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The impact of alternative ideology on landscape : the back-to-the-land movement in the Slocan Valley Gower, John Gordon 1990

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THE IMPACT OF ALTERNATIVE IDEOLOGY ON LANDSCAPE: THE BACK-TO-THE-LAND MOVEMENT IN THE SLOCAN VALLEY By JOHN GORDON GOWER B.A. Carleton University, 1986 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1990 ® John Gordon Gower In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of GEOGRAPHY The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date September 2 5 t h , 1990 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Like many North American resource-based r u r a l communities, the Slocan V a l l e y i n southeastern B r i t i s h Columbia experienced a decline i n i t s population and economy during the f i r s t h a l f of t h i s century. However, i n the late 1960s, mainly young, well-educated and often i d e a l i s t i c members of the back-to-the-land movement began to r e - s e t t l e the area. The i n f l u x reached i t s peak i n the mid 1970s, and at a diminished l e v e l , continues. Currently t h i s group of recent s e t t l e r s comprises approximately one-quarter of the v a l l e y ' s population of 5000. Drawing on data from participant observation i n the area and personal interviews with members of t h i s i n f l u x , t h i s t h e s i s f i r s t examines why and how these people came to s e t t l e i n the Slocan. I t finds that they moved for many d i f f e r e n t reasons: r e p e l l e d by the "rat-race" and p o l l u t i o n of the c i t i e s , and the v i o l e n t p o l i t i c s of the 1960's; or attracted by the prospects of a personally-meaningful and s a t i s f y i n g existence i n the country-side. Whether driven by an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c or v i s i o n a r y quest, a l l subscribed to some extent to a back-to-the-land ideology which advocated a low-consumption, but highly diverse, l i f e s t y l e - close to nature and i n touch with the land, independent p o l i t i c a l l y and economically from the larger society, and i n a community of l i k e -minded r u r a l neighbours. Secondly, the thesis traces the evolution of personal lifeways and the development of community l i f e i n the twenty years since the resettlement began. As the newcomers encountered d i f f i c u l t i e s i i l i v i n g i n the Slo c a n they made compromises. As a r e s u l t , t h e i r l i f e s t y l e s a re no longer as c l e a r l y " a l t e r n a t i v e " and most have r e -en t e r e d the "system" t o some degree. I n c r e a s i n g l y though, t h e i r v a l u e s have found e x p r e s s i o n i n s p e c i f i c causes, i s s u e s o r p r o j e c t s which have a l t e r e d the course of e v o l u t i o n of the Sl o c a n , and l e f t a l a s t i n g l e g a c y of co n c r e t e accomplishments and changed a t t i t u d e s w i t h i n t h e l a r g e r geographic community. The s e t t l e r s * impact has been p a r t i c u l a r l y n o t i c e a b l e i n i s s u e s r e g a r d i n g l a n d and r e s o u r c e use, t h e d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n of the r e g i o n a l economy, and attempts t o a t t a i n l o c a l p o l i t i c a l autonomy. F i n a l l y , the t h e s i s attempts t o assess the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the b a c k - t o - t h e - l a n d movement t o the Slocan, and then t o s o c i e t y as a whole. The Slo c a n i n the 1990s i s a t a b i f u r c a t i o n p o i n t , and must choose i t s d e s t i n y from a range of d i v e r g e n t , and o f t e n c o n f l i c t -i n g , a l t e r n a t i v e s . Whether the area pursues a s u s t a i n a b l e path, i n which the v i a b i l i t y of the l o c a l community and i n t e g r i t y of the environment are p r o t e c t e d and enhanced, depends l a r g e l y on which of t h e two competing i d e o l o g i e s ( i n d u s t r i a l v e r s u s p o s t - i n d u s t r i a l ) c u r r e n t l y r e p r e s e n t e d i n the Slocan p r e v a i l s . In t h i s r e g a r d , the V a l l e y i s a microcosm of the broader s o c i e t y : the e x p e r i e n c e s t h e r e show where both the o p p o r t u n i t i e s and impediments l i e i n our se a r c h f o r a t r u l y s u s t a i n a b l e s o c i e t y . i i i Table of Contents Abstract • i i Table of Contents iv L i s t of Figures and I l l u s t r a t i o n s v Acknowledgements v i Foreword 1 Chapter One: The Coming of the Counterculture to the Slocan ... 6 Introduction 6 The V a l l e y Context 9 The L i t e r a t u r e 21 The People Who Came 27 Chapter Two: S e t t l i n g the Valley: From the Voices of S e t t l e r s . 40 The Decision to Move 40 Choosing the Slocan 50 Chapter Three: Making I t (and Not Making i t ) on the Land 68 Subsistence: 1968 - 1971 69 Community: 1971 - 1976 86 Outreach: 1976 - 1990 104 Conclusions 117 Chapter Four: Making Change 12 0 Introduction 120 The Community Forest Management Project 121 The Park and the Plan 128 The Slocan Valley Watershed A l l i a n c e 135 The Current Situation 139 Conclusions 141 Chapter Five: The Meaning and Legacy of the Movement 144 The Legacy of Back-to-the-Land Settlement i n the Slocan .... 145 Implications to P o l i t i c s 153 Implications to the Study of Geography 156 Implications to the Future 157 Bibliography 160 Appendix A: Schedule of Interviews 166 Appendix B: The Ideology of the Alternatives Movement 169 i v L i s t of Figures F i g . 1. The Slocan Valley 10 F i g . 2. The v a l l e y at Winlaw, looking North 11 F i g . 3. Passmore and V a l l i c a n , looking West 12 Fig . 4. The a g r i c u l t u r a l landscape, Slocan Park 15 Fig . 5. Pioneer homestead, V a l l i c a n 18 Fig . 6. Range of North American communal settlement 1965-75... 32 F i g . 7. D i s t r i b u t i o n of back-to-the-land settlement i n B.C.... 38 F i g . 8. The Slocan River at V a l l i c a n 59 F i g . 9. A smallholding at V a l l i c a n 61 Fig . 10. Sequence of back-to-the-land settlement i n the Slocan. 63 Fig . 11. Communes and co-ops i n the Slocan Valley 70 F i g . 12. Three-bedroom dwelling at the New Family commune 74 F i g . 13. Building with logs, V a l l i c a n 75 F i g . 14. The caretaker's house at the V a l l i c a n Whole 76 F i g . 15. Raising the beams at the V a l l i c a n Whole, Summer, 1974. 99 F i g . 16. The V a l l i c a n Whole nears completion, F a l l , 1975 103 F i g . 17. The 10th Annual "Rosebery Regatta", September, 1989... 114 F i g . 18. The V a l h a l l a Range and Slocan Lake, from Idaho Peak... 129 v Acknowledgements This t h e s i s has been a long time i n gestation and before i t s f i n a l d e l i v e r y many people have made s i g n i f i c a n t contributions for which I would l i k e to o f f e r my h e a r t f e l t thanks. Dr. Walter Hardwick, my advisor, has been always a v a i l a b l e for consultation and guidance and never l o s t f a i t h the day of delivery (and deliverance) would a r r i v e . I thank him for h i s patience. Dr. Cole Harris has offered very constructive guidance, and I am indebted to Mark Roseland and the members of the "Save the World" group at UBC for acting as a sounding board and supportive group of peers who corroborated the value of the project. The process of researching and writing t h i s document has been a s i g n i f i c a n t personal exploration. In many ways i t i s a product of years of j o i n t search and discussion with my dear f r i e n d Mark Edwards, whose l i f e has been the i n s p i r a t i o n for many of the questions posed, and who was always there with encouragement at c r i t i c a l times. I am g r a t e f u l to Sam Shields for her support and f a i t h i n me during the past summer, and wish also to thank Marcia Braundy for reading and commenting on previous drafts and for v e r i f y i n g the accuracy of the material. Thanks also to my editor, E r i n Smith, for corrections to the f i n a l draft, and to my mother, Rosalie Gower for her i n c i s i v e e d i t i n g and constructive c r i t i q u e . My understanding of events i n the Slocan was given further perspective by research carried out i n back-to-the-land communities i n Cape Breton and Eastern Ontario i n 1987. To Chris King, Charlie and Susan Restino, Jean Brerreton and many others i n Baddeck and K i l l a l o e who welcomed me into t h e i r communities and homes and generously shared t h e i r experiences, I o f f e r my thanks. And f i n a l l y , and most p a r t i c u l a r l y , my warmest thanks to E r i c Clough, Carol Gaskin, Nancy Harris, Corky Evans, Rita Moir, Joel Russ, David Orcutt, David Smith, P a t t i Sebben and many more residents and past residents of the Slocan who have f r e e l y and generously opened up t h e i r l i v e s and entrusted t h e i r story to my t e l l i n g . Nelson, B.C. September 25, 1990 v i Foreword In dealing with the changing circumstances i n the la t e 20th century, mounting evidence suggests either we f i n d some new basis for l i v i n g our l i v e s or else face the prospect of environmental and s o c i a l collapse, and di s l o c a t i o n and s u f f e r i n g on an unimag-inable scale. Global environmental destruction, gross economic inequity, and the concentration of power by e l i t e s i n t e r a c t s y n e r g i s t i c a l l y and threaten the su r v i v a l of everyone on the planet. Yet, our leaders off e r p a l l i a t i v e s instead of r e a l change, while the gap between r i c h and poor widens, and the destruction of species, the l a s t vestiges of wilderness, and whole ecosystems continues unabated. For a long time, I have f e l t that the back-to-the-land movement might hold some solutions to the problems currently facing the world. In the 1960s there was, for the f i r s t time, a widespread awareness of the precariousness of a l l l i f e and a concern for the diminishing prospects for human l i f e . I t engendered a response -an e c o l o g i c a l consciousness - which suffused the environmental movement, the counterculture, and the back-to-the-land movement of the time. The counterculture saw the only hope of r e a l change coming from within: a change of personal values and an overthrow of the t e c h n o l o g i c a l / m a t e r i a l i s t i c / h i e r a r c h i c a l ideology on which our system i s based. There was, I believe, something of great value i n c e r t a i n ideas associated with the movement - s e l f -s u f f i c i e n c y , mutual assistance, organic agriculture, r e c y c l i n g , and l i v i n g i n harmony with the earth. 1 My experience was that the approach to l i v i n g by those ideas which were part of t h i s movement was d i f f e r e n t from the mainstream. There was more open love and caring among people, more co-opera-t i o n , and a greater willingness to be less w e ll-off (in convention-a l terms) i n exchange for more discretionary time, more freedom, and f o r being allowed to l i v e i n a beautiful place. Yet at the same time there was a certain unreality i n t h e i r s i t u a t i o n ; a f a i l u r e to come to terms with the issue of economics i n a way consistent with t h e i r other b e l i e f s . However, a CBC "Ideas" broadcast i n June, 1986, confirmed that the imperatives of the movement were maturing into a sophisticated and v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e to the established s o c i a l order. In t h i s s e r i e s , e n t i t l e d "New Ideas i n Ecology and Economics", 1 David Cayley documented instances where individuals and l o c a l grass-roots organizations had developed forms of economic a c t i v i t y which created wealth, yet were intimate i n scale, sustainable, equitable, and i n harmony with nature and natural processes. Some of his examples were urban i n o r i g i n . The majority, however, seemed to be emerging i n r u r a l areas, out of the r u r a l s o c i e t i e s i n which the agenda of the countercultural back-to-the-land movement had been very i n f l u e n t i a l . This t h e s i s thus emerged from a question: i s l i v i n g the back-to-the-land l i f e s t y l e i n small communities i n r u r a l areas an e t h i c a l , appropriate, and e f f e c t i v e response to the s i t u a t i o n i n the world today? The "Ideas" programs had focused primarily on examples from "New Ideas i n Ecology and Economics," writ. David Cayley, Ideas, prod. Bernie Lucht, introd. L i s t e r S i n c l a i r , Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Toronto, May 29, June 4, 11, 18, 1986. 2 the U.S. I wanted to see what was happening i n our own country, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n those areas which I had v i s i t e d and sensed to be somehow al t e r n a t i v e . I decided to look at the Slocan Valley, long a well-known focus of back-to-the-land settlement a c t i v i t y , and an area I have known and loved for many years. The Research Process This work i s about the l i v e s of people who have been, or remain engaged to some extent i n the back-to-the-land experience. Consequently, the r i c h e s t sources of information about most aspects of the phenomenon - those who have participated i n i t - are s t i l l a v a i l a b l e . In 1987, I completed studies on a l o c a l community fo r e s t r y i n i t i a t i v e - the Slocan Valley Community Forest Management Project - and on the New Family - one of the communes that was established there i n the late 19 60s. During the months of August and September, 1988, I embarked upon a research project i n the Slocan Valley which combined the techniques of p a r t i c i p a n t observation with semi-structured interviews (a schedule of interviews i s provided i n Appendix A) . The former primarily yielded insights into the general evolution of the a l t e r n a t i v e community i n the area, r e l a t i o n s between the new people and the established groups, and the various s u r v i v a l strategies of recent in-migrants and the dimensions of t h e i r s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l l i f e . The interviews addressed more s p e c i f i c themes. My respondents represent the range of l i f e s t y l e s and personal experiences c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the back-to-the-land community. 3 I n i t i a l l y , interviewees were chosen on the recommendation of f i v e i n d i v i d u a l s who were, or had been, part of that community. In time, my respondents themselves suggested other names, and the study grew to 2 0 interviews ranging from one to four hours i n length. They recounted t h e i r experiences as back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s , beginning with t h e i r personal backgrounds, through t h e i r decisions to move to the country, t h e i r experiences finding suitable land, and, once i n the Slocan, getting established and finding subsistence. The data thus encompasses reasons and intentions for moving, the process of settlement, and the evolution of s u r v i v a l strategies. What c l e a r l y emerges i s the p r o f i l e of the ideology which most of the Valley's new residents have shared to some extent. These insights have been enhanced and substantiated by further interviews and reports i n l o c a l and regional newspapers, a r t i c l e s i n magazines such as Harrowsmith, and various theses and essays. In addition, i n the Spring of 1989 I undertook a study of the v a l l e y ' s economy on contract for the l o c a l regional government.2 In combination, t h i s evidence provides insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the area's economy, as well as the dynamics between the various constituents of the Slocan Valley community. 2 The strategy process involved public meetings throughout the Slocan Valley and more than 80 interviews with public o f f i c a l s , business people, and a representative cross-section of v a l l e y residents. The report which documented t h i s study, Building on Our Strengths: A Strategy for Sustainable Community Economic Develop-ment in the Slocan Valley, described the community's goals for i t s economic future, and proposed s p e c i f i c programs and projects to encourage development i n target areas. 4 The structure of the thesis This thesis has two objectives: to describe the ways the a l t e r n a t i v e ideology of the counterculture - through the settlement of the back-to-the-land migrants - has become manifest i n the physical and c u l t u r a l landscape of the Slocan area; and to explore the deeper question of the significance of these events to the broader society. Chapter one discusses, i n general, the back-to-the-land phenomenon, along with a b r i e f review of the pertinent l i t e r a t u r e and an exploration of the l o c a l context. The second and t h i r d chapters describe the actual migration intentions and experiences of those who came to the v a l l e y and, once there, the peoples' e f f o r t s to become established economically, s o c i a l l y and c u l t u r a l l y . Chapter four examines how the newcomers attempted to a l t e r established patterns of land and resource use, economic a c t i v i t y , and i n s t i t u t i o n a l power r e l a t i o n s to protect the q u a l i t i e s they value, and to promote a de c e n t r a l i s t , e c o l o g i c a l l y -oriented agenda. The f i n a l chapter assesses the legacy and meaning of the experiences of the new people i n the Slocan. Does t h i s represent, as some have suggested, an e s s e n t i a l l y romantic, escapist indulgence by a p r i v i l e g e d few? Or do these people, aft e r having for 20 years approached l i f e from a new set of values, point the way to a viable alternative to our e x i s t i n g society? In some respects the evidence i s ambiguous, but, hopefully, i n the course of t h i s thesis the reader can make an informed judgement about the value of t h i s l i f e s t y l e alternative to our society which must find a better way. 5 Chapter One The Coining of the Counterculture to the Slocan V a l l e y Introduction Travelling east on Highway 3 from Castlegar towards Nelson the entrance to the valley of the Slocan River is not at first obvious. A sharp bend in the river where it meets the s t i l l waters of the Kootenay hides the valley in a fold of rolling h i l l s that rise one behind the other to the north. The settlement of Crescent Valley is really the gateway. There, past the narrow corner where the highway first descends to meet the river, the valley suddenly opens up - the rest of the world is left behind. The year is 1968. Few people are visible on the land; even fewer on the road. In fact, the place feels almost as if it has been abandoned. A couple is on the road in an old pickup, hauling an army surplus trailer containing clothes, books, tools, and food for a new l i f e . A dream of a piece of land, a tangled map of remem-bered directions, and advice picked up on the journey: "try the Slocan...." It has been a journey from Interstate to secondary highway to gravel track; an ever-expanding circle of possibilities through four states and now British Columbia. Scouting forays into the countryside, looking for LAND - a piece of earth that would answer their dreams. Looking, too, for community, for gatherings of kindred spirits - the scattered seeds of the new society. This place has a feel about it, as if it's welcoming them. The highway winds up the valley, past small communities along the river: Slocan Park, Passmore with its sawmill, on to Winlaw, and the openness of Appledale. Then, with the peaks of the Valhalla Range rising above the lake, a growing sensation: "We have arrived. We are home". This thesis is their story. The Slocan Valley i n i t i a l l y developed i n a settlement pattern which r e p l i c a t e d , with minor variations, that of communities on the resource f r o n t i e r across Canada. A mining boom i n the 1890s attracted many thousands to what had previously been an inacces-s i b l e wilderness. By 1910 the boom had subsided and many people had l e f t the v a l l e y . Some stayed to farm the land, and to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a f l e d g l i n g lumber industry that gradually grew i n importance to dominate the l o c a l economy and landscape. Yet, l i k e much of r u r a l North America, the v a l l e y slowly l o s t residents to brighter opportunities elsewhere. The domination of a single 6 industry and, consequently, an underdeveloped economy meant that few opportunities existed to hold young people i n the area, or to a t t r a c t new residents. The Slocan, l i k e many s i m i l a r places, was c h r o n i c a l l y depressed, unemployment was high, and the future seemed to o f f e r l i t t l e hope of improvement. During the l a t e 1960's, however, new people began a r r i v i n g . They were not attracted by the prospect of wages i n the mines or the lumber m i l l s , but rather by less tangible q u a l i t i e s - b e a u t i f u l mountain scenery, the pastoral landscape of the v a l l e y bottom, clean a i r and water, quiet and solitude. They came from c i t i e s across the continent to a place that seemed to be the a n t i t h e s i s of a l l that was urban. The new s e t t l e r s bought the houses and farms of the homesteaders of two generations before and began the tasks of providing themselves with food and income. With them came a desire to l i v e t h e i r l i v e s d i f f e r e n t l y from the s o c i a l norm. Many of the new people sought to l i v e an a l t e r n a t i v e l i f e s t y l e based on e c o l o g i c a l harmony, intimate community, and independence from the p o l i t i c a l and economic systems of the mainstream society. The i s o l a t i o n of the area, i t s dispersed population and i t s a g r i c u l t u r a l p o t e n t i a l made such a l i f e s t y l e seem possible. The v a l l e y soon became widely known across North America. Through a network of communication that seemed to connect every person a s p i r i n g to go to the country, and every i t i n e r a n t wanderer on the road, i t became known that the Slocan v a l l e y was a natural paradise with a t h r i v i n g countercultural community. More and more people arrived, and by the end of the decade, hundreds were passing through each summer. A number of communes b r i e f l y f l o u r i s h e d and, 7 thanks to the media, the Slocan became known across the nation as an epicentre of back-to-the-land and communal a c t i v i t y . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between the "hippies" and the " l o c a l s " varied. The newcomers were i n i t i a l l y welcomed by v a l l e y residents, but i n the early 1970s tensions grew between ce r t a i n long-time residents and the often i n s e n s i t i v e , and outrageous, newcomers and, for a while, v i o l e n t confrontation seemed imminent. By 1975 or 1976, most of the "weekend hippies" and uncommitted d r i f t e r s who contributed to t h i s animosity moved on, leaving one thousand people who, i t can be assumed, were serious about t h e i r commitment to t h e i r a l t e r n a t i v e v i s i o n , to the v a l l e y i t s e l f , and to the more s e l f - r e l i a n t l i f e s t y l e that both demanded. As the c o l o n i s t s p e r s i s t e d through t h e i r f i r s t few winters without abandoning t h e i r projects, and as they put down more substantial roots, they began to earn the respect of l o c a l people, and the encouragement and assistance of c e r t a i n Doukhobors who recognized t h e i r own values and dreams i n the i d e a l i s t i c r hetoric of the counterculture. The early back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s were joined by others who continued to a r r i v e i n the v a l l e y i n the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. Today, there are signs of growing acceptance of the newcomers' ways and viewpoints among the o r i g i n a l communities. 3 At the same time, fundamental differences p e r s i s t . Despite the peace that has The recent "Spike" protest, i n which l o c a l residents engaged i n d i r e c t action to halt the spraying of the p e s t i c i d e Spike-80 along CPR rights-of-way i n the area, i s held out as an example of t h i s . This well-organized protest involved a complete cross section of the community and was seen as a sign of growing environmental awareness among the l o c a l public. 8 increasingly prevailed, c o n f l i c t has arisen repeatedly around c e r t a i n issues, p a r t i c u l a r y environmental protection, wilderness preservation and resource use. The Slocan has been the scene of a struggle between two competing visions (of the world and of the future), and the continuing c o n f l i c t demonstrates that i t i s far from r e s o l u t i o n . The V a l l e y Context When the new in-migrants arrived i n the la t e 1960s and early 1970s, the world they entered was not the wilderness f r o n t i e r many thought i t was. Certainly nature was there i n abundance, yet by that time the area had already seen more than s i x decades of settlement. Patterns of land and resource use, rela t i o n s h i p s between the various constituents of the l o c a l community, demogra-phic changes and so forth which were already well established when they arrived, profoundly affected both the i n i t i a l reception of the new people into the valley and t h e i r subsequent experiences over the next twenty years. The following section b r i e f l y chronicles the development of the area, and provides a desc r i p t i o n of the Slocan as the back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s found i t i n the la t e 1960s. The Slocan Valley i s , i n many respects, t y p i c a l of the g l a c i a l -ly-carved v a l l e y s i n the mountainous southeast corner of B r i t i s h Columbia. I t i s a long, sinuous indentation, extending 110 kilometers from the headwaters of Wilson Creek i n the north, to i t s confluence with the Kootenay River v a l l e y i n the south. Mountain 9 10 F i g . 2 . The valley at Winlaw, looking North. p e a k s u p t o 9 , 0 0 0 f e e t i n e l e v a t i o n p a r t t o a l l o w a n a r r o w s t r i p o f f a i r l y r i c h , a r a b l e b o t t o m l a n d i n t h e s o u t h e r n h a l f o f t h e v a l l e y . T h i s i s s e l d o m m o r e t h a n t w o k i l o m e t e r s w i d e w i t h f o r e s t e d h i l l s i d e s w h i c h r i s e s t e e p l y u p t o t h e r o c k a b o v e . I n t h e n o r t h , S l o c a n L a k e c o m p l e t e l y f i l l s t h e s p a c e b e t w e e n m o u n t a i n s p e r m a -n e n t l y c o v e r e d w i t h s n o w a n d i c e - l i m i t i n g h a b i t a b l e t e r r a i n t o r i v e r d e l t a s a n d b e n c h e s h i g h o n t h e v a l l e y w a l l s . T h e V a l l e y ' s m o u n t a i n o u s s u r r o u n d i n g s a l s o make i t s o m e w h a t i s o l a t e d f r o m t h e r e s t o f t h e p r o v i n c e . F r o m t h e e a r l y d a y s o f s e t t l e m e n t , t r a n s p o r -t a t i o n , b o t h w i t h i n t h e V a l l e y a n d t o t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d , h a s b e e n a c o n t i n u a l c h a l l e n g e . F o r m o s t o f t h i s c e n t u r y , t h e t r e a c h e r o u s C a p e H o r n B l u f f s a n d u n i n h a b i t e d h i l l s i d e s a b o v e S l o c a n L a k e h a v e p e r c e p t u a l l y a n d f u n c t i o n a l l y d i v i d e d t h e v a l l e y i n t o N o r t h e r n a n d 11 F i g . 3 . Passmore and Vallican, looking West. Southern "zones" each w i t h i t s own d i s t i n c t geography, settlement p a t t e r n s , and p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . 4 Located f a r from major population centres and t a n g e n t i a l t o major t r a n s p o r -t a t i o n routes, the region has been bypassed by the settlement and development pressures experienced elsewhere i n southern B r i t i s h Columbia. This landscape of mountains, f o r e s t s and c l e a r waters was, f o r m i l l e n i a , the seasonal home of a b o r i g i n a l peoples - members of the Lakes T r i b e s of the I n t e r i o r S a l i s h . A r c h e o l o g i c a l evidence These d i f f e r e n c e s show up a l s o w i t h i n the s o c i a l geography of the back-to-the-land migrants. As we w i l l see i n the next two chapters, the experiences of the newcomers were s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t i n the north and southern ends of the v a l l e y , and the focus of each of these groups a l s o tends t o be l o c a l , r a t h e r than v a l l e y - w i d e . 12 i n d i c a t e s t h a t these groups r e t u r n e d r e g u l a r l y t o s p e c i f i c p l a c e s on the shores of the lakes and r i v e r s i n the v a l l e y t o f i s h and hunt. For most of t h i s century, however, n a t i v e people have not been p r e s e n t w i t h i n the V a l l e y . 5 Most were decimated by smallpox and o t h e r d i s e a s e s l i k e l y brought i n t o the area by white f u r t r a d e r s i n the 1860s; those n a t i v e s t h a t s u r v i v e d had been permanently s e t t l e d on r e s e r v e s i n Washington S t a t e soon a f t e r . When the f i r s t white r e s i d e n t s a r r i v e d i n 1891, o n l y a few a b o r i g i n a l s remained. 6 The f i r s t wave of white settlement began a t t h i s time w i t h the d i s c o v e r y of r i c h d e p o s i t s of s i l v e r and l e a d i n the v i c i n i t y of Idaho Peak, e a s t of Slocan Lake i n the S e l k i r k Range. In f i v e y e a r s , the l o c a l p o p u l a t i o n grew from a h a n d f u l of p r o s p e c t o r s t o many thousands as miners, merchants, entrepreneurs, and a booming s e r v i c e economy s w e l l e d towns t h a t grew o v e r n i g h t on the few a v a i l a b l e patches of l e v e l ground. The d e p o s i t s which f u e l e d the boom soon proved t o be l i m i t e d , however, and by the t u r n of the ce n t u r y many mines had y i e l d e d up t h e i r t r e a s u r e s and c l o s e d down. I n s t a n t towns l i k e Cody, Three Forks, Sandon 7 and R e t t a l a c k were w e l l on t h e i r way t o being ghost towns. People c o n t i n u e d t o l i v e 5 R e c e n t l y , l o c a l e f f o r t s t o preserve the V a l l i c a n s i t e have a t t r a c t e d the a t t e n t i o n of n a t i v e s from a r e s e r v e i n C o l v i l l e , Washington. S i n c e 1989, t h e i r renewed presence i n the v a l l e y has r a i s e d the p o s s i b i l t y of a land c l a i m and c r e a t e d d i v i s i o n s w i t h i n the l o c a l community. 6 There i s a legend, recounted i n John N o r r i s 1 Old Silverton, t h a t n a t i v e s guided the f i r s t p a r t y of p r o s p e c t o r s i n the Slocan t o a r i c h outcrop of ore on the hig h s l o p e s of Idaho Peak, thus l a u n c h i n g the boom which f o l l o w e d . 7 From a p o p u l a t i o n of n e a r l y 4000 a t i t s peak i n 1897, Sandon had dwindled t o 400 by 1910 and only a few s o u l s by the 1930*s. 13 i n the more economically and i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y d i v e r s i f i e d com-munities of Silverton, New Denver and Slocan, but these, too, were h i t hard by the diminishing of mining a c t i v i t y , and themselves began a long, slow decline. 8 Around the turn of the century, iso l a t e d farms and orchards began to appear on the f e r t i l e lands of the lower v a l l e y . Some of these were subsistence operations, but many produced to s e l l i n nearby Nelson, and i n the mining communities around Slocan Lake. In the beginning, agriculture seemed to hold the same promise as the l o c a l mines and fores t s . A combination of moderately r i c h s o i l s i n the v a l l e y bottom, a r e l a t i v e l y benign climate and an abundance of water allowed the production of a wide v a r i e t y of a g r i c u l t u r a l products - anything from tree f r u i t s and vegetables to sheep and c a t t l e . With the passage of years, however, ag r i c u l t u r e never became a s i g n i f i c a n t part of the l o c a l cash economy. The promises of f r u i t ranching, or cash cropping, that had drawn people to the area, dimmed with the passing of the mining era and f l o u r i s h i n g f r u i t industry elsewhere. Most homes had a garden, and subsistence food production bolstered the household economies of many r e s i Mining and mineral exploration continue to t h i s day to be s i g n i f i c a n t elements i n the economy of the Slocan Valley. However, a c t i v i t y declined considerably during the 1920*s due to f a l l i n g metal pr i c e s and has never again attained early l e v e l s of produc-t i o n . As a r e s u l t of having undergone the mining boom, however, the landscape was irreversably changed. Without i t , the v i l l a g e s of New Denver, Siverton, and Slocan with t h e i r r i c h a r c h i t e c t u r a l legacy and c i v i c amenities would l i k e l y never have come into being, nor would the population of the v a l l e y ever have r i s e n to the l e v e l s i t attained through out much of t h i s century. Drawing as i t did a diverse array of new residents to the v a l l e y - of d i f f e r e n t classes, ethnic origins, and occupational s p e c i a l i z a t i o n - i t l e f t a more r i c h l y textured and heterogeneous s o c i a l f a b r i c than would have been the case i n an area where ag r i c u l t u r e or logging predominated. 14 F i g . 4 . The agricultural landscape, Slocan Park. dents, but the absence of a ready market, the r e l a t i v e l y small amount of arable land, and the small s c a l e of most holdings thwarted the development of commercial a g r i c u l t u r e i n the v a l l e y . 9 Yet, l i k e mining, farming profoundly shaped the landscape of the Slocan. From one end of the v a l l e y t o the other, v i r t u a l l y every s i z a b l e patch of farmable ground has been at some time c l e a r e d and broken. The r e s u l t i s an almost continuous patchwork of small h o l d i n g s , each complete with dwellings and o u t b u i l d i n g s and, except f o r the v i l l a g e s of Slocan, New Denver and S i l v e r t o n , very l i t t l e 9 Slocan Valley Planning Program, Technical Report: Agricul-ture. 1981. 15 concentrated development. Contemporary with the f i r s t farms i n the v a l l e y , a rudimentary lumber industry formed, again to serve the mines and towns that sprung up so rapi d l y . A good deal of l o c a l timber found i t s way into r a i l r o a d t i e s and mining props, and onto the boardwalks and buildings of Sandon, New Denver and Silverton. As the mining boom subsided during the f i r s t decades of t h i s century, the lumbering continued, taking over as the mainstay of the v a l l e y ' s economy -a s i t u a t i o n which p e r s i s t s today. The early e x p l o i t e r s of the fore s t s were, for the most part, t y p i c a l of others of t h e i r time; forests were perceived as an unlimited resource to be cut without thought given to e f f i c i e n t u t i l i z a t i o n or regeneration. Over-cutting, the c l e a r i n g of the land for agriculture and the inten-t i o n a l burning of large areas by early prospectors, resulted i n the decimation of much of the forests i n the v a l l e y bottoms quite early i n the century. 1 1 In the f i r s t three decades, a number of large m i l l s operated but were constrained by a shortage of accessible timber. I t was 1935 before a permanent industry was established. In 1908 another wave of in-migration began i n the West Kootenay, which soon had an impact on l i f e i n the Slocan: the Doukhobors. Unlike most of the previous newcomers, however, t h i s group was attracted as much by the valley's i s o l a t i o n from the world outside, as by the economic opportunities i t offered. They sought a l i f e 1 0 This pattern p e r s i s t s to the present day. As the Slocan's population grew by 43% between 1971 and 1981, the r u r a l areas' share grew from 65.2% to 75%. Source: Regional D i s t r i c t of Central Kootenay. 1 1 Shadrack, 1981, pp. 111-112. 16 of r u s t i c s i m p l i c i t y and t o i l , p r a c t i c e d p a c i f i s m , communitarianism and v e g e t a r i a n i s m , and denied the a u t h o r i t y of the s e c u l a r s t a t e . The 5,000 or more Doukhobors who migrated t o the West Kootenay e s t a b l i s h e d an economic e n t e r p r i s e and s e r i e s of s e t t l e m e n t s c a l l e d The C h r i s t i a n Community of U n i v e r s a l Brotherhood i n a t l e a s t f i v e l o c a t i o n s throughout the Slocan V a l l e y . 1 2 When the Community was d i s s o l v e d i n 1940 1 3, most Doukhobors stayed on i n the V a l l e y , where today they remain a d i s t i n c t c u l t u r a l and l i n g u i s t i c sub-community, although no formal p a t t e r n of communal l i v i n g remains. 1 4 These, then, were the b a s i c i n g r e d i e n t s t h a t came t o g e t h e r i n 1 2 The Community was organized on s t r i c t communist p r i n c i p l e s . A l l l a n d was h e l d i n common, and p e r s o n a l e a r n i n g s were r e t u r n e d t o a c e n t r a l o f f i c e ; the community's members s l e p t and a t e i n communal d w e l l i n g s . At i t s peak, the commune occupied some 19,000 a c r e s and had a t l e a s t 128 communal d w e l l i n g s . Gale and K o r o s c i l , p. 60. 