studies, no 32, Winter 1976-77, pp 106-125. 34 Natural History in Vancouver Vancouver had lagged a little behind Victoria's immigrant population in the creation of an intellectual society. Prior to the creation of a university, there had been two local natural history clubs. The first, The Art, Historical and Scientific Associat ion of Vancouver was created in the anteroom of Christ Church Cathedral in 1894 with the very broad aims of developing an art gallery, a library, forming a museum of antiquities representing Indian life, and preserving a collection of B .C . ' s natural products.™ Membership was open to anybody sharing these goals, primarily the educated upper c lass, as their pursuit was seen as a way of removing the rude edge of the new metropolis. "...If no restraining hand was put forth, eventually a harvest of corruption, with foetid and unhealthy surroundings, would result."7i This mandate was far more ambitious than that of the natural history society in Victoria, with the result that Vancouverites were not always successful in fulfilling their goals. Natural history never seemed to capture the membership's imagination and there were appeals from one annual meeting to the next for individuals to come forward and carry out "original investigation."? 2 Instead, through 1900 the Vancouver Associat ion emphas ized lectures on art, literature, and the presentation of musical evenings. For donations of 70 it was actually in 1889 that a Vancouver Art Association was established "in a small store on Hastings Street" but the group foundered and was later merged with the Art, Historical and Scientific Association in 1894, its collection being acquired by the newer, more robust organization. Newspaper accounts of the time relate that the first organization failed because it had excluded women from its membership. CVA, Ms 336, Art, Historical and Scientific Association of Vancouver, 546-E-5, file 3. Annual report, 23 January, 1917. 7 1 CVA, MS 336, 546-E-4. Art, Historical and Scientific Association of Vancouver, file 1. Constitution, 1894; 546-E-5, Board minutes 1894-1901, loose sheets, typed carbon copy of "Woman's Life and Work in the Province of B.C." by S. Gertrude Mellon, first vice-president. My interpretation of the Association's goals is supported by Alfred Ian Hunt. (1987). Mutual Enlightenment in Early Vancouver, 1886-1916, unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Administrative, Adult and Higher Education, University of British Columbia, p 41. 7 2 CVA, ms 336, 546-E-5, file 3. Annual report, 17 January, 1914. "Surely amongst our Members there are some who would desire to form classes in some or all of these subjects [Ethnology, Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, etc], whose collections and reports could be exhibited and discussed and thus historical and scientific groups would be formed which by study and research would materially increase the status of the Association and make it more worthy of its name." Also, "While the subjects of Ethnology, Entomology, Botany, Mineralogy &c are not receiving the attention usually given by the membership of kindred societies, the Museum is developing as rapidly as space can conveniently be provided for exhibits..."; Report on the Annual meeting 26 January 1915. Lastly, from the same 1915 meeting, the association's natural history aspirations have" not [been] realized, but I hope it will soon." 3 5 botanical spec imens they were entirely reliant upon Principal Joseph Kaye Henry's high school students, and later McGi l l University Col lege s tudents . 7 3 The Associat ion establ ished a museum in 1905 above the Carnegie library at Main and Hastings, which located so close to Chinatown and Little Tokyo was a neutral meeting area between "ethnic" portions of the city and the more upper c lass west end. Though the museum's mandate was to educate the lower c lasses , Associat ion members were more interested in spending time with the already enlightened upper-class visitors of "light and leading" from elsewhere than in those they were to be en l igh ten ing 7 4 The aim of culturing the lower c lasses did not mesh very well with the egalitarian nature of amateur natural history culture, in which laypersons and experts were seen as contributing to the same scientific cause. A common scientific cause did not necessarily translate into a healthier organization however, even for a more specia l ized, professional organization. The Vancouver -based Entomological Society of British Columbia was created in 1903, and had mustered the wherewithal to issue a quarterly bulletin by 1907. The Vancouver Naturalists' Field C lub had been created as a subordinate society in 1906, with the motto "Know something of everything, and everything of something," and the two groups shared an executive membership with the expectation that regular members of the parent society would join and assist with "botanical, zoological and geological inquiries." The more general field club was intended for amateurs including both "ladies and gentlemen." Children were to be admitted as junior members but the motivation for the club's creation was the enlightenment 7 3 CVA , Ms 336, 564-E-5, file 1, Secretary's report 1900. Joseph Kaye Henry would go on to author his1915 volume, Flora of southern British Columbia and Vancouver Island with many References to Alaska and Northern Species. W. J . Gage and Co. Ltd., Toronto, a book "prescribed for use in the schools of British Columbia" and intended for use by amateur botanists. The flora was later criticized for its inaccuracies. These were due to Henry's inexperience and that "no general herbarium has been established and descriptions of plants are scattered though many books and scientific publications." Locally, Henry was assisted by JR Anderson, Eli Wilson, A . J . Hill, C F . Newcombe and John Davidson. See preface, p iii. 7 4 CVA , Ms 336, 546-E-5, file 3. Curator's Annual report, January 11th, 1910. "Members of the British Association, Conventions on Forestry, on Municipality Work, and other important subjects have gathered here, and... have visited and been interested in our Collections. Men and woman [sic] of "light and leading" from all parts of the world have come to Vancouver in unprecedented numbers, seeking information, and imparting it ...the museum... was visited by over 36625 persons during the year; many hundred children, Orientals and others are not accounted for and their number cannot be computed." See also Hunt, p 56. 3 6 of school teachers recently legislated to teach nature-study in their c lassrooms .75 A n address by the field club president W m Burns, BA , entitled "The Value of Local Associat ions," listed three criteria by which club members should guide their activities. The first was the enormous work to be accomplished in the fields of natural science, a task to which the membership should contribute. The second was the principle of co-operation in "all forms of work today" by which he intended the expert to assist the novice, and vice versa. Finally, club activities were to reflect that "this is an age of utilitarianism, looked upon as the test of the right of any society to exist." The latter point was emphas ized with the insight that formerly the subject of ridicule in "comic papers and the makers of vulgar witticisms," the "bug-hunter" cum entomologist's work "is becoming recognized as of the utmost importance to the nation" and "men formerly considered as mere hobbyists are put in places of trust and emolument." Burns felt that there was little knowledge of B.C. 's flora and fauna, and that the local club would do "inestimable value" in extending that knowledge Exper ience would prove otherwise. "It was anticipated that the early spring week-end excursions [of 1907] would bring out the members in force. But our hopes were doomed to disappointment." The field excursions were usually undertaken by no more than two to four members, and some outings were cancel led entirely on account of rain. If the club organized outings for a third season , no records survive .76 A third Vancouver organization with an overlapping elitist mandate was the B .C . Academy of Sc ience. This was a much more esoteric society than the failed field club, and one whose membership came from much farther afield, including the highly educated residing in Vancouver, Abbotsford, Victoria and Nanaimo. Their inaugural address was in December 1910, and later papers included such inaccessible subjects as "A Geometr ical Vector Algebra."77 The establishment of the University of British Co lumbia in 1915 was a tremendous boost to Vancouver's intellectual life, and attracted at least one natural historian 75 CVA , M S 484, 565-B-6, The Vancouver Naturalists' Field Club, Prospectus of Field Days, 1907. Officers included Hon President R.V. Harvey, Pres Wm Bums, Vice President J.K. Henry (of Henry's flora fame), Secretary R.S. Sherman, Treasurer AH Marrion, and committee Miss Eaton, J .H . Tarrant and A.E.W. Salt. 76 ibid, "Report of Field Club Excursions during the season of 1907." 77 C V A Pam 1914-16. B.C. Academy of Science (1914). Papers Read before the British Columbia Academy of Science 1910-1913, printed by Western Specialty Ltd. Among the charter members were J.K. Henry, and Canon Beanlands of Victoria. 