1 3 The r a p i d growth of the C h r i s t i a n Community of U n i v e r s a l Brotherhood's h o l d i n g s was accomplished with d e f i c i t f i n a n c i n g , and banks l e n t f r e e l y on the s t r e n g t h of the community's proven p r o d u c t i v e c a p a c i t y . In 1929 the banks s o l d these mortgages t o l a r g e f i n a n c i a l c o r p o r a t i o n s which soon a f t e r began f o r e c l o s u r e p r o c e e d i n g s . In 1939 the p r o v i n c i a l government r e f u s e d t o honour i t s Farm P r o t e c t i o n l e g i s l a t i o n , subsequently p a y i n g o f f the Community's remaining debt and thereby a q u i r i n g c o n t r o l of a l l the Doukhobor i n t e r e s t s . The apparent s y s t e m a t i c d e s t r u c t i o n of the CCUB a s s e t s f o l l o w e d . Mealing, 1977, p. 3. 1 4 The S l o c a n o f f e r e d asylum of another k i n d t o the Japanese who were i n t e r n e d t h e r e d u r i n g the Second World War. Under the powers of the War Measures Act, a l l Japanese-Canadians and Japanese n a t i o n a l s l i v i n g w i t h i n a " p r o t e c t e d zone" extending 100 m i l e s i n l a n d from the P a c i f i c were removed from t h e i r homes and shipped t o work or d e t e n t i o n camps i n the i n t e r i o r of B r i t i s h Columbia and elsewhere i n Canada. In October of 1942, Sandon housed 933 d e t a i n e e s ; camps i n New Denver and Rosebery h e l d 1,505; and the so-c a l l e d S l o c a n V a l l e y camp - t h r e e l o c a t i o n s between S l o c a n C i t y and Lemon Creek - h e l d 4,814. When the war ended, the camps were c l o s e d and inmates were r e l o c a t e d e a s t of the Rocky Mountains. However, many who were o l d and i n f i r m , u n f i t or u n w i l l i n g t o l e a v e the camp, remained i n New Denver. Soon t h e r e a f t e r , i n d i v i d u a l Japanese began moving back i n t o the area, o f t e n r e t u r n i n g t o t h e i r wartime housing. Adachi, 1976, p. 253; 271-72. 17 F i g . 5. Pioneer homestead, V a l l i c a n . t h e S l o c a n : t h e la n d s c a p e w i t h i t s r i c h r e s o u r c e s and q u a l i t i e s of remoteness, ruggedness and n a t u r a l beauty; m i g r a t i o n i n t o t h e a r e a by a s u c c e s s i o n o f d i s t i n c t s o c i a l groups, each w i t h d i f f e r e n t i n i t i a l i n t e n t i o n s and c u l t u r a l and l i n g u i s t i c h e r i t a g e s ; and an economy based on p r i m a r y e x t r a c t i o n , some m a n u f a c t u r i n g , and l i m i t e d a g r i c u l t u r e . Throughout t h i s sequence o f s e t t l e m e n t , t h e S l o c a n ' s o r i g i n a l w i l d e r n e s s l a n d s c a p e became i n c r e a s i n g l y b u c o l i c . G r a d u a l l y , more and more l a n d was c l e a r e d , and s u b s t a n t i a l homes and b a r n s r e p l a c e d t h e r u s t i c c a b i n s of t h e p i o n e e r s . T h i s t r a n q u i l , p a s t o r a l l a n d s c a p e s e t i n b e a u t i f u l n a t u r a l s u r r o u n d i n g s may no doubt have a t t r a c t e d a few more s e t t l e r s t o t h e v a l l e y , as d i d t h e r e c r e a t -i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s found i n i t s mountains and s t r e a m s . But i n -18 migrants were few and most residents, whether Doukhobor or from the dominant "Anglo" community, were there either because they had always been, or because they had seen a way to make a l i v i n g from the area's natural resources. Thus, while other parts of the province were being developed, the Slocan remained a quiet backwater which, l i k e many parts of r u r a l North America, began an inexorable decline that lasted well into the 1960s. Despite i t s endowment with resources, since the end of the mining boom early i n t h i s century the Slocan has never prospered econ-omically. The distance to markets, which hampered the development of the area's a g r i c u l t u r a l industry, also precluded the e s t a b l i s h -ment of a viable manufacturing sector other than f o r e s t products. This u n d i v e r s i f i e d economy had few openings for women and young people, and was vulnerable to s h i f t s i n the demand fo r lumber. In addition, the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the forest industry, which saw the closure of independent m i l l s i n the valley, gave v i r t u a l monopoly power to the major licensee, who could then decide who worked and who did not. Unemployment and underemployment have long been chronic problems i n i t s undiversified economy and, as a r e s u l t , from 1950 to the late 1960s, the valley was experiencing a net loss of people, as many l e f t to seek t h e i r fortunes i n larger urban areas. Most of those who l e f t were young, and the median age of the v a l l e y population rose. The v i l l a g e s preserved some of t h e i r s o c i a l and recreational amenities, but one by one stores, banks, businesses and government o f f i c e s closed down and moved out of the v a l l e y . Of those people who stayed on the land, members of the Doukhobor community and Anglo s e t t l e r s a l i k e , many were ready to 19 r e t i r e from the farming l i f e they had pursued for half a century. Their land went on the market, but l i t t l e sold. Except for a few entrepreneurs, most valley residents to the present day have not been a f f l u e n t by national standards. Consequently, land prices were low, house sizes were modest, and the informal economy was strong. Because of the economic r e a l i t i e s of the area, and because l i f e there was otherwise good i n many respects, people did just enough to get by. I t was, as Harris (1985, p. 339) observed of New Denver, "...a place to l i v e but not to prosper." I t was also, for years, the scene of c u l t u r a l c o n f l i c t . Because of the Doukhobors' obvious l i n g u i s t i c and i d e o l o g i c a l differences, and because of t h e i r ongoing problems with the p r o v i n c i a l govern-ment, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two p r i n c i p a l community groups was characterized by frequent animosity, and an active and ongoing persecution of the Doukhobor people by a r a c i s t minority within the Anglo community.15 The Doukhobors, conditioned by years of mistreatment to not t r u s t the government, would not go to the p o l i c e and were, to quote one witness, " s i t t i n g ducks for d i s -crimination" . 1 6 I f one could see a "snapshot" of the v a l l e y i n the mid-1960's these would be i t s essential features: a population that largely consists of two community goups, one of these pursuing to some extent an a l t e r n a t i v e s o c i a l agenda and being persecuted by a minority i n the other larger community; an economy largely 1 5 From an a r t i c l e i n the LIP-funded co-operative newspaper The Arrow, #2, 1973. 1 6 David Orcutt, personal interview, January 30, 1990. 20 dependent upon a single industry and i n a chronic state of depression; a declining and aging population and consequent abun-dance of inexpensive land; and, a landscape of exceptional beauty, i s o l a t e d from urban pressures and influence by i t s l o c a t i o n i n the midst of a sea of mountains. The L i t e r a t u r e The back-to-the-land movement has received l i m i t e d academic attention. By f a r , the majority of writing on the subject has originated i n t e r n a l l y - from participants and advocates of the movement - and has generally been of a technical ( i . e . , how to do i t ) or philosophical (why do i t ) nature. Such perspectives are found most frequently i n p e r i o d i c a l s such as Harrowsmith, Mother Earth News and The Smallholder which have grown to serve the back-to-the-land population, and various popular books of the same genre. 1 7 In order to gain a comprehensive perspective on the movement generally, and s p e c i f i c a l l y i n the Slocan, i t was necessary to draw on a wider range of l i t e r a r y sources. Few works tr e a t the back-to-the-land phenomenon d i r e c t l y , but many can shed l i g h t on c e r t a i n dimensions of the movement - i t s o r i g i n s , inten-tio n s , and geographic d i s t r i b u t i o n - from which a more who l i s t i c picture can be constructed. This w i l l be done i n d e t a i l i n the next chapter; what follows here i s a briefly-annotated summary of the relevant l i t e r a t u r e . Some examples of t h i s popular l i t e r a t u r e on the subject are: the Whole Earth Catalogue; the Foxfire Books s e r i e s ; Nearing and Nearing, 1970; Kern, 1975; Langer, 1972. 21 The back-to-the-land movement was a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon which originated both i n s o c i a l forces prevalent i n the 19 60s, and i n long-standing attitudes and patterns of behavior. 1 8 I t s roots were i n the counterculture of that time, and i t s ideology sprang from the counterculture's alternative v i s i o n and c r i t i q u e of the status quo. The c r i t i q u e and v i s i o n emerge early i n the 1960s i n such works as E l l u l ' s The Technological Society (1964) and Marcuse's One Dimensional Man (1964) and by the end of the decade are a r t i c u l a t e d by Roszak (1969), Reich (1970) and Goodman et a l (1970). These ideas f i r s t found expression i n the "hippie" phenomenon i n the San Fransisco Bay area of C a l i f o r n i a ( B e l l , 1971), but were also representative of sentiments running through American society at the time (Perrow, 1979). After 1967, the locus of counterculture a c t i v i t y s h i f t e d to the countryside with the growth of the commune movement (Kantor, 1973; Gardner, 1978) . The communes are generally regarded as the precursors to the migration of the more widespread and numerically s i g n i f i c a n t back-to-the-land homesteaders (Vance, 1972; Gardner, 1978). However, s o c i a l change was not confined to members of the counterculture. During the past three decades, attitudes and values among western publics have been changing as well. Among these have been the emergence of p o s t - i n d u s t r i a l and post-material-This i s generally more true for Americans than for Cana-dians. The Jeffersonian agrarian creed, the lure of the f r o n t i e r and a long hi s t o r y of experimental communities were part of the American legacy. Canada, too, has experienced i t s share of Utopian settlement (see Raspiorch, 1977), but i t has always maintained a d i f f e r e n t and somewhat less romantic attitude to i t s f r o n t i e r which, as Cross (197 0, p. 4) notes, was opened up by the Northwest Mounted Polic e and the CPR rather than i d e a l i s t s or adventurers. 2 2 i s t preferences (Inglehart, 1977; Louv, 1983; Heath et a l , 1986), the changing relationship to the environment (Cotgrove and Duff, 1981) and to wilderness (Nash; 1982). These value changes and an increasing emphasis on quality of l i f e , combined with the long-standing v i s i o n of the f r o n t i e r as a place of transcendence, p a r t i a l l y underlay both the back-to-the-land movement and the rel a t e d Migration Turnaround. Participants i n both mass movements share many of the same motives and intentions. Works dealing with the causes, magnitude and d i s t r i b u t i o n of mainstream urban-rural migration since the 1960*s (Larson, 1978; Williams and Sofranko, 1979; Vining, 1982; Campbell and Garkovitch, 1984), and the impacts on r u r a l culture and r u r a l s o c i e t i e s (Graber, 1974; Young et a l , 1986; Price and Clay, 1980; Ford, 1978; Bradshaw and Blakely, 1979) can thus also cast l i g h t on the more alte r n a t i v e back-to-the-land phenomenon. From another perspective, the movement was but the l a t e s t installment i n a long American history of people attempting to create the good l i f e or the ideal society on the f r o n t i e r of the time. The most d i r e c t anticedent was the t r a d i t i o n of Utopian communalism (Holloway, 1951; Hine, 1953, 1980: Armytage, 1968; Parrington, 1964; Fellman, 1973; Lewarne, 1975; Vance, 1980). However, less r a d i c a l t r a d i t i o n s such as the pursuit of the simple l i f e (Shi, 1985) and the ideal landscape (Marx, 1964; Vance, 1972) have had s i m i l a r s p a t i a l expressions. While the more v i s i b l e "hippie" aspects of the counterculture receded i n the early 1970s, the back-to-the-land movement con-tinued, and with i t , the alternative ideology. The components of 23 t h i s v i s i o n of a better world remain important to those s t i l l on the land and have i n turn evolved into s o c i a l movements i n t h e i r own r i g h t . The "alternatives movement" or "conserver society" advocates ideas such as l i m i t s to growth (Meadows et a l , 1972; Ophuls, 1976), anarchist-decentralist s o c i e t i e s (Bookchin, 1971), appropriate technology (Schumacher, 1973), deep ecology (Bookchin, 1980; Devall and Sessions, 1985), voluntary s i m p l i c i t y (Johnson, 1978; E l g i n , 1981), bioregionalism (Udvardy, 1975; Berg and Dasmann, 1977; Sale, 1980, 1985), alternative economics (Hamrin, 198 3), and the broad pursuit of a stable and sustainable society (Goldsmith et a l , 1972; Brown, 1980). These a l t e r n a t i v e s have also found a much wider following among academics and members of the general public. Since the early 1970s, there has been a r i c h c r o s s - f e r t i l i z a t i o n between the i n t e l l e c t u a l development of these ideas and those people who have been attempting to l i v e them i n the countryside. Rural areas of North America have thus become s i g -n i f i c a n t l o c i of a c t i v i t y aimed at creating a l t e r n a t i v e s to e x i s t i n g patterns of community, economics and p o l i t i c s (Cayley, 1986). Canadian writers have been less prone to look into these dimensions of t h e i r recent past than Americans. Fortunately, there are exceptions. A decade afte r the back-to-the-land movement began i n earnest, Kostash (1980) i n A Long Way From Home: The 60's Generation in Canada, portrays an era i n which the forces of s o c i a l change o r i g i n a t i n g i n the United States found t h e i r own expressions i n the Canadian s o c i a l and physical landscape. This impression-i s t i c work describes, at some length, the Canadian back-to-the-land 2 4 experience and includes a study of the Slocan at that time. Smith's (1978) Quicksilver Utopias: The Counterculture as a Social Field in British Columbia approached the subject of the countercul-ture i n B.C. from an anthropological perspective. Of p a r t i c u l a r value i s h i s description of the dynamics and i n s t i t u t i o n s of the counterculture i n urban and r u r a l B r i t i s h Columbia i n the years 1966-1971. In the course of his research, he spent some months i n the Slocan Valley and recorded, firsthand, communal and al t e r n a t i v e community l i f e i n the early 1970's. Simmons (1979) describes a l l of the many facets of back-to-the-land settlement i n B r i t i s h Columbia over the preceding decade. Among other things, his But We Must Cultivate Our Garden: Twentieth Century Pioneering in Rural British Columbia provides s o c i o l o g i c a l perspectives on the movement, looks at changes i n the structure of r u r a l society, back-to-the-land l i f e s t y l e s i n the countryside, the process of s e t t l i n g the land, and locating where people went and how many were involved. As a source of descriptive data about t h i s settlement period i n B.C. i t i s useful, although short on analysis. Herrero (1981), i n The Conserver Society Alternative: A Community Values Study based her study on the assumption that many of the back-to-the-land residents i n the West Kootenay area are l i v i n g l i f e s t y l e s founded on "conserver" or "voluntary s i m p l i c i t y " p r i n c i p l e s . In her th e s i s Herrero defines which of the al t e r n a t i v e values held by these residents most induced them to move to the country and maintain t h i s sort of l i f e s t y l e . Among her respondents, she found a strong a t t r a c t i o n to the ideas of s e l f - r e l i a n c e , intimate community and the environmental q u a l i t i e s of the area. Steele 25 (1981) examined the cash and technological dependencies i n a so-c a l l e d s e l f - r e l i a n t l i f e s t y l e . Her study looked at the consumer patterns of a group of back-to-the-land residents i n Eastern Ontario and found a high degree of c o r r e l a t i o n between the professed ideology of s e l f - r e l i a n c e and actual attempts to l i v e economically independent from the mainstream society. F i n a l l y , Brinkerhoff and Jacob, i n two studies which focus p a r t l y on the West Kootenay, explore the connection between personal values (ideology) and the use of alternative technology (1986); and between ideology, alternative technology, and perceived q u a l i t y of l i f e (1984). Drawing on sample populations derived from subscrip-t i o n l i s t s for homesteading and smallholding p e r i o d i c a l s , Brinker-hoff and Jacob conclude i n each case that values and b e l i e f s commonly associated with the back-to-the-land movement - s e l f -r e l i a n c e , ecological harmony, and voluntary s i m p l i c i t y - are stronger determinants of l i f e s t y l e and personal s a t i s f a c t i o n than are s t r u c t u r a l or material factors. Each of the preceding works has, i n d i f f e r e n t ways, advanced knowledge about aspects of the back-to-the-land phenomenon, and a number have dealt with the Slocan or West Kootenay region i n p a r t i c u l a r . They describe, i n general, who these migrants were, why they moved to the country, and the fact that they were l i v i n g some form of an alternative l i f e s t y l e . What i s lacking however, i s any systematic e f f o r t to describe the impact of these new people on t h e i r r u r a l communities, or to come to terms with what the back-to-the-land al t e r n a t i v e means to society. This thesis expands on the e x i s t i n g l i t e r a t u r e by attempting to assess the impacts of 2 6 a l t e r n a t i v e v i s i o n s on the Slocan Valley, and the relevance of t h i s experience to society i n the 1990s. The next section describes i n more d e t a i l the origins and essential c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the movement. The People Who Came The people who began repopulating the Slocan and many other places i n the North American countryside i n the l a t e 1960s were thus part of a ruralward migration which originated i n the urban counterculture of that decade. Beginning i n C a l i f o r n i a ' s San Franscisco Bay area around 1965, the counterculture spread to other major American c i t i e s and university towns and, a few years l a t e r , to Canadian centres. At the root of t h i s phenomenon were f i v e f a c t o r s : a widespread d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the state of contem-porary American l i f e 1 9 , a large cohort of young people (the baby boomers, who flooded the u n i v e r s i t i e s and then the job markets i n unprecedented numbers), increasing deterioration of the urban and natural environments 2 0, the war i n Vietnam, and drug experiences. 2 1 "The new consciousness i s the product of two i n t e r a c t i n g forces: the promise of l i f e that i s made to young Americans by a l l of our affluence, technology, l i b e r a t i o n and ideals, and the threat to that promise posed by everything from neon ugliness and boring jobs to the Vietnam War and the shadow of nuclear holocaust." Reich, 1970, p. 234. "Fear underlay the upswell i n what was increasingly known as xenvironmentalism'...The new driv i n g impulse, based on ecolo g i -c a l awareness, transcended concern for the qu a l i t y of l i f e to fear for l i f e i t s e l f . Americans suddenly r e a l i z e d that man i s v u l -nerable. More precisely, they began to see man as a part of a larger community of l i f e , dependent for sur v i v a l on the s u r v i v a l of the ecosystem and on the health of the t o t a l environment." R. Nash, 1982, p. 254. 2 7 Disillusionment with society was extensive - witness the growth of various movements during the 1960s22 - but i t was p r i m a r i l y the young who made t h e i r c r i t i q u e into a l i f e s t y l e , who c a l l e d most loudly for s o c i a l change, and who ultimately brought f o r t h an a l t e r n a t i v e v i s i o n for the transformation of t h e i r society. There were many dimensions to t h i s movement, and many apparent contradictions. On one l e v e l i t was the r e b e l l i o n of youth coming of age and seeking to define themselves i n the world of t h e i r parents. At another, i t was a serious questioning of the underly-ing tenets of t h e i r parents' society. I t advocated a more spon-taneous, unstructured and carefree way of l i v i n g , and at the same time, sought authenticity and honesty i n personal re l a t i o n s h i p s , and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n human relationships to the environment. For many, the counterculture was l i t t l e more than a fad, yet others were deeply committed to l i v i n g t h e i r l i v e s according to i t s ideals and creating the personal and s o c i a l changes i t demanded. Some saw t h e i r involvement s o l e l y from an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c perspective - they were "dropping out" to pursue a personal r e a l i t y - while others were committed to nothing less than a complete reshaping of Writing on the origins of the commune movement i n the 1960's, Gardner (1978, p. 241) observes: "The contribution of the anti-war movement was e s s e n t i a l l y negative, creating widespread f e e l i n g s that a society capable of producing such a r e v o l t i n g war must therefore be immoral and rotten throughout. The contribution of drugs was e s s e n t i a l l y positive, producing v i s i o n s of cosmic unity, personal l i b e r a t i o n , and loving groups of like-minded peers, v i s i o n s which l e f t mainstream America pale by comparison." 2 2 Perrow (1979, p. 194) summarizes the s o c i a l movements contemporary with the r i s e and f a l l of the counterculture: c i v i l r i g h t s , 1956-1972; students, 1958-1972; peace, 1965-early 1970's; welfare/black power, 1966-early 1970's; ecology/militant feminism, 1967-early 1970's; m i l i t a n t American Indian, 1968-early 1970's. 28 society. They were drawn from middle-class homes23 across the land f i r s t to the Haight-Ashbury d i s t r i c t of San Francisco, and then to other meccas l i k e New York's East V i l l a g e , and Atlanta's Fourteenth Street. The "Haight" by 1965 had become "a symbolic centre for (among other i d e a l i s t causes) a sweeping, youthful revulsion toward a l l p rivate property, ecological rape, The Bomb and the War i n Vietnam." At the same time, the counterculture was a v i t a l and growing phenomenon i n Canada. Within two years of i t s i n i t i a l f l o u r i s h i n g i n San Fransisco, areas such as K i t s i l a n o i n Vancouver and Yorkdale i n Toronto contained t h r i v i n g a l t e r n a t i v e communities, complete with t h e i r own newspapers, stores, hostels and crash pads. 2 5 But by 19 67 i t was becoming clear to many i n the Haight-Ashbury that the a l t e r n a t i v e agenda was being subverted there, overwhelmed Who were these people? The counterculture, the commune movement, and the back-to-the-land movement which followed, drew pa r t i c i p a n t s from the same segment of society. According to Gardner (1978, p. 240): "There seems to be universal agreement among s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s that the vast majority were white, came from middle class and professional homes, had.been to college and often held advanced degrees, were twenty to t h i r t y years old, had used psychedelic drugs, and had been at least p e r i p h e r a l l y involved i n the protest p o l i t i c s of the time." In a study of 62 back-to-the-land residents i n southeastern B r i t i s h Columbia (including the Slocan V a l l e y ) , Herrero (1981) found a si m i l a r p r o f i l e . Among her respondents, the median age when they had f i r s t moved to the area was 2 6.5 years, 63% had been to university or college (versus the Canadian average of 18%) where arts and the s o c i a l sciences predominated as areas of study, and f u l l y 69.3% described t h e i r backgrounds as lower middle, or upper middle-class. 2 4 Hedgepeth and Stock, 197 0, p. 17. 25 • For accounts of the world of the counterculture i n Vancouver and other c i t i e s i n Canada at t h i s time, see Smith (1977) and Kostash (1981). 2 9 by crime, commercialism, media hype and overt suppression, and that society was not going to be changed through t h e i r example. That year the d i s t r i c t began to disintegrate. In the face of "the TV crews, t o u r i s t s , narcotics agents, and hordes of vacant-faced teenies fresh on the scene...Haight-Ashbury began as a community and devolved into a ghetto." 2 6 Within the counterculture: "the mood was one of preparing for Armageddon and of ambivalence between no longer giving a damn about anything but personal release, and hoping to demonstrate to America that a better answer could be found....In the face of the system's entrenched resistance to change by peaceful means, the only " a l t e r n a t i v e " -a word which changed i n tone from t h e o r e t i c a l d e s i r a b i l i t y to personal desperation - became a strategy of r e t r e a t . " 2 7 That summer, the symbolic "death of the hippie" r i t u a l held i n San Fransico's Golden Gate Park marked a s i g n i f i c a n t turning point for the movement. No longer content to be patronized and exploited by the establishment, they began to r e d i r e c t the energy of the revolution into a less v i s i b l e place - the open countryside. As one observer summarized i t : Hedgepeth and Stock, op cit, p. 19. 2 7 H. Gardner, op cit, p. 241. 2 8 The turning away was r e f l e c t e d i n the popular culture of the times. Throughout the 1960's, music had defined the anger, idealism, f r u s t r a t i o n and fears of the generation. I t exhorted togetherness and drug experiences, legitimized personal feelings of a l i e n a t i o n and disenchantment, and pointed the way to a l t e r n a -t i v e s . Well-known popular songs such as Crosby S t i l l s and Nash's "Wooden Ships": "Horror grips us as we watch you die/ all we can do is echo your anguished cries/ stare as all human feelings die/ we are leaving, you don't need us"; and Joni M i t c h e l l ' s "Wood-stock" : "We are Stardust, we are golden/ we are caught in the devil's bargain/ and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden"; described an increasingly common reaction to the s i t u a -t i o n . 3 0 "The solution to the poison of conventional society was to t o t a l l y exclude oneself from i t . America was doomed to imminent Armageddon and only the chosen few who had the r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s and i n *Wooden Ships' escaped to the * other side' would transcend the holocaust to b u i l d the new. The xother side* was the b l i s s and knowledge that only l i v i n g i n the country could provide. When one experienced the x p o l i t i c s of ecstacy' that l i v i n g so close to the natural order as was possible would provide, then one would be whole." 2 9 So, as i t had for the Utopians and i d e a l i s t s of the previous three centuries, the s o c i a l became the s p a t i a l : people on the s o c i a l margins of society moved, l i t e r a l l y , to i t s s p a t i a l margins. The f i r s t to leave for the country were the communes. In many ways they epitomized the r a d i c a l v i s i o n of counterculture of the late 1960s. As Kostash (1981, p. 130-131) observes: "...the communes - which existed simultaneously as c r i t i c s of the s o c i a l order and prototypes of a new one - represented the a n t i t h e s i s of bourgeois culture.... They countered the violence of society with p a c i f i s t communities where l i f e was revered, r e l a t i o n s h i p s were non-coercive, habits peacable, and tools creative. In place of competitiveness and hierarchy, the communes attempted co-operation i n work and decision-making, and egalitarianism. Against i s o l a t i o n and atomization - immersion i n the c o l l e c t i v e and mutual sel f - h e l p . In place of the nuclear family and private property - the t r i b e and c o l l e c t i v e ownership From an anonymous a r t i c l e , "The Rise (and F a l l ) of Woodstock Nation (1966-1969)" which appeared i n the West Kootenay a l t e r n a t i v e newspaper The Arrow, February, 1974, pp. 8-9. 3 0 The migration of the communal migrants can be considered the l a t e s t instance of a recurring phenomenon whose antecedents can be traced to the i n i t i a l founding of American society. The Pilgrims who landed i n Plymouth i n 1620 were the f i r s t i n a long l i n e of s e t t l e r s who sought the undeveloped wilderness i n which to give b i r t h to t h e i r v i s i o n of the good l i f e or the i d e a l society. The search for the simple l i f e , the quest for mental and physical health, s o c i a l i s t communitarianism, and closeness to nature, are themes which have figured prominently i n the hi s t o r y of t h i s type of settlement. As a r e s u l t of t h i s experience, when young people i n the 1960's found t h e i r society h o s t i l e to t h e i r v i s i o n and unamenable to change, the f r o n t i e r beckoned as i t always had, for "Arcadia has long been part of the American geographical norm, even in i t s i s o l a t i o n from the s o c i a l norm, furnishing a pattern that allows a pattern of s o c i a l d i v e r s i t y . " J. Vance, 1972, p. 210. 31 of property. In place of waste, conservation and a marginal economics. Instead of uniformity of processes of expression, they promoted the ideosyncratic and the experimental." Thus, the communes were 11... by no means seen as hideouts - cop-outs - from the world. Rather, they are outposts, t e s t i n g grounds, self-experimental laboratories, s t a r t i n g points for whole h a l -lucinatory metropolises...a wildly d i f f e r e n t pattern of s o c i a l l i f e that more r i g h t l y f i t s the human form." 3 1 More and more of the disaffected young joined the wave of migration i n the succeeding years. Settlement i n t h i s era spread out across the North American landscape wherever "land was cheap, the t e r r a i n unsuitable for commercial agriculture, and the scenery F i g . 6. Range of North American communal settlement 1965-75. Hedgepeth and Stock, op cit, p. 23. After J . Vance, 1972, p. 201. 32 b e a u t i f u l . " I n i t i a l l y , Northern C a l i f o r n i a was the favoured, destination, but soon pockets of settlement were appearing i n southern Oregon, northwestern Washington, i s o l a t e d parts of Colorado and New Mexico, certain undeveloped counties i n New England, and i n Appalachia. There was also communal a c t i v i t y i n Canada - primarily urban-based, since for the time being, the imperatives to escape i n t h i s country were not as strong. Canadian c i t i e s were not wracked by r a c i a l s t r i f e , or a f f l i c t e d by p o l l u -t i o n , crime, or p o l i t i c a l unrest to the extent of those i n the United States. Nor was there yet i n Canada an indigenous t r a d i t i o n of seeking out the f r o n t i e r to f i n d freedom for s o c i a l deviance. 3 4 Thus the Canadian counterculture remained l a r g e l y an urban movement u n t i l the beginning of the 1970s,35 and when r u r a l areas i n Canada f i r s t began to experience new exurban s e t t l e r s i n t h e i r midsts, these people were, i n many places, American i n o r i g i n . Soon a f t e r these f i r s t forays into the countryside, i n d i v i d u a l homsteaders began to follow. 3 6 The next year the p o l i t i c a l H. Gardner, op cit, p. 240. 3 4 Canada, and i n p a r t i c u l a r B r i t i s h Columbia, has seen numerous instances of consciously Utopian settlement i n the past century. Yet i n very few cases have these arisen out of the general populace - more often they have been transplants from Europe or America drawn by the greater wildness of the Canadian f r o n t i e r (and the frequently generous inducements of various governments). See Raspiorch, 1977. 3 5 This i s not e n t i r e l y true. Smith (1977) mentions the short-l i v e d existence of a number of indigenous counterculture-inspired communes i n northern B r i t i s h Columbia. They apparently had a l l come and gone by 1969. 3 6 "There can be l i t t l e question that the r u r a l communes of the 1960's played a major avant-garde r o l e i n the back to the land movement. They were the antennae of i n c i p i e n t c u l t u r a l change. As the f i r s t major probe back to the countryside i n generations, they pioneered the way out of urban p o l l u t i o n and a l i e n a t i o n . They 33 s i t u a t i o n i n t e n s i f i e d , the c o n f l i c t i n Vietnam continued to escalate, and the magnitude of the migration grew. "The turning point came for the student movement and the commune movement a l i k e i n 1968, with the f i r s t bombings of ROTC f a c i l -i t i e s at Stanford and Berkeley; the shootings of three black students by state troopers i n Orangeburg, South Carolina; the assassinations of Martin Luther King, J r . and Robert Kennedy; r e b e l l i o n s and s t r i k e s at Columbia, San Francisco State, Wisconsin and several other u n i v e r s i t i e s ; and the b a t t l e of the Democratic National Convention i n Chicago." (Gardner, 1978) The focus of countercultural a c t i v i t y s h i f t e d more and more out of the c i t i e s . At the same time, Americans began to look increasingly out of the United States - driven by the personal threat of the Draft or p o l i t i c a l violence, or by a general f e e l i n g of revulsion towards t h e i r society and what i t stood for. Mexico, Sweden and A u s t r a l i a were a l l considered possible destinations, but Canada -close at hand, f a m i l i a r yet s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t (with i t s s o c i a l i z e d medicine, low-key patriotism, peaceful reputation and openness to new immigrants, esp e c i a l l y from the United States) -was the most frequent choice. By the summer of 1968 a f u l l - s c a l e migration was underway.37 F a c i l i t a t e d by lenient immigration laws, Canada remained a popular option u n t i l at least 1973. In Van-couver, "Cool-Aid" offered hot meals, accomodation and job did not often succeed as communes, but they did succeed i n i n i t i a t i n g and i n s p i r i n g a new interest i n r u r a l l i v i n g that w i l l be with us for a long time to come." H. Gardner, op c i t , p. 250. 3 7 They were among "The Americans Who Voted With Their Feet" portrayed by Jon Ruddy i n a 1969 Maclean's Magazine a r t i c l e . Disillusionment with the state of a f f a i r s i n the U.S. was i n s p i r i n g a broad-based migration to c i t i e s and r u r a l areas i n Canada. In 1967, 19,038 American c i t i z e n s moved to Canada, up from 12,565 i n 1964. "Young married college graduates, t y p i c a l l y . . . w e l l educated and well-heeled. They brought money...they came to stay." 34 r e f e r r a l s to newly arrived Americans, and the American Deserters Committee operated a hostel i n K i t s i l a n o . Following the invasion of Cambodia and the Kent State incident, both were inundated by "a mixture of embittered and visionary Americans." As the back-to-the-land migration gathered momentum, another r e l a t e d trend was emerging: the so-called Migration Turnaround. Like the back-to-the-land phenomenon, t h i s mass movement was motivated by a widely-held negative view of urban l i f e and strong pro-ruralism values, and a growing " p o s t - i n d u s t r i a l " o r i e n t a t i o n to q u a l i t y - o f - l i f e and environmental amenities. "...[A] large number of indiv i d u a l s moved to r u r a l areas (or did not leave them) due to a b e l i e f that r u r a l l i f e represented the "promised land" of economic security, family security and s t a b i l i t y , environmental pu r i t y , and moral s u p e r i o r i t y . " 3 9 Economic and employment con-siderations were much more important to the turnaround migrants than to the back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s . The Turnaround was, i n large part, predicated on changes i n communications and transpor-t a t i o n technology and the relocation of industry to more r u r a l areas. The turnaround migrants generally s e t t l e d where there was employment, while the counterculture s e t t l e r s - l i k e the genera-tions of Utopian colonists before them - often sought locales "quite dogmatically detatched, frequently uneconomically located to the point of being q u i x o t i c . " 4 0 Nonetheless, i t i s widely f e l t that the l a t t e r s e t t l e r s , "as the f i r s t major probe back to the D. Smith, 1977, p. 117. R. Campbell and L. Garkovitch, 1984, p. 102. J. Vance, 1972, p. 200. country i n generations...pioneered the way out of urban p o l l u t i o n and a l i e n a t i o n " , 4 1 launching a large-scale exodus from c i t i e s across North America and Europe. 4 2 The beginning of the 1970s saw the advent of a new phase i n back-to-the-land settlement. In the c i t i e s , the counterculture as a force f o r s o c i a l change was i n decline. By 1970: " i t was becoming clear that for every freak who had carved out a place of t r a n q u i l i t y and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . . .there were hundreds and hundreds of youths stranded i n the no-man's-land of a l i f e s t y l e that was gradually being reabsorbed into the mainstream of c a p i t a l i s t enterprise and exp l o i t i v e , demoralizing, and even v i o l e n t r e l a t i o n s . A highly conscious counterculture was degenerating into a sub-culture of re a c t i o n . " 4 3 With the commercial co-optation of the movement nearly complete, i t s revolutionary momentum appeared spent. Yet, the c r i t i q u e , v i s i o n , and questioning s p i r i t of the counterculture l i v e d on - i n the many counterculture communities scattered across the continent, i n an increasingly pragmatic and deliberate back-to-the-land movement, and i n a growing alternatives movement.44 Nourished by a rapidly-growing popular l i t e r a t u r e of do-it-yourself and home-steading books and periodicals, and increasingly disassociated from *' H. Gardner, 1978, p. 250. 4 2 Gardner (op c i t , p. 249) reports (after Beale and Fuguitt, 1976) that i n the U.S., "Between 1970 and 1973...there was a net migration of over one m i l l i o n people from the c i t i e s and suburbs into sparsely populated r u r a l areas." 4 3 M. Kostash, op cit, p. 135. 4 4 The various facets of t h i s "movement" developed p a r a l l e l to the back-to-the-land movement during the 1970s, and both benefitted from a c r o s s - f e r t i l i z a t i o n of ideas and p r a c t i c a l experience. Many who came to the Slocan during the past 20 years would have i d e n t i f i e d with at least part of the a l t e r n a t i v e agenda. I t s r e l a t e d strands are summarized i n Appendix B. 36 the "hippie" aspects of the counterculture, the back-to-the-land movement attracted a widening spectrum of p a r t i c i p a n t s . 4 5 No longer so overtly p o l i t i c a l , so naively Utopian, these people nonetheless subscribed to a common v i s i o n . They saw a more s e l f - r e l i a n t l i f e i n small r u r a l communities close to nature and the basics of s u r v i v a l as more healthy, s a t i s f y i n g , and easier on the planet than that which the mainstream society offered. Their numbers declined gradually from the peak years i n the early 1970s, but the stream of migration continued into the 1980s and i n c e r t a i n areas has enjoyed a resurgence since the l a t t e r part of the decade (this has been observed i n the Slocan). By the mid-1970s, the wave of back-to-the-land migration which started a decade e a r l i e r i n C a l i f o r n i a , may have involved as many as one m i l l i o n people, spread out i n i s o l a t e d homesteads and r u r a l communites across the continent. A conservative estimate i s that by 1978,46 more than 15,000 of these migrants populated the B.C. countryside, from the Gulf Islands and Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, to the Bulkley River v a l l e y northwest of Prince George. The Pemberton-Lillooet area was another focus, as was the L i k e l y -Horsefly area i n the Cariboo (see Fig. 7.). However, the West Kootenay region was the centre of the movement's a c t i v i t y i n B.C. and the Slocan, i t s epicentre. The majority, however, continued to be drawn from the same segment of society. Young et a l (1986, p. 10-6) observe that new migrants to r u r a l areas "are on average younger, of higher SES, and are motivated by concerns other than employment." See also: Graber (1974, p. 509), Louv (1983, p. 152) and Bradshaw and Blakeley (1983, p. 197). 4 6 Simmons, 1979. 3 7 L e t t e r s t o " T h e S m a l l h o l d e r " m a g a z i n e , 197^ - 1990. ( o n e d o t r e p r e s e n t s o n e i n d i v i d u a l c o r r e s p o n d e n t ) F i g . 7. The distribution of back-to-the-land settlement in B.C. 38 The preceding description of the context and objectives of the back-to-the-land movement i s the framework for settlement i n the Slocan a f t e r 1967. The next chapter w i l l focus on the experiences of those who, as part of t h i s movement, decided to l i v e i n the country and ultimately chose the Slocan. 3 9 Chapter Two S e t t l i n g the Valley: From the Voices of S e t t l e r s The Decision to Move Every person who eventually s e t t l e d i n the Slocan has a d i f f e r e n t story - a d i f f e r e n t set of reasons underlying t h e i r decision to move, a d i f f e r e n t array of intentions of what t h e i r new l i f e was going to be about. On one hand, some people were desperate to f l e e t h e i r place of o r i g i n . They were i n personal danger from the Draft or from p o l i t i c a l violence, or else so repulsed by what they saw around them that they were unwilling to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e i r society any longer. On the other hand, s i g n i f i c a n t numbers of people were going with the flow, following t h e i r pleasure. Many l e f t the c i t i e s with no idea of what they were running to, only what they wanted to leave behind. Others went to the land s p e c i f i c a l l y to create new r e a l i t i e s , to experiment. With s u r v i v a l s t r a t e g i e s prepared, they were well aware of the rigours of the homesteading l i f e . They were simultaneously pushed and pulled. On one side stood the society and the urban environment; on the other, v i s i o n s of the good l i f e i n the country or of a better kind of society that needed space and freedom to f l o u r i s h . Understand-ing t h i s mixture of motives i s important as part of understanding the subsequent actions of the new people i n changing the Slocan Valley. The fundamental fact i s t h i s : people went back-to-the-land for a wide vari e t y of reasons, but uniting a l l of them was a search for a place on earth where they f e l t welcomed by the land and the people around them. 40 V i r t u a l l y every person who came to the Slocan as part of the back-to-the-land i n f l u x was attempting to escape something. For some i t was just to get out of the stress, crime and p o l l u t i o n of c i t y l i f e . Nancy Harris r e c a l l s having to drive 40 miles to work and coping with the deterioration of the urban environment: "We l i v e d for that time up the Irvine Ranch outside of L.A. while Joe l f i n i s h e d his degree. I t was during that time I guess that we r e a l l y began to see the other side of the a f f l u e n t society. From our place we could see the p o l l u t i o n cloud growing as i t spread up the va l l e y from L.A....0ur kids were getting sick from the p o l l u t i o n . " 4 7 For many Americans, the Draft was a pressing r e a l i t y , as was the repression of anti-war a c t i v i t y by government forces. One of the f i r s t Americans to arrive i n the va l l e y was Bob Ploss. "I came up the f i r s t time i n 1967. At that time I'd been involved i n an underground r a i l r o a d operation that was taking army deserters from near the bases, picking them up and hiding them, then shipping them on to Reed College and then up to Canada. We were sponsored by what they c a l l e d the "peace churches" - the Unitarians, Quakers and the Doukhobors. Sometime in mid "67 we got wind that we were under s u r v e i l l a n c e by the FBI, and we decided pretty quickly that i t was time to leave. So we took the same route - took the r a i l r o a d up into Canada. In Vancouver some Unitarians put us up for a while and then we went out to the Slocan to v i s i t some of the deserters we knew. We l i k e d i t and decided to stay." These s p e c i f i c p e r i l s were but part of a much larger threat of p o l i t i c a l violence, which seemed endemic i n c e r t a i n places throughout the late 1960s. Even those with a deferment f e l t i t : "I got deferred from the draft by some lawyer friends - on the grounds of my being i n support of two kids. But the streets were wrapped i n barbed wire, and l o t s of guns and National Guard Nancy Harris, personal interview, November 22, 1986. The date and location of interviews referred to i n the text are contained i n a Schedule of Interviews, Appendix A. 41 were everywhere. One day my father said "This country's had the b i s c u i t , I'm leaving and I suggest you do the same." That sounded l i k e pretty good advice. So, at f i r s t we weren't going back to the land so much as getting the h e l l out of the country. I t was a straight p o l i t i c a l r a t i o n a l e . " 4 8 Places l i k e Berkeley, or Chicago i n 1968, were beginning to look l i k e war zones ". . .rocked by bombs from both the r i g h t wing and the l e f t wing." The personal choices of those who cared about making change were increasingly being constrained. This was the f e e l i n g of John Herrmann, one of the f i r s t to s e t t l e i n H i l l s : "My l a s t job i n the States before leaving was with the C a l i f o r n i a highway system. This was at the time when the war i n Southeast Asia was r e a l l y s t a r t i n g to get heated up. I knew of people a l l over that were getting beaten up by the a u t h o r i t i e s for t h e i r e f f o r t s to protest the war - i t was looking l i k e a repeat of the Nazis. . . .Their intention was to crush the war resistance by brute strength. That seemed to leave a person with a choice: either become a Rambo-type figh t e r or leave the country." The widespread f e e l i n g that society was headed for a collapse -eit h e r from a large-scale environmental disaster such as a nuclear accident, or from a breakdown i n the increasingly vulnerable food and energy production and d i s t r i b u t i o n systems on which the West r e l i e d - made the urge to escape even more pressing. This was part of the r a t i o n a l e underlying the New Family commune's move from C a l i f o r n i a to B.C. , but not only Americans had f e e l i n g s of impending doom. When the Carpendales l e f t Vancouver i n 1970 they Corky Evans, personal interview, September 2, 1988. 4 9 "At that time either a Third World War or some kind of s o c i a l breakdown seemed imminent - we figured i t would happen by 1975. We f e l t a desire for a r e a l l y dramatic change to restore r e a l health to society - that way the collapse could perhaps be postponed. Our moving out into the woods was the f i r s t stage i n an attempt to deal with t h i s . " E r i c Clough, personal interview, February 18, 1987. 42 "...were planning to be s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t and manage on very l i t t l e . There was a r e a l l y strong f e e l i n g that i f society started to crash i t would be the c i t i e s that went f i r s t . " Even outside the U.S., there was a strong antipathy for almost everything society stood for. Many f e l t out of place; t h e i r values were i n c o n f l i c t with the goals that society offered and the means i t offered to obtain them. To stay would mean they would either be co-opted by the system, or r i s k personal breakdown t r y i n g to l i v e true to t h e i r b e l i e f s . So moving out into the woods was also an act of withdrawal, as i t was for Sam Tichenor: "My motivation? Well i t started as an act of defiance against society... and also a process of beginning to make the important l i f e decisions for myself. I think mostly I wanted to hide - I f e l t I didn't f i t i n to the greater society. So I was t r y i n g to create a place where I couldn't be bothered by i t a l l , where I could r e a l l y explore personal growth." Overall, there was a sense of disillusionment. They were "innocent c h i l d r e n of World War Two people - moving towards what our society wanted us to be - yet finding out that crass consumerism and the war were the r e a l statements of that society. I t was morally bankrupt I" 5 0 The urge to f l e e was only one aspect of the back-to-the-land r a t i o n a l e ; on the other side of the equation there were plenty of p o s i t i v e a t t r a c t i o n s . Most people had some v i s i o n of the ide a l l i f e , even i f they did not know yet where to f i n d i t or how to make i t a r e a l i t y . Generally, a number of desires predominated. Nancy Harris, op c i t . 43 Richard Burton and Barbara Foreman were perhaps t y p i c a l i n t h i s respect: "We always wanted a quiet place i n the mountains... and to f e e l rooted, anywhere other than i n a c i t y . We wanted neighbours too, and a more organic environment... to be involved i n a l i f e s t y l e that was very diverse, rather than the s t e r i l i t y of a profes-sion. " Environmental aesthetics were important, and mountainous landscapes with abundant water were p a r t i c u l a r l y favoured. But people were also looking for security and a sense of freedom, and to be more connected with the essential processes of s u r v i v a l . Many have t o l d of leaving the c i t y with hundreds of pounds of food - s u r v i v a l rations i n the l i k e l y event that food was soon unobtainable i n stores. The systemic collapse was a palpable threat and, thus, personal security was high on peoples' minds. This, a piece of land offered. "We wanted to grow our own food and b u i l d our house and provide for our energy needs - without being dependent on Hydro or the r e s t of them. We figured we could be s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t i n a f a i r l y short time. 5 1 I f large enough, a piece of land could supply building materials, wood for heat and cooking, food, p o t e n t i a l l y hydro e l e c t r i c i t y , and a defensible buffer should the need a r i s e . The i d e a l of s e l f -s u f f i c i e n c y was thus p a r t i a l l y a response to the precariousness of the system. I t was also integral to the idea of " l i v i n g l i g h t l y on the land" and p r a c t i s i n g a conserver l i f e s t y l e , rather than one of consumption. One of the strongest c r i t i c i s m s of l i f e i n modern Richard Burton, personal interview. 44 society was the way urban people were is o l a t e d from the sources of t h e i r sustenance. John and Bay Herrmann f e l t that: "...San Francisco was just t h i s p a r a s i t i c colony, e x p l o i t i n g the produce of other peoples. So we had t h i s deep desire to learn how to grow our own food. Once across the border we became very concerned to stop being parasites." This longing to get back i n touch with the basics of l i f e was s p i r i t u a l as well as p r a c t i c a l i n o r i g i n . I t had to do with wanting to f i n d one's place i n the cosmic order. "We l e f t Calgary i n '75 or '76 - I was about 3 6 - looking I suppose, for roots and a connection to food, clo t h i n g and shelter cycles. We didn't know yet at the time how we were going to l i v e , but we planned to homestead."52 Growing one's own food was perhaps the central focus of t h i s reconnection, and the centrepiece of e f f o r t s to be s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t . Wholesome, healthy food, free of pesticides, produced with the labour of one's own hands - t h i s was the i d e a l . Underlying t h i s array of personal desires and aspirations was another common thread: l i k e generations of American and Canadian s e t t l e r s who had preceded them out into the f r o n t i e r , most of the Slocan s e t t l e r s were seeking freedom i n some form. For example, when the New Family was looking for land i n the area, part of t h e i r concern was to get far enough out that "we wouldn't be forced to send our kids to public school.*' 5 3 The remote countryside offered a measure of independence from the i n s t i t u t i o n s of the "system". 5 2 John Hodges, personal interview. 5 3 E r i c Clough, op cit, 45 Being s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t on a piece of land also offered the pos-s i b i l i t y of freedom from the routine and h i e r a r c h i c a l r e l a t i o n s of conventional employment, as i t did for J e f f Ankenman: "B a s i c a l l y I always hated two things: school and going to work. What I needed was a place with a roof over my head without a mortgage. And I wanted also to be able to do things myself and so not have to pay other people to do them for me - which of course would require a job." Equally important was the a b i l i t y to work when and how much one wanted to. Ken Minchin, for example, maintains: "In my l i f e I don't have time to work eight hours a day. I t makes me crazy and I don't need the money anyway." As we s h a l l seen i n the next chapter, t h i s freedom came with a price - economic uncertainty. This kind of occupational f l e x i b i l i t y became c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the l i f e s t y l e s that evolved i n the following years. A major part of the desire for connectedness and roots was a longing for community. Most of the newcomers mentioned t h i s as an important underlying motive for moving to a r u r a l area, since c i t i e s were seen as places of anomie, a l i e n a t i o n and competitive-ness. In the country, one knew one's neighbours, helped them and could depend on them i n times of need. The idea of "community" was almost a g r a i l for the migrants, yet personal v i s i o n s of the ideal community varied. For most, community c l e a r l y meant the community of t h e i r peers - other members of the counterculture, other "new people" i n the country. Some sought the intimacy and i n t e n s i t y of a communal or group marriage s i t u a t i o n . But the desire to l i v e communally or co-46 operatively was by no means universal among the new people. More preferred a looser, more t r i b a l kind of association with a sense of cohesion and i d e n t i t y around a set of shared values and a c t i v i t i e s . A minority sought an a f f i l i a t i o n with the "oldtimers", or r u r a l people already long-established on the land. In a way, many of the preceding reasons and intentions were about creating a better society. The difference between in d i v i d u a l s was i n whether they saw t h e i r role as exemplars for the re s t of mainstream society to emulate, or were more concerned with creating a v i a b l e personal r e a l i t y . 5 5 The evidence suggests that the f i r s t type were i n a minority i n the Slocan, a f e e l i n g shared by Marcia Braundy: "The new people i n the valley ranged from the v i s i o n a r i e s - l i k e those i n the New Family - to the ones who were more concerned with personal reasons, with creating a personal a l t e r n a t i v e . The s o c i a l v i s i o n a r i e s were creating community i n the s o c i a l sense of the word: a woven f a b r i c of caring for the land, for the a l t e r n a t i v e economy, for the i n s t i t u t i o n s we've created here, and so on. Maybe one-third of the new people here are v i s i o n a r i e s i n t h i s sense, but t h e i r visions are a l l d i f f e r e n t . Fortunately, however, there i s a commonality between them that allows people to work together." This concept of community was central to the counterculture's v i s i o n of the i d e a l society, but the v i s i o n extended beyond t h i s 5 4 Herrero (1981, p. 119) observes that less than 25% of her respondents came to the Slocan area with expectations of l i v i n g t h i s way. 5 5 This same dichotomy i s a consistent feature of Utopian settlements i n history. Some, such as the F o u r i e r i s t and Owenite communes of the 1800's were c l e a r l y intended as models. Others, notably c e r t a i n r e l i g i o u s and temperance communities, i n e f f e c t turned t h e i r backs on the rest of the world and often made no e f f o r t to convert or r e c r u i t new members. 47 as i t seemed for a time that they were attempting a revolution i n every dimension of l i f e simultaneously. Counterculture com-munities, whether urban or r u r a l , were places of experimentation. The New Family's commune had four s p e c i f i c goals: to create a loving, supportive extended family; to create a safe, nourishing environment for personal growth; to become s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t on the land; to educate t h e i r children better than they could be educated i n p u blic school. These or si m i l a r goals were shared by many outside of that group, by people such as Judy Maltz who: "... had taken a course i n Utopian l i t e r a t u r e i n college and...wanted to f u l f i l that search with personal experience, 1 , 5 6 or J o e l Russ, who observed: "...a l o t of us came out here thinking that we could b u i l d a model world counterculture, and that we a l l had some part to play i n t h a t . " 5 7 F i n a l l y , and i n sharp contrast to these v i s i o n a r i e s with s p e c i f i c intentions, very many came without any c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d idea of what they were moving to, or why. I t was a time of acting on impulse. Like Burgid Schinke, who moved there i n 1976, they f e l t "...part of a movement. It was more of a f e e l i n g i n my guts than any r a t i o n a l or planned idea. I had heard that i t was good up here so I moved." I t i s cl e a r that far from being motivated by the same goals and objectives, people were moving to the country for a v a r i e t y of reasons. Even within individual communes such as the New Family, Judy Maltz, personal interview. Joe l Russ to Linda Herrero, 1979. 48 which had a written charter, practised consensus decision-making, and required a t o t a l commitment to the ent e r p r i s e 5 8 the v i s i o n varied widely. As E r i c Clough r e c a l l s : "The i n d i v i d u a l members of the New Family had very d i f f e r e n t views about what they were actually doing. I know Michael saw i t as a glorious stepping back one hundred years and discarding power tools and so on. He was very much into s i m p l i c i t y for s p i r i t u a l reasons and was wanting us to give up everything not absolutely necessary. He had a noble savage i d e a l . And then there was Joan. I think she r e a l l y had an image of a community of s c i e n t o l o g i s t s here, and a white house with a picket fence, and more of a monogamous couple r e l a t i o n s h i p . There was act u a l l y a l o t that our viewpoints diverged on....We were maybe closer than most groups but s t i l l had many discrepancies." The f a c t that such differences between ind i v i d u a l s were common within the new community explains a good deal of the ambiguity of t h e i r actions which w i l l emerge i n subsequent chapters. The back-to-the-land ideology was broad, and in c l u s i v e of these kinds of contradictions. As Simmons (1979, p. 5) notes, the movement had c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i a b l e core elements while having diverse i n d i v i d u a l p a r t i c i p a n t s . I t s members "believe i n the virtues of r u r a l l i f e ; wish to es t a b l i s h new, often alternative communities; and seek to achieve s o c i a l and economic s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y and independence," but because of t h e i r diverse personalities, they could be oriented to s u r v i v a l , to q u a l i t y - o f - l i f e , or to changing the planet. As s o c i a l conditions changed during the 1960s and 1970s, so did the motives of the s e t t l e r s , t h e i r numbers, and t h e i r p r i o r i t i e s . P r i o r to approximately 1972, escape - "getting the h e l l out" - was frequently mentioned as a major reason for moving to the country. CD Upon joining, New Family members agreed to give up a l l personal f i n a n c i a l assets to the group. 49 P a r t i c u l a r l y among the American expatriates, p o l i t i c a l feelings were bound up with the other dimensions of the back-to-the-land ideology, often inseparably. As time went on, the proportion of Americans among the new s e t t l e r s decreased, while that of Canadians increased. 5 9 With t h i s change came a general s h i f t i n the charac-t e r i s t i c s of the community of new people. Because the Canadians were generally not as p o l i t i c a l l y oriented, the community became increasingly more pragmatic and less prone to p r o s e l y t i z e . People were going to the country simply because urban areas were no longer desirable environments i n which to l i v e . Choosing the Slocan Representative of those who were to come to s e t t l e were people l i k e the Herrmanns and members of the New Family who came upon the v a l l e y through a fortuitous combination of hearsay and extensive reconnaissance. By far the most common early experience was t h i s kind of circumstantial search, for people were attracted to B r i t i s h Columbia but i n i t i a l l y had no clear idea of where i n the province they should go. John and Bay Herrmann, for example, traced a convoluted path before landing i n the Slocan: "We arrived i n Vancouver sometime early i n 1968 and spent a month there finding out about the province. We knew we wanted a place This i s attributable to a number of factors. F i r s t l y , the back-to-the-land movement arose and peaked a few years l a t e r i n Canada than the U.S. By 1971 or '72, the factors which had prompted so many Americans to leave t h e i r country had begun to change. There was evidence that the war i n Vietnam was about to end. The v i r u l e n t "us versus them" f e e l i n g that pervaded the counterculture mellowed. I t also became increasingly d i f f i c u l t to obtain landed immigrant status. 5 0 i n the country with good water, nice neighbours - not too many neighbours though - good s o i l . . . p r e t t y , i n the mountains, o f f the beaten track. Had t h i s f e e l i n g that we'd know i t when we found i t . The vibes would be ri g h t . Part of t h i s v i s i o n came from having read The Carusoe of Lonesome Lake60 as a boy. .. .We were t r a v e l l i n g i n an old Ford sedan, hauling a WWII army surplus t r a i l e r with about 1,000 pounds of food i n i t . . . o u r food awareness was going through a change then. We had the idea that you should know where your food comes from and t r y to grow as much of i t as possible." They had heard that Horsefly was the edge of r u r a l B.C. so they made "a beeline for there, going north into winter and winding up at Cottonwood Creek, near Quesnel." There they met some e l d e r l y back-to-the-landers, people who had been there since the 1930s. Af t e r working with them a while they "began to r e a l i z e i t wasn't our community. They did t e l l us, though, about the Kootenays, New Denver s p e c i f i c a l l y . " "We went on to check out the Columbia-Kootenay v a l l e y , around Brisco and Spillimacheen. Already there were l i t t l e communes there, i n d i v i d u a l back-to-the-landers, the beginning of the movement. But i t wasn't the ri g h t place either - too-heavily i n d u s t r i a l i z e d , too redneck. We almost decided to j o i n a group that was forming among friends i n Montana but they t o l d us to check out the Slocan f i r s t . " When they arrived i n Nelson, the Herrmanns' f i r s t impression was that " i t looked l i k e every other place i n B.C. should look. We got into the v a l l e y i n July sometime. By 1968 i t had been pretty much abandoned and was very quiet." They saw l o c a l farmers working t h e i r f i e l d s with horses. It was pastoral, picturesque. "We stayed i n the campground i n the park at Rosebery and looked around for land. People seemed desperate to have people rent t h e i r places. .. .There was l i t t l e t r a f f i c on the road and the This i s the story of Ralph Edwards, an American who l e f t his urban l i f e during the 1930s to homestead i n the Coast Mountains east of B e l l a Coola. 51 l o c a l community was r e a l l y t i g h t - everybody knew everybody. One day at the gas pumps a Doukhobor approached us and offered to s e l l us h i s farm.... It had been family property since i t was cleared from the bush in the 192 0s. We eventually s e t t l e d on $3,400 for the house and 15 acres. We had $2,200 and had to borrow the r e s t from the l o c a l Credit Union. When we moved i n , there were only two other Americans here before us." The New Family had a more precise idea of where they were going. In 1967 members of the commune came up from C a l i f o r n i a to v i s i t David Orcutt on his co-operative farm i n Fauquier, i n the Arrow Lakes v a l l e y . They l i k e d the area, and when they returned the following summer to s e t t l e they rented a house i n Fauquier as a base from which to scout for t h e i r own piece of land. Their quest took them across much of south-central B.C. - to the Okanagan Valley, 130 kilometres west, and east to Kootenay. Ultimately, a f t e r weeks of searching, they located a piece of land i s o l a t e d enough, and within t h e i r budget, i n the Slocan. Sometimes something else brought people to the area. They l i k e d i t and decided to stay: "In 1975 I went to a newspaper conference held i n Syringa Creek outside of Castlegar and f e l l i n love with the people and the area. We were looking for a place to l i v e but had at the time only 600 d o l l a r s . Fortunately, the V a l l i c a n Whole was looking fo r a caretaker for the building who would be w i l l i n g to b u i l d next door. We got the job and moved here i n May of that year." 6 1 This kind of serendipity was very common. People spoke of a "magic" that brought them to the Slocan Valley. For example, Marcia Braundy t o l d of l i v i n g on a commune i n C a l i f o r n i a i n 1969 and of her planned t r i p to Alaska. Upon leaving, she met E r i c Lees, (who had moved to the Slocan from V i c t o r i a i n 1969) ; he Rita Moir, personal interview. 52 suggested that she stop i n on her way through the area. She has been there since. "Again and again i t was the fact that people were just i n the r i g h t place at the r i g h t time to get the information they needed to send them on a journey that would change the r e s t of t h e i r lives...people l i k e me who had someone come up to them and say, xyou should r e a l l y check out the Slocan V a l l e y 1 . " 6 2 Elements of B.C.'s past history of r a d i c a l settlement a c t i v i t y also seem to have attracted back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s to the province. For example, Malcolm Island was a common thread weaving through the personal narratives of many who came to the Slocan. In 1901 the island was the s i t e of a Utopian colony known as "Sointula" started by the Finnish i n t e l l e c t u a l Matti Kurrika. Although t h i s commune was short-lived - i t disbanded i n 1905 - many of the o r i g i n a l Finnish s e t t l e r s stayed on, l i v i n g f or years i n a peaceful, temperate and co-operative community where some of the founding ideals remained a part of d a i l y l i f e . A t r i p to Sointula appears to have been an important r i t u a l for many who l a t e r went on to s e t t l e i n the Slocan and elsewhere i n the province. I t was a connection with t h i s place which f i r s t brought Judy Maltz out to B.C., and Barry and Sa l l y Lamare journeyed there from Topanga, C a l i f o r n i a on t h e i r f i r s t t r i p to the province: "A l o t of people we knew i n our area were looking around for other places to l i v e - Canada i n p a r t i c u l a r . We were interested i n seeing Malcolm Island, that was a draw. We came from there, across through Vernon and then stayed at the campground i n Rosebery. 1 1 Some people who s e t t l e d i n the Slocan r e c a l l s i m i l a r awareness of Marica Braundy, telephone interview, August 30, 1990. the Doukhobor and Quaker h i s t o r i e s i n the area. While these i n themselves may not have precipitated the choice of s e t t l i n g i n t h i s area, they may have been important influences at a more subliminal l e v e l . In the beginning, the " i n t e l l i g e n c e network" of hearsay and personal testimony that guided l a t e r s e t t l e r s to the area did not yet e x i s t . As the urge to leave the c i t i e s grew i n the mid-s i x t i e s , the f i r s t people out into the countryside had l i t t l e more to guide them than l i s t s of desirable c r i t e r i a and what maps and standard geographical descriptions could t e l l them.64 One of the f i r s t new people to s e t t l e i n the north end of the v a l l e y was Peter P e l l , from Los Angeles. After studying maps, and then weeks of scouting the area, P e l l chose the Slocan. 6 5 Since the countercul-ture was focused more on the West Coast and d e t a i l s of the back-to-the-land settlement i n B.C. had not reached the eastern United States, many who set out from there used s i m i l a r strategies to f i n d Judy Maltz remembers hearing about the i l l - f a t e d Doukhobor commune while i n college i n the early 1960s. Nancy Harris and her family c a r e f u l l y investigated the Argenta Quaker community before f i n a l l y committing herself to the New Family on t h e i r commune i n Winlaw. 6 4 In an interview on Cape Breton Island, one respondent t o l d h i s story: "We'd previously gone to the West Coast looking for land unsuccessfully, and I put a compass on the c i t i e s over a m i l l i o n inhabitants i n t h i s continent and spanned out around eight hundred or a thousand miles. When you get to Cape Breton you're safe, you're eight hundred miles from Boston, you're a thousand from New York, you're a thousand from Montreal or Toronto. And I figured i f you're that f a r away from the big c i t i e s you shouldn't be too much bothered by t h e i r problems." Chris King, personal interview, Baddeck, Nova Scotia, September, 1987. 6 5 John Norris, personal interview. 54 t h e i r i d e a l landscape. V i c k i A l l e n r e c a l l s meeting such s e t t l e r s i n her f i r s t t r i p to the Slocan: "I f i r s t came here on a summer t r i p to B.C. i n 1973 and v i s i t e d for a week with a man who knew people who were wanting to homestead around Kaslo or Galena Bay. These were people from the Eastern States who looked at things l i k e r a i n f a l l and growing conditions and remoteness and so forth before they decided to come here. 1 1 Most who were on the road carried around some i n t u i t i v e sense of what they were looking for. But some - l i k e Jim Rutkowski - were more s p e c i f i c : "I was thinking of a more r u r a l l i f e s t y l e - I had the back-to-the-land bug - and wanted to l i v e somewhere close to mountains and s k i i n g and hiking. And I also wanted to do a garden. So I used a l l my available breaks to t r a v e l and explore d i f f e r e n t places to move to. I had a l i s t of c r i t e r i a of what I was looking for . ...11 But the most common way people found out about the v a l l e y was undoubtedly word of mouth. People who had heard about the v a l l e y or had perhaps v i s i t e d i t themselves helped spread i t s reputation as f a r away as southern C a l i f o r n i a . To those involved i n the counterculture i n Vancouver and V i c t o r i a , the a t t r a c t i o n s of the Slocan were common knowledge by the end of the 1960s. "I was l i v i n g i n a communal house i n Richmond, B.C. i n l a t e 1970. In the spring of 1971 two friends from the house and I came out to the Slocan Valley, having heard about the Kootenays and t h i s being a be a u t i f u l area where l o t s of young people were coming to s e t t l e because land was available f a i r l y inexpensively. So the three of us did an exploratory t r i p . I guess i t took us a couple of days to get out here, and then we drove up the v a l l e y from South to North. We didn't r e a l l y stop to look around much u n t i l we got to H i l l s , where we met John Herrmann, who kind of acted i n the r o l e of Ambassador and made the place sound i n t r i g u i n g to us." 6 6 Health food stores, restaurants, and other establishments where the counterculture congregated played a major r o l e i n the dissemination of information about a t t r a c t i v e places. "That summer I went with a frie n d to check out other r u r a l areas i n Southern B.C.. We heard about the Slocan Valley at t h i s health food store "Shume" i n Vancouver and more or less headed st r a i g h t there. The f i r s t person we ran into was John Herrmann north of H i l l s . He inv i t e d us back to his house." 