3 7 to the city. John Davidson's involvement with the University and his subsequent efforts in 1918 to create the thriving Vancouver Natural History Society will be explored in chapter four. A s we shall learn, Davidson was very successful in popularizing the conservationist cause, and adept at enlisting allied groups in support of his projects. Summary Natural History as practised by amateurs in British Columbia was rooted in a long European tradition of inventory and classification. Encounters with physiological ideas from the continent created a shift in research focus in North American universities to the relationships of spec ies with environment and neighbours. Despite this new emphas is among professional scientists, the old style of natural history continued to attract many amateur participants. The Natural History Society of British Columbia and the Vancouver Naturalists' Field Club were thus two late western Canadian additions to a long list of similar groups to the east. By the 1890s though, these were institutions imported from another place and definitely from another era. Natural History practice in B .C. provides a link between that earlier tradition descr ibed above and the knowledge that informed emerging efficient or wise-use conservation movements during the progressive era. These amateur natural historians saw a role for government involvement in planning economic development. In this vein, the same inventorial sc ience favoured by the amateurs was conscripted by the emerging civil services. At first these government scientists devoted themselves to creating resource inventories, but like the lay taxonomists, they were sensitive to the changes that immigrant economic activities had wrought on the new world. The B.C. naturalists were successful in initiating an inventory of local species, but they experienced less success in generating widespread support for their activities. A s will be descr ibed in the next chapter, botanical studies entered the civil service through a back door. Scientific arguments made by these lay practitioners added to the strength of other social and economic pressures that culminated in the creation of a provincial forest service in British Columbia. The next four chapters will explore how quite different scientific cultures all contributed to this process. 38 2. Duelling Herbaria: James Robert Anderson and the British Columbia amateur naturalist tradition. The career of J a m e s Robert Anderson exempli f ies the lobbying efforts made by amateur natural historians to shape provincial forest management at the turn of the twentieth-century. A s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Anderson blurred the boundaries between agriculture and forestry, and his public and private roles. He was undaunted by a lack of support for his departmental herbarium and injected his extra-curricular natural history interests into his ministerial post. This act of volunteerism was neither requested of him nor forbidden by his superiors. Anderson 's observations of trees, plants, and shrubs interested him in non-agricultural lands, which is to say the province's forests and their management. His greatest contribution to this end was the collection of forest fire statistics. Anderson felt that his knowledge should be central in government affairs and decision-making and in this way his outlook mirrored trends in the federal civil service. The generalist, inventory nature of Anderson's scientific work did not appear to address specific political problems however, with the result that it was not valued by his political masters. Anderson studied floristics, not plant geography, and while his work could detect vegetation change he was at a loss to provide much commentary on what these changes meant. When Anderson retired, formerly reluctant provincial politicians were quick to claim ownership of these labours; the lack of a boundary between Anderson 's public and private activities over the course of his career thus placed him in a position of having been used by the government. Anderson's advocacy work helped others much more than himself, as his botanizing prepared the stage for the inclusion of later generations of experts in the provincial civil service. John Davidson, the subject of the second historical portrait, was hired as Provincial Botanist in 1911, to Anderson 's enormous dismay. Anderson saw a job that he had spent his entire career trying to create for himself filled by a recent Scottish immigrant with theoretical insights but no knowledge of the local flora. The tensions between Anderson and Davidson are indicative, in part, of the weak status of sc ience in the provincial service during the period. Early life and Natural History Interests J a m e s Robert Anderson (1841-1930) was born on June 19 at Fort Nisqually in Oregon Territory, then a part of the Hudson 's Bay Company commercial empire. The young Anderson, one of thirteen children, was "the almost constant companion of his father," Mr. A lexander Caulf ie ld Anderson (1814-1884), who was the H B C employee in charge I« Anliivw P M H * 6-KZa - Suwlini for llwon-ili Hill. So DuolHatiuu. firs H « > Veb for Utter tte Figure 2-1 James Robert Anderson, son of A.C. Anderson, ca 187?. Portrait bv S A Spencer (18297-1911). B.C. Archives photo G-07221. Y 40 of the fort.1 J a m e s Robert received his early education from his father, whom the historian Hubert Howe Bancroft considered the "most scholarly" of all the H B C officers he interviewed. While at Cathlamet on the mouth of the Columbia River, his father taught James Robert the arts of commercial orcharding, including planting, grafting, and pruning. The family lived at various fur-trading posts in New Caledonia until 1850 when nine-year-old J a m e s Robert travelled from Fort Colvi le to Fort Victoria with his eldest sister El iza who was 12, to attend the school conducted at the fort by the Reverend and Mrs. Robert Staines. The two children travelled with their father over the brigade trail to Fort Hope, then v ia boat to Fort Langley where they were met by Governor J a m e s Douglas. The last leg of their journey to Fort Victoria was accompl ished by canoe.2 The young J a m e s Anderson spent only two years at the school where he further developed his love for nature and cultivation of the soil. The school-boys were put to work spending "many a miserable hour weeding and thinning" the Reverend Staines' garden, , and later in life he was to recall the many lessons learned during excursions to Staines' farm at Mount Tolmie, and on trips to Metchosin. Anderson returned to his parents, but in 1858 his father moved the entire family to Victoria (this time the trip was accompl ished on the steamer Cortez) and the city became J a m e s Robert 's home until his death as an old man. Upon arriving in Victoria in 1858, Alexander Caulf ield became both the Collector of 1 A . C . Anderson is best remembered for the three overland expeditions he mounted on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company in the search for a supply route between Kamloops and Fort Langley that did not pass through American territory. He also had many intellectual interests including horticulture and natural history, and he was an ardent archaeological correspondent published in Reliquae Aquitanicia. Alexander Caulfield was elected a corresponding member of the Literary and Scientific Society of Ottawa in 1882. 2 "...That was a terrible experience for a little boy of nine. My sister was in one canoe and I in another. There were a half a dozen Indians to paddle, and not one of them could speak to me in my tongue to reassure me when I became frightened of the dark and the waves. When we crossed the Gulf the spray soaked us to the skin. We travelled through the night until the morning. I could not see or hear anything of the other boat, and I sat huddled up in the bottom of the canoe, fully expecting to be drowned." from "Mr. Anderson, City's Oldest Inhabitant" in Victoria Colonist, May 9,1924, p 13; B.C. Archives, M S 1912, James Robert Anderson Papers (hereafter JRA) , box 7, file 1, manuscript biography of Anderson's father by the Eastern Washington State Historical Society; J R A , File 8, Chapter 17, p 234; "Lover of Nature Aided Greatly to Plant Knowledge", The Daily Colonist, Victoria, Saturday April 12,1930, p 5; "Alexander Caulfield Anderson" by William Kaye Lamb, in The Canadian online Dictionary of Biography,; Obituary from Victoria Colonist, April 10,1930, p 1; B.C. Archives Vertical File, "James Robert Anderson", Reel 003, Frame 2117. For more on Anderson's father, Alexander Caulfield, consult Rod N.Palmer (2003). "Alexander Caulfield Anderson, An Ideal First Inspector of Fisheries" in B.C. Historical News, vol 36, no 2, pp 28-30. 