6 7 In some cases i t was the recently-arrived residents who spread the word. This was the case with Shawn Rooney - who took an 8mm movie he had taken of the va l l e y to Topanga, C a l i f o r n i a when he returned there on a holiday i n 1970 - and a group of Primal Therapy p r a c t i t i o n e r s who arrived i n Rosebery i n 1972. "Actually I came up to the Slocan Valley o r i g i n a l l y to work with Ronnie Gilbert....We were down in Berkeley doing primal work, and decided that the only sensible thing to do was to move back up here since a l l the people that were seeing her down there were from either the B.C. Coast, which was where I was l i v i n g before I came here, or from the Slocan Valley. So we s h i f t e d the whole show to the Rosebery Centre. 1 , 6 8 One f i n a l component of the back-to-the-land in-migration which had a major impact on the course of events was the s i g n i f i c a n t numbers of l o c a l people who embraced the values, dreams or intentions of the new people. Some, l i k e John Norris, had spent a considerable period away from the area and, before the a r r i v a l J o e l Russ to Linda Herrero, 1979. Sam Tichenor, personal interview. Judy Maltz to Linda Herrero, 1979. of the newcomers, found themselves without a l o c a l peer group. "These people were far more soul-mates for me than the l o c a l people. Many of the l o c a l people at that time were narrow minded red-necks.... I was i n the process of changing my own l i f e s t y l e at the time and the new people helped me through i t . " Others, l i k e the McRorys, from New Denver, and the Avises and Swansons from Winlaw, were long-established f a m i l i e s who were open-minded from the beginning. 6 9 What emerges from t h i s exploration of the circumstances which brought people to the valley, i s a clear pattern of information d i f f u s i o n . In the beginning, very few knew about the Slocan Valley. Then, through a combination of circumstantial and methodi-c a l search i t was "discovered" by a few i n d i v i d u a l s . 7 0 These people t o l d t h e i r friends, and i n the highly mobile and information-oriented counterculture, the word quickly spread. By 1970 the Slocan was a place firmly established i n the broader landscape of the North American back-to-the-land movement. This landscape ignored international borders 7 1 (except i n the case of Draft For those who a f f i l i a t e d with the new people, t h i s often meant an increasing estrangement from t h e i r own communities. For many years the l i n e s between the Anglo population and the Douk-hobors had been s i m i l a r l y drawn. Families who reached out across t h i s l i n e , l i k e the Avises and the Kazakoffs of Winlaw, found themselves ostracised from those around them. Larry Avis, personal interview, August 20, 1990. 7 0 Herrero found i n her 1979 survey that 41.9% of her respon-dents had come to the area by chance and immediately l i k e d i t . 21% described a methodical search for the type of place they wanted to l i v e i n . 7 1 Many r e c a l l that for a while between 1968 and the early 1970s "the border between Canada and the States sort of disap-peared. I t r e a l l y f e l t l i k e the world of the counterculture was continuous between the two countries." Nancy Harris, personal interview, January 17, 1987. 57 evaders). I t had f o c a l points - places, i n s t i t u t i o n s and personal-i t i e s - around which the l i f e of the counterculture revolved. These existed at the national scale ( i . e . the Haight-Ashbury), regional scale (such as the Georgia Straight newspaper or Cool-Aid i n Vancouver) , and l o c a l l y . In the Slocan, for example, a very common point of f i r s t contact i n the v a l l e y was the campground at Rosebery P r o v i n c i a l Park, or the nude beach nearby. Individuals such as John Herrmann and David Orcutt, and groups l i k e the New Family also reached out to welcome newcomers. The back-to-the-land landscape was also characterised by strong linkages between c i t y and country. Most of these were of a s o c i a l nature, but some were funct i o n a l , such as the connection of the counterculture hinterland i n B.C. to the central d i s t r i b u t i o n depot of the "Fed-Up" co-op i n Vancouver. On the fringes of t h i s landscape were other places -such as the Ashram i n Kootenay Bay, or the Quaker community i n Argenta - which were not formally a f f i l i a t e d with the back-to-the-land movement, but had shared causes and concerns. The media also helped spread the word. During the period from 1969 to 1974, a r t i c l e s on the evolving a l t e r n a t i v e scene i n the Kootenays - usually on the Slocan - were re g u l a r l y seen i n the province's major newspapers - The Vancouver Sun and The Province -and on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio and t e l e v i s i -on. Then, with the s t a r t of Harrowsmith Magazine i n 1976, the area 5 8 f o u n d i t s e l f w i t h a n a t i o n a l r e p u t a t i o n . F i g . 8. The Slocan River at Vallican. However t h e y h a p p e n e d t o f i r s t come t o t h e S l o c a n , m o s t p e o p l e f o u n d t h e m s e l v e s i m m e d i a t e l y a t t r a c t e d t o i t s e n v i r o n s . Many m e n t i o n h a v i n g a n i m m e d i a t e f e e l i n g t h a t t h e v a l l e y was r i g h t f o r them, t h a t i t was a s p e c i a l o r m a g i c p l a c e . C o l l e e n Bowman, f o r e x a m p l e , remembers "Our w h o l e t r i p up t h r o u g h t h e v a l l e y was l i k e c o m i n g home - we knew f r o m t h e i n s i d e t h a t t h i s was our p l a c e . " E a r l y i s s u e s o f H a r r o w s m i t h c a r r i e d s t o r i e s o f b a c k - t o - t h e -l a n d e r s i n t h e a r e a . I s s u e #2 r e p o r t e d a c o u p l e i n t h e i r l a t e t w e n t i e s f r o m W i n d s o r who h a d s e t t l e d i n a n i s o l a t e d v a l l e y n e a r T r a i l a n d w e r e a t t e m p t i n g t o l i v e on $1,000 p e r y e a r . The i n f a m o u s J o h n H e r r m a n n , " t h e G a r l i c Man" o f H i l l s , B.C. was t h e s u b j e c t o f a s t o r y i n I s s u e #4. 59 The strongest f i r s t impression was usually the landscape. Those that came from crowded and polluted c i t i e s t r u l y believed that they had found Eden, "with i t s fresh clean lake and r i v e r waters, for e s t s , and wild animals that walk past your kitchen windows."74 The Slocan Valley offered a variety of aesthetic experiences: pastoral v a l l e y bottoms, the rugged V a l h a l l a Range, quaint v i l l a g e s with t h e i r l i n g e r i n g traces of boomtown prosperity, the e x h i l a r a t -ing passage through the Cape Horn B l u f f s , and through i t a l l , running c l e a r water. "Back then we were l i v i n g on a community outside of Vernon but thinking seriously about moving down to C a l i f o r n i a . That summer we did a canoe t r i p down the Slocan from S i l v e r t o n to Passmore -I think we decided r i g h t then that we wanted to come back here to l i v e . . . .So you could say we came for the natural beauty of the area above a l l - the t i g h t community we found here was a nice s u r p r i s e . 1 , 7 5 The v a l l e y also has an intimacy - i t enfolds but does not over-whelm. "The landscape i s very important to me. The mountains here are craggy and raw but not ominous, you know, the way they are around Banff. So there's space but also enclosure, and everything f e e l s clean and pure." 7 6 Once the newcomers made inq u i r i e s about land, the v a l l e y became even more a t t r a c t i v e . Those who arrived i n the early years This conclusion i s i n agreement with Herrero (1981) who found that environmental q u a l i t i e s were mentioned by 67.7% of her respondents as being what had i n i t i a l l y attracted them to the area. 7 4 J o e l Harris, l e t t e r to the editor of the Nelson Daily News, June, 1973. 7 5 Pamela Stevenson, personal interview. 7 6 S a l l y Hammond, personal interview. 60 b e n e f i t t e d f r o m g r e a t v a l u e s . P r i c e s r e v e a l a g o o d d e a l a b o u t t h e r e a l e s t a t e m a r k e t a t t h a t t i m e . F o r e x a m p l e , i n 1 9 6 8 , J o h n a n d B a y H e r -r m a n n b o u g h t 13 a c r e s w i t h a 3 - b e d r o o m h o u s e i n H i l l s f o r $ 3 , 4 0 0 . T h e n e x t y e a r , C o l l e e n Bowman a n d h e r f a m i l y f r o m M o n t a n a b o u g h t 3 3 p a r t i a l l y - c l e a r e d a c r e s w i t h a h o u s e a n d b a r n f o r $ 9 , 5 0 0 . F u r t h e r d o w n t h e v a l l e y t h e New F a m i l y p u r c h a s e d t w o u n -d e v e l o p e d p a r c e l s o f l a n d o n a t i m b e r e d b e n c h a b o v e W i n l a w . T h e y p a i d $ 1 , 6 0 0 f o r t h e f i r s t f o r t y a c r e s i n t h e summer o f 1 9 6 8 , a n d t h e f o l l o w i n g s p r i n g , a n o t h e r 160 a c r e s f o r $ 4 , 5 0 0 . A c r o s s t h e v a l l e y a y e a r l a t e r , 2 0 a c r e s i n V a l l i c a n w i t h r i v e r f r o n t a g e , a h o u s e a n d b a r n s o l d f o r $ 1 2 , 0 0 0 , a n d n e a r b y , 94 a c r e s - a l s o o n t h e r i v e r w i t h h o u s e a n d b a r n - s o l d f o r $ 1 3 , 0 0 0 . M a n y l o c a l p e o p l e w e r e e a g e r t o s e l l , a n d , a s w i t h t h e H e r r m a n n s , a p p r o a c h e d t h e n e w c o m e r s w i t h o f f e r s o f p l a c e s f o r r e n t o r f o r F i g . A smallholding at Vallican. 61 sale. A f t e r a l i f e t i m e spent on the land, many were reaching retirement age, and t h e i r own children had no i n t e r e s t i n l i v i n g there or carrying on t h e i r way of l i f e . In a way, the a r r i v a l of the new people may have seemed a v a l i d a t i o n of t h i s way of l i f e . E l d e r l y r u r a l residents ready to leave the land, and others who wished to relocate elsewhere i n the valley, took advantage of the booming market. By 1974, much of the previously developed land that had i n i t i a l l y been av a i l a b l e was sold. Prices began to r i s e 7 7 and increasingly the new people turned to undeveloped properties - usually forested, higher on the v a l l e y walls and less e a s i l y accessible. Part of t h i s occurred as i n f i l l between exis t i n g homes and farms, but i n addition, whole new areas began to f e e l the pressure of s e t t l e -78 • ment. The Red Mountain Road area south of S i l v e r t o n was f i r s t extensively s e t t l e d i n t h i s period, as was the Springer Creek watershed above Slocan City and the further reaches of the L i t t l e Slocan River Road, near V a l l i c a n (see map, Figure 10). The Lamares, who purchased a 94 acre parcel i n 1971 for $13,000, sold i t two years l a t e r for $19,000. Then, i n 1976 the same piece sold again for $40,000. The fact that people could s t i l l pay these higher prices r e f l e c t e d a change i n the attitude and general l e v e l of affluence of l a t e r s e t t l e r s . There was a kind of i d e a l i s t i c , naive optimism which flourished i n the beginning. People would move to the valley intending to s e t t l e with l i t t l e more than a down payment for t h e i r land, and then l i v e on family allowance cheques for the next few years while they got e s t a b l -ished. By 1974 t h i s type of attitude was no longer so prevalent. Those that came l a t e r benefitted from the accumulated experience of the previous six or seven years - passed on by word of mouth and i n the pages of the back-to-the-land l i t e r a t u r e . They knew i t would be hard and thus they more often came prepared. 7 8 The experiences of those who came l a t e r and s e t t l e d raw land d i f f e r e d markedly from t h e i r e a r l i e r counterparts. The work i n -volved i n establishing a homestead from nothing was long and arduous. 62 F i g . 10. The sequence of back-to-the-land settlement in the Slocan. 63 What p a r t i a l l y underlay the low prices was the v a l l e y ' s r e l a t i v e remoteness from the rest of the province. During the 1960s while areas such as the Okanagan, Shuswap and East Kootenay began to experience a development boom, the Slocan remained a quiet backwater. From the newcomers' perspective, t h i s was an a t t r a c -t i o n . The v a l l e y was remote from major highways, and a f u l l day's drive from the nearest large Canadian c i t i e s - Vancouver or Calgary. This put the valley well outside of the urban f i e l d and free of cottages or speculative development - both of which would have ra i s e d land prices. Yet i t was also close to Nelson. This c i t y of 10,000, with i t s university and amenities, served as a centre for the counterculture i n the whole West Kootenay area. Should the people seek the pleasures of a larger c i t y , Spokane was only four or f i v e hours away.79 The goal of providing at least some of t h e i r own food was probably the most common denominator among the back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s . Although the pastoral appearance of the Slocan v a l l e y suggested r i c h h o r t i c u l t u r a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s , the experiences of the newcomers i n the v a l l e y varied considerably i n t h i s regard. Many of the farms they bought came with gardens and orchards already well established - generally located on the best a v a i l a b l e land. Colleen Bowman's home in H i l l s , for example, "was a happening farm r i g h t from the s t a r t . " With the purchase of a cow, the family was This i s a curious ambiguity within the a l t e r n a t i v e com-munity. There were some - perhaps a majority at f i r s t - who were back-to-the-land " p u r i s t s " and kept t h e i r contact with c i t i e s to a minimum. With time, more and more of the newcomers seemed to want the best of both worlds - to l i v e s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t l y i n a b e a u t i f u l natural setting, yet to have the opportunity to enjoy the c u l t u r a l a t t r a c t i o n s of large urban centres. 64 soon almost s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t i n food and produced a surplus of milk for sale. For those who were clearing land and attempting to create gardens from nothing, however, i t was often years before gardens were producing a s i g n i f i c a n t part of the household's food. The s o i l s i n the val l e y were generally moderately productive, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the val l e y bottoms, but there were also large a l l u v i a l gravel deposits and poorer conditions found on the val l e y walls. Despite these l i m i t a t i o n s , the o v e r a l l impression of the area was one of "lushness", and i t was to t h i s that the s e t t l e r s were drawn. A f i n a l major a t t r a c t i o n was that by 1970 a v i t a l and growing a l t e r n a t i v e community was already established i n the val l e y . Homesteaders who committed themselves to the place by buying land, communes which flourished there from 1968 to 1973 or '74, and a far greater number of v i s i t o r s and i t i n e r a n t d r i f t e r s made up the community. Some were drawn to the area because of the climate of experimentation - with l i f e s t y l e s , r e l ationships, new forms of community and economics, and so on - which fl o u r i s h e d i n the early 1970s as part of t h i s growing community. Whatever i t was that most strongly appealed to individuals, there was a common response: "We a l l , I f e e l , love t h i s v a l l e y and intend to stay here f o r the rest of our days. Our search for a place to s e t t l e has ended." 8 0 Thus, between the late 1960s and the present, a back-to-the-land presence joined the e a r l i e r community groups i n the Slocan. They i n f i l l e d the gaps i n the r u r a l f a b r i c of small, dispersed farms and Joel Harris, op c i t . 65 houses, then moved onto undeveloped land, c l e a r i n g i t and making i t productive, as s e t t l e r s had i n the generations before them. They came to the v a l l e y for a diverse array of reasons and with a wide range of intentions, both repelled by the world they had l e f t and drawn towards a l i f e s t y l e and a p a r t i c u l a r kind of landscape. Some came fo r i d e a l i s t i c reasons - concerned to f i n d a better l i f e for themselves, i t i s true, but also to explore new options for the r e s t of humanity to follow - while others were more immediately concerned with t h e i r own si t u a t i o n , with creating Utopias of a personal nature. The f e e l i n g they a l l shared however, was that the Slocan was a special place, worth the hardships to l i v e there, and worthy of protection. Like the previous s e t t l e r s , the most recent a r r i v a l s came to the v a l l e y i n search of t h e i r dreams. However, because new and old came from v a s t l y d i f f e r e n t personal experiences and backgrounds, and because the new people had come of age i n a d i f f e r e n t world and an era of intense questioning, the dreams d i f f e r e d . There were many aspects of the back-to-the-land ideology which were sym-pathetic to the b e l i e f s and values of the e x i s t i n g community: the desire to grow a garden and be more s e l f - r e l i a n t , a d i s t r u s t of government and big business, a b e l i e f i n co-operation. 8 1 Yet, with There were more points of s i m i l a r i t y between the new people and the Doukhobors than between the newcomers and the Anglo community. Many of the fundamentals of the Doukhobor way of l i f e such as pacifism, vegetarianism, and communalism were central to the a l t e r n a t i v e l i f e s t y l e advocated by the counterculture. As Marcia Braundy (September, 1990) observes, the newcomers found that the Doukhobors were "actually l i v i n g the value system we shared, and r e l a t i n g to the land i n the way we wanted to." The Anglo community was f a r more integrated into the value-structure of the mainstream culture. 6 6 the non-Doukhobor residents, these s i m i l a r i t i e s were overwhelmed by some e s s e n t i a l differences, at least i n the beginning. Above a l l , the newcomers* b e l i e f that they were on a d i f f e r e n t path from the r e s t of society made them c l e a r l y a d i s t i n c t group within the broader community. As Joel Harris admits: "I don't believe that most of us have asked to be separate from the s o c i a l structure of the valley, we just are. As components of a counter-culture we d i f f e r from the dominant culture. We ask to be accepted as individuals who d i f f e r . Few people expect or want s p e c i a l treatment; the vast majority only ask for equal consideration. " 8 2 Over the next two decades, the inte r a c t i o n of these d i f f e r e n t dreams and the resultant community dynamics are a s i g n i f i c a n t aspect of the story of the new people i n the Slocan. The story i s also about the way the back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s ' dreams c o l l i d e d with the r e a l i t i e s - both constraints and opportunities - of the place they chose to c a l l home. These w i l l be discussed i n the following chapters. Joe l Harris, op c i t . 67 Chapter Three Making I t (and not Making It) on the Land "People came here with an idea and became committed to a place. So the idea naturally took other forms. "83 Among the back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s i n the Slocan, four general objectives are expressed: l i v i n g a more s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t l i f e s t y l e , being involved i n an intimate community, l i v i n g i n harmony with the natural environment, and pr a c t i c i n g "voluntary s i m p l i c i t y " . Many of t h e i r l i v e s i n the early 1970's were r e f l e c t i v e of these p r i o r i t i e s . However, the economic conditions that had proven so d i f f i c u l t for the pre-existing people also challenged the new-comers. In order to l i v e i n the v a l l e y they had to develop some d i s t i n c t i v e s u r v i v a l strategies. Many found that the i n i t i a l dream of s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y soon gave way to more conventional responses. The community began as a loose, organic, dynamic association of like-minded peers and then s o l i d i f i e d around common in t e r e s t s . Between 1970 and 1990, r e l a t i o n s between the new and old com-munities fluctuated, from open acceptance to overt h o s t i l i t y . With time, the boundaries between the "alternative" and the " s t r a i g h t " communities have become less v i s i b l e , although the new people s t i l l l a r g e l y associate - c u l t u r a l l y , s o c i a l l y and economically - with t h e i r own. Increasingly the alternative agenda has been expressed less i n a d i s t i n c t i v e l i f e s t y l e and more i n the form and content of the p o l i t i c a l debate that engages the v a l l e y . This w i l l be the subject of chapter four. The current chapter w i l l focus primarily Marcia Braundy, personal interview, June 6, 1989. 68 on l i f e within the alternative community. Since 1968, the alternative community i n the v a l l e y has evolved through three more or less d i s t i n c t phases: a period of i n i t i a l settlement where the new a r r i v a l s - both i n d i v i d u a l homesteaders and communes a l i k e - had to secure the basic neccesities of subsistence (food, shelter, energy, and income); a period of community-building where the newcomers s o l i d i f i e d t h e i r presence i n the area by putting down substantial roots; and a period of outreach i n which they have increasingly become involved i n the a f f a i r s of the broader community. These phases are the point of departure for a broad examination of the back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s ' experiences as they have adapted to l i f e i n t h e i r new mil i e u and have shaped the landscape around them. Subsistence (1967-1970) Perhaps most representative of the i d e a l i s t i c and experimental early phase of settlement were the communes that began to spring up. Over the next few years at least eight such experiments i n communal l i v i n g appeared and disappeared (see map, Figure 9). Each one was unique. Some, l i k e the New Family, were conceived and i n i t i a t e d elsewhere and then transplanted into the Slocan. These generally had a clear sense of what they were attempting to do, rules of conduct and admission, even le g a l incorporation as s o c i e t i e s , and tended to be the most stable and long-lived. Others were conceived more spontaneously and were often ephemeral i n the 69 extreme. As David Orcutt recounts: "A group of people would come and spend a couple of summers together on someone's land. This c o l l e c t i o n would acquire a name and v o i l a , a commune would be born. Fi g . 11. Communes and co-ops i n the Slocan Valley, 1968-1990. David Orcutt, personal interview, January 25, 1990. 70 Harmony Gates and Amazing Grace were communes of t h i s kind. In general, the communes sought to recreate the experience of intimate community as found i n an extended family s i t u a t i o n - with property held i n common, shared meals and duties, and a pooling of personal f i n a n c i a l resources - although each one was d i f f e r e n t i n t h i s regard. Alongside the communes, land co-ops were also being 86 formed. These d i f f e r e d from the communes i n that co-op members generally maintained separate households, although they often shared gardens, shop and community buildings, and regular r i t u a l s on the common land. Without the pressures of day-to-day cohabita-t i o n , these were usually less problematic endeavors and have tended to be by f a r the more successful and l o n g - l i v e d . 8 7 The majority of s e t t l e r s , though, were homesteaders - individuals or small families who were attempting to be s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t on t h e i r own piece of The "Red and the Blue Circus" was another group that was i n i t i a l l y f l o a t i n g and informal but then coalesced into a more s o l i d communal structure. I t started i n rented cabins beside the highway on Perry's H i l l and then moved south into Appledale. The name came from the fact that t h e i r buildings had red and blue roofing, and members l i k e d to take red and blue p i l l s . They were convinced, as were many others at that time, of the imminence of a s o c i e t a l breakdown and had vast amounts of stored food. Like other millenarian sects they had an evangelizing thrust and purportedly a l i s t of people they wanted to convert to t h e i r path. 86 David Orcutt arrived i n the Slocan from Fauquier i n the Arrow Lakes v a l l e y i n 1969, aft e r his property there - also operated as a co-op - had been flooded out by BC Hydro's High Arrow Dam. For 6000 d o l l a r s he bought 170 acres of gently-sloping treed h i l l s i d e at Perry's H i l l and opened i t up to others to b u i l d on. This "open land" s i t u a t i o n was a common feature of the back-to-the-land landscape. 87 Stonetree, Adella, Perryland and a number of other un-named co-ops were started i n the late 1960's and early 1970's and are s t i l l i n existence i n 1990. 71 Although land was the key component i n the back-to-the-land ideology, many people did not know what they were seeking. So much emphasis was placed on getting out of the c i t y that many had no idea of what they were looking for beyond a piece of earth; they assumed they would know the ri g h t piece i n t u i t i v e l y when they found i t . Sometimes mistakes were made. People bought land without water, without sunlight for three or four months of the year, without access except by foot or by snowshoes i n the winter. Sometimes remoteness was deliberately sought and they were w i l l i n g to pay the pri c e to maintain i t ; others people based t h e i r choice on a romantic v i s i o n that proved to be unworkable i n pra c t i c e . The parcels bought varied considerably i n siz e and q u a l i t y . Ten to twenty acres was about average, although parcels as small as one acre or as large as 200 acres were not unheard of. Many subscribed to a "land e t h i c " : " . . . t h i s was an agreement to be stewardly, to acknowledge that the land was not ours and that we were merely caretakers. We also believed that you shouldn't p r o f i t from the land - i n the speculative sense. The land was to ex i s t as a sanctuary where people could come and l i v e but not to f e e l they had some proprietary r i g h t to i t . " And there were hundreds of v i s i t o r s . For the f i r s t four or f i v e years of settlement far more of those who came to the v a l l e y were transients than landowners or homesteaders. Nancy Harris r e c a l l s that "There were r e a l l y three d i s t i n c t groups among the counterculture at that time. There were the "summer hippies" who were there to have a good time, smoke dope and have good exper-iences. They partied a l l summer and then generally went back to t h e i r jobs i n the c i t y i n the f a l l . They often had friends here but no r e a l commitment to the place or to what people were t r y i n g to do here. Then there were lo t s of hardworking hippie f a m i l i e s , t r y i n g to make i t go and working just as hard as us. And then the other communes.... We were often v i s i t i n g , seeing how each of us were doing things." 72 The land would provide them with food, firewood, shelter and a safe haven should society collapse as they predicted. In return, they would respect i t and leave i t undiminished for p o s t e r i t y . Once land had been purchased or rented, the experiences of i n d i v i d u a l and c o l l e c t i v e s e t t l e r s a l i k e were i n large measure determined by the kind of personal and f i n a n c i a l resources people brought with them to the area. Money came from d i f f e r e n t sources: inheritances, savings, loans from r e l a t i v e s . Often there was l i t t l e more than the payment for the land and a few months* expenses - there was nothing l e f t for shelter, food or the other n e c e s s i t i e s of l i f e . Stories of whole families l i v i n g f o r years on f i f t y or one hundred d o l l a r s per month were not uncommon. There was, early on, a clear d i s t i n c t i o n developing between the various dimensions of the household economy. There was work done on one's land - the garden, building, clearing, putting up food - barter and mutual assistance between friends and neighbours - and work for cash. In the l i f e s t y l e that evolved, the non-market subsistence and informal exchange a c t i v i t i e s generally predominated. Since a conscious e f f o r t was being made to r e j e c t the superfluous material comforts of conventional society, taste i n architecture often leaned toward "voluntary primitivism". Those who had purchased land with buildings could usually move i n immediately, although some found i t necessary to customize t h e i r dwellings - to make them f i t t h e i r v i s i o n of the kind of l i f e they wanted to l i v e . Marcia Braundy recounts that the f i r s t of the newcomers to occupy the house i n V a l l i c a n where she resides customized i t i n t h i s way: "As soon as they moved in they began to systematically demolish the inside of the house. The kitchen cabinets were removed and 73 replaced w i t h shelves and counters of rough planks. They p r e f e r r e d t o use the o l d outhouse i n the back so the f i x t u r e s i n the bathroom were t o r n out. They p u l l e d the s w i t c h p l a t e s and plugs from the w a l l s and s t u f f e d the bare wires back i n s i d e , i n t o the sawdust i n s u l a t i o n . Then over a l l the c e i l i n g s and w a l l s they n a i l e d more of the rough cedar s l a b s discarded from the o l d sawmill down the road. . .The people across the road, who had spent years a q u i r i n g these very same conveniences, were of course s c a n d a l i z e d . . . . " 8 9 There was some experimentation with d i f f e r e n t kinds of s h e l t e r and many spent t h e i r f i r s t months, or even years, i n the area l i v i n g i n t i p i s or t e n t s . The New Family, f o r example, b u i l t rough A-frames from poles of lodgepole pine covered w i t h h a n d s p l i t cedar shakes. There was no i n s u l a t i o n and the f l o -ors were packed earth. The Slocan's severe win-t e r s u s u a l l y soon per-suaded the newcomers to e r e c t something more s u b s t a n t i a l , however. The generic c a b i n was s m a l l , roughly and hast-i l y b u i l t (at f i r s t ) , o f t e n w i t h salvaged mat-e r i a l s , logs or poles. I t was heated by a wood-stove, and o f t e n con-s i s t e d of a s i n g l e l i v -F i g . 12. Three-bedroom dwelling at the i n g / e a t i n g / k i t c h e n space New Family commune, constructed 1968. Marcia Braundy, personal i n t e r v i e w , December 16, 1989. 74 w i t h a l o f t overhead f o r s l e e p i n g . Some had at l e a s t c o l d running water but many d i d not. Out-houses were o f t e n pre-f e r r e d t o indoor plumb-in g . E l e c t r i c i t y was fr e q u e n t l y absent be-cause people d i d not want t o be plugged i n t o , and dependent on, the l o c a l u t i l i t y . I t went against t h e i r goals of vol u n t a r y p r i m i t i v i s m , or they were j u s t too f a r from the nearest s e r v i c e . Wood cook-stoves, kerosene lamps and candles provided F i g . 13. Building with logs, V a l l i c a n . heat and l i g h t . Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , house f i r e s were a common experience, and community b e n e f i t s f o r the unfortunate v i c t i m s were r e g u l a r s o c i a l events. V i r t u a l l y every household or commune had a garden. The idea of producing one's own food - cheap, h e a l t h f u l , independent of the st o r e s , uncontaminated by p e s t i c i d e s or chemical f e r t i l i z e r s , and i n tune w i t h the earth and the seasons - was perhaps the c e n t r a l aspect of the back-to-the-land l i f e s t y l e . Along w i t h the p r o v i s i o n 75 F i g . 14. The caretaker's house at the V a l l i c a n Whole. of shelter, i t was the primary focus of l i f e on the homestead. Ambitious gardeners who planted early and extensively were often able to s a t i s f y a s i g n i f i c a n t proportion of t h e i r food requirements from mid-summer to well into the winter. Surpluses were traded, sometimes with t h e i r Doukhobour and Anglo neighbours. For those s t a r t i n g out on raw land though, i t was often years before gardens were producing a substantial amount. For many, the garden became an a r t form. Home grown produce was augmented with staples generally bought i n bulk through the l o c a l farmers co-op or, in l a t e r years, through t h e i r own independent food co-operative. Some kept animals - chickens were most common, although goats and c a t t l e were also seen. By growing or r a i s i n g t h e i r own food, buying in bulk, shopping at the l o c a l t h r i f t store for clothes, and generally 76 a v o i d i n g most l u x u r i e s , the newcomers were a b l e t o l i v e on very l i t t l e cash income. However, few were content t o continue a t t h i s l e v e l of constant s t r u g g l e f o r more than a couple of y e a r s ; a t some p o i n t they became di s e n c h a n t e d w i t h e n f o r c e d v o l u n t a r y p r i m i t i v i s m and were ready f o r more money - and t h e r e were always some l a r g e r expenses which were unav o i d a b l e . A v e h i c l e was a n e c e s s i t y f o r many, alth o u g h some made do by h i t c h h i k i n g or walking. Another major expense was b u i l d i n g m a t e r i a l s , s i n c e the f i r s t a r r i v a l s had s a l v a g e d most of what remained i n the d e r e l i c t r u i n s of the mining e r a . These f r e e r e s o u r c e s became i n c r e a s i n g l y r a r e with time and people o f t e n made • 90 do wxth "temporary" s h e l t e r f o r years. There were few l o c a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s open t o the newcomers t o earn a cash income. Many had come t o the v a l l e y without the s l i g h t e s t n o t i o n of what they would do f o r a l i v i n g . One o p t i o n was t o work i n the l o c a l f o r e s t or mining i n d u s t r y , although t h i s was c e r t a i n l y not the work of c h o i c e f o r most. "When the i d e a l i s t i c n o t i o n of e s t a b l i s h i n g a s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t farm and l i v i n g from savings gave way t o the r e a l i t y of no more money i n the bank and needing a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount of income each year, the "newcomers" t r i e d t o take jobs i n the community. But most of us had no t r a i n i n g i n c a t work, l o g g i n g or m i l l work. Our t r a i n i n g was f o r other p r o f e s s i o n a l f i e l d s . I t was dreary work f o r low pay." 9 1 L i k e the Herrmanns i n H i l l s . When t h e i r house burned down i n e a r l y 1970, they c o n s t r u c t e d a d w e l l i n g compound w i t h v a r i o u s s e p a r a t e l i v i n g spaces, each open t o the elements i n the summer and c l o s e d i n r o u g h l y with p l a s t i c i n the w i n t e r . They moved i n t o t h e i r p a r t i a l l y completed house i n 1988. 9 1 J o e l H a r r i s t o the e d i t o r of the Nelson Daily News, June, 1973. 77 A small number did f i n d employment at the Triangle P a c i f i c sawmill i n Slocan. This was generally on a casual basis i n u n s k i l l e d labouring capacities. Some, such as John Norris and John Herrmann, found work i n the boy's reform school that had opened i n 1965 i n New Denver, as substitute teachers and s o c i a l workers. Their education and professional s k i l l s made them q u a l i f i e d for openings of t h i s sort when they became available. Well-paying stable jobs such as these were rare, however, and i n addition contradicted many people's sense of what they had come here for i n the f i r s t place. There were small businesses started that r e f l e c t e d the interests of the a l t e r n a t i v e community: a woodstove manufacturer "Valley Comfort"; a healthfood store i n New Denver; the "Organic Mechanic" (who s p e c i a l i z e d i n Volkswagens) i n Crescent Valley; and the New Family's "Paradise Valley Nursery Society" on t h e i r land above Winlaw. Some of these were short-lived, but others have survived to the present. Outside of these formal enterprises, the majority of the new community l i v e d a hand-to-mouth existence of odd jobs, small carpentry contracts, temporary labouring (haying was common), f i r e f i g h t i n g , and so on, which alternated with periods at home engaged i n building, household maintenance, recreation and community l i f e . This pattern p e r s i s t s to the present day as i n d i v i d u a l s seek out c y c l i c or periodic episodes of employment either l o c a l l y , or outside of the area. 9 2 Because personal overhead tends to be low, r e l a t i v e l y substantial amounts of money can be saved i n a short time. Welfare was there as a recourse when other Treeplanting, grant-sponsored construction work, or con-t r a c t s (teaching, carpentry, consulting, etc) of short duration are common examples of t h i s type of employment. 78 avenues f a i l e d , and some - those who were not bothered by the i d e o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s - took advantage of the s e r v i c e . A m i n o r i t y developed a l i f e s t y l e i n which s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e supple-mented ot h e r s u b s i s t e n c e a c t i v i t i e s on t h e i r l a n d . T h i s p r o v i d e d them w i t h an adequate standard of l i v i n g without ever having t o seek wage employment. A welcome p a r t of the rhythm of l i f e on the l a n d were r e g u l a r t r i p s t o town. Nancy H a r r i s r e c a l l s t h a t i n the New Family, "When we f i r s t a r r i v e d people d i d n ' t go out very much - i t was j u s t too expensive. I t h i n k we made a town t r i p once a week but a s i d e from the o c c a s i o n a l p a r t y down i n the v a l l e y t h a t was about i t . " 9 3 The c i t y of Nelson was l o c a t e d twenty k i l o m e t e r s from the southern end of the S l o c a n V a l l e y , and i t was the most common d e s t i n a t i o n . People l i v i n g i n the northern end of the v a l l e y o f t e n tended t o p a t r o n i z e Naskusp or Kaslo. People came i n t o purchase food and b u i l d i n g s u p p l i e s , use the laundromat and showers (which they f r e q u e n t l y l a c k e d a t home) and s o c i a l i z e w i t h o t h e r r e c e n t immigrees. These t r i p s were a welcome break from the work and i s o l a t i o n of t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s and allowed them t o connect with o t h e r b a c k - t o - t h e - l a n d migrants from the Slocan or elsewhere i n the r e g i o n . A l o n g i n g f o r community was deeply f e l t , and the s o c i a l dimension of t h e i r l i v e s was a h i g h p r i o r i t y . By 1970 - w i t h i n a year of the f i r s t major i n f l u x i n t o the area - they had a l r e a d y Nancy H a r r i s , p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w , November 22, 1986. 94 Other areas throughout the West Kootenays were a l s o being r e s e t t l e d a t the same time as the Slocan. There were pockets i n Pass Creek, Ymir, Queen's Bay, Kaslo, Argenta, Kootenay Bay and Gray Creek, each w i t h i n a few hours of Nelson which s e r v e d as t h e i r s e r v i c e and s o c i a l c e n t r e . 79 developed patterns of s o c i a l and r i t u a l a c t i v i t y , and c e r t a i n common meeting places. "Ritual was philosophically very important i n the view of the early group. Our s o l s t i c e celebration, for example. I t came out of a desire to establish something more meaningful than Christmas - that conveyed something about the seasons, connected us back to e a r l i e r r i t e s . We celebrated both winter and summer. " 9 5 There were frequent parties and regular valley-wide gatherings 9 6 p a r t i c u l a r l y during the summer months when the a l t e r n a t i v e population swelled with transients and v i s i t o r s . Those who were not engaged i n work on the land gravitated to places throughout the v a l l e y that served as community centres and meeting places. The public house at the Newmarket Hotel i n New Denver was the s o c i a l centre f o r those north of the Cape Horn B l u f f s ; dances were held i n the Bosun H a l l or Silverton Memorial H a l l . Those down the v a l l e y used the Riverside H a l l i n Slocan Park - an aging log structure that i n the 1930 *s was a dance h a l l 9 7 , the old red school-Carol Gaskin, personal interview, February 22, 1987. 96 • In December of 1970, people were i n v i t e d to a S o l s t i c e Celebration with the following notice i n the T r i b a l Drum, a l o c a l a l t e r n a t i v e newspaper: "A f e s t i v a l of the sun w i l l be held Dec. 22 at the Riverside H a l l beginning with a feast at 3:00 pm. Then a pageant w i l l be presented depicting the death and r e b i r t h of the sun i n dance and music and song. A music f e s t i v a l and dance -bring your instrument - w i l l follow. Bring food for the feast, or wine, and one candle for each person i n your group. Bring also eating u t e n s i l s and sleeping bags. Don't forget the candles. Most of a l l bring yourself, tuned i n joyous and loving." Reproduced i n Smith, 1977, p. 346.] 9 7 The h a l l f u l f i l l e d many functions for the a l t e r n a t i v e community at that time. I t was a meeting place, the scene of regular p a r t i e s and feasts and a short-lived commune (the "River-side Farm"), a regular crash pad for transients, and, f o r a time, a free store. 80 house i n V a l l i c a n , the coffee shop at the Slocan Park Co-op, and the Passmore H a l l , frequently the scene of dances and benefits among the new people. Mutual assistance was an important part of s o c i a l and economic l i f e . J o e l Russ remembers: "There were work parties happening when I f i r s t came out here, which were sort of among the newcomers to the area. They were happening on a weekly or a bi-weekly basis when I f i r s t moved out here. That was one of the most e x c i t i n g kinds of community involvement for me, because you could see a l o t happen i n a si n g l e day's work on somebody's place - because there were eight or ten households there working away at i t . " 9 8 At a meeting at the Riverside H a l l i n November, 1970 the newcomers f i r s t started t a l k i n g formally about a more structured form of community association. There was a movement to form a " t r i b e " -i t s leaders had created a " t r i b a l council" which presided over the meeting. "Most everyone agreed that one way to bring us together was to set up a work co-op where anyone having a need for manpower on a given day or days could make t h i s known and we would a l l t r y to help...Some time was spent discussing whether t h i s would be put on an hour for hour, job for job, I worked f o r you now you gotta work for me, basis.... There seemed to be two camps. Some wanted to know where they stood i f they worked f o r someone, that i s , they wanted the assurance that when the need arose there would be a reciprocation....Others f e l t that the idea of paying back was not necessary; that i f a brother had a need for help, they would be w i l l i n g to help, no questions asked....The council decided that the work co-op was on - but i f there were to be terms, the individuals concerned would have to work them out." 9 9 on , J o e l Russ to Linda Herrero, 1979. An exerpt from The Tribal Drum, December 17, 1970, reprod-uced i n Smith (1977, p. 344). 81 In the midst of a l l t h i s a c t i v i t y , the l o c a l people were hospitable. Perhaps they were used to having new people i n t h e i r midst - f i r s t the Doukhobors and then the Japanese - and l i v i n g alongside people with s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t b e l i e f s and practices. In p a r t i c u l a r , most who came before 1970 r e c a l l the openness and generosity of the Doukhobors. These long-term residents and the newcomers recognized i n each other's words and actions echoes of t h e i r own b e l i e f s . 1 0 0 They were generous with t h e i r s k i l l s and knowledge and were credited with "saving the l i v e s " of some who came to the area ill-equipped to deal with i t s economic and c l i m a c t i c rigours. They helped out with advice on gardening and r a i s i n g animals, employed the newcomers i n t h e i r f i e l d s and woodlots, bartered with them - labour for building supplies, an old truck, hay for the winter - and brought them food i n times of s c a r c i t y . 1 0 1 There are no conclusive records of how many new people moved into the v a l l e y between 1967 and 1970 on the crest of the new wave of 102 settlement. The records of l o c a l r e a l t o r s (quoted i n Smith, An idea heard frequently at that time was: "The Doukhobours had a prophesy that i f community wasn't done r i g h t by them, someone else would come along and do i t - so they were very interested i n what the New Family was doing...The Son's of Freedom also under-stood the idea of non-monogamy, and the problems of jealousy that i t e n t a i l s , so they were sympathetic to what we were going through." 101 • • • Similar s t o r i e s of openness and generosity are t o l d of some of the area's Japanese residents - those who came back to l i v e here a f t e r the closure of the internment camps i n the 1940's - and a number of well-known l o c a l Anglo families. 102 . . . . . Census sub-division boundaries i n the Slocan changed i n 1961, 1967, 1971, and 1976. 82 1977) indicate that 29 properties sold to newcomers i n 1970. Perhaps as many sold i n the two years previously. Not everyone bought land. Some rented, some squatted on crown land or vacant private land, some even stayed for extended periods l i v i n g i n the p r o v i n c i a l campsite i n Rosebery, a common entrepot for new a r r i v a l s . The winter of 1970-71 saw as many as 200 newcomers more or le s s permanently residing i n the valley, not enough yet to have had a d i s t i n c t i v e l a s t i n g influence on the landscape, but enough to have had a strong impact on the s o c i a l dynamics of the l o c a l community. The loosely-knit c o l l e c t i o n of peers which comprised the new community was coming together into a more cohesive community body and some measure of s t a b i l i t y was coming to ce r t a i n household economies, even i f l i f e was s t i l l very d i f f i c u l t . Rhythms of l i f e , both d a i l y and seasonal, were begining to emerge. Sometimes these were rather unorthodox, as at the New Family where: "...you woke up with whoever you slept with that night and went to breakfast with that person. Then you had to deal with whatever dynamics that brought up i n the group. I t was usually pretty apparent from the energy around the table where work was needed, where the trouble was, who had to be talked to. I t was l i k e i t added a whole other layer of complexity to l i f e . . . . I f the problems hadn't been smoothed out during the day, there was s t i l l the 15 minutes before dinner to do i t . Then, time to decide who to sleep with the next night...Eventually patterns would emerge, you know, two nights with A, one with B, that kind of thing. When the patterns were disrupted, often pure chaos would ensue! " 1 0 3 The annual cycle started i n the summer - the time when most people had f i r s t come to the area. This was an active time of work -Nancy Harris, personal interview, January 17, 1987. 83 building, gardening, cutting firewood - and s o c i a l i z i n g . There were always v i s i t o r s from outside the va l l e y . "Summer, es p e c i a l l y i n the f i r s t two years was the busiest. Often there would be twenty-five or t h i r t y people for din-ner. . . V i s i t o r s were generally asked to contribute something. If you came at certa i n times you were expected to work, i f you came for dinner you should bring something, and usually people brought food with them. Then there were other regular v i s i t o r s who made a point of coming i n the winter when things were a l o t quieter.. .. There were perhaps 3 00 people through the New Family during the f i r s t year we were there." 1 0 4 Parties and swimming at the beaches along the r i v e r or Slocan Lake were popular. As f a l l approached, the transients and "summer s e t t l e r s " - those who had purchased land and stayed more than a few weeks but had not yet given up t h e i r urban vocations - went back to the c i t i e s or moved to warmer climates, leaving the residents to prepare for winter. This was a time of focusing inward on the the household and the work of preparing for winter. Winter was long, wet and often cold, p a r t i c u l a r l y for those north of Slocan Lake or higher up on the valley walls. Temperatures of minus 20 Celsius were not uncommon, nor were snowfalls of one metre. I t could be a time of hardship or a time of rest, depending on how well-prepared one was. The f i r s t snow came i n November and lasted into A p r i l i n most locations, and frozen water l i n e s and firewood shortages were a common occurrence. Spring was a welcome r e l i e f when i t came, although the "breakup" often meant roads were impassable for a month or more during A p r i l and May. For those who had come to the area genuinely seeking a simpler l i f e with a close community of kindred souls and connected to the Nancy Harris, op cit. 84 cycles of the earth, i t was a s a t i s f y i n g l i f e . But, as the preceeding description has suggested, i t was not without i t s negative aspects. Few anticipated how much work was involved i n the most basic a c t i v i t i e s of surv i v a l , much less being t o t a l l y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t . In the New Family for example, a l l adults worked an eight-hour day, s i x days per week, year-round. Nor could they have anticipated that r u r a l l i f e could mean loneliness and a lack of stimulation, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f they had never spent time alone or in the country, es p e c i a l l y in the winter. These three factors alone drove many back to the c i t i e s , often a f t e r only a short time - a few months or one winter - on the land. The shortage of cash was a continual hardship for many; despite t h e i r ideals of voluntary s i m p l i c i t y , few managed to wholly embrace the poverty that was often a regular feature of t h e i r l i v e s . Because of the kinds of work involved i n maintaining a homestead, women came to see that they were being thrust back into the t r a d i t i o n a l roles that they had only recently been liberated from: the house, the food, the children, while t h e i r mates did the bui l d i n g and the bread-winning. As Carol Gaskin remembers: "In the beginning, the women did everything.... the t r a d i t i o n a l female r o l e s and a l l the new ro l e s of primative s u r v i v a l . " A l l of the above weaknesses and hardships figured i n the demise of the communes as well. By 1973 or 1974 most of these had disappeared. Communal l i v i n g arrangements put great stress on people raised i n the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and competitive culture of t h e i r youth, for they demanded u n s e l f i s h -85 ness, co-operation and consideration, i n order to work. Because the desire to go back to the land remained strong within the general society, even while these negative aspects of the l i f e s t y l e persisted, people continued to come and go from the Slocan over much of the next decade. For those who had made the commitment to the place, by 1971 i t was becoming c l e a r that some urgent needs had to be addressed. More access to money and a greater d i v e r s i t y of employment options, p a r t i c u l a r l y for women, were needed. Economic co-operation and stronger support networks were also needed. There was a desire for a more diverse and v i t a l l o c a l c u l t u r a l l i f e to compensate for the dearth of c u l t u r a l s t i m u l i i n the area, and the next phase of establishment i n the v a l l e y saw the new community begin to address some of these needs. Community (1971-1975) Having bought land, put down roots and decided they were here to stay, the new people began the work of es t a b l i s h i n g a viable community. Ultimately, the needs for community i n s t i t u t i o n s , economic options, and a concrete presence i n the v a l l e y were f u l f i l l e d by the building of the "Va l l i c a n Whole" community centre. The s e t t l e r s ' experiences over the years from 1971 to 1976 can best be t o l d by using t h i s story as a point of departure. Ideally, the new people wanted options which would put t h e i r This was the great paradox of the communes: i t took "ind-i v i d u a l i s t s to r e j e c t society i n the f i r s t place, so what you end up with i s a community of i n d i v i d u a l i s t s - what a contradiction!" Denton Coates, one of the founders of the Gully Farm, quoted i n Appleton, 1978, p. 297. 86 s k i l l s and t r a i n i n g to the best use and would also be r e f l e c t i v e of t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n alternatives to conventional forms of economics and employment. At the same time there was an aknowledg-ed need for the dissemination of the s k i l l s and knowledge needed for r u r a l s u r v i v a l . 1 0 6 This was the impetus behind the conception, i n 1971, of a new community f a c i l i t y , the Rural Alternatives • • 107 « Research and Training Centre. In the words of one of i t s founders: " I t i s the intention of the Centre, besides sponsoring c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s , to conduct research into means of creating a more d i v e r s i f i e d l o c a l economy i n which there would be a number of small enterprises of a nature that would be s o c i a l l y desirable, and at the same time would not harm the natural environment." 1 What was envisioned was a structure that would house a l l of the needs of t h i s enterprise, and would also contain f a c i l t i e s such as a darkroom and l i b r a r y that would be of use to the whole community. There was also a strong desire amongst the newcomers for a community centre that was t r u l y t h e i r own; i n the past they had been denied use of the h a l l s operated by both the Doukhobors and Much of the alternative l i t e r a t u r e of that period - the Foxfire Books series, the Whole Earth Catalogues, Mother Earth News, and so on - was directed at f i l l i n g t h i s t h i r s t for r u r a l l o r e . 1 0 7 The originators and directors of t h i s project were a group of residents who formed the Rural Alternative Research and Training Society (RARTS). This organization has overseen the operation of the centre since construction began, and i n addition has sponsored various projects and grant applications r e l a t i n g to a l t e r n a t i v e r u r a l l i f e s t y l e s . 108 David Orcutt, one of the founding members of RARTS, i n a l e t t e r to the Nelson Daily News, October 23, 1971. 87 the Anglo community. A ten acre parcel on l e v e l ground next to the L i t t l e Slocan River i n V a l l i c a n was sold to the group 1 1 0 and a design was prepared. The RARTS board of directors applied i n the spring of 1971 for an Opportunities-for-Youth (OFY) grant to b u i l d the structure. The a p p l i c a t i o n asked for funds both for labour and materials with the objective being "to teach old and new r u r a l s k i l l s so those moving from the c i t i e s can survive i n t h e i r new surroundings". This was to be accomplished by erecting "a building under the supervision of a master carpenter, building instructor, providing t r a i n i n g and summer jobs for young people". 1 1 1 In June of that year they were all o c a t e d $27,000 for the project. The terms of the grant stated that the money was to go e n t i r e l y for wages, none was allocated for materials or equipment. This meant that whatever wood was needed for construction purposes had to be donated, scrounged or salvaged labouriously from used materials. They succeeded i n getting some donations of wood from l o c a l residents and businesses, but most was scrounged or salvaged and often workers were dispatched to work for l o c a l residents i n return for materials or money to buy them. The tons of rock, sand and gravel that went into the foundations had Those who had s e t t l e d at the north end of the v a l l e y did not have t h i s problem. The venues i n which they s o c i a l i z e d and gathered were community buildings not a f f i l i a t e d with a p a r t i c u l a r group. 1 1 0 The s i t e was sold for 5000 d o l l a r s , to be paid at the rate of 200 d o l l a r s per year for twenty years. The terms meant that regardless of the economic si t u a t i o n of the community, they would always be able to afford the payments. They paid o f f the outstand-ing balance by 1984. 1 1 1 An excerpt from the o r i g i n a l OFY application, quoted i n a Fed-Up Newsletter a r t i c l e on the V a l l i c a n Whole, August, 1975. 88 to be hauled i n borrowed trucks and loaded and unloaded by hand. The 44 by 44 foot basement was s i m i l a r l y hand-dug. Providing the labour through that summer was an ever-changing work force of transients and resident newcomers. I n i t i a l l y enthusiasm was high, but, as participant Joel Harris remarked, "morale and dedication dwindled as many people came to work just to make a few bucks to feed themselves for a few days. People new from the c i t i e s could not stand the physical demands of strenuous hand labour i n the hot sun for $100 per week."112 Some days no-one showed up to work. The net e f f e c t of t h i s lack of steady labour and the shortage of materials created by the terms of the grant, was that when the grant moneys ran out, rather than a completed structure standing on the s i t e , there was l i t t l e more than a foundation. "After three months of back breaking labour, money delays of up to four weeks, no money for c a p i t a l expenses, h o s t i l e newspaper coverage t e l l i n g us we were lazy and worthless tran-sients, and of generally low morals, the project stopped for reconsideration, r e v i s i o n and reorganization". 1 1 3 I t was to remain i n t h i s condition for most of the next two years as ways were considered to finance i t s completion. In the span of that summer, and i n s p i t e of the d i f f i c u l t i e s , the project started to bring the community together. The problems they were experiencing on the j o b s i t e were not t h e i r only concerns. Among the exis t i n g population there was already a general perception that the newcomers did not share the same work 1 1 2 J o e l Harris, l e t t e r to the Nelson Daily News, June, 1973. 1 1 3 J o e l Harris, op. c i t . 89 e t h i c or morals as the l o c a l s . The f a i l u r e to f i n i s h the centre and the f a c t that i t had been done with public money generated a wave of antipathy. Colleen McRory remembers: "People i n the v a l l e y worked very hard for very meagre returns. Then along came these new educated people who could get the d o l l a r s e a s i l y , just by f i l l i n g out the paperwork. I t r e a l l y pissed a l o t of people o f f . " Resentment had apparently been brewing for a while; t h i s incident was j u s t the t r i g g e r . That summer and f a l l , the l o c a l papers were f u l l of angry comments from l o c a l residents complaining about the waste and f o l l y of giving $27,000 to some hippies to dig a hole i n the ground. Written by a "Slocan Valley Taxpayer and Resident", these comments were representative of the sentiment: "These people can c a l l down our society and way of l i f e but they sure must be smooth talkers to get these grants. Maybe other people should grow long hair and a beard, smell to high heaven and see what happens... They lay claim to being educated, i s t h i s what higher education has come to only to create a " F i r s t Class parasite on so c i e t y " " . 1 1 5 The uncompleted structure was d e r i s i v e l y dubbed the " V a l l i c a n Hole" and even the l o c a l MLA, Burt Campbell, a Castlegar newspaperman, got involved. In an October 1971 l e t t e r to the l o c a l newspaper, he wrote: " [ t h i s project] i s a sham and an unforgivable waste of the taxpayers money"116 and complained that "hippies, draft-dodgers and deserters have invaded the Slocan Valley and have relegated the There was no newspaper published i n the Slocan, but v a l l e y residents were served by the Castlegar Herald, the Nelson Daily News, and the Arrow Lakes News, from Nakusp. 1 1 5 Anonymous l e t t e r to the Nelson Daily News, July 19, 1971. 1 1 6 Letter to the Nelson Daily News, October 14, 1971. 90 other residents of the area to t h i r d - c l a s s c i t i z e n s . " The hard fe e l i n g s grew i n intensity that f a l l , then subsided over the winter as the numbers of transients f e l l , only to f l a r e up again the next year. The r e s u l t of t h i s backlash was the coming together of the new people into a t i g h t e r community. There was a sense among the new a r r i v a l s that they were succeeding i n creating a new society, an a f f e c t i v e l y united " t r i b e " of kindred s p i r i t s . One of the stongest expressions of t h i s was the "Flying Hearts Family" a loosely-knit community that came together around the rock group "Brain Damage". Although based i n Perry Siding north of Winlaw, t h e i r entourage was a "valley-wide extended family" drawn from communities from Slocan Park to H i l l s . There were frequent large p a r t i e s and dances. The extended family also contained a large number of children, who were a v i t a l and respected part of every family and community gathering. As Ruby Truly notes: "A l o t of people stayed here once they had t h e i r kids because i t was such a good environment for them....In our d a i l y l i v e s we came i n contact with many of the community's ch i l d r e n - a form of extended family existed. They've always been a p r i o r i t y here and they know i t . This kind of involvement of them i n the l i f e of the community continues to t h i s day because people see that i t works." 1 1 8 Outside t h i s s o c i a l c i r c l e , however, the welcome was wearing t h i n . Frequently i t was the children of the new people who bore 1 1 7 Quoted i n an a r t c l e "Hippies, Nudies and a Hole i n the Ground", Vancouver Sun, September 13, 1971. 1 1 8 Ruby Truly, personal interview, August 10, 1989. John Norris remembers: "...the kids who attended the Goat Mountain School were communal children i n a sense....The kids grew up with a more sensible knowledge about what l i f e was about, because they weren't insulated from it....The community was l i k e an extended family - i t gave a l o t of security to the kids." 91 the brunt of l o c a l h o s t i l i t y . This was e s p e c i a l l y true i n the l o c a l schools, where they were a d i s t i n c t minority and frequent victims of abuse and harassment by the children of l o c a l fam-i l i e s . 1 1 9 There was a growing dropout rate as conditions d e t e r i o r -ated. A few newly-arrived families home-schooled t h e i r children. The reasons varied: a d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the q u a l i t y of i n s t r u c -t i o n at l o c a l schools, ideological opposition to the goals of public education, a desire to inculcate t h e i r own values i n t h e i r children, and an unwillingness to regiment t h e i r time to the extent that the school schedule required. However, there was a growing concern about the qu a l i t y of the education these c h i l d r e n were getting and the amount of e f f o r t and time i t took to home-school successf u l l y . The solution was to create an educational a l t e r n a t i v e for the • 120 • c h i l d r e n . Thus "The Free School" was born i n the l a t e f a l l of 1972.121 The f i r s t year, the school ran i n a log house i n Passmore and i n two other private homes nearby. The following year, i t operated i n four locations. 1 1 9 Reported i n the Nelson Daily News, August 7, 197 3. Also mentioned i n personal interviews with Corky Evans, Joel Harris and Marcia Braundy. 120 • This had already been done at the north end of the v a l l e y . The Goat Mountain school started out i n H i l l s i n 1972 i n an old farmhouse. John Norris was the teacher, assisted at a l l times by three parents. The school moved to Rosebery a f t e r i t s f i r s t successful season, where i t continued to operate u n t i l 1975. 1 2 1 According to Joel Harris, one of i t s founders: "We started the school because of the r i g i d i t y i n the public schools developed over the past 2 0 years, t h e i r lack of responsiveness to the rapid changes i n our modern era, and intolerable s o c i a l pressure on our ch i l d r e n leading to discrimination, among other things." Letter to The Arrow, Sept 1973. 92 "Three days a week a group of younger kids meets at two d i f f e r e n t homes to learn reading, writing, arithmetic, c r a f t s , junior science, etc. At the same time people meet at another home for French and Ecology, while others are meeting somewhere else for Canadian history, geology or jewelry making. Every Tuesday the school as a group goes to Nelson to ice-skate. Last f a l l judo was taught i n a barn. People with something to teach and people who want to learn come together wherever possible.... So the community school takes place i n the community."122 T u i t i o n was assessed at the rate of the monthly family allowance cheque per c h i l d ; curriculum and timetable were structured, insofar as courses were being offered at certa i n times. However, the system was based on the children choosing what they wanted to learn. The teaching s t a f f came from the community and school p o l i c y and curriculum were determined on an ongoing basis i n general meetings of parents and teachers; consensus was sought on a l l decisions. In 1973 the school incorporated as The West Kootenay Educational Resources Society 1 2 3 to encourage donations and to secure some degree of c r e d i b i l i t y with the authorities. Without warning, i n March of 1973, the Nelson School Board brought f o r t h a motion to prosecute parents who were sending t h e i r children to the Free School. Ultimately the School Board dropped t h e i r action when i t Reprinted from The Arrow, March 1974. 1 2 3 The name of the school changed from the "Free School" to the "Slocan Valley Community School" i n February 1974, to the "Whole School" i n 1976. 124 The board appears to have been concerned about the response of the l o c a l Sons of Freedom who for years had agitated for the r i g h t to take t h e i r own children out of public school and educate them according to t h e i r own values. In the end, the Sons of Freedom supported the new people against the School Board, while the Orthodox community were opposed, perhaps unwilling to have the whole p a i n f u l issue, which for years had s p l i t the community, re-opened . 93 was revealed there were nineteen teachers or tutors on s t a f f with adequate credentials; they were i n fact, better q u a l i f i e d to teach than the l o c a l public school teachers. As the school grew (forty c h i l d r e n were enroled i n the winter of 1973-74) the houses where i t was held became increasingly overcrowded. The obvious need for a structure to house the school reinforced the determination to f i n i s h the V a l l i c a n community centre, and, by Spring of 1973, a new set of plans had been prepared. Following t h i s period was the worst era of strained r e l a t i o n s between the two groups. The newcomers were often to blame, for many showed an i n s e n s i t i v i t y to the o r i g i n a l residents of the place which further aggravated the tension. In many cases, they just did not see them. "They see that t h i s i s a bea u t i f u l natural setting and that there are some groovy long-haired people l i v i n g here or something, but that seems oftentimes to be as f a r as they see i t . " 1 2 5 I t appeared there was, as John Norris notes, "a great unbending narrowness i n the hippies; they didn't understand the l o c a l s or even t r y to." Others f e l t that "a l o t who came r e a l l y abused the l o c a l s , didn't respect them. Many were very l o s t . And there was a l o t of drugs around." 1 2 6 Even the Doukhobors were beginning to f e e l t h e i r generosity had been taken advantage of too o f t e n . 1 2 7 The bad feelings that the influ x , the grants and is o l a t e d incidents of i n s e n s i t i v i t y and disrespect produced were not Joel Russ to Linda Herrero, 1979. Colleen McRory, personal interview. Dan Zarchikoff, personal interview. 94 u n i v e r s a l l y shared, however. Within the l o c a l community there were at l e a s t three perspectives on the question of the newcomers. There were some - a d i s t i n c t minority, but i n d i v i d u a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t - who welcomed them openly and generously. Their reasons varied; they were sympathetic to the intentions of the new people, appreciative of the new ideas and outlooks they brought to the place or perhaps were themselves alienated from the community around them. By far the majority of l o c a l residents had been i n i t i a l l y t o l e r a n t of the newcomers, perhaps from t h e i r experiences with the Doukhobors and Japanese i n the past. And there was a small minority, f e a r f u l of new ideas, frightened by change and c r i t i c a l of anyone who was d i f f e r e n t . They had persecuted the Doukhobors for years and now they had new victims. The frequent c o n f l i c t that came to charac-t e r i z e r e l a t i o n s between the newcomers and the oldtimers i n a c t u a l i t y almost invariably involved a small number of " b u l l i e s " from within t h i s group, while the general tone of d a i l y r e l a t i o n s remained, i f not c o r d i a l , then at least c i v i l . Ruby Truly observes that: "For every hippie versus redneck story there i s a story of good things happening between the communities. People have t o l d me of pies being dropped off on t h e i r doorsteps, of small and anonymous acts of kindness...One time, the men on the CPR dropped of f some clothes here as they passed through. . . They had come up with a way of making me f e e l welcome, to get over my paranoia about being a hippie here. Unfortunately, such neighbourly things don't s e l l papers - thus c o n f l i c t i s the thing that got a l l the attention." Young people i n the established community who wished to stay i n the area were f e e l i n g an impact from the i n f l u x . Colleen McCrory's story was t y p i c a l : 9 5 "I l e f t the v a l l e y at 18 for a year i n A u s t r a l i a . When I came back i n July of 1969 the new people were just s t a r t i n g to come i n . I had a f e e l i n g then that these people were invading the v a l l e y , I f e l t threatened, didn't understand what they were doing here. . .Then land prices started to go up and my husband and I began to get quite uptight. We wanted to buy a place for ourselves but didn't have much money." In the north end of the valley tensions were not as high, although there were incidents there as well. The Newmarket Hotel, a f i x t u r e of the New Denver landscape since 1895 and a much frequented s o c i a l centre f o r the new people, burned down i n mysterious circumstances i n 1973. When they t r i e d to patronize the other pub i n town they were turned away. This led to a s i t - i n demonstration and ultimate-l y to a Human Rights Tribunal which found against the owner of the pub. Meanwhile the newcomers had obtained more grant money to s t a r t up other i n s t i t u t i o n s . In December 1972 they recieved $50,150 to s t a r t up a community l i b r a r y . By the following year i t had a membership of 2 50 and more than 6000 books, mostly donated or on loan from other i n s t i t u t i o n s . Funded by occasional grants, fine s , membership dues and donations, the l i b r a r y offered much-needed employment to women i n the valley. A s i g n i f i c a n t aspect of the l i b r a r y ' s services was the Cinema Guild. For a number of years t h i s volunteer i n i t i a t i v e showed movies every weekend through the year, usually at the V a l l i c a n Heritage H a l l . Upcoming shows were • • 128 advertised i n The Arrow and often showings were arranged for the Opportunities-for-Youth funding was behind the creation, i n June, 1973 of t h i s "Kootenay Co-operative newspaper" that published for two years out of Castlegar. In addition to i t s coverage of c u l t u r a l events and labour and p o l i t i c a l issues, i t c a r r i e d a regular page of features from the Slocan - "Valley Notes" - and was a strong unifying agent for the va l l e y community. 96 Rosebery Trading Post or the Bosun H a l l i n New Denver. The issue of grants continued to plague community r e l a t i o n s . The new people were caught i n a dilemma. On one side was the Federal government "pushing money at us" for projects l i k e the l i b r a r y and the community centre that offered much-needed employment and benefits to the wider community. On the other, were c e r t a i n l o c a l s who used the issue of the grants to s t i r up resentment. In the spring of 1973, seeking to show the l o c a l people how everyone i n the v a l l e y could benefit from the grant money, they took t h e i r l a t e s t proposals to a community meeting. One of these was for the creation of a l o c a l educational media co-operative, and the other for a community forest management study. 1 2 9 "In order to confer with the general public before asking for any new grants, a delegation of people went to a l o c a l public meeting by i n v i t a t i o n to explain and discuss what they were hoping to accomplish. These "hippies" were asked to leave before they could say anything. 