41 Cus toms for the city's Port, and Postmaster. His son J a m e s Robert was given the position of junior clerk in the customs house and he took charge of the Post Office when the regular clerk went out for meals. J a m e s Robert left the public service within two years when he became an accountant and businessman for a succession of commission merchants and importers of drygoods and clothing. The transformation from H B C fort to provincial capital was a tremendous change to witness over the course of his life. A s a young boy Anderson 's relationships with young males (particularly natives) was adversarial, but later in life he came to believe like his father that local First Nations were being mistreated by government. His character was "loveable and chivalrous," 3 and Anderson took great pride in his long association with the city of Victoria. Indeed he made a second career of writing letters to the editors of the local press correcting what he perceived to be historical inaccuracies in print. This pride also took on the form of a civic patriotism and he worked to better Victoria's status in the province, particularly when the city was in competition with Vancouver for the siting of services and government offices. O n October 2 7 , 1 8 6 3 the handsome dark haired, dark eyed Anderson married Mary S h a w Harbel (1842-1916) and the two moved into a modest cottage at 38 Birdcage Walk; they never had any children.4 Miscel laneous diary entries beginning in 1879 indicate that Anderson was active in collecting botanical spec imens as a diversion from his business pursuits, continuing his boyhood interest in trees, shrubs and plants. By 1887 he was a member of Anderson Bros, "accountants and commission agents." Finally, approximately thirty years after having left the public service J .R . Anderson returned as an accountant in the "Government Buildings." He became the "Collector of Statistics" for Agriculture in June 1891, a branch of Finance and Agriculture under the Treasury Department.5 3 "Lover of Nature Aided Greatly to Plant Knowledge" in The Daily-colonist, Victoria B.C., Saturday April 12,1930, p 5. 4 J.K. Nesbitt, Sunday June 25, 1950. Victoria Daily Colonist, Magazine Section. "Old Homes and Families"; B.C. Archives, Vertical File, Reel 003, Frame 2117, "James Robert Anderson". Mr and Mrs. Anderson were animal lovers and many photographs show one or more dogs as members of the family. 5 B C A vertical file "James Robert Anderson"; J R A , box 1, file 1, 1879 diary; ibid, box 8, file 8, Insert "History of the Department of Agriculture of British Columbia." ISlffiw2?; iyr a n d M r s J " R - A n d e r s o n ' s home, Victoria, ca 1883. The Andersons Ta A ^ e s A ^ 7 7 7 ? t ^ ^ ° - C - H a S t i n 9 S " N ° t e t h e 9 a r d 6 n 9 n d S B . C . 4 3 A Venue within which to explore his interests The Department of Agriculture was initiated to advise B.C. 's immigrant farmers on which crops were best suited to which regions of the province. Scientific agricultural advice was to help overcome the lack of arable land in B.C. , as assumptions of agrarianism pervaded government policy through to the 1920s.6 Sc ience was thus a tool for economic development, and in his first Departmental report Anderson descr ibed topics that ranged quite broadly to include climate, the specific crops being grown in various districts, the hindrances to each such as diseases, and animal pests. By recognizing non-agricultural land-use (ie, forests and "forestry") the report implicitly recognized the large role that forestry would ultimately play in the provincial economy. Anderson 's appointment in British Columbia continued the Canadian trend of engaging self-taught scientists to provide resource inventories for the colonial effort (other examples being Anderson's friend in Ottawa, Dominion Botanist and Entomologist J a m e s Fletcher, and also Botanist John Macoun). In fulfilling his statistician duties Anderson sought to unite his natural history interests with his role as a public servant. He did this by creating a provincial agricultural inventory, collecting both descriptive "facts" and physical botanical specimens. In this way the amateur field techniques of the naturalists entered the civil service through a back door and in time became internalized as standard bureaucratic practice. From the outset Anderson infused his new post with his natural history interests to such a degree that within four years it became absolutely impossible to tell his legislated role apart from his leisure hour pursuits. He never drew a boundary between his public office and his private time. ...During my tenure of office, I voluntarily added to my duties the collection and classification of the botany of the province, which, when I left, amounted to some thousands of spec imens. In this work I w a s greatly a ided by my friend the late Dr. Fletcher and Mr. Tom Wilson and Professor John Macoun. I may add that I voluntarily did this work, it being no part of my duties, and spent most of my holidays and spare time towards its accompl ishment with 6 Cole Harris and David Demerirt (1997). "Farming and Rural Life" in The Resettlement of British Columbia: Essays on Colonialism and Geographical Change, Cole Harris, University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, p 245; James Ernest Murton (2002). "Creating a countryside in British Columbia: An alternative modernity, 1919--1935" unpublished PhD thesis, History Department, Queens University, Kingston. 4 4 the view of ultimately building up a Botanical Department for the Provincial Museum in Victoria. 7 During his first year Anderson estimated that "there are about 5,000 people in the Province engaged in agriculture, stock raising, &c." and he sent out circulars asking for information on land ownership, description of crops, and particulars of wages, amongst other questions. "Indifference, and suspicion of the object of the enquiries, deterred many" so that the returns were not large enough for the statistics he gathered to be very useful. Still, 54 gentlemen agreed to act as correspondents and to provide reports on the agricultural activities in their particular districts. When decrying the sparse meteorological coverage in B.C. and the importance of such information as it related to plant and animal life, Anderson reported that "instruments will be furnished for the use of volunteer observers." A s yet the sole employee of the department, Anderson 's statistical descriptions had to rely upon these volunteer efforts, supplemented with his one trip to the mainland for personal observat ion. This mode of volunteer correspondents duplicated the structure of natural history networks established by the Provincial Museum curator to collect spec imens and sightings. Like the curator, Anderson was reliant upon his correspondents for reports on activities on the ground. How the two differed was that Anderson was in turn dependent on J a m e s Fletcher, the Dominion Entomologist and Botanist in Ottawa, for answers to many of the technical questions posed by his correspondents. Anderson's first report as Statistician is a compilation of the letters that traced his mediation efforts in this back and forth flow of information. In his department of one, Anderson became even more of a generalist, 7 J R A , box 8, file 8 [memoirs chapter 17], "History of the Department of Agriculture of British Columbia", insert, page 2. 4 5 addressing his correspondent's problems and concerns that seemingly knew no limits.8 The Relationship between Agriculture and Trees; Natural History Anderson 's professional interest in British Columbia 's forests began in response to a question he received regarding the feasibility of growing hardwoods to supplement farm income. Anderson wrote to J a m e s Mills, President of the Ontario Agricultural Col lege, asking of the "hickory, walnut, ash, rock maple, &c", how long they took to attain a marketable value, which soils were best suited for their cultivation and how many to plant per acre.s Mills was forced to "acknowledge my inability to give you very definite answers to your questions about the growth and value of timber in your country," but kindly passed along some written notes by the col lege's gardener, Mr. J a m e s Forsyth. Forsyth noted that he had "read somewhere" that the growth of Ontario hardwoods in British Co lumbia w a s phenomenal , "so much so that they can hardly be recognized as the same species." Following Mills' counsel, Anderson then contacted the Fruit Growers' Associat ion of Ontario. 10 The Association secretary and Niagara peninsula horticulturalist Linus Woolverton endeavoured to get "replies from our most exper ienced men in forestry to the quest ions which you proposed in your letter," responses that suggested the importation of Amer ican 8 British Columbia. (1892). First Report of the Department of Agriculture, Queen's Printers, Victoria, p 731. We are fortunate that the reports reproduced so much of Anderson's correspondence because most of the government records of Anderson's tenure in the Department of Agriculture never made it into the archives. To my knowledge, they provide our only insight into his official activities. Anderson's first report contains far more colour than we might expect from somebody with the title of Statistician. When writing of diseases and pests Anderson told his readers that "Under the head of insects indirectly injurious to fruit culture we might include the foes of hurtful insects; but I must not try your patience by leading you further amid the intricacies of the marvellous machinery of nature. No man knows, and probably no man will ever know, the bearing of its every part. When we come to the subject of parasites of parasites the recollection of the old rhyme, which we have all heard, speedily pulls us up:— "Big fleas have little fleas, And little, less, to bite 'em. And these fleas have other fleas And so ad infinitum." 