1 , 1 3 0 A f t e r t h i s response, they r e a l i s e d a broad community consensus would have to be sought before they could proceed. Over the next s i x months they created a steering committee to promote and administer the project. Corky Evans, one of the organizers recounts: "We went to t a l k with some respected members of the str a i g h t community with years of forestry experience. We knew they had to be involved from the st a r t to keep community antagonism down. The grant people were just pushing the money at us but we held of f u n t i l there was strong mandate from the whole v a l l e y community. We enl i s t e d the help of experienced former loggers 1 2 9 This was the Slocan Valley Community Forest Management Project. I t w i l l be discussed i n d e t a i l i n chapter four. 1 3 0 J o e l Harris, l e t t e r to the Nelson Daily News, June, 1973. 97 and the Board of Directors was made up of one-half new people, one-half l o c a l s . Throughout a l l the f i g h t s and wierdness of the times t h i s a l l i a n c e held." 1 3 1 I t was clea r that to use more government money to f i n i s h the V a l l i c a n centre - even though i t was available - would be to r i s k a complete breakdown of re l a t i o n s . So i t was decided to f i n i s h i t with a combination of fundraising, donated materials, and volunteer labour. The reborn centre - now the V a l l i c a n Whole Community Centre, and changed i n design to accomodate the a l t e r n a t i v e school - was restarted i n June, 1973. This was s h o r t - l i v e d ; the work proceeded for one month before the building's design was rejected by the f i r e marshall, but the momentum and in t e r e s t were now there. The next three months were spent negotiating and redesigning the bui l d i n g and then, over the following winter, the community managed to r a i s e another 10,000 do l l a r s through benefits and the sale of a s p e c i a l bond. The following spring, the Building Committee held a meeting to make f i n a l design decisions and organize some of the crews necessary for completion of the centre. In i t s revised form, the mandate for the building had grown from i t s f i r s t intentions. Where once i t had been the source of d i v i s i o n , the Whole was now seen by Committee members as a centre for i n t e r - c u l t u r a l contact between the two communities. Support was sought of: "every member of the general community i n the Slocan Valley and surrounding areas. Your support i s needed to make t h i s a representational community centre r e f l e c t i n g the r i c h d i v e r s i t y of s k i l l s , talents, backgrounds, cultures and t r a i n i n g found within our greater community."132 Corky Evans, personal interview, September 2, 1988. 1 3 2 Unnamed member of the Committee, quoted i n The Arrow, A p r i l 1974. 98 F i g . 15. Raising the beams at the Vallican Whole, Summer, 1974. The b u i l d e r s t o o k an u n c o n v e n t i o n a l approach t o t h e work. The f i r s t summer, a f u l l - t i m e p e r s o n was on hand t o c o - o r d i n a t e t h e p r o j e c t . I n 1975, t h r e e or f o u r community members would each t a k e a day a week and a c t as c o - o r d i n a t o r s and s u p e r v i s o r s f o r t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n t h a t t o o k p l a c e d u r i n g t h a t day. The work was done e n t i r e l y by v o l u n t e e r s - men, women and c h i l d r e n - whose numbers f l u c t u a t e d d a i l y . When t h e i r r a n k s d e c l i n e d , as t h e y o f t e n d i d d u r i n g t h e summers of 1974 and 1975, t h e o r g a n i z e r s d e c i d e d not t o work on t h e b u i l d i n g . T h e i r c o n c e r n was t o s u s t a i n t h e f e e l i n g t h a t t h e p l a c e had been b u i l t by e v e r y member of t h e community, r a t h e r t h a n a committed c o r e group. One development which g r e a t l y f a c i l i t a t e d t h i s b u i l d i n g p r o j e c t was t h e emergence of t r e e p l a n t i n g as a v i a b l e income base f o r t h e 99 a l t e r n a t i v e community's economy. One of the f i r s t to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s new industry was Bob Ploss. "Some treeplanting was done p r i o r to 1973 but only by forestry crews on an hourly rate. The work up u n t i l that time had a r e a l l y negative stigma attached - l i k e i t was done by convicts. Suddenly, the Ministry of Forests had volumes of trees and began to l e t out contracts to private contractors. I planted with John Grandy the f i r s t year - out of Edgewood - and a bunch of us decided, hey, we could do t h i s better ourselves, so we formed Evergreen Co-op." In many respects i t was work per f e c t l y suited to the back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s ' l i f e s t y l e and temperament: i t was p h y s i c a l , i t paid well, i t was i d e o l o g i c a l l y correct, and i t l e f t them time during the summer and winter to work on t h e i r own properties. Planting was perhaps the p i v o t a l development i n the long-term v i a b i l i t y of the new community and the back-to-the-land l i f e s t y l e i n the Slocan. Without i t , people would have l i k e l y d r i f t e d more and more into the sphere of the mainstream economy and culture or have been forced to move elsewhere. In many ways, the planting l i f e also recreated and preserved the ambiance, idealism and t r i b a l i s m of the early days of the counterculture. Camps were e s s e n t i a l l y l i t t l e com-munities, often cut off from the outside world for extended periods of time. Camp l i f e forced people into a more primal form of co-existence where the diversions and d i s t r a c t i o n s of society were non-existent. Treeplanting was also an intense emotional ex-perience. The extreme demands placed on the workers by the work i t s e l f , mountain weather, and camp l i f e , brought up many personal issues. Treeplanting crews became "encounter groups" using techniques l i k e Gestalt therapy to deal with issues as they arose. Often crews would be formed of a group of friends and neighbours 100 from a p a r t i c u l a r area; the group therapy would continue a f t e r the season ended i n J u l y . 1 3 3 This type of personal growth work has been common within the new community throughout the v a l l e y since the 1960's. The early years i n p a r t i c u l a r were a time of experimentation - with re l a t i o n s h i p s , with sexual freedom, with l i f e s t y l e - and t h i s i n v a r i a b l y brought up c o n f l i c t with peoples' individual conditioning. "The g e s t a l t [therapy] and primal scream groups that were happening then - these were formed to deal with the fee l i n g s of pain that emerged out of the separation we were making with our parents' world, and with a l l the things that for so long had stood for security and wholeness and now were a l l of a sudden — 1 — I r e a l obstacles to l i v i n g and f e e l i n g free and whole." There was a strong f e e l i n g that they were t r y i n g to re-invent the whole concept of relationship, but: " A l l we had for r o l e models was each other...so we made i t up as we went along. There weren't a l o t of people who could show us how to r a i s e a family and end up being t i g h t as a family. We were r e a l l y concerned when the relationships of our friends f a i l e d because these were our r o l e models - i t always cast our own relationships into doubt." 1 3 5 Also increasingly being questioned was the state of the r e l a t i o n -ship between the sexes. There was a growing f e e l i n g that the whole v i a b i l i t y of the back-to-the-land l i f e s t y l e depended on the women "At one point a group of us started a treeplanting co-op -"Fiddlehead Co-op". We worked with d i f f e r e n t combinations of members for two or three years, mostly from the neighbourhood around here. L i v i n g i n very intimate community l i k e that r e a l l y magnified the dynamics of the community. Almost a l l of us were therapy-based friends to begin with so there was always l o t s of s t u f f out i n the open." Interview with V i c k i A l l e n , August, 1988. 1 3 4 Ruby Truly, personal interview, December 20, 1989. 1 3 5 Ruby Truly, personal interview, August 10, 1989 101 assuming t r a d i t i o n a l roles. "Some very p o l i t i c a l women came to l i v e i n the Slocan and there was growing discussion about d i v i s i o n of labour - "the dishes" as we c a l l e d i t . . .The issues were power - number one - and d i v i s i o n of labour. The feminist movement i n Canada saw women in the P r a i r i e s going out and working i n the f i e l d s with the men - taking back power i n a more r e a l sense than i n urban s i t u a -t i o n s . We wanted some of that." 1 3 6 The consciousness-raising started at a co-op meeting i n the f a l l of 1972, with a c a l l for a discussion group to address these i s s u e s . 1 3 7 The experience of building the Whole was for many women a chance to break out of these stereotypes into a new realm of personal and economic p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Women were welcome par-t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s work; womens' work days were held weekly on the jo b s i t e , and for some the experience launched careers i n the bui l d i n g trades. During the summers of 1974 and 1975 v i s i t o r s swelled the ranks of volunteer workers that laboured st e a d i l y throughout the year to close i n the V a l l i c a n Whole by winter of 1975. The funding of the centre was aided by ongoing benefit performances and auctions held on the s i t e . A benefit i n September 1975, for example, had 300 i n attendance. The e l e c t r i c i t y was not connected u n t i l the following year and the building was being worked on almost continuously during t h i s time. The Alternative School opened i n the Whole i n the f a l l of 1976 with 26 students, aged f i v e to twelve, registered. Nancy Harris, personal interview, January 10, 1987. 137 • F i f t e e n women stayed at the end of the meeting and then t h i r t y - f i v e showed up to the f i r s t formal meeting held a few weeks l a t e r . This was se l f - s e l e c t e d down to f i f t e e n or so who would meet more or less regularly over the next few years. 102 F i g . 1 6 . The Vallican Whole nears completion, F a l l , 1 9 7 5 . T h e c l o s i n g i n a n d s e r v i c i n g o f t h e W h o l e 1 3 8 m a r k e d t h e e n d o f t h e s e c o n d e r a o f b a c k - t o - t h e - l a n d s e t t l e m e n t i n t h e v a l l e y . F r o m a l o o s e - k n i t c o l l e c t i o n o f p e e r s t h e new p e o p l e w e r e now a n e s t a b -l i s h e d c o m m u n i t y i n t h e i r own r i g h t . T h e i n s t i t u t i o n s t h e y h a d c r e a t e d g a v e t h e m a s e n s e o f p e r m a n e n c e a n d l e g i t i m a c y a n d e n h a n c e d t h e q u a l i t y o f t h e i r l i v e s . T h e r e w e r e b y t h i s t i m e p o s s i b l y 1000 new r e s i d e n t s l i v i n g t h e r e . T h e i n f l u x h a d f u l l y i n f i l l e d t h e e x i s t i n g h o l e s i n t h e r u r a l f a b r i c a n d h a d p u s h e d t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f s e t t l e m e n t i n t o some new a r e a s - s u c h a s R e d M o u n t a i n R o a d a n d t h e f u r t h e r r e a c h e s o f P a s s m o r e a n d V a l l i c a n . B y t h e e n d o f 1975 a new d i m e n s i o n h a d b e e n a d d e d t o t h e p h y s i c a l a n d s o c i a l l a n d s c a p e T h i s w a s n o t t h e e n d o f t h e b u i l d i n g p r o j e c t , h o w e v e r . T h e W h o l e h a s b e e n w o r k e d o n c o n t i n u o u s l y s i n c e . 103 of the region. The battles over the grants had abated and tensions had eased with the f a l l i n g o ff of the numbers of transients through the area and the resumption of work on the Whole. Increasingly, the newcomers were more sensitive to the presence of the ex i s t i n g people and more p o l i t i c a l l y sophisticated i n t h e i r dealings with the broader community. Although there were s t i l l major differences between them and the l o c a l people, the "us and them" d i s t i n c t i o n that had been so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of e a r l i e r r e l a t i o n s was fading. Outreach (1976-1990) With the successful completion of the V a l l i c a n Whole - without grants - a r e l a t i v e calm se t t l e d over the va l l e y . People continued to move into the valley, but afte r 1976 there were fewer every year 1 3 9, and far fewer transients passed through i n the summer months. Land prices continued to r i s e and people began to move onto and develop raw land. 1 4 0 By the late 1970s people had been established long enough i n the area that some clea r trends were emerging i n regard to household economies and personal s u r v i v a l s t r a t e g i e s . These continue to define the economic r e a l i t i e s of the place today. As well, the community dimension of l i f e s t a b i l i z e d and involvement i n the a f f a i r s of the surrounding community was more common. The following section depicts the e s s e n t i a l features Rural population i n the valley rose by 51% between 1971 and 1976, but i n the next f i v e years increased by only 9%. 1 4 0 The sale of Crown land for settlement purposes was common i n the la t e 1970*s and was the only way many people could a f f o r d land. A large area on Red Mountain Road, south of S i l v e r t o n was s e t t l e d i n t h i s way. 104 and trends of the l i v e s of the new people i n the years since 1976. I t begins at the l e v e l of the household and then works outward to discuss the evolution of t h e i r community and r e l a t i o n s h i p s with t h e i r non-alternative neighbours. For the majority within the new community, the household economy changed during the 1970s - from an i n i t i a l focus on s e l f - s u f f i c i e n -cy and minimal cash income, to a strategy which combined conven-t i o n a l employment with a large component from the informal sector. Few people managed to obtain adequate sustenance independent of the e x i s t i n g economic systems and structures. "Many households do, however, supplement t h e i r income with food ra i s e d on the homestead and keep other expenses minimized by applying building s k i l l s , etc....Barter of goods and services forms a part of the economic l i f e of many people i n the v a l l e y . But since we a l l have need for hardware, tools, staple foods not grown i n the area, vehicles and parts, medicine, d e n t i s t r y and so on, money i s indispensible. " 1 4 Economic patterns emerged, some of which were c h a r a c t e r i s i t i c of the area, and others which were unique to the new people. By the l a t e 1970s, many people had managed to f i n d more or less secure economic niches i n the v a l l e y economy or else had learned to e x p l o i t l o c a l opportunities as they arose. Others had come to the area with secure outside economic connections or else had es-tablished these l a t e r . These allowed the i n d i v i d u a l craftsperson, consultant or p r a c t i c i n g professional to maintain a r u r a l l i f e s t y l e i n the v a l l e y while receiving income from outside the area. For a s i g n i f i c a n t number, however, none of these strategies proved to Joe l Russ, 1988, p. 2. 105 y i e l d an adequate l e v e l of income. These indivi d u a l s e i t h e r sought temporary employment outside of the area, or else poverty was an ongoing r e a l i t y , only lessened by the r e l a t i v e low cost of l i v i n g i n the Valley and the fact that " i t ' s the same for most around here so i t doesn't f e e l as poor - i t ' s easier to survive or to f e e l better about the l e v e l of subsistence." 1 4 2 What emerged over the years were a number of a r c h i t y p i c a l s u r v i v a l s trategies which the majority of the Back to the Land community - and many of the l o c a l people as well - employed at some time or other. A d i s t i n c t minority remained engaged i n what could be c a l l e d an "a l t e r n a t i v e " strategy, i n which the primary means of s u r v i v a l came from outside of the cash economy i n the form of subsistence a g r i c u l t u r e , barter, co-operative labour, and salvage, with the major emphasis on s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . Throughout the 1970s, though, there was a decline i n s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y as an objective. People found out that i t was a l o t of work, and that i t took a l o t of time: "At f i r s t we t r i e d to be as s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t as possible, you know, the garden, animals, doing i t ourselves as much as we could. Then we began to r e a l i z e that we had to be very c a r e f u l with time - I mean, do you spend i t being hung up on providing food or do you spend i t with the kids or hiking i n the mountains? People get so hung-up with being homesteaders that they miss out on what the area o f f e r s . We saw a l o t of people with a l o t of money and no time. We wanted to change those p r i o i r i t i e s , so that we'd be able to look back on our l i v e s and say: hey, that was fun!" 1 4 3 Colleen McRory, personal interview, August 21, 1988. Pamela Stevenson, personal interview, September 3, 1988. 106 One of the most labour-intensive subsistence a c t i v i t i e s was creating and maintaining a large garden. Frequently the work began to c o n f l i c t with other opportunities, as happened at the New Family: " I t took us seven years to b u i l d the s o i l , using compost, human waste and sawdust mostly, because we didn't have the money for manure. I t was three or four years u n t i l we got some decent crops o f f of it....But i t was beautiful, and f o r a number of years Carol and I got obsessed with keeping i t that way. But by then there was only three of us l e f t and the garden was producing way too much. And we a l l began to get r e a l l y involved i n our other pusuits. So i t became a b i t of a pain and ultimately we scaled i t r i g h t down. . . . " 1 4 4 Thus, i n general, fewer followed t h i s pattern over time. Some people i n the v a l l e y , however, combined these practices with steady income from s o c i a l assistance, finding that the two together allowed for an adequate standard of l i v i n g - at an actual d o l l a r income l e v e l far below the poverty l i n e . The area was also a mecca for a r t i s t s and craftspeople. The r e l a t i v e l y low cost of l i v i n g i n the v a l l e y allowed the newcomers to pursue creative occupations there not normally v i a b l e i n c i t i e s . There was an i n i t i a l expectation that the area would develop as an a r t i s a n s ' colony, si m i l a r to Carmel C a l i f o r n i a or Aspen, Colorado. To date t h i s has not happened. In fact during the past decade many craftspeople have l e f t the area to s e t t l e elsewhere. Most artisans work i n t h e i r homes, often miles from others engaged i n s i m i l a r work, and get few opportunities for the cross f e r t i l i z a t i o n of ideas or co-operative marketing. Some sales are l o c a l but most are through urban outlets or seasonal shows i n major c i t i e s and there Nancy Harris, personal interview, January 10, 1987. 107 i s not yet a s u f f i c i e n t flow of t o u r i s t t r a f f i c to create a t h r i v i n g c r a f t s economy. Many people who came were well educated, and had s p e c i a l i z e d s k i l l s . They found work i n the conventional economy as teachers, s o c i a l workers, and nurses. In the va l l e y t h e i r influence has been most s i g n i f i c a n t i n setting the d i r e c t i o n of education i n the public schools. Others were trained for professional occupations -among them, architects, planners, educators, engineers and media consultants. As consultants they t y p i c a l l y drew t h e i r c l i e n t s from a wide area and t r a v e l l e d extensively, although work was also done for l o c a l residents, often on a trade basis. The c i t i e s of Nelson and Castlegar are within commuting distance from the southern end of the v a l l e y , and many professionals, educators and government workers are employed there. The introduction of new communications technology and computers i n the early 1980s extended the range of opportunities and allowed r u r a l l y based people to p a r t i c i p a t e even more i n the economic l i f e of the outside society. The v a l l e y also supports two general kinds of writers: j o u r n a l i s t s who work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Globe and Mail, United Press International, l o c a l newspapers, etc. on a regular or contract basis; and "creative" writers - poets, no v e l i s t s , playwrights, and authors of childrens books. This occupation integrates well with other subsistence a c t i v i t i e s . From the beginning, involvement i n i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t i e s such as logging, mining, and m i l l employment was minimal, except on an oc-casional basis, but treeplanting and other s i l v i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y f i t well with the alternative l i f e s t y l e . Currently, i t of f e r s 108 experienced workers an opportunity to earn wages of up to 200 to 300 d o l l a r s per day for limited periods of time. An experienced planter may make between ten and twenty thousand d o l l a r s i n a season that begins i n February or early March on the coast and ends i n July i n the i n t e r i o r . It also guarantees an Unemployment Insurance claim for the next year at maximum, or near maximum, benefits. Over the years many treeplanting companies have come and gone i n the v a l l e y . In 1990 there are three main ones i n opera-t i o n , employing up to 250 people each season. Many of these employees come from outside of the area, but as many as 3 00 l o c a l residents, most of them from the new community, are engaged i n t h i s occupation. 1 4 5 Because there are few f u l l - t i m e , permanent jobs a v a i l a b l e i n the v a l l e y , many people are engaged i n a personal strategy that combines an ongoing but varied stream of short-term opportunities. The mainstays are carpentry, labouring, and handyman work, often bolstered by U.I.C. This strategy tends to be v o l a t i l e and not very secure. Chronically high unemployment i n the Slocan over the years has made Unemployment Insurance (U.I.) r e l a t i v e l y easy to obtain. In addition, U.I. o f f i c i a l s understand the importance of t h e i r p a y r o l l Treeplanting has been i n t e g r a l l y t i e d to the economy of the a l t e r n a t i v e community since the early 1970s, and many l o c a l people are now veterans of 10 or 15 years of planting. However with advancing age, a l o t are finding i t no longer possible to do the p h y s i c a l l y demanding work. This i s leading to a good deal of personal soul searching as people look around for another means of making an income. I t i s causing a l o t to look at going back to school or s t a r t i n g businesses to d i v e r s i f y t h e i r prospects. 109 to the l o c a l economy. When Unemployment Insurance i s employed as a s u r v i v a l strategy, people work at whatever i s a v a i l a b l e to accumulate s u f f i c i e n t weeks to i n i t i a t e a claim. This i s often t i e d i n with seasonal work such as treeplanting or government-sponsored grants for l o c a l community improvement.1 4 7 I t i s unclear how many i n the new community have opted for t h i s pattern, but i t i s universal throughout a l l communities i n the v a l l e y (and i n most other s i m i l a r communities across the country). There i s a pot e n t i a l threat i n changes i n the U.I. Act which increase the numbers of weeks to q u a l i f y and s h i f t the emphasis to r e t r a i n i n g . In the Slocan there are few employment opportunities to r e t r a i n f o r . Frequently, the newcomers found that i t was economically unfeasable to move to the valley on a permanent basis. For them, outside employment was often an interim measure u n t i l means allowed f u l l - t i m e residency i n the val l e y . Often people moved into the area incrementally, spending longer periods of time i n the v a l l e y with each year, building and gardening, u n t i l they could a f f o r d to move there permanently. Other individuals r e g u l a r l y worked outside This amounted to $420,000 per month i n Spring of 1989. 1 4 7 With a l o c a l unemployment rate sometimes reaching 40% and a generally weak economy, grants have been very important to the area - f o r the employment they provide, for the development of i n f r a s t r u c t u r e (sidewalks and water systems), amenities (such as the refurbishing of community h a l l s and the S i l v e r t o n G a l l e r y ) , c u l t u r a l development (Theatre Energy, etc.), and the upgrading of homes (RRAP and r u r a l e l e c t r i f i c a t i o n ) . With the e l e c t i o n of the conservatives i n 1984 many of these grants were no longer a v a i l -able, and the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of the alternative economy to p o l i t i c a l change was highlighted. Another negative implication of a r e l i a n c e on grants and other government programs for subsistence i s that t h i s "safety net" may have kept the new people from developing strategies more r e f l e c t i v e of the ideals of the movement. Such r e l i a n c e may also a f f e c t the c r e d i b i l i t y of r e c i p i e n t s who a c t i v e l y work for s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l change i n the broader community. 110 the area for 4 to 10 months of the year - then returned to improve t h e i r properties and par t i c i p a t e i n community l i f e . Such employ-ment was either regular or seasonal i n nature (teaching, winter resorts) or sporadic. Today, people who leave generally work i n B.C.'s Lower Mainland area, but a number go to large c i t i e s i n Eastern Canada, Banff-area resorts, or even to Los Angeles. F i n a l l y there were a number of non-traditional occupations that emerged over the past decade and were engaged i n almost exclusively by members of the new community. These have included workshop leadership, cottage industries, adventure tourism, and the c u l t i v a t i o n of marijuana. Over the past two decades, most of the newcomers have passed through a number of the preceding strategies, responding to changing opportunities and r e s t r a i n t s . Most households draw on two or more of these at any one time and f i n d that i t takes great v e r s a t i l i t y to survive. Even then, few could be considered well-of f by conventional standards. Nonetheless, most remain committed to the area, finding, l i k e John Hodges, that the hardships are worth i t : "Liv i n g i n the Slocan has been a grind economically, but the l i f e s t y l e , the place and the community of people i s s t i l l very s a t i s f y i n g . We l i v e very well here, under the poverty l i n e . . ..Everyone i n the v a l l e y r e a l l y wants to be here, even i f i t s d i f f i c u l t . We tread much more l i g h t l y here, step on very few toes i n the course of our d a i l y l i e s , need much less to survive than elsewhere." Part of the reason that survival at t h i s l e v e l i s possible i s that informal economic a c t i v i t y - trading, barter, and mutual assistance - i s s t i l l part of the alternative community's economic 111 l i f e . Many f e e l though, that t h i s dimension of community l i f e has declined over the years. Colleen Bowman found that people i n her neighbourhood i n H i l l s were becoming more involved i n t h e i r f a m i l i e s and other personal pursuits, and t h i s tended to take the focus away from c o l l e c t i v e a c t i v i t y : "The farm was a sort of hub for a l o t of people l i v i n g on the h i l l s i d e . Together, we kept the land producing, but never i n a formally arranged way. People just gravitated to what they did best. We also helped the neighbouring people get t h e i r t r i p together....By the late 1970s most people were wanting t h e i r own homes, t h e i r own gardens and so forth. A f t e r that the co-operative nature declined. But for some things everyone needed help - ridge beams and the l i k e - and we were there for them." Barter too, has declined i n some c i r c l e s . In the S i l v e r t o n area: "There are s t i l l work parties but money i s much more i n the scene. You see people bartering and trading less and more into renting and buying s t u f f . I t seems that they are wealthier and have less time to spare...maybe keeping more to t h e i r families and having less time for others." 1 4 8 Further down the v a l l e y though, the barter economy appears to be strong s t i l l . According to residents, trading occurs r e g u l a r l y and • 149 encompasses a broad range of goods and services. At le a s t two attempts were made i n the late 1970s and early 1980s to enlarge the p o t e n t i a l of the informal economy by introducing formalized c r e d i t systems. One of these, the Slocan Community Al t e r n a t i v e to Money (S.C.A.M.) system, was based on a unit of one hour of labour; Burgit Schinke, personal interview, August 20, 1988. I / O , A couple who l i v e i n Appledale, r e c a l l that they were personally involved i n exchanges of hay, haircuts, produce, boarding for t h e i r horses, carpentry on t h e i r house, milk and eggs, bedding plants, childcare, clothing, dental work, artwork, and f r u i t trees. 112 p a r t i c i p a n t s exchanged goods and services, and c r e d i t s and debits were noted on a central computer. Both attempts f a i l e d a f t e r a few years of operation, primarily because most of the v a l l e y residents s t i l l needed money for mortgages and car payments, and most l o c a l businesses were unwilling to p a r t i c i p a t e . The continued v i a b i l i t y of the informal economy i s p a r t i a l l y due to the t i g h t bonds that unite the community's members: "This i s a d i f f e r e n t culture than i n Vancouver. The bonds here are much stronger because people have helped each other through some very hard times. We're isolated, so we must sink or swim together. We can't l i v e the l i f e of people i n c i t i e s . We also must r e l y on each other because we don't have the services - l i k e c h i l d care and c r i s i s counselling....Unemployment helps since people have more time and are community oriented and thus can contribute to strengthening i t . " 1 5 0 The changes i n the levels of co-operative economic a c t i v i t y p a r a l l e l e d changes i n the s o c i a l l i f e of the community. Three factors - more money, t e l e v i s i o n , and less time due to family and work commitments - meant less people at dances and the end of the Cinema Guild: "In the beginning there were lo t s of big p a r t i e s . We also had a movie night on Saturday i n the School house i n V a l l i c a n , then i n Appledale. Every Saturday. Then, with the introduction of t e l e v i s i o n s less people started coming out." 1 5 1 Increasingly, people focused t h e i r energy i n s p e c i f i c projects or issues rather than involvement i n the larger group of t h e i r peers. A f t e r the mid-1970s, the Whole School, V a l h a l l a Park, and watershed activism were major f o c i of a c t i v i t y , and so, to a lesser extent, Rita Moir, personal interview, September 3, 1988. TC Carpendale, personal interview, September 2, 1988. 113 F i g . 1 7 . The 10th Annual "Rosebery Regatta", S e p t e m b e r , 1 9 8 9 . w e r e p e r s o n a l g r o w t h g r o u p s s u c h a s EST a n d G e s t a l t , a n d t h e o n g o i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f R A R T S . 1 5 2 T h e c o m m u n i t y s o l i d a r i t y w h i c h h a d e m e r g e d a r o u n d t h e c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e V a l l i c a n W h o l e b e g a n t o f r a g m e n t a s i n d i v i d u a l s w e r e d r a w n t o t h e s e o t h e r s u b - c o m -m u n i t i e s o f i n t e r e s t . T h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l l a n d s c a p e b e c a m e m o r e d i v e r s e . T h e r e w e r e r e s t a u r a n t s w h i c h s e r v e d w h o l e s o m e n a t u r a l f o o d s , s u c h a s t h e I n t e r m C a f e i n S i l v e r t o n a n d R o b e r t ' s R e s -t a u r a n t , s o u t h o f W i n l a w , a n d t h e s e b e c a m e p o p u l a r m e e t i n g p l a c e s f o r m e m b e r s o f t h e a l t e r n a t i v e c o m m u n i t y f r o m t h r o u g h o u t t h e W e s t T h e R u r a l A l t e r n a t i v e R e s e a r c h a n d T r a i n i n g S o c i e t y i s t h e v o l u n t e e r b o d y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e m a i n t e n a n c e a n d ( g r a d u a l ) c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e V a l l i c a n W h o l e . 114 Kootenay. A B u r i a l Society was created, as well as a community cemetery i n Winlaw. These were also years i n which the newcomers began to look out and see the human f a b r i c and history of the place around them, and began to take an active role i n the day-to-day a f f a i r s of the v a l l e y . Once they had become established and more s e n s i t i v e to the needs and opportunities of the l o c a l scene they began to contribute to the o v e r a l l community. In 1977 two Sil v e r t o n women restored the i n t e r i o r of the New Denver museum. In 1978 the Arrow Lakes/Slocan Val l e y Arts Council obtained grants to restore the old two-room school-house i n Silverton as an art g a l l e r y and performance space. Groups such as the V a l h a l l e l u j a Rangers and Theatre Energy produced o r i g i n a l musicals and dramas based on l i f e i n the Slocan which reached out to an audience outside of t h e i r peers. During the period following the completion of the V a l l i c a n Whole, r e l a t i o n s between the newcomers and the l o c a l community s t a b i l i z e d . The B u r i a l Society was an offshot of RARTS. Founded i n 1979, i t s volunteer members perform the functions of a funeral parlour: l o c a l people prepare the body of the deceased, b u i l d the c o f f i n , dig the grave, and deal with the government agent. Society members have " f i l l e d out a l l the necessary forms i n advance, to keep things fuctioning smoothly." 1 5 4 This ensemble started i n 1973 as the "Potluck Players" and drew together many talented people from the l o c a l area. Their f i r s t production was Ibsen's "A Dolls House", a p o l i t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t choice. The theme of the play - a woman pondering her status i n society and the options available to her - expressed many of the feelings of l o c a l women becoming d i s i l l u s i o n e d with the d i v i s i o n of labour and power in the back to the land scene. In the winter of 1977 Theatre Energy c o l l e c t i v e l y created and produced "Renderings" on a $5,000 Canada Coucil grant. Its subject matter was the t r i a l s and t r i b u l a t i o n s of the new people t r y i n g to make i t on the land. Later that year Theater Energy broadened t h e i r portrayal of West Kootenay society with the creation of "Voices", a work about the experiences of the area's pioneers. 115 The a l l i a n c e s which had been forged during the community Forest Project held, and led to other broadly-based e f f o r t s to implement reform i n land-use and forest practices (these w i l l be elaborated on i n the next chapter) . Corky Evans, a member of the new com-munity, was acclaimed i n 1979 as the area's representative to the Regional D i s t r i c t . I t appeared that much of the early c o n f l i c t had been s u p e r f i c i a l : i t had come more from a lack of s e n s i t i v i t y and propriety than a difference over fundamental values. Between 1980 and 1985, however, antagonism surfaced again. I t stemmed from disagreement over the creation of a land-use and settlement plan for the v a l l e y which was being prepared j o i n t l y by the Regional D i s t r i c t of Central Kootenay (RDCK) and the p r o v i n c i a l resource agencies. Most of the newcomers, and a large number of the long-term residents, supported the planning process as an opportunity to protect the scenic, environmental ( p a r t i c u l a r l y water supplies) and recreational values of the area, as well as promote a d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n of the l o c a l economy. However, i t was opposed by a small but well-organized and outspoken minority, whose "Can the Plan" campaign attempted to d e r a i l the process and maintain the status quo i n the val l e y . This group, comprised p r i m a r i l y of members of the mining and logging f r a t e r n i t y , perceived the Plan as a threat to t h e i r continued unhindered e x p l o i t a t i o n of the valley's resources. The c o n f l i c t , because i t stemmed from the clash of widely divergent worldviews, s p l i t the community deeply i n a way that has not healed i n f i v e years. Proponents and opponents of the Plan surfaced frequently on opposing sides of the various c o n f l i c t s over logging and resource 116 development through the 1980s. Although day-to-day r e l a t i o n s between the newcomers and most of the other residents have continued to improve and deepen, the Anglo, Doukhobor and alterna-t i v e communities remain a f f e c t i v e l y separate and d i s t i n c t e n t i t i e s . In 1987 a dispute erupted over the valley's two secondary schools which continues to the present. The dispute i s ostensibly about parents wanting t h e i r children to get the best education possible, and Mount Sentinel School, located i n South Slocan has a reputation for academic and a t h l e t i c excellence. However, preferences also r e f l e c t the long-held feelings of some residents who i d e n t i f y Slocan, where the other secondary school i s located, with i t s "red-neck" past. 1 5 5 Some people are going to the extent of renting houses at the south end of the valley i n order to " l e g a l l y " enrole t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n the preferred Mt. Sentinel. The issue has had a d i v i s i v e e f f e c t between the two communities and within the a l t e r n a t i v e community i t s e l f . Conclusions The experiences of the back-to-the-land s e t t l e r s i n the Slocan Valley since 1968 may perhaps be best summed up i n an observation made by Marcia Braundy: "People came here with an idea and became committed to a place. So the idea naturally took other forms." "The dichotomies between the new and the old communities were perhaps most c l e a r l y drawn i n Slocan. In the south end of the v a l l e y , by 197 6, most of the new/old r e l a t i o n s had been worked out - the completion of the Whole was p i v o t a l . But tension i n Slocan p e r s i s t e d quite a b i t longer - they were tougher nuts to crack." Marcia Braundy, personal interview, December 16, 1989. 117 Most of the newcomers came to the Slocan with the intention to l i v e an " a l t e r n a t i v e l i f e s t y l e " , but ultimately t h e i r primary concern has been to be able to stay i n the vall e y . Some people have found ways to do t h i s without giving up t h e i r i d e a l s . The majority however, have been forced to compromise i n some aspects of t h e i r l i v e s : they work for the government or on grant-sponsored projects, c o l l e c t Umemployment Insurance, or commute to jobs i n town. As well, there appears to have been a general acceptance of many of the things offered by the mainstream culture - conveniences and luxuries that they had i n i t i a l l y rejected. Today, t h e i r lifeways do not appear to d i f f e r much from those of t h e i r s t r a i g h t neigh-bours, yet differences p e r s i s t and are s i g n i f i c a n t - e s p e c i a l l y the type of rel a t i o n s h i p s they have with each other and with t h e i r children, how and with whom they s o c i a l i z e , the food they eat, the causes they espouse, and how they spend t h e i r d iscretionary time. Community l i f e has been eroded somewhat by the p r o l i f e r a t i o n of t e l e v i s i o n s and VCR's, and by increased affluence and decreased time, but i t i s s t i l l a very important dimension of l i f e f or most of the new people. Valley residents are continually forming new communities of inter e s t around d i f f e r e n t f o c i - music, Reiki (a form of healing massage), and the l o c a l NDP r i d i n g association. A l t e r n a t i v e community s o l i d a r i t y i s most r e a d i l y seen i n these smaller sub-communities within the larger group. Few of the new people have been s i g n i f i c a n t l y integrated into the Anglo or Doukhobour communities. There i s s t i l l a vocabulary of "us and them", hippies and rednecks, which tends to work against the r e s o l u t i o n of common problems. However there are signs of a 118 broader consensus emerging on certain issues, noteably watersheds and p e s t i c i d e s . Over the past twenty years there have been two themes of development at work i n the Slocan - a theme of s o c i a l development, which saw the creation of things l i k e the V a l l i c a n Whole and the Free School, and a theme of p o l i t i c a l development. The l a t t e r has been directed towards community control of resources and the l o c a l land base, and asking: "who makes the decisions, and what are the value c r i t e r i a being used?" I t i s i n t h i s area that the new peoples' commitment to the place has been most c l e a r l y expressed. This i s the subject of the next chapter. 119 Chapter Four Making Change Introduction The new people who were attracted to the Slocan perceived i t as be a u t i f u l , natural, unspoiled, "non-industrial", and " l i k e a museum". But they soon found out that t h i s was not the case. Despite appearances, there was a long history of resource extrac-t i o n and a growing modern forest industry i n the area. This industry, which f i r s t developed to provide the mines and l o c a l market with building materials and was comprised of small m i l l s , during the 1950s and 1960s underwent modernization and integration into the corporate forest economy. These trends - changing technology and concentration of control - placed the industry on a c o l l i s i o n course with the values, expectations and personal welfare of the new people. Since 1970, a b a t t l e - sometimes subtle, sometimes heated - has been waged between the interests t y p i f i e d by the newcomers and the i n d u s t r i a l forces i n the va l l e y . I t has involved a range of t a c t i c s - from public education, to intimidation and d i r e c t action - and has seen v i c t o r i e s and losses on both sides. The v a l l e y today i s at a c r i t i c a l juncture, and must choose between markedly d i f f e r e n t , and mutually exclusive, v i s i o n s of i t s future. This chapter describes what i n many ways has proven to be the most serious challenge faced by the newcomers as they i n t h e i r turn have become native to the place: a l t e r i n g the economic, s o c i a l 120 and p o l i t i c a l environment around them to make the v a l l e y a place where they can, and want to, remain. Although there have been numerous i n i t i a t i v e s undertaken with t h i s aim, t h i s chapter w i l l focus on three s i g n i f i c a n t developments: the 1974 Community Forest Management Project; the establishment of V a l h a l l a Park and preparation of the Slocan Valley Plan; and the creation of the Slocan Valley Watershed A l l i a n c e . Each represents a d i f f e r e n t approach to making change. Assessing the Situation: The Community Forest Management Project For years logging was carried out by r e l a t i v e l y small crews of men using labour-intensive technology to f e l l the trees and teams of horses to haul them from the woods. Every spring, a log drive down the Slocan and L i t t l e Slocan Rivers brought wood to numerous m i l l s dispersed along the valley bottom. Even i n the 1950s and '60s - long a f t e r log trucks had replaced the annual drives - the industry was characterised by the many independent crews i n the woods and the large numbers of small sawmills. 1 5 6 By the late 1960s, technological change - the introduction of l i g h t , e f f i c i e n t chainsaws i n the 1950s and the powered skidder i n the 1960s -meant that i t took fewer men to cut and m i l l a unit of wood and led to a general increase i n the rate of timber e x t r a c t i o n . 1 5 7 Logging In 1952 there were 19 m i l l s and 38 private logging opera-tions i n the Valley. Slocan Valley Community Forest Management Project Interim Report, 1974. 1 5 7 Thus production levels increased threefold i n the twenty years a f t e r 1950, while employment grew by only 25%. Ibid. 121 became increasingly capital-intensive, requiring much higher margins of p r o f i t and l i m i t i n g entry into the industry. Control of the forest resource became increasingly concentrated i n the hands of a single l i c e n s e e . 1 5 8 The 81, OOO-hectare Tree Farm License #3 was granted i n 1950, followed by an ever greater a l l o c a t i o n of the region's public timber i n succeeding years. The Passmore Lumber Co. and those that succeeded i t , have e f f e c t i v e l y outbid l o c a l loggers for timber sales from public lands throughout the v a l l e y . 1 5 9 By the early 1970s Triangle P a c i f i c operated the v a l l e y ' s sole remaining sawmill and controlled 90% of the area's 160 Annual Allowable Cut. From the beginning the Forest Ministry had maintained a non-i n t e r v e n t i o n i s t approach to the l o c a l industry. As a r e s u l t , consistent overcutting combined with inadequate r e f o r e s t a t i o n had reduced the forest base and resulted i n environmental degradation, increasing c o n f l i c t s with other forest resource users, and the 161 prospect of a looming s h o r t f a l l i n the timber supply. By 1965, t h i s industry was thus well established as the dominant force i n the v a l l e y - economically and p o l i t i c a l l y - and had long surpassed mining i n i t s pot e n t i a l to a l t e r the l o c a l landscape. The licensee has been known variously as the Passmore Lumber Co., Eriksen Lumber Co., P a c i f i c Logging Co., Triangle P a c i f i c Forest Products Ltd., and now Slocan Forest Products as ownership has passed from Canadian to American to Canadian hands. 159 Community Forest Management Project Final Report, p. 2-28. 160 Ibid, p. 2-42. 1 6 1 This was the o v e r a l l assessment of the s i t u a t i o n i n the Final Report. 122 The f i r s t evidence that the new people knew of and were concerned about the condition of the l o c a l environment comes from the minutes of a meeting held i n November, 1970 at the Riverside H a l l . The December 1970 issue of The Tribal Drum, the l o c a l a l t e r n a t i v e newspaper, recounts that "Since early spring, meetings of people interested i n the future of the v a l l e y have been happening - over p o l l u t i o n control and zoning, primarily." Concern about environ-ment and resource issues had started that year with attempts by l o c a l residents to h a l t the construction of a smelter planned for the f l a t s above New Denver. The project was stopped by public protest, although i t s foundations were in before anyone knew about i t . In May 1973, a p e t i t i o n was created to stop the discharge of mine t a i l i n g s i n Slocan Lake, the construction of a marina, and a log dump at one of the lake's most beautiful beaches. Notwithstanding t h i s early consciousness-raising, p r i o r to 1973, few of the new people were aware of the condition of the area's for e s t s , or the way logging was being c a r r i e d out. I t was at a meeting to discuss the completion of the V a l l i c a n Whole that events were to take a major turn i n a new d i r e c t i o n . As Bob Ploss remembers: "The Community Forest Management project came out of a meeting at the V a l l i c a n H a l l where we were discussing f i n i s h i n g the V a l l i c a n community centre, about where we could get donations to do i t . Someone suggested that we t r y to get some lumber from the Triangle P a c i f i c m i l l i n Slocan. Most people thought t h i s was f i n e , but Corky stood up and began to r a i s e some serious e t h i c a l issues about the company, t h e i r logging practices and so f o r t h . . . I myself had just started planting trees up Lemon Creek and was becoming very aware of the problems with the logging going on around here. So we stayed on a f t e r the meeting and discussed forestry issues, what we could do about the s i t u a -t i o n . ..." The idea of a research project grew out of that discussion i n 123 V a l l i c a n . The forests and the forest industry were emerging as a ce n t r a l focus of the newcomers* concern for the future of the v a l l e y , and for the economic opportunities ava i l a b l e there. Even though for e s t r y was not a major source of employment for the new people, i t affected the quality of t h e i r water, the aesthetic q u a l i t i e s of the landscape, and the health and v i a b i l i t y of the community around them. The project was conceived to look into the ways that the l o c a l forest industry could be changed - to provide more jobs, use the wood from the Valley's forests more completely and productively, and to deal with some of the environmental problems that were being caused by unsound pr a c t i c e s . In the spring of 1973, a LEAP grant application was assembled. Under the grant program, the federal government provided i n i t i a l funding to organise small industries which are designed to become se l f - s u s t a i n i n g . The forestry proposal suggested organising small-scale logging and lumber concerns i n ways which would provide residents with part-time employment and a cheap source of firewood and f i n i s h e d lumber. Aware of the p o l i t i c a l s e n s i t i v i t y of the grant issue, the project's i n i t i a t o r s were anxious to involve l o c a l people. During 1973, they worked at building l o c a l support, and that winter received a Federal grant of $50,000 to undertake the project. I t was sponsored by a group of ten v a l l e y residents who acted as a h i r i n g committee and oversaw the research. The aims of the project were broad: • to study the e f f e c t s of industry and recreation on the environ-ment and make recommendations; • to determine what logging and m i l l i n g wastes were not u t i l i z e d that could be reprocessed, and to f i n d c a p i t a l for t h e i r manufacture; 124 • to make recommendations on land use, a g r i c u l t u r a l opportunities and forest use. The s t a f f included seven f u l l - t i m e and three part-time persons and two professional consultants and operated out of a motel i n Winlaw. In addition to the research, the project held public hearings to gather community input - ideas and concerns - that generally drew 40 or 50 people. When the Slocan Valley Community Forest Management Project Final Report was published that summer, i t contained both a c r i t i q u e of current f o r e s t r y practices i n the v a l l e y and a blueprint for a r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t approach. The report's authors concluded that i n the e x i s t i n g s i t u a t i o n , the Slocan Valley's public forests were not public (they had been committed to three companies to harvest on an 88-year rotation cycle), were not being managed on a sustained y i e l d basis, were being harvested and m i l l e d i n ways that wasted up to 65% of the standing timber, and were not managed as a geographic unit but rather as the uncoordinated overlapping of a number of resource agency j u r i s d i c t i o n s . Their proposal comprised nine recommendations, each one designed to r e f l e c t s p e c i f i c objectives. In order that there be greater l o c a l control of management decision-making, the report recommended that a "resource committee" be formed, made up of s i x elected, unpaid representatives of the l o c a l community plus i n d i v i d u a l s from each of the p r o v i n c i a l resource management agencies. The committee would have j u r i s d i c t i o n over the resources of the Slocan public fo r e s t s , and would hi r e a resource manager to co-ordinate the services of the government agencies. To give l o c a l people more 125 access to the resource, i t was recommended that the government i n s t i t u t e a system of r u r a l woodlots of from 10 to 1500 acres, to be held by l o c a l residents. To ensure that industry respected e c o l o g i c a l l i m i t s and managed for s u s t a i n a b i l i t y , they asked that the e x i s t i n g Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) i n the v a l l e y be lowered to exclude poor and low growing s i t e s , u n t i l i t could be recalcu-lated based on consideration of a l l resources. To protect the environment from degradation during harvesting, they requested that the government b u i l d a good-quality access-road network and follow a p o l i c y of s e l e c t i v e cutting on immature and s e n s i t i v e s i t e s , while reducing demands on the forests by taking steps to increase the u t i l i z a t i o n of waste. The economic benefit of the forests to the l o c a l community was to be increased by the construction of a small "product m i l l " i n the valley, to produce end products - such as boards and mouldings - to supply the l o c a l market. To fund the program of reforms, they asked that a l l stumpage from the area's p u b l i c forests be re-invested i n the area for f i v e years, and administered by the resource committee. F i n a l l y , to preserve the unique recreational and scenic values of the mountains west of Slocan Lake, the report recommended that the V a l h a l l a Range be designated a roadless nature conservancy area. The committee's intention was thus to ensure the s t a b i l i t y , prosperity, q u a l i t y of l i f e , and long-term s u s t a i n a b i l i t y of the Slocan Valley community. The Report acknowledged the importance of community permanence i n achieving these goals: "The l o c a l community represents the only v i s i b l e group with a binding i n t e r e s t i n the long-term sustenance of t h i s v a l l e y ' s resources, for i t i s they who w i l l have to l i v e with the r e s u l t s 126 of our management p o l i c i e s , good or bad." That summer, the project's organizers set up the "Slocan Valley Community Resources Society" to promote the implementation of the recommendations. Society members met with the l o c a l MLA, B i l l King, and Bob Williams, the New Democratic Party Minister of Forests i n V i c t o r i a , where they found general support for the Final Report's conclusions. In 1975, the province acceded to the residents' request for a resource committee. This group, the "Slocan Valley Resource Management Committee", brought together members of the public, labour and industry and government agencies, to prepare c a p a b i l i t y maps for future resource development. However, acting against the recommendations of the report, the government appointed the members of the committee rather than allowing them to be elected l o c a l l y , and t h i s body did not receive the public support necessary to continue a f t e r 1976. The Resources Society though, was to remain active for the next ten years advocating the reforms outlined i n the Final Report - p a r t i c u l a r l y woodlots, a reduced AAC, and elected resource committees - and c r i t i c i s i n g management and harvesting practices i n the l o c a l industry. The completion of the study marked a turning point i n the evolution of the valle y . I t i d e n t i f i e d for the f i r s t time the threats to the aesthetic, economic and ec o l o g i c a l values of the v a l l e y and brought these to public attention. As a c r i t i q u e of Final Report, p. 4-1. 127 current practices and a blueprint for reform of the forest industry, i t i s considered to be v a l i d s t i l l , by l o c a l residents, foresters and independent loggers. I t was also a c a t a l y s t for v i r t u a l l y a l l of the major developments i n the area since: V a l h a l l a Park, the Slocan Valley Plan, and the creation of watershed committees and the Watershed A l l i a n c e . 1 6 3 The Park and the Plan Although the recommendations of the Final Report were not immediately implemented, i t had informed l o c a l residents and es-tablished a momentum for change. Over the next few years, i n d i v i d u a l s gravitated toward involvement i n more s p e c i f i c issues, and creation of the Valhalla Conservancy received growing i n t e r e s t and support. The unfolding of events as t h i s proposal evolved from a v i s i o n i n 1975, to a concrete r e a l i t y i n 1983, can be understood only as i t related to the other s i g n i f i c a n t episode of t h i s period: the creation of the Slocan Valley Plan. The idea of a park i n the mountains west of Slocan Lake had been rai s e d at least twice before, so that the idea was not new when i n January 1975, the Valley Resources Society, sponsored a meeting to discuss the proposed Valhalla Nature Conservancy. In order to The groundbreaking nature of the project was frequently mentioned: "The o r i g i n a l i n i t i a t i v e for the Slocan Valley Plan came from the Community Forest Management Project. I t was the f i r s t cry in the province for community control of resources....A whole l o t of issues surfaced at the same time over the watershed logging developments, the advocacy of the park. I t was cle a r that a broader planning view of the valley was needed." Marcia Braundy, personal interview, December 16, 1989. 128 f o c u s p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n a n d g a r n e r s u p p o r t , l a t e r t h a t y e a r t h e V a l h a l l a W i l d e r n e s s S o c -i e t y w a s f o r m e d , w h o s e m a n d a t e w a s t o w o r k s p e -c i f i c a l l y f o r t h e e s t a b -l i s h m e n t o f t h e V a l h a l l a P r o v i n c i a l P a r k . T o i n -c r e a s e p u b l i c a w a r e n e s s , a n a u d i o - v i s u a l p r e s e n t -a t i o n w a s p r o d u c e d b y m e m b e r s o f t h e g r o u p . T h i s t o u r e d w i d e l y a n d i n s t i g a t e d h u n d r e d s o f l e t t e r s o f s u p p o r t . M e d i a i n t e r e s t i n t h e p r o j e c t w a s s u p p o r t i v e , F i g . 1 8 . T h e V a l h a l l a R a n g e a n d S l o c a n a n d t h e s l i d e d o c u m e n t -L a k e , f r o m I d a h o P e a k . a r y w a s s h o w n o n CBC t e l e v i s i o n ' s K l a h a n n e p r o g r a m i n 1 9 7 8 . T h e n e x t y e a r , a p u b l i c p e t i t i o n t o s a v e t h e a r e a c o n t a i n i n g 5000 s i g n a t u r e s w a s p r e s e n t e d t o t h e B . C . p r e m i e r , B i l l B e n n e t t . C o n c u r r e n t w i t h t h i s c o m m u n i t y a c t i o n , a g e n c i e s o f t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t w e r e d o i n g a n e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e e c o n o m i c i m p l i c a t i o n s o f d e c l a r i n g t h e a r e a a p a r k . I n 1 9 7 5 , t h e M i n i s t r y o f F o r e s t s c o n d u c t e d a s t u d y w h i c h c o n c l u d e d t h a t t i m b e r v o l u m e s l o s t t o t h e 129 park could be absorbed by the l o c a l Forest Reserve with no loss of logging jobs. In 197 6, a moratorium was placed on development i n the area by the Ministry of Mines and the Forest Service. Within two years, however, the government had changed, and with i t , Forest Service p o l i c y i n regard to the V a l h a l l a s . In 1978, Slocan Forest Products announced future plans to log the Nemo Creek drainage - located i n the centre of the V a l h a l l a Range immediately across Slocan Lake from the v i l l a g e of S i l v e r t o n . By 1980, the p r o v i n c i a l government had made no commitment to the park, and, i n fa c t , the Forest Service had i n i t i a t e d new studies to assess the area's resource potential, and began assembling resource develop-ment f o l i o s for a number of the drainages i n the V a l h a l l a s . The Wilderness Society r e a l i s e d that the government had had a change of heart and intended to allow logging i n the park area. The s i t u a t i o n was further exacerbated by a l e t t e r sent by Slocan Forest Products to i t s employees exhorting them to lobby the government against the formation of the park i n the i n t e r e s t s of job security. The Regional D i s t r i c t of Central Kootenay (RDCK) reacted negatively to these t a c t i c s and pointed out that, i n fact, no actual figures had been complied to v e r i f y or d i s c r e d i t the company's claims of job losses, and resource agencies again urged for reimposition of the moratorium on V a l h a l l a Park development to give time to prepare a "Slocan Valley Comprehensive Regional Study". This study was a j o i n t e f f o r t , undertaken by the Regional D i s t r i c t and p r o v i n c i a l resource agencies, with the objective of making informed choices regarding future land uses and economic 130 development of the Slocan Valley. The Regional D i s t r i c t appointed an Advisory Planning Commission to act as a l i a i s o n between the planning agencies and the v a l l e y residents. The Commission, made up of newcomers and long-term residents, was i n f l u e n t i a l i n determining the terms of reference f o r the ensuing process. Among t h e i r s p e c i f i c requests were: a f u l l - t i m e informa-t i o n centre; public meetings throughout the v a l l e y ; a newsletter to keep the public informed about the progress of the study; and l o c a l control over the planning process. In March 1981, the p r o v i n c i a l government approved the planning commission's terms of reference and public hearings began. These were held valley-wide and i n i t i a l l y attracted a representative cross section of the l o c a l populace. 1 6 5 In public meetings and b r i e f s the park issue dominated the planning process, 1 6 6 and there was a r e a l i z a t i o n that t h i s issue needed re s o l u t i o n before any long-term v i s i o n of the valley's future could be a r t i c u l a t e d . In the public input gathered i n the planning process, most v a l l e y residents were strongly supportive of the park proposal. Preparation of the Plan involved: "assessment of the resou-rces, settlement pattern, service le v e l s , environment and l o c a l economy; i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of land use and economic development issues; i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of alternative solutions to issues iden-t i f i e d , based on an assessment of demands and the c a p a b i l i t y of the Valley to support various types of development; and proposal of regional plan p o l i c i e s . " RDCK pamphlet "What i s the Future of the Slocan Valley: Help Us Prepare the Plan", 1981. 1 In l a t e r meetings, eyewitnesses note, the newcomers were disproportionately represented. 1 6 6 This was p a r t i c u l a r l y true i n the northern section of the v a l l e y . Residents i n the southern end generally expressed more concern for watershed quality. Reported i n the Nelson Daily News, June 8, 1981. 131 In the f a l l of 1981 the incumbent Regional D i s t r i c t representa-t i v e , Corky Evans, was challenged by long-time resident Colleen McRory, a founder of the Valhalla Society and a major proponent of the park. In the ensuing debate, McRory attempted to focus the discussion e n t i r e l y on the park issue, confronting Evans, who refused to declare an unequivocal position on the park - pr e f e r r i n g 167 instead to "back the Plan that the va l l e y forges together." Evans was subsequently re-elected, but the debate was deeply d i v i s i v e among the members of the alte r n a t i v e community. The re s o l u t i o n of the park's fate became p i v o t a l to the res o l u t i o n of a l l the other planning issues. Meanwhile, the Val h a l l a Society had begun a massive campaign to • • • 168 s o l i c i t public backing for the park. Letters of support poured i n from in d i v i d u a l s and conservation groups across the continent. F i n a l l y , acceding to widespread public demand, pressure from res-idents, and the desires of v i l l a g e councils and the Regional D i s t r i c t , the p r o v i n c i a l government granted Class A status to the 49,600 hectare V a l h a l l a Provincial Park i n February of 1983. Once the park issue was se t t l e d the planning commission was able to turn t h e i r attention to other areas of the plan as yet un-resolved. In October 1983, a draft version of the Slocan Valley Plan was released to the public, for comment and r e v i s i o n . This release prompted a strongly negative reaction from a segment of the Nelson Daily News, November 16, 1981. 168 At that time, i t was the largest l e t t e r - w r i t i n g campaign ever undertaken i n support of the preservation of a wilderness area. 132 population which u n t i l that point had been s i l e n t . By March of 1984, a group of l o c a l c i t i z e n s c a l l i n g themselves the "Slocan Valley Residents A l l i a n c e " , had formed to d e r a i l the plan. Their main spokesperson, Ted F i t c h e t t of H i l l s , a r t i c u l a t e d t h e i r p o s i t i o n , saying "...the Plan i s designed to conform to a pre-determined end goal of the planners or V a l h a l l a Park propon-ents" and contained "vague but overbearing references" to v i s u a l 169 management. The concept of v i s u a l management alarmed some private landowners, i n addition to miners and loggers, who strongly opposed zoning and "over-regulation" and refused to discuss amendments to the Plan. An anti-Plan verse c i r c u l a t e d by the group c a l l e d for "a bonfire with Corky Evans and the RDCK on top of i t . " The Residents 1 A l l i a n c e released a " p o l l " of community feel i n g s on the issue; the r e s u l t s : 565 opposed, 5 i n favour. Following a year of r e v i s i o n to the plan i n response to public input, the f i n a l version, re-christened the Slocan Valley Develop-ment Guidelines, was released to lukewarm public response. 1 7 0 The revised version made a number of concessions to the concerns of the Residents' A l l i a n c e 1 7 1 but certa i n i n d u s t r i a l and private 169 Nelson Daily News, A p r i l 2, 1984. 1 7 0 During 1984, the p r o v i n c i a l government removed land-use planning authority from the mandate of regional d i s t r i c t s . This had great implications to the e f f i c a c y of the revised Plan. The change was r e f l e c t e d i n a l e t t e r to v a l l e y residents which accompanied the new Guidelines: "The name has been changed to "Development Guidelines" to emphasize that i t i s a set of guide-l i n e s and not laws. The guidelines mainly a f f e c t government p o l i c y on Crown land, rather than individuals on private land. The guidelines themselves do not set up regulations." 1 7 1 These included: the clear i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of logging and mining as the main industries; allowing logging to occur i n watersheds - with s p e c i f i c rules on how to do i t ; l i m i t e d a p p l i c a -t i o n of the concept of v i s u a l management; a request to the province 133 i n t e r e s t s i n the v a l l e y continued to dispute the legitimacy of the whole planning process and the representativeness of the views expressed i n the recommendations.1 7 2 The area's water users found that, despite the detailed watershed management process outlined i n the report, they i n fact ended up with no guaranteed protection of t h e i r water supplies. Environmentalists and planning advocates generally f e l t that the substantive content of the recommendations had been eliminated i n the plan's f i n a l version. The V a l h a l l a Society condemned the f i n a l report and the r e v i s i o n process: "The gutting of the Slocan Valley Plan has been f o r p o l i t i c a l s e l f - s e r v i n g purposes by people who don't believe i n integrated use and the o v e r a l l good for the Slocan Valley." Notwithstanding the general lack of support f o r the f i n a l guidelines, the process was f e l t by many to be s i g n i f i c a n t as a f i r s t step i n the a r t i c u l a t i o n of a common v i s i o n of the v a l l e y ' s future. I t was the f i r s t time a r u r a l community i n the province had attempted to create a coherent development strategy based on a broad public consensus. 1 7 3 Despite these p o s i t i v e aspects there are s t i l l l i n g e r i n g negative repercussions f e l t i n the v a l l e y from the four year process. Amongst them are the d i v i s i o n s between pro-to review i t s p o l i c y prohibiting mining i n Kokanee Glacier Park; and the relaxation of zoning regulations throughout the v a l l e y . 1 7 2 As Ted F i t c h e t t said: "What we're negotiating i s whether the people i n the v a l l e y ever wanted t h i s thing - but they [the committee of elected representatives] are saying, xWhat do you want i n i t ? ' " Quoted i n the Nelson Daily News, May 14, 1984. 1 7 3 The Plan was also the f i r s t time the province, which has j u r i s d i c t i o n over Crown land, and the Regional D i s t r i c t , which controls settlement patterns on private land, had worked together to plan land use and economic development i n B.C. 134 planning community members and those who fought to preserve the status quo. There was also a deep schism within the new community, between those, such as Colleen McRory, with a r a d i c a l and confron-t a t i o n a l approach to change, and those who, l i k e Corky Evans, preferred to work towards change from a community consensus. Organizing for action: The Slocan Valley Watershed A l l i a n c e Concurrent with the formulation of the plan and the establishment of the park, another issue was moving to centre stage i n the p o l i t i c a l arena. This was community activism i n preservation of domestic watersheds i n the Slocan. An awareness of watershed issues had surfaced i n the early 1970s over concern about r i s i n g spring runoff le v e l s i n the Slocan River. This awareness was heightened by the findings of the environmental studies undertaken for the Community Forest Project of 1974. This research disclosed that careless logging practices, poor road construction and c l e a r -c u t t i n g on steep slopes, were contributing to erosion, s i l t a t i o n , and the degradation of water quality i n many watersheds where i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y was occurring. In 1979, residents l i v i n g on the eastern slopes of Perry Ridge i n the mid-valley, organized the "Perry Ridge Watershed Committee" the f i r s t of i t s kind i n the province, i n response to Slocan Forest Products* intention to log i n t h e i r watersheds. They received the strong backing of the Slocan Valley Resource Society as well as the Regional D i s t r i c t . Watershed problems also emerged as a major concern during the i n i t i a l phase of the planning process, and i n 1982 those affected formed the Slocan Valley Watershed A l l i a n c e . This group consisted of representatives from three m u n i c i p a l i t i e s and a number of l o c a l watershed groups. Its purpose was to support co-ordinated planning for a l l Slocan Valley watersheds, and to encourage the establishment of land-use p r i o r i t i e s for watersheds which would avoid inconsistent standards and a patchwork approach to regulation. In the years since i t s formation, the A l l i a n c e has been a c t i v e l y engaged i n a dialogue with the p r o v i n c i a l government, demanding environment and land-use p o l i c y changes i n regard to the use and preservation of watersheds. In 1982 and 1983 t h i s group was also an active and vocal participant i n the Slocan Valley planning process. Their concerns were translated into the Integrated Watershed Management Process (I.W.M.P.), which was an i n t e g r a l part of the f i n a l version of the valley plan. The FLOW (For Love of Water) conference they sponsored i n Winlaw i n 1984, brought watershed a c t i v i s t s from throughout B.C. together to form a (short-lived) network of watershed groups and a c t i v i s t s to lobby for changes i n environmental and forest l e g i s l a t i o n on a p r o v i n c i a l scale. The harvesting carried out i n the previous two decades had, by t h i s time, depleted timber supplies i n the large l a t e r a l v a l l e y s , such as Lemon Creek and Koch Creek, putting increasing pressure on the timbered slopes of the main vall e y . The f i r s t of the domestic watersheds to experience major harvesting pressure was Springer Creek, which i s an area home to a number of the new community and the source of the a u x i l i a r y water supply to the v i l l a g e of Slocan. 