9 "It was suggested to me that the raising of such hard woods as the Province is entirely destitute of would not only be profitable, but that large areas of country now unutilized might, in the course of a few years, give handsome returns..." and Mills to Anderson, September 7th, 1891, reproduced in Report on Agriculture, 1892, p 856. 10 ibid, which is a reprinting of Woolverton to Anderson, 1 October, 1891. 4 6 nursery stock for plantation in "old, tiled, clean land." Only Quebecer Jean-Char les Chapais , the author of Canadian Foresters' Guide, recommended that Anderson counsel growing the hardwoods in British Co lumbia from seed . S ince some of these trees had been planted a very short time before at the federal experimental farm at Agass i z (established 1888), Anderson felt that there was enough evidence to prove that the growing of certain hardwoods could be profitable "and large tracts of waste lands might be ut i l ized." 1 1 The vast coniferous forests did not appear to have much value in the eyes of B .C . farmers. In addition to these tasks internal to the province, Anderson also spent a great deal of time corresponding with, and making collections for, foreign museums and exhibitions. He was involved with preparing the wood exhibits of the British Co lumbia submiss ion to the World 's Columbian Exposit ion and in a separate project he appealed for assistance in making contributions of plants, minerals, woods and "other things" for exchange with the Technological Museum of Sydney, New South Wa les (Australia). He sent collections of ' l imber and other products" to the Imperial Institute, and at the request of the High Commiss ioner in England he prepared another collection for the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. The spec imens of B .C . trees were "of more bulky a nature than that body is accustomed to" so with no room to display them it was suggested that they be transferred to the Museum of Forestry in the course of formation by the Surveyors' Institution of London . 12 These activities were more successful than those more central to his agriculture mandate because during 1892, Anderson experienced such little success with the volunteer system of reporting that the "apathy evinced" demanded some alternate approach to arrive at reliable conclusions. This frustrating situation continued the next year when the government granted the power to demand the information of citizens. Of his activities in 1893, "the nucleus of a library is now formed," Anderson was happy to report and "a museum likewise of the products of the country and spec imens of 1 1 "Linus Woolverton" in Online Canadian Dictionary of Biography,, Woolverton to Anderson, October 1st, 1891 as reproduced in Report on Agriculture. "Jean-Charles Chapais" in Dictionary of Biography, <>. Report on Agriculture, 1892, "In such parts of the Province as Okanagan, Nicole, & c , which are almost destitute of all kinds of useful woods, the planting of hard woods is certainly worthy of consideration." 1 2 British Columbia. (1893). Second Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1892, Queens Printers, Victoria, p 721; British Columbia. (1894). Third Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1893, Queens Printers, Victoria, p 1595, 1596; British Columbia (1893). Sessional Papers, Report - British Columbia exhibits at world's fair, pp 1151-1155. 4 7 our native plants is in contemplation." He appealed to his correspondents for collections of p ressed plants and spec imens of insects. "Any donations of this description will be thankfully received, and charges of transportation paid by the Department." Finally, he bemoaned the absence of agricultural schools and col leges in the province so that B .C . youth could acquire knowledge of "agricultural chemistry, botany and etomology [sic]," subjects "a knowledge of which is now recognized as essential for the successful and intelligent prosecution of farming and its allied sub jects . "^ Anderson's desire for a . departmental library, museum, herbarium, and educational programmes would have duplicated the efforts of the provincial natural history museum and its independent auxiliary, the Natural History Society. Perhaps this spoke more to Anderson 's ambitions than ignorance of their activities, but it appears as if he were co-ordinating his botanical efforts more closely with John Macoun of the Natural History Branch at the federal Geological Survey and good friend J a m e s Fletcher, Dominion Entomologist and Botanist at the Experimental Farm in Ottawa, than with other local natural historians.1 4 In 1894 the provincial department of agriculture was granted the authority to employ officers to collect Anderson's agricultural statistics because he had found it impossible to acquire dependable data through his volunteer circulars. More a matter of pride than this small victory however, was his accomplishment at having begun work on an herbarium of British Co lumb ia flora, including "specimens of noxious weeds , both native and imported." Anderson sent one thousand of these spec imens to John Macoun in Ottawa via Macoun 's son James , for identification. Five hundred duplicate specimens were given to "the museum" and Anderson projected that a valuable exchange in spec imens would be set up with foreign institutions. Anderson became a point of contact for B .C. botanical information as he received a request from the War Department in London for a list of native woods; with this inventory he provided information on "habitat, distribution, accessibility and economic uses." He reported that in the future he intended to make a check list of all B .C. 1 3 British Columbia. (1894). Third Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1893, Queens Printers, Victoria, pp 1597,1599 and 1600. 1 4 I do not have a specific citation to offer as evidence of this. Still, Anderson sent thousands of specimens to Macoun for identification beginning in 1899, J R A , box, 14, file 1, and Anderson was a longtime friend of Fletcher, though I am still now sure how they came to be acquainted. 48 native trees and plants which he felt, along with the herbarium specimens and specimens of wood, should "form both an interesting and valuable Provincial collection."15 Anderson's title had changed from Statistician to Deputy Minister of Agriculture, a re-naming that accurately reflected his increased activities, and this move towards increased generalization mirrored similar trends in the federal civil service. Counter to the increased scientific specialization of the era, Anderson exemplified the government scientists who were forced by necessity to move through broader fields of inquiry than the majority of their university counterparts. 16 Anderson joined the Natural History Society of British Columbia in 1895, and his herbarium spec imens appear to have been easier to gather than the agricultural statistics that were the original impetus for his appointment. He accompanied James Fletcher, in the federal civil servant's travels in B .C . making botanical and entomological collections, and later Anderson travelled by himself from the lower mainland as far as Revelstoke and northern Washington state collecting in and surveying agricultural districts. In his report for these years Anderson despaired that "no provision was made for the collection of statistics" as had appeared in earlier years except as incidentally provided by his volunteer correspondents; the expense in gathering comprehensive information for the entire province "was deemed a sufficient bar to their obtainment." What he did publish in his Fifth report took on a very different focus than the accounting of imports versus local food production that characterised his earlier efforts. Anderson's interest in land-clearing prompted him to solicit information on destructive summer forest f i res . 1 7 1 5 British Columbia (1895). Fourth Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1894, Queens Printers, Victoria, p 1016. 1 6 British Columbia. (1895). Fourth Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1984, Queens Printers, Victoria, p 827; p 1016. Anderson's friend John Macoun was of a similar mindset, who saw himself as one of the few remaining members of a generation of all-round naturalists. Waiser, W.A. (1989). The Field Naturalist: John Macoun, the Geological Survey, and Natural Science, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, p 102. 1 7 The Revised Constitution of the Natural History Society of British Columbia, 1901 indicates in the list of "ordinary members" that James Robt Anderson, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, joined the society on April 22, 1895 [BCA library Nwp 971.25 N285r]; British Columbia. (1897). Fifth Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1895-1897, Queens Printer, Victoria, pp 1013, 1154. 49 Land-clearing and large-scale vegetation change Of land clearing, Anderson asked his correspondents how they recommended removing the large timber and stumps from different categories of forest land for conversion to agricultural spaces. The responses were almost unanimous that felling the trees and blasting the stumps with dynamite was the preferred option, with auger-bored holes filled with lighting oil and stumping machines offered as second and third less desirable methods. Anderson was compel led to explain for readers of his report "not conversant with the nature of this country" that heavily timbered land in the lower mainland and the islands was rarely c leared for the plough in the manner descr ibed because the trees were far too large and too c lose together; heavily timbered lands in the Upper Country was quite different, the trees being much smaller and not nearly so close together. John Dilworth of Notch Hill, west of Sa lmon Arm, informed Anderson that when using fire to clear land ...the greatest possible care should be taken to confine it by not allowing it to spread on the outside; it not only damages the growing timber, but leaves the ground in a favourable condition for producing a rank growth of noxious weeds (which inevitably follow fire) that are troublesome to get rid of.18 In confirmation, Z .D . Page of Port Kel ls shared the observation that land burned over repeatedly tended to be full of ferns which were hard to eradicate. H.T. Thrift of Hazelmere, Surrey questioned the need for fire as a means for clearing land save for very small areas or valuable property for urban building purposes. His rational was that it was far better to preserve what merchantable timber was then left. In a very few years it will all be required. The destruction of valuable timber during the last few years has been carried on to a fearful extent, not that the land has been cleared up and made productive by any means. The country, for many miles in some districts, presents a wretchedly woebegone aspect with nothing to relieve the monotony but the charred and blackened bare trunks of what were magnificent specimens of fir and cedar trees which, if preserved, would eventually have produced a large amount of wealth that is now entirely lost to the countiy.19 1 8 British Columbia (1897). Fifth Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1895-1896, Queens Printers, Victoria, p 1160. 19 Ibid, p 1162. 50 These are the sort of observations that inspired Anderson to take an active interest in the province's non-agricultural lands and he asked his correspondents how summer fires were initiated and how they could be best prevented. O n the matter of the fire's origins his informants provided an enormously varied range of v iews, the most widely held being human carelessness, but they also included railway engines and non-human causes among the culprits. A few "lay a large share of blame on Indians" including the practices of lighting fires to promote berry growth and fires set to attract salmon upriver. Still others alluded to conflicts between loggers and farmers, including the aforementioned H.T. Thrift of Surrey, who suggested that the Government designate separate c lasses of timber and agricultural lands, something that did happen in 1896 when timber lands were reserved from sale. Much more ominous was T . J . Keel ing's observation from Anvil Island in Howe Sound that "if the timber was given to the poor in the same way as to the rich it would put a stop to many forest fires from animosity. Do away with timber limits."2o Forest fires were a fixture of the provincial landscape and given the connection between agricultural land-clearing and out-of-control fires, it was no surprise that the subject would attract the interest of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture. In his 1914 memoir, Anderson modestly wrote, Realizing the vast importance of our forests, and failing to obtain any assistance financially or even a recognition of its real value, without appropriations and staff, s ingle-handed, I did what was possible in obtaining data regarding its extent and economic value, the destruction by forest fires, wasteful and destructive methods practised by lumbermen, prospectors or care lessness generally. A s early as 1892 I recommended the reservation of a tract of virgin forest as a sanctuary for the preservation of at least a remnant of our primeval forests and on various occasions for many years thereafter through the Central Farmers Institute, the Board of Trade and other public bodies until at length a tardy recognition of its value was made by creating the reserve known as the Strathcona Park in 1910, luckily not altogether too late for the intention...21 Once again though, Anderson expanded the limits of his post by interrogating his correspondents on the effectiveness of the revised Bush Fires Act, legislation that did not 20 ibid, pp 1154 and 1155; British Columbia (1912). Final Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Timber and Forestry, 1909-1910, King's Printer, Victoria, p D 11. 21 J R A , box 8, file 8 [memoirs chapter 17], Insert, "History of the Department of Agriculture of British Columbia", page 2. 51 strictly fall within his jurisdiction. This expansion was motivated by Anderson's desire that agriculture and forestry co-exist; he does not appear to have discriminated between the two endeavours in the slightest. The original Bush Fires Act of 1874 had made enforcement within a district mandatory only if two-thirds of the inhabitants subscribed to its dictates. It was amended in 1887 to cover the entire province whether a particular district was so inclined or not, and again in 1890 when government agents were actually given the authority to enforce the act. Anderson asked his correspondents to comment on the 1896 revision that imposed specific precautions when clearing land. These restrictions included the purposes for which fires could be set and the permissable season for such activities. The revised act imported several statues from Ontario that required screening on locomotive engines to prevent sparks from escaping their furnaces. Enforcement of the act was to be the "special duty of every Government Agent, Go ld Commiss ioner , Timber Inspector, Mining Recorder, and Provincial Pol ice Officer or Constable." Division of responsibilities in the B .C . civil service were poorly defined, a structural feature that gave Anderson the ability to define his own position as with the herbarium he was building or in this case the extension of his work into the area more properly the realm of the Chief Commiss ioner of Lands.22 In duties much closer to those suggested by his department's name, Anderson received inquiries from agriculturalists regarding suspected livestock poisonings from eating native flora. He turned to both Dominion and American authorities for aid in identification of the guilty species, ascertaining that the Water hemlocks were fatal to both humans and animals when ingested. Anderson grew samples of these plants from roots originating at Sumas and in Oregon, illustrating the bewildering number of functions that he assumed as Deputy Minister.23 2 2 The full title of the Act was "An Act to prevent the Careless use of Fire in Woods and Forests"; John Vye Parminter. (1978). An Historical Review of Forest Fire Management in British Columbia, unpublished masters thesis, Department of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, p 22. J R A , file 10, Anderson to Thos. C. Bovill, Editor of 'Timber," London, January 17th, 1895. 2 3 J R A , vol 13, file 7, F. K. Chestnut, Assistant, U.S. Dept of Ag, Division of Botany, Washington D . C , to James Fletcher, Botanist, Canadian Dept of Agriculture, Ottawa, May 12,1897; Chestnut to Fletcher, August 25th, 1897; Orion Bowman of Upper Sumas to Anderson, Nov 6, 1897; C S . Sargent to Anderson, March 27, 1899; Sargent to Anderson, August 31, 1899; Chestnut to Anderson, May 1, 1900; R.M. Rose, Assistant Curator, Division of Plants, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D . C , to Anderson, May 9, 1900; Rose to Anderson, May 24, 1900; Chestnut to Anderson, September 22, 1900; David A. Brodie, Supt Puyallup Station Washington to Anderson, October 27, 1900. 52 Anderson's generalist outlook was characteristic of natural historians and counter to increased specialisation, Anderson w a s also a custodian of forest statistics, numbers that he disseminated in venues distinct from his departmental reports. Through 1898 and 1899 Anderson and his wife botanized a great deal , sending specimens for identification to both Macoun in Ottawa and C S . Sargent at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard, and he continued his exchanges with institutions overseas.24 In describing his departmental activities of 1900, Anderson was once again unable to present statistical information regarding B.C. 's agricultural products and interests because "no provision [had been] made for their collection." His continuing attempts to shame his political masters into funding data gathering efforts prompted him to write that "the absence of these statistics, v iewed from any standpoint, is to be deplored." He advocated, in a similar desperate attempt for financial support, that the government purchase land for a small agricultural station close to Victoria for experiments involving seeds and plants sent to the department (something never done). Anderson felt that the station at Agass iz represented but one climatic zone in a province with many, but more importantly, it answered to the Dominion government rather than himself. Similarly, British Columbians were entirely reliant upon the Dominion Chemist in Ottawa for the results of soil analyses, a situation that left Anderson entirely at the mercy of the Chemist 's benevolence since he was "fully occupied with other matters." In circumstances more under his own control Anderson was able to boast that he had collected "by my almost unaided efforts" fifteen hundred herbarium spec imens that represented a good start towards reflecting the botany of the province. Apart from these plant spec imens, examples of grains, g rasses, fodder plants and fruits specific to agricultural inquiries were being continually added to his growing departmental museum.25 Anderson did not discriminate between agriculture and forestry; he worked with plant and tree specimens equally in his communications, advertisements of B.C. 's resources and 24 Consult J R A , vol 14, file 1 for the herbarium specimens that Anderson sent to Macoun in Ottawa for identification, and file 2 for a listing of Anderson's Departmental herbarium as of 1900. The exchange between Anderson and Macoun is somewhat ironic in that Macoun himself was reliant upon American authorities for identification of his own specimens. For more on that situation see Waiser, p 98. On exchanges, look at J R A , vol 17, file 7, J .H . Maiden, Director of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney Australia, to Anderson, November 21, 1898 and Maiden to Anderson, April 10, 1899. 25 British Columbia (1901). Sixth Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1900, King's Printers, p 5. Specimen records in the Royal British Columbia Museum Herbarium indicate that Anderson was assisted in his collecting efforts by his wife Mary. 5 3 their potential. In his mind, he connected forests, water supply and plant growth, thus approaching B .C . forests in a broadminded manner. Forest Policy Most interesting (and indeed the reason for including his work in this examination) was Anderson 's growing interest in forest policy, the expression of which was influenced by his natural history interests.26 Anderson continued to collect specimens of "our native woods" for his departmental museum, for exchange with other parts of the Dominion and other countries, and the knowledge that these objects represented drew him deeper into forest policy venues. Anderson was seemingly quite alone through the 1890s (and indeed the first decade of the twentieth century) in advocating provincial forest management .27 Anderson dedicated himself to lessening the careless destruction of B .C . forests because he felt that forestry was closely connected with farming. On Vancouver Island at this time, the population of the C o m o x Val ley earned their livelihood by engaging in both farming and subsidizing their agricultural activities with money from logging.28 Anderson viewed the "relations between forests, water supply, and, therefore, of their bearing on the plant growth of a country" as intimate enough to warrant the publication of five forestry articles and one statistical table in his Department of Agriculture report for 1900. This was a document profusely illustrated with unattributed photographs of timber and logging scenes, a report that Anderson hoped would prompt renewed efforts in averting or lessening the "destruction of our forests by wasteful methods, care lessness and, above all, forest fires." 26 Anderson was interested in the preservation of both trees and wildflowers. He was concerned that the former were being logged improperly, and the latter were being thoughtlessly picked to extinction, particularly around urban areas. 27 B.C. historian Gordon Hak has acknowledged Anderson's role in advocating forest policies. Gordon Hak. (2000). Turning Trees into Dollars: The British Columbia Coastal Lumber Industry, 1858-1913, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, pp 80-82. 28 Richard Somerset Mackie. (2000). Island Timber: A Social History of the Comox Logging Company, Vancouver Island, Sono Nis Press, Victoria, see especially chapter 1. 54 Of the five papers, he wrote only the first two. The other three articles were pulled from American publications and the statistics came from Edward Mohun.29 Anderson 's paper "Forestry in British Columbia" was originally read to the Canadian Forestry Associat ion in Ottawa on March 7th, 1901, but it was published twice, at least once in his departmental report and again in The Canadian Lumberman.^ The article was his first attempt at connecting the world of forest policy with a natural history of trees, and the piece is extremely important in drawing connections during the period between British Co lumbia forest policy and the knowledge generated by natural history practice. The article was published in four parts: the first three were submitted by Anderson; the fourth consisted of commentar ies offered at the 1901 Canad ian Forestry Associat ion meeting by Wil l iam Saunders and John Macoun.31 Anderson began the article by describing the principal British Columbia tree species in order of economic importance, material that he took for the 29 "[forestry] has had all the attention bestowed upon it that it is possible to give with the limited means at my command." in British Columbia (1901). Sixth Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1900, p 8; "Forestry in British Columbia" p 109, this article also appeared in The Canadian Lumberman, May 1901, p 10-12; "Paper Supply of the Future", a reprint of his Victoria Colonist article of April 17th, 1901; "Ruinous Consumption of American Forests and the Influence on the Water Supply" from the Journal of Commerce of New York; "Forests and Reservoirs" from American Gardening, October, 1901; and "Trees" apparently written specifically for the Department of Agriculture's report. The table, by Edward Mohun, C .E . , was a compilation of the weights, specific gravities, deflections, breaking and crushing loads of some of. the British Columbia timber species. Edward Mohun (1837-1912) was a civil engineer. He variously worked for the C P R in 1871 and 1872 as an "explorer and surveyor," and in 1881 he surveyed the Cheakamus Indian Reserve No. 11 on behalf of the Indian Reserve Commission. Still later Mohun worked on sewage treatment on behalf of the Provincial Board of Health for Vancouver and Victoria. E. Mohun. (1888). "The sewerage system of Vancouver, B.C." in Transactions of Canadian Society of Civil Engineers, Montreal, 2: 243-67; and also E Mohun (1896). The sewerage system of Victoria, B.C.; E. Mohun (1904). The bacterial treatment of sewage, R. Wolfenden.Victoria; To place his sewage work into context, consult Arn Keeling (2004). "Sink or Swim: Water Pollution and Environmental Politics in Vancouver, 1889-1975" in B.C. Studies, special issue on the Environment, Guest Editor, Graeme Wynn, number 142/143, pp 69-101, but on Mohun see specifically p 74. 30 Anderson was not himself at the meeting in Ottawa, the paper being read by Dr Saunders of the Experimental Farm. See "Forestry Association" in Victoria Daily Colonist, p ***, 19**; British Columbia (1901). "Forestry" in Sixth Report of the Department of Agriculture of British Columbia 1900, pp 109-121; also Anderson, J .R. (1901). "Forestry in British Columbia" in The Canada Lumberman, May, pp 10-12. 3 1 As previously mentioned, Macoun was the Dominion Botanist, later in charge of the entire Geological Survey Natural History Division. Saunders was another federal civil servant, at the time conducting his work at the Ottawa Experimental Farm into such fields as "cereal culture, dairying, animal husbandry, horticulture, forestry, and the application of chemistry and botany to agriculture." Dictionary of Canadian Biography. 5 5 most part from George Mercer Dawson 's Notes on the Distribution of some of the more Important Trees of British Columbia.^ For each spec ies Anderson followed Dawson 's lead by providing a list of botanical synonyms, growing conditions, distribution, s ize, and some commentary on economic uses. Anderson obviously felt that the natural history of these trees was important but he did not make any explicit link between these botanical descriptions and policy. Instead he followed the tree inventory with a statistical report that the provincial government had suppl ied to the Forestry Commiss ion at the Ch icago World fair in 1893, figures that Anderson was not prepared to claim were necessarily correct. These statistics outlined the extent of provincial timber limits, and the rate of cut per annum, a rate of harvest that Anderson feared would eliminate accessib le forest in sixty years. He concluded with a short description of the forest legislation then in effect, including details on tenure and an outline of the Bush Fires Act. These he felt were "good as far as they go" but the difficulties of enforcing them in a region as sparsely settled as British Columbia made them inoperative. His remedy was to recommend establishing a system of forest rangers similar to that which existed in Germany that would operate adjacent to settlements and in the vicinity of logging operations ("those areas of forests lying beyond the limits of civilization" would be necessari ly neglected and left unguarded). Under a system of "special taxation", he felt that such an arrangement might be made "self-sustaining."33 3 2 George Mercer Dawson. (1880). "Note on the Distribution of Some of the More Important Trees of British Columbia" [and map] in Canadian Field Naturalist, vol 9, No 6, pp 1-11. I have translated Anderson's listing into contemporary common names. These were Douglas Fir, Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce, Yellow Cedar, Hemlock, Grand Fir and Western White Pine. The trees Anderson felt were of lesser importance he devoted only a very short paragraph in description. These lesser trees were the Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Western Larch, Broad-leaved Maple, Vine Maple, Red Alder, Cottonwood, Garry Oak, Paper Birch, Dogwood, Buckthorn and Pacific Crab Apple. "The other coniferae of the Province do not, in my opinion, require special descriptions, growing, as they do, in comparatively limited quantities, many of them in the interior of the country and only used in default of better timber." 3 3 The use of the phrase "self-sustaining" here is to my knowledge the first occasion that the idea of a perpetual arrangement of forest and a curatorial civil service appeared in British Columbia. Sixth Report of the Department of Agriculture of British Columbia, 1900, Queen's printer, Victoria, p 115. Anderson's suggestion for a system of forest rangers does not appear to have elicited much comment, but it did prompt two elaborations. The first was delivered by the self-taught naturalist William Saunders of the Dominion Experimental Farm. Saunders provided an update on the hardwood tree-planting experiments undertaken at Agassiz in 1888, and first described by Anderson in his own departmental report of 1891. Saunders was forced to admit that the natural growth in B.C. was "something enormous and it might not pay to go into growing trees to any extent," he thought that planting hardwoods on mountain slopes might be a paying branch of business in British Columbia. Saunders was also involved in promoting similar projects elsewhere in Canada; during 1901 he engaged in a failed tree-planting project on windswept Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Canadian Dictionary of Biography online: 56 Turning to the future potential of a B .C . pulp industry, Anderson foresaw the day when these forests would "yield a handsome net income to the public treasury." He advert ised that while the beginning had yet to be made in developing the industry, "some attention is being paid to it by the Department of Agriculture in its forestry branch." This was certainly a boastful claim since for all intents and purposes, as Deputy Minister Anderson was the entirety of the department . 3 4 Anderson was correct however, that B .C. ' s forests would come to be exploited in ways not yet seen , and warned of Amer ican intentions to rely upon Canad ian timber to help relieve the strain upon their own supplies. In the light of the shrinking Amer ican spruce forests, Anderson quoted the Journal of Commerce of New York, "we shall a lso draw considerably upon the vast forests of C a n a d a for our paper-making material, and the destruction of our own forests will be somewhat retarded."^ Anderson did not unify the collection of reprinted papers with an explicit thesis, but instead left the reader to intuit the message that B.C. 's forests were in danger. Despite his desire for some kind of forest management, Anderson had neither the policy prescriptions to solve the problems he saw, nor the political resources to act. His contribution to the 1902 meeting of the Canad ian Forestry Associat ion (he was unable to attend in person) w a s a paper entitled "The Preservation of our Forests," written at the suggest ion of the B .C . Lieutenant Governor and conservation proponent Sir Henri Joly de Lotbiniere. Anderson was sure that it was everybody's "heart's desire" to conserve the forest wealth for future generations and began with a portrait sublime. The forests, he wrote, included <>. The second response came from Professor Macoun who wanted those assembled to know that Anderson's paper, while thorough, was only a description applicable for the trees to the west of the Cascade Mountains. Macoun elaborated on the natural history of the interior species concluding that "British Columbia is timbered beyond the estimate of any individual." 3 4 This boast came from an exchange of letters with Henry M. Ami, assistant curator of the Geological Survey museum and president of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club, and published in The Victoria Colonist, April 17th, 1901. It was republished in Anderson's annual report of that year p 116-117. Ami felt that B.C.'s forests were very fine, "May they be everlasting, and they can be so by careful attention and judiciously enforced legislation." 3 5 "Ruinous Consumption of American Forests and the Influence on the Water Supply" from The Journal of Commerce of New York, no date, republished in Anderson's Report of 1900. 5 7 towering snow-capped mountains, pellucid lakes-, streams fed by the glaciers above, thundering down the dizzy precipes of the mountain s ides, and anon finding resting places in the still, forest-protected pools, then rushing on to their destination through pebbly reaches between moss and fern-coverd banks, and above all the grand giants of the forest, standing like the sentinels that nature has created them, guarding the stores of precious, life-giving water . . . But what of this picture which I have so freely attempted to descr ibe? How long will it last?36 The effects of fire and human induced changes were a threat to the continued existence of this wealth, and Anderson decried that British Columbians "have not made provision for its re-afforestation." Were it not for "the provident hand of nature which itself re-afforests in its own way" the province would have been converted to barren lands and even with this natural fecundity, fire had often "again and again, been allowed full sway." He did not want to hamper lawful logging, but wanted to put the logger's methods under strict supervision for the good of the entire country and of "the loggers themselves." Anderson saw uncontrolled wasteful logging and careless fires as a problem, but he did not know how to fix it. This is the crucial difference between Anderson writing in 1903 and other local amateur natural historians later in this period. Anderson's taxonomic science, his collecting and naming, could make only limited contributions to forest policy because for him the tree life histories that structured forest regeneration were a mystery of the 'provident hand of nature '37 The strength of his activities was in floristics, the collection and naming of individual species. Knowledge of tree life-histories was key to understanding, and managing, forest regeneration. Unable to make this vital link himself, Anderson was obliged to write, Now, as to the safeguards whereof I speak, I feel that I am helpless in offering adequate suggestions, and whilst it is possible to enact laws and to 36 British Columbia. (1903). Seventh Report of the Department of Agriculture of British Columbia, 1902, King's Printers, Victoria, p 224. 37 British Columbia. (1903). Seventh Report of the Department of Agriculture of British Columbia, 1902, King's Printers, Victoria, pp 224. "Failing to take a lesson from the provident methods of our own Mother Country, and other lands, we have allowed, and are allowing, the land to be denuded of its forests and have not made provision for its re-afforestation. In British Columbia we have vast forests of valuable timber, but even in my time whole districts have been rendered treeless, and were it not for the provident hand of nature which itself re-afforests in its own way, there would not be a vestige of timber growth where the destroyed forests existed, and even in many tracts which have thus been re-afforested, fire has often, again and again, been allowed full sway. Under these conditions, it is not difficult to foresee, if a halt is not called, we will live to regret that action was not taken to preserve the bountiful gifts of nature." 58 carry out their provisions regulating the timber industry, I feel that the further and far more difficult question of preservation from other causes of destruction still remain to be solved, questions which we know will tax the ingenuity of the cleverest to suggest practicable r e m e d i e s . . . .38 Anderson urged the Canad ian Forestry Associat ion membership to express v iews and make suggestions regarding the subject of forest preservation. S ince the question was of national character he proposed that forest management be placed in the hands of "qualified Commiss ioners appointed jointly by the Dominion and the several Provincial Governments interested." The only suggest ion that Anderson was comfortable proposing himself was that future logging limits be granted only under the strictest conditions, and that the government ought to reserve sections from use. Further, echoing much of the rhetoric of the time, he felt that brush and waste material ought to be d isposed of, to prevent fire. All of these should be accompl ished with revenues derived from the forest and implemented by wardens. That forest management be funded from monies derived from logging (and separate from general provincial revenues) was also the recommendation of the later Fulton commission in 1912 (a recommendation regarding financing that was never implemented). Anderson reported that R. J . Skinner, the Provincial Timber Inspector, cautioned him that "every dollar that can be raised from timber, or any other source, has four or five purposes ready and anxiously waiting for it now." . Despite not having a stock of readily workable solutions to restrict logging and fire, Anderson carried his note-book and botanizing outfit while attending meetings and "travelling through the country" and was highly successful at collecting, mounting, classifying, and cataloguing specimens for his growing herbarium. His work on British Columbia forests was limited to these same collecting methods that he already knew. The Forestry section of his report for 1902 comprised a descriptive natural history for Douglas-fir and a compilation of forest fire reports. His writing on the Douglas-fir (illustrated by beautiful photographs of Garry O a k s from the Saan ich Peninsula) w a s not detailed—"I a m not prepared to say what its exact range is." This general account was followed by a reprinting of Edward Mohun's compilation of seemingly more certain statistical tables of breaking stresses, in pounds, for Douglas-fir timbers.39 Again, this tabulation was data consistent with Anderson's conception 38 ibid. This text can also be found in JRA box 13, file 3, pages marked 4 through 7. 39 British Columbia. (1903). Seventh Report of the Department of Agriculture of British Columbia, 1902, King's Printers, Victoria, p 13,-14, 16, 214-218. 5 9 of important information because its application was more readily apparent. It is hard to say what the context was for Mohun's timber strength statistics, but certainly similar work was being conducted at McGi l l as sponsored by the Montreal business community.40 Anderson was more prescriptive when it came to collecting forest fire reports from Government Agents. Most of the Agents still attributed fires to care lessness, an encouraging state of affairs since Anderson felt this was something that could be changed through public education. He disagreed with many however over the role played by natives. In his experience natives were "naturally careful" and when combined with the fact that until the advent of whites "destructive forest fires were comparatively unknown," this suggested to him that the aboriginal's habits were no more responsible for destroying the forest than "by their methods were the rivers depleted of fish nor the land of game." Fires caused by locomotives were "no doubt of frequent occurrence" and Anderson feared that the provisions for the prevention of these fires stipulated by the Bush Fire Act were not being adhered to. The solution to the fire problem in Anderson 's mind was not complicated, and he echoed several of his correspondents suggestions for the appointment of fire rangers, an iteration of his position of the year before.41 In 1902 Anderson was elected as the fourth president of the Natural History Society of British Columbia and he continued his collecting activities.42 Ministerial correspondence for the early twentieth century is scarce and because the Department of Agriculture did not publish any reports between 1902 and 1913 it is exceptionally difficult to divine Anderson 's professional affairs. He did publish three papers in the Canadian Forestry Journal, the first in 1905, on "Forest Fires in British Columbia in 1904." The forest fire accounts described their frequency of occurrence and extent of damage, and local government agents shared recommendations for avoiding similar situations in the future. A second fire report appeared in 1906, along with another paper that he presented at a 40 Suzanne Zeller. (2001). "Darwin Meets the Engineers: Scientizing the Forest at McGill University, 1890-1910" in Environmental, History, vol 6, no 3, pp 428-50. 41 British Columbia (1903). Seventh Report of the Department of Agriculture for British Columbia, 1902, p 219. 42 Anderson was elected president of the natural history society on April 7 ,1902. His presidential address can be found in the society minutes, B C A , MS 284, reel A00533. 60 meeting of the Natural History Society, "The Deciduous Woods of British C o l u m b i a . " 4 3 The deciduous woods paper was a compilation of personal natural history observations that included botanical descriptions and cultural uses of the different trees. These ranged from the more general, the red alder "can hardly be called a handsome one, being of a rather stiff, formal character," through to the specific rules of native gambling games that used Arbutus sticks and rollers. The venue for such a piece was a little odd since these hardwoods were all non-commercial spec ies, considered as weed trees by most associated with the B .C . timber trade. That Anderson's article appeared in a forestry journal underscores the complete ignorance of B .C . trees on the part of North Amer ican foresters, and just how reliant they were on the botanical work already undertaken by the natural historians. 4 4 Government ambivalence, boundaries revealed, and value in retrospect When the 67-year-old Anderson contracted severe pneumonia, the Minister forced his retirement on September 8th, 1908, and reports noted that he held his position until "ill health forced him to retire."^ The unwelcome retirement meant an opportunity for Anderson to concentrate on the portions of his job that he loved the most, those activities that he had voluntarily added to his duties. At the request of the Natural History Society, in February 1909 he undertook to compile a work on the flora of B .C . for a fee of $100. The money would come from the society (with characteristic but misplaced optimism) "possibly aided by a grant from the Provincial Government." Anderson agreed to undertake the project on the condition that the scope be expanded to a lso include the forest trees and shrubs. He submitted a complete manuscript in March 1910, but the government did not contribute 4 3 J .R. Anderson. (1905). "Forest Fires in British Columbia in 1904" in Canadian Forestry Journal, vol 1, no 3, July 1905, pp 100-104; J .R. Anderson. (1906). "Forest Fires in British Columbia" in Canadian Forestry Journal, vol II, no 2, May 1906, pp 81-83; J .R. Anderson. (1906). 'The Deciduous Woods of British Columbia" in Canadian Forestry Journal, vol II, no 3, August 1906, pp 114-120. 4 4 J .R. Anderson. (1906). "The Deciduous Woods of British Columbia" in Canadian Forestry Journal, vol 2, no 3, pp 114-120. Quote from page 115. 45 B C A vertical file, "Anderson", Reel 003, frame 2117; "James Robert Anderson, British Columbia's First Deputy Minister of Agriculture" in Civil Service Newsletter, March 1966; more tellingly, is Anderson's own account of his forced retirement. In his unpublished memoirs, he related, "...I continued in office, latterly under adverse conditions, until I became stricken with a severe attack of pneumonia, when the then minister [was this R.G. Tatlow?], always intent on displacing me for purposes of his own, summarily retired me..." J R A , box 8, File 8 [chapter 17], "History of the Department of Agriculture of British Columbia" insert., page 2. 61 towards its publication and there was no money to distribute it. At this time, president W . J . Sutton subsidized half of the printing costs of his own paper "Our Timber Wealth and its Conservat ion." Inputs of private funds were the only way that the society could disseminate its views.46 With Anderson's retirement, government officials began to value, in retrospect, all of his volunteer botanizing and moved to appropriate the fruits of his efforts. The acting Minister of Agriculture wrote to Anderson requesting that he either surrender or make an additional copy of his listing of British Columbia flora for the department "as this was the only copy which the Government had."47 still, later in 1910, his former Department began to assert control over the specimens that Anderson had amassed during eighteen years in office. Attorney Genera l Will iam J . Bowser wrote to Anderson with the concern that Anderson still had a key to the "Botanical Chamber" in which the spec imens were kept and that furthermore, he had been taking spec imens away. Bowser requested that Anderson return the specimens and relinquish the key, and indicated that the appropriate procedure for borrowing spec imens in future would be to ask permission from the Department head.48 Because he had collected them in his personal time away from departmental duties, Anderson felt that they belonged to him and that his retired status should not restrict his access to the herbarium. Anderson quickly informed Bowser that other than the mounting paper and the cases , the collection had cost the government nothing. He explained that he had personally collected the specimens during his "spare time, whilst travelling on duties in connection with my late office, during my holidays, on Sundays , & at other t imes when not engaged in official duty." He did this as a "labour of love" and it was a "sore trial" for him to see the herbarium sheets "going to ruin through neglect." The specimens not from British Columbia had been presented to him personally by friends and fellow naturalists, that he benevolently left in the collection for publi