136 The v i l l a g e passed a resolution i n council asking the A l l i a n c e to intervene on i t s behalf i n negotiations with the Ministry of Forests to protect t h e i r interests i n the watershed. This was the f i r s t t e s t case where the I.W.M.P. process was implemented. The experience of the participants i n the Springer Creek I.W.M.P. was inconsistent and found unacceptable by some. At issue were a number of primary concerns, each of which pointed to the lack of meaningful public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the decision-making process. The Springer Creek residents and Watershed A l l i a n c e representatives involved, found that the Ministry of Forests would not provide them with the pertinent information they requested - including hydrolog-i c a l and s o i l s studies - to enable them to understand the manage-ment decisions being made i n the watershed. In addition, since many logging-related impacts (such as changes i n watertables, debris s l i d e s and watercourse diversions) are known to occur years a f t e r harvesting a c t i v i t y has ceased, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s often hard to determine. The Watershed A l l i a n c e had proposed that a "no-f a u l t " compensation fund be established, to reimburse water users i n the event of future damage to t h e i r supply. This was denied. Both the Ministry of Forests and Slocan Forest Products refused to prepare comprehensive inventories of proposed logging s i t e s (recognizing a l l resource values) from which they could design logging a c t i v i t y . F i n a l l y , there was no guarantee that the domestic water supplies would be given f i r s t p r i o r i t y i n the watershed. The f a i l u r e of the Ministry of Forests to respond adequately to these concerns subsequently led to a breakdown of t r u s t and 137 communication between the Ministry and the A l l i a n c e , and between the residents and Ministry as w e l l . 1 7 4 The Ministry also d i s -regarded a further concern that the watersheds of the v a l l e y be considered as a whole, rather than dealt with on a piecemeal basis. At present, these fundamental differences are unresolved, and a stalemate p r e v a i l s . With cutting slated to begin soon i n a number of other watersheds, including Hasty Creek south of Silverton, there i s t a l k of, and preparation for, c i v i l disobedience i f the issues are not s a t i s f a c t o r i l y resolved before road-building and harvesting a c t i v i t y begins. Throughout eight years of activism and negotiation the A l l i a n c e has consistently advocated meaningful public input, sustainable f o r e s t management and harvesting techniques, and l o c a l public control over the decision-making process whereby logging i s managed in the v a l l e y . In the A l l i a n c e members' b e l i e f , l o c a l people have the greatest long-term interest i n the condition of t h e i r water-sheds and consequently are most suited and most e n t i t l e d to control them. This b e l i e f underlay the recent proposal, at a public meeting held i n New Denver, September 25, 1989, for a Community Tree Farm Licence, which epitomised the s p i r i t of the recommenda-tions contained i n the community Forest Management Project of 1974. 1 7 5 1 7 4 Interview with Herb Hammond, Slocan Valley Watershed A l l i a n c e co-chairperson, November 30, 1989. 1 7 5 The b r i e f which was presented to area residents and Ministry and company representatives i n New Denver, September 25, 1989, revived many of the Final Report's recommendations. I t c a l l e d for an elected Community Forests Board which would plan the management and use of the valley's forests. The Board would h i r e 138 The Community Tree Farm proposal was unenthusiastically received by the Ministry of Forests and industry representatives i n attendance at the meeting, 1 7 6 but i t i s f e l t by many l o c a l residents to hold great promise as a viable, community-sustaining a l t e r n a t i v e to the e x i s t i n g regime. The Current Situation In 1990, the battle l i n e s i n the f i g h t to define the area's future are by no means c l e a r l y drawn between the new people and the longer-term residents. For one thing there i s a lin g e r i n g resentment on the part of many within the logging community and the more general "straight" community against the forest company.177 They f e e l i t i s a poor public c i t i z e n with no i n t e r e s t i n the welfare of the l o c a l community. According to residents, i t destroyed the popular beach at Slocan when i t relocated i t s m i l l , has reneged on promises to provide c e r t a i n amenities, and gives p r e f e r e n t i a l treatment to certain favoured contractors (who expertise to develop and implement "forest plans", and employ contractors to carry out the s p e c i f i c tasks outlined i n the plans. Unlike the e a r l i e r proposal, however, a Tree Farm Licence would give the community tenure over the area's forests and i t could then s e l l l o c a l timber to the highest bidder on the open market - giving f i r s t option to ex i s t i n g l o c a l m i l l s . 1 7 6 This was personally observed by the author. Ministry and Slocan Forest Products representatives refused to discuss the proposal, prefering instead to describe t h e i r own programs and r e i t e r a t e that the current s i t u a t i o n was functioning well and did not require change. 1 7 7 These perspectives emerged during a series of interviews conducted with area loggers, miners, l o c a l p o l i t i c i a n s , and other long-term residents i n A p r i l and May, 1989. 139 themselves practice blatant nepotism). Similar strong fe e l i n g s are directed at the Ministry of Forests, p a r t i c u l a r l y i t s p o l i c i e s which favour clearcuts, the sale of un-manufactured wood "cants" overseas, the contracting out and general reduction of regulatory a c t i v i t i e s , and stumpage and tenure p o l i c i e s which require loggers to use environmentally unsound harvesting practices i n order to make ends meet. As Corky Evans, a logger i n the area, observes: "The working class i s currently being paid to make i t impossible to l i v e and work here i n the long run. In the time we have l i v e d here the l o c a l harvest has t r i p l e d , while those into doing logging responsibly are weeded out by economics." The recent "Spike" protest i s also i n d i c a t i v e of a b l u r r i n g of conventional a l l i a n c e s over formerly controversial issues. In 1988 t h i s incident brought out a broad c o a l i t i o n of residents to take d i r e c t non-violent action to halt the spraying of p e s t i c i d e s on CPR • 178 rights-of-way i n the val l e y . In addition, many of the long-term residents have a c t i v e l y supported the e f f o r t s of the Watershed A l l i a n c e to protect the quality of t h e i r water supplies. The V i l l a g e s of Sil v e r t o n and Slocan have been members of the A l l i a n c e since i t s inception. The l i n e s are perhaps more c l e a r l y expressed as the difference between reactionary i n d i v i d u a l i s t s and the forward-looking community-minded. Herb Hammond, a l o c a l forester who has been active i n watershed and community forest a c t i v i t y throughout the This has resulted i n the development by the railway company, of a more environmentally sound weed-eradication technol-ogy, which was tested successfully i n the Slocan during the summer of 1990. The new device uses super-heated steam to k i l l vegetation along railway rights-of-way. 140 1980s has t h i s perspective: "The problems we are facing now come from the c o l l i s i o n of two quite r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t types of people. On one hand there are the i n d i v i d u a l i s t s who came to t h i s place because they didn't want to l i v e with r e s t r i c t i o n s to t h e i r freedoms, people without a long-range outlook on the future who put t h e i r f a i t h i n technology to b a i l us out of any problems. When planning for the future i s taking place they are thus nowhere to be seen. These people don't have a group a f f i l i a t i o n such as the Watershed A l l i a n c e or the NDP to represent and advance t h e i r i n t e r e s t s and l a r g e l y stay r i g h t out of the public debate. When, however, something happens that looks l i k e i t w i l l a f f e c t them d i r e c t l y , they react quickly and strongly - not well prepared with the fa c t s of the issue, just grasping at whatever evidence e x i s t s to j u s t i f y t h e i r position. "The others are concerned about the future and acknowledge that sustainable existence w i l l require l i m i t a t i o n s to everyone's freedoms. But they have a b e l i e f that they can choose t h e i r destiny from a range of alternatives - that they don't have to be content with what the s i t u a t i o n o f f e r s them by default. Because they belong to groups... they also have an experience of power and a knowledge of the system that allows them to advance t h e i r concerns with a hope of response. And because they see t h e i r l i v e s as inseparable from the place i n which they l i v e , t h e i r concerns encompass a l l of those who l i v e here. Thus the c o n f l i c t i s between the proactive and the reactive, between those who look down the road and see the need for immediate action and those who construe any change as a threat to t h e i r immediate s e l f - g r a t i f i c a t i o n . Where i s the s o l u t i o n ? " 1 7 9 Conclusions Throughout the past two decades, the new people - and t h e i r a l l i e s within the larger community - have not been content to wait for the p o l i t i c a l process to work i n t h e i r i n t e r e s t : experience has shown that t h i s frequently does not work. Their response has comprised two d i f f e r e n t strategies. F i r s t l y , they have educated themselves about the issues. The Community Forest Management Project was the f i r s t major attempt to t h i s . Their knowledge of the e x i s t i n g Herb Hammond, personal interview, November 30, 1989. 141 s i t u a t i o n , and a range of possible alternatives, has been further extended i n the intervening period through the research and public education a c t i v i t i e s of the Slocan Planning Process and the Watershed A l l i a n c e . Then, prepared with the information, they have acted. There now exists a s i g n i f i c a n t portion of the l o c a l population who are educated on forestry issues and d i s s a t i s f i e d with the e x i s t i n g s i t u a t i o n . Yet there remain s i g n i f i c a n t obstacles to the implementation of the new ideas brought into public discourse by the new people and like-minded members of the broader community. In the Slocan, boundaries are s t i l l drawn between communities on the basis of e t h n i c i t y and l i f e s t y l e preferences, and only a few can claim to have a valley-wide v i s i o n for the future. This i s a serious impediment to l o c a l people working together to manage the fo r e s t s , and has most recently been c l e a r l y expressed i n regard to the proposed pulpmill expansion i n Castlegar. Perhaps the most serious obstacle of a l l remains the unwillingness of the p r o v i n c i a l resource agencies to acknowledge the r i g h t and the unique q u a l i f i c -ations of l o c a l residents to manage t h e i r own resources - par-t i c u l a r l y the forests, whose health and long-term productivity In December 1989, Celgar Pulp Co. released an in-house environmental impact statement regarding the p o t e n t i a l impacts of i t s $600 m i l l i o n expansion project i n Castlegar. Public pressure from throughout the West Kootenay region forced the Province to i n i t i a t e an o f f i c i a l review of the proposal, and the review panel conducted hearings i n the area i n August and September of 1990. Of concern to many people are the increased f i b r e requirements of the new m i l l , increased a i r and water p o l l u t i o n , and the hazards and cost to the community of transporting wood chips to the m i l l by road. M i l l proponents tend to overlook these p o t e n t i a l impacts and focus on the jobs and short-term boom that w i l l r e s u l t i n Castlegar. Both sides are represented i n the Slocan, and the contentious issue has once again divided the community. 142 d i r e c t l y impacts upon nearly a l l aspects of t h e i r l i v e s . As the residents of the Slocan confront the c r i t i c a l choices of t h i s b i f u r c a t i o n process, they are being torn between two types of society: the old " i n d u s t r i a l " mode - which f u l f i l l e d a function by opening up the area to settlement but which increasingly i s no longer appropriate for the place or the times - and the new "post-i n d u s t r i a l " mode, represented by the eco l o g i c a l , d e c e n t r a l i s t values of the new people. 143 Chapter Five The Meaning and Legacy of the Movement Twenty-five years aft e r the f i r s t migrants l e f t the San Fransico Bay area for the Northern C a l i f o r n i a countryside, the back-to-the-land movement they started continues. Across the continent, members of t h i s movement continue to inhabit r u r a l communities, pursuing l i f e s t y l e s and p o l i t i c a l agendas often at variance with the mainstream. What, then, i s the sig n i f i c a n c e of t h i s ideology and l i f e s t y l e a l ternative to mainstream contemporary society, and what does the experience i n the Slocan t e l l us? Is i t , as some c r i t i c s suggest, a subsidized indulgence of the system; a s e l f -centred f l i g h t from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the " r e a l " society which i s fast-paced, competitive, consumption-oriented, and urban?; or i s i t a via b l e , responsible and morally correct l i f e s t y l e choice which may have a p o s i t i v e impact, both i n terms of the l i g h t e r demands made of the earth by i t s participants, and as an exemplar for the re s t of society? This can be p a r t i a l l y answered by considering f i r s t , these peoples' impact on the Slocan, where t h e i r presence has r e v i t a l i z e d a d e c l i n i n g community, and t h e i r actions have l e f t a legacy of concrete accomplishments, changed attitudes, and promising new ideas. The experiences i n the va l l e y are also i n d i c a t i v e of the relevance of the alternative c r i t i q u e and v i s i o n to the contem-porary s i t u a t i o n of the broader society. The evidence suggests that the back-to-the-land v i s i o n of a decentralized, e c o l o g i c a l l y -s e n s i t i v e agrarian society i s not a r e l i c of an e a r l i e r naive era. Rather, i t speaks to current c r i s i s i n the v a l l e y and, by exten-144 sion, to the c r i s i s - r i d d e n world of the 1990s. Standing i n the way of the implementation of the alternative agenda, however, i s the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p o l i t i c a l and economic power i n our society, and the or i e n t a t i o n of government and industry to the goals of corporate capitalism rather than sustainable communities. In the following sections I w i l l examine these perspectives i n greater depth, consider the significance of t h i s study to the d i s c i p l i n e of geography, then conclude with the implications of the back-to-the-land ideology for the future. The Legacy of Back-to-the-land Settlement i n the Slocan "...a l o t of us came out here thinking that we could b u i l d a model world counter-culture, and that we a l l had some part to play i n that." 1 8 1 When back-to-the-land migrants began repopulating the Slocan i n the 1960s and early '70s they had a b e l i e f - not u n i v e r s a l l y held, but widespread - that they could create an a l t e r n a t i v e order, and succeed i n implementing a v i s i o n of the world which derived from t h e i r c r i t i q u e of the system. The area's remoteness, the c r i t i c a l mass of like-minded people, and the f e r v i d climate of experimenta-t i o n a l l suggested the potential emergence of a new kind of society. However, afte r they had spent some time i n the val l e y , i t was cle a r t h i s was not going to happen e a s i l y or quickly. For one thing, the demands of survival imposed a hardship which l e f t l ess time for s o c i a l activism. For another, some found that t h e i r commitment to changing the world was limited; when the going got tough they returned to the c i t y . In addition, there were powerful, Joe l Russ to Linda Herrero, 1979. 145 well-established p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and economic forces extant i n the v a l l e y which tended to uphold the status quo i n most dimensions of l o c a l l i f e . The pursuit of the alte r n a t i v e v i s i o n thus soon had to compete with the demands of survival for the time and energy of the new s e t t l e r s . Instead of the revolutionary transformation of the Slocan into a model society as envisioned by the early migrants, a process of incremental change has taken place. The new people have succeeded i n e s t a b l i s h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s which r e f l e c t the tenets of t h e i r ideology. They have created new economic s u r v i v a l strategies d i f f e r e n t from those of the older community, and they continue to exert a strong and consistent force for change i n l o c a l land-use and economic development. At the same time, they have been i n large part integrated into the economic f a b r i c of the l o c a l community and t h e i r l i f e s t y l e s have converged s i g n i f i c a n t l y with those of t h e i r non-alternative neighbours. In many respects, the Slocan Valley i n 1990 i s a much d i f f e r e n t place from that of 1966, yet the same large-scale exogenous forces (government and corporate industry) continue to control i t s p o l i t i c a l and economic agenda and ultimately, i t s long term prospects. This section summarizes the e s s e n t i a l impacts the newcomers had on the Slocan, and the reci p r o -c a l impact of the area upon t h e i r l i v e s . I t i s , of course, impossible to reconstruct the course the Slocan Valley might have taken over the l a s t 20 years, had i t not been r e s e t t l e d by the back-to-the-land migrants. With few areas i n the province s i m i l a r enough to act as a "control" for a comparison, we 146 can nevertheless extrapolate from trends which were underway at the beginning of the study period, and draw inferences from the fate of other i n d u s t r i a l i z e d small r u r a l communities i n B.C. I t i s l i k e l y that the forest industry would have continued to dominate the l o c a l economy and, increasingly - i n a negative sense - the landscape as w e l l . 1 8 2 In other areas of the province where t h i s 183 industry has predominated - most of Northern Vancouver Island, the Central Coast, and Sunshine Coast, for example - populations have declined and smallholdings have been abandoned. To i s o l a t e the changes effected by the new people from those which may have occurred i n the ordinary course of events, i s also impossible. A growing environmental awareness and a s h i f t i n values towards conservation and diminished material consumption, which were c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the 1970s and of the l a t e 1980s, may have impacted the l o c a l consciousness even without the presence of the newcomers. F i n a l l y , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to say which changes resulted from the a l t e r n a t i v e ideology per se, and which derived from the f a c t that the newcomers had more education and d i f f e r e n t aesthetic preferences and needs which were not being met by l o c a l f a c i l i t i e s . We can look, however, at the concrete accomplishments of the new people - t h e i r i n s t i t u t i o n s , lifeways and p o l i t i c a l techniques -as one concrete dimension of t h e i r legacy to the v a l l e y . I t i s generally acknowledged that without the creation of V a l h a l l a Park, the input of the new people into the Slocan Valley Plan process, and the vigilance of the Watershed A l l i a n c e , the walls of the main va l l e y would by now have been extensively clearcut. 183 Few places i l l u s t r a t e t h i s impact better than the comm-u n i t i e s of Sayward and Kelsey Bay on Northern Vancouver Island's Salmon River. 147 Overall, the hundreds of newcomers who re-inhabited what was once a d e c l i n i n g r u r a l community, have had profound e f f e c t s on the q u a l i t y of l i f e i n the area. Increased population has meant higher enrolments i n l o c a l schools, a greater demand for the services of public f a c i l i t i e s and agencies, and an i n j e c t i o n of new money into the l o c a l business economy which has r e v i t a l i z e d the community. New services have been provided to the people of the area (such as accounting, graphic and a r c h i t e c t u r a l design, publishing, c o u n c i l -ing, massage, and community planning) and increased the range of l o c a l employment options and the pool of s k i l l e d labour. The new-comers' involvement i n the public schools as teachers and parents has improved standards of education to the point where the v a l l e y schools are currently ranked among the highest i n the province. The i n s t i t u t i o n s created or restored are another aspect of the legacy. The alternative schools, l i b r a r y , restored h a l l s i n V a l l i c a n , Appledale, and Silverton, the V a l l i c a n Whole, B u r i a l Society and community cemetery, and numerous restaurants over the years, have brought new dimensions to the c u l t u r a l l i f e of the v a l l e y . There i s a growing appreciation of the arts among the broader community, and a concern about the q u a l i t y of food. There i s also a sense that l o c a l people now see the beauty of the place i n a way that they did not i n the past. The new people fought to preserve wilderness areas and the v i s u a l i n t e g r i t y of the landscape; and provided amenities and a diverse c u l t u r a l experience of music, theatre and v i s u a l a r t s . This has also enriched l i f e i n the valley, while i t has enhanced the p o t e n t i a l for future d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n of the l o c a l economy into 148 tourism. Another dimension has been the confrontation of the Slocan Valley community with new ideas. Integral components of the back-to-the-land ideology - s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , mutual aid, barter, growing one's own food - were already an established f a c t of l i f e i n the area. In other respects, however, there have been challenges to es-tablished mores, values and ways of looking at the world. The idea of being content with less, of v o l u n t a r i l y choosing to be less a f f l u e n t was f a m i l i a r to the Doukhobors but more challenging to the values of other l o c a l people. So too was the idea that the l o c a l landscape's aesthetic value should be considered equal to i t s value as a source of raw materials for industry, or that eco l o g i c a l wholeness should be considered an appropriate objective for land-use p o l i c y , outside of human needs and desires. The main areas where the ideology of the new people has made s i g n i f i c a n t inroads i s on the watershed issue and p e s t i c i d e s - both environmentalism with a very tangible and pragmatic s l a n t . 1 8 4 There i s also the general sense that economics i s viewed i n a broader way than i t was previously. People i n the v a l l e y now recognize, for example, that culture and the arts are good for the v a l l e y ' s general economic prosperity, and that some form of low-impact tourism may r e l i e v e the area's dependency on Slocan Forest Products. In both of these cases, and on the broader issues of l o c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n decision-making and l o c a l control of the area's resources, the Regional D i s t r i c t of Central Kootenay has consist-ently supported the positions maintained by the new people. 149 The new s e t t l e r s advocated l o c a l control, the decentralization of decision-making power, and the t r a n s i t i o n to a more service-oriented economy. They have sought to bring resource extraction a c t i v i t y within the regenerative c a p a b i l i t i e s of the l o c a l ecosystem, maximize l o c a l benefits from l o c a l assets, and be responsible stewards of the land. Inevitably, these i n i t i a t i v e s have met strong resistance from established i n d u s t r i a l i n t e r e s t s and c e r t a i n government bureaucracies, and the l o c a l consensus necessary to overcome i t has not yet been created. Thus, perhaps the most s i g n i f i c a n t impacts of the newcomers i n the Slocan Valley have yet to be r e a l i z e d . Both the Community Forest Project's recommendations and the Watershed Al l i a n c e ' s Community Tree Farm Licence proposal, developed and promoted by the newcomers (in association with l o c a l people), have the p o t e n t i a l to transform the environmental, economic and p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n the v a l l e y , but have not yet been put into practice. In some cases the newcomers• message was obscured i n the beginning and made less acceptable by attitudes and b e l i e f s that were a b a r r i e r to understanding, and demonstrated l i t t l e considera-t i o n for the people already l i v i n g i n the v a l l e y . Frequently, the greatest c o n f l i c t came between the newcomers and the younger generation of l o c a l s - those raised on t e l e v i s i o n and mass culture and much more attached to the "American Dream" of monetary and material accumulation than t h e i r parents were. The oldtimers have moved very l i t t l e from the positions they held when the new people f i r s t arrived, and have proven to be r e s i s t a n t to change. 150 The newcomers have changed far more than the l o c a l people i n terms of t h e i r l i f e s t y l e , but both communities have s h i f t e d i n t h e i r willingness and a b i l i t i e s to l i s t e n and care about what each other i s saying. L i f e within the back-to-the-land community i n the early years r e f l e c t e d the ideals and b e l i e f s of the counterculture. With the passage of time, the demands of l i f e - getting along with Anglo and Doukhobor neighbours, achieving p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l objec-t i v e s , and r a i s i n g children and finding economic subsistence - led to compromises. So too did changes i n personal p r i o r i t i e s , such as came with the r e a l i z a t i o n that time was a more scarce commodity than money. The demands of l i f e i n t h i s v a l l e y - i t s f r a g i l e , u n d i f ferentiated economy t i e d to the vagaries of outside markets and vulnerable to government interference, i t s distance from markets, and i t s long, dark winters - have exacted a t o l l on peoples' early intentions, just as they did for the miners, orchardists, and Doukhobors before them. The ways they have found to cope and stay here often meant decisions which c o n f l i c t e d with tenets of the back-to-the-land ideology. As a r e s u l t , lifeways which were i n i t i a l l y strongly alternative began to converge towards the norms of the l o c a l society. The degree of t h i s convergence has varied between individuals, and generalizations are hard to make. It has come i n outward appearances - the cars they drive, the types of houses they l i v e i n , where t h e i r children go to school - but also where t h e i r money comes from. Many are integrated f u l l y into the business or bureaucratic economy, while Unemployment Insurance and welfare appear to remain a permanent source of income for many 151 v a l l e y residents, new and old a l i k e . In my interviews, many have expressed the opinion that while the i n i t i a l objectives of the counterculture remain valuable, they have yet to be r e a l i z e d . At the same time, many residents f e e l t h e i r l i f e s t y l e i s s t i l l an important and viable alternative to those which conventional society o f f e r s . They believe they l i v e i n a more e c o l o g i c a l l y -s e n s i t i v e manner, t h e i r personal and community r e l a t i o n s are deeper and stronger than those elsewhere, and they have at lea s t the choice of being s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t and independent from the system, even i f they presently choose to be otherwise. I t would seem that many of the o r i g i n a l aspects of the ideology are s t i l l important to those l i v i n g i n the valley, even i f they have not been able to l i v e up to them. Often, people invest a l l t h e i r energy for making change i n one or two s p e c i f i c areas, while leading otherwise "normal" l i v e s . Despite the apparent convergence, many people within the new community desire change. With t h i s , the f i g h t to determine the valley's destiny continues. Large-scale forces outside of l o c a l control have pushed the v a l l e y towards a bi f u r c a t i o n point, and i t s residents are currently engaged i n a batt l e over which v i s i o n w i l l dominate the val l e y ' s future. The old v i s i o n i s a fa m i l i a r one, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n B.C.: i t sees industry dominate the landscape i n every respect -v i s u a l l y , e c o l o g i c a l l y , s o c i a l l y , and economically. I f industry continues on i t s current trajectory, i t w i l l , within a decade, have exhausted the l o c a l timber supply, degraded the v i s u a l and ec o l o g i c a l i n t e g r i t y of the valley, and extinguished post-in-152 d u s t r i a l options - such as tourism, retirement communities, and information-based service and professional businesses - i n the process. The m i l l may close, or be forced to obtain i t s timber supply elsewhere. The highway that runs through the Slocan from north to south and now connects the scattered members of the va l l e y community, w i l l become increasingly but a conduit for chip trucks to Castlegar, ore trucks to the Cominco smelter i n T r a i l , or t o u r i s t s passing quickly through i n search of the very things that the Slocan Valley offers today. The c o n f l i c t i n the valley encapsulates the broader global picture. I f we can resolve i t i n the v a l l e y (which w i l l require an accommodation by the broader society) we can have a "window on the future". A l l the area's c o n f l i c t s , up to the Celgar expansion, have been examples of corporate v i a b i l i t y versus community s u s t a i n a b i l i t y . The people who are i n power w i l l have to change. Implications to p o l i t i c s Forward-looking Slocan Valley community members acting to protect and enhance the qua l i t y of l i f e i n the area have introduced a new p o l i t i c a l process. This process has evolved i n response to a d i f f e r e n t set of objectives and a d i f f e r e n t understanding of the p o l i c y environment than the model used by government and corpora-t i o n s . The intention of government po l i c y has been to enhance the province's p o s i t i o n i n the world market i n forest products, and the means to t h i s end i s ensuring the p r o f i t a b i l i t y of int e r n a t i o n a l f o r e s t corporations. On the other hand, the goal of the Community 153 Forest Management Project, the Slocan Valley Planning process, the V a l h a l l a Society, and the Watershed A l l i a n c e , has been to maintain the q u a l i t i e s which make the Slocan a good place to l i v e , while enhancing the long-term prospects for employment. Government and industry have limited time horizons; the l o c a l community i s , hopefully, a permanent f i x t u r e of the landscape. The government resource agencies and industry have tended to manage fo r one thing - wood f i b r e - and have been reluctant to acknowledge the value of other resources. The l o c a l people perceive a wide range of values i n the land - beauty, clean, abundant and r e l i a b l e water, recrea-t i o n opportunities, wilderness, and w i l d l i f e , as well as jobs and a monetary return to the community - and want these safeguarded as well. The r e s u l t , a r t i c u l a t e d i n the recommendations of the Community Forest Management Project and the Community Tree Farm Licence proposal of the Watershed All i a n c e , i s a p o l i t i c a l process for managing the l o c a l "household" that i s very d i f f e r e n t from the current regime. F i r s t l y , i t i s decentralized. Decision-making control over l o c a l resources would l i e with the l o c a l community which, through an elected board, could h i r e personnel to plan and manage the community's resources. The process i s consultative, i . e . , l o c a l residents would have input into the s e t t i n g of p o l i c y and management objectives; and responsible, since the elected committee would be accountable to the l o c a l community. I t o f f e r s continuity since i t would exist independently of the four-year time frame of p r o v i n c i a l elections. And i t i s co-ordinated - the interconnectedness of a l l aspects of the l o c a l environment would 154 be r e f l e c t e d i n the management process. S u s t a i n a b i l i t y i s the thrust of the new p o l i t i c a l agenda, but there must be r a d i c a l changes to public p o l i c y for i t to be imple-mented. The Ministry of Forests appears to see things only through the eyes of an international forest industry, and consequently, l o c a l p r i o r i t i e s and the unique aspects of the v a l l e y ' s environment are i n v i s i b l e to them, or appear remote to t h e i r concerns. Local people have a broader range of l o c a l knowledge and information, and a greater commitment to the place than professional managers operating from outside the area, and therefore have a greater concern about the r e s u l t s of i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y and a better grasp of the t o t a l implications of t h i s a c t i v i t y on t h e i r environment and personal welfare. While recognizing the v i t a l importance of a v i a b l e forest industry to the l o c a l economy, t h e i r concerns are not short-term nor focused exclusively on maximizing the monetary return from the resource, but rather i n managing and developing i t to the continuous benefit of a l l the v a l l e y ' s residents. This unique l o c a l perspective would seem to be the r i g h t approach for maintaining sustainable communities and mitigating the e f f e c t s of the uncertain and turbulent contemporary environment. The Slocan i s a microcosm of the planetary s i t u a t i o n . Over the past two decades, some progress towards another v i s i o n has been made, and the l o c a l system has changed subtly to become more vi a b l e . Yet, the fundamental organization remains the same. With the triumph of the i n d u s t r i a l view s t i l l a r e a l p o s s i b i l i t y , the establishment of a sustainable community remains i n jeopardy. This i s an allegory for the s i t u a t i o n facing the re s t of the world. 155 Implications to the Study to Geography This study i s an insider's chronicle of the new peoples' experiences i n the alternative community i n the Slocan. An adequate description of the events of the l a s t twenty years i n the area would be impossible without drawing on the insights and perceptions of those who precipitated and p a r t i c i p a t e d i n them. By using t h e i r words, both the texture of the v a l l e y and the nature of the new peoples' experience i s portrayed i n a manner that has meaning to the residents, and therefore should a u t h e n t i c a l l y inform the reader unfamiliar with the area or i t s people. Geographers, with t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l synthesis of the human and physical dimensions of the landscape, must recognize t h e i r p o t e n t i a l r o l e as agents of po s i t i v e change towards a new s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l order. The Slocan Valley, l i k e many other com-munities, i s a p o t e n t i a l l y sustainable region. However, i t s s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i s dependent upon the attitudes and values of the people, as well as the required s t r u c t u r a l changes to the system as a whole. Rural communities have t r a d i t i o n a l l y been the "front l i n e " i n humanity's assault on nature, yet i n the long term, the s u s t a i n a b i l i t y of t h e i r forests, a g r i c u l t u r a l lands, f i s h e r i e s , etc. , i s c r u c i a l to the well-being of the larger society. Consequently, e f f o r t s to create a sustainable society must begin by helping communities recognize and respect the carrying capacity of the land, and by empowering the people to be good stewards of that land. 156 Implications to the Future I began t h i s project as an exploration of the p o t e n t i a l value of what was happening i n the Slocan and other s i m i l a r places with the f e e l i n g that i t was an important and under-appreciated phenomenon. From my research i t i s concluded that the a l t e r n a t i v e ideology of the back-to-the-land movement o f f e r s no easy panacea, eithe r to indiv i d u a l s looking for a saner and hea l t h i e r way to l i v e t h e i r l i v e s or to s o c i e t i e s concerned about equity and sustain-a b i l i t y . Yet i t i s a d i r e c t i o n we might well consider as a strategy to deal with the planet's ongoing d e t e r i o r a t i o n under the i n d u s t r i a l / c a p i t a l i s t model. The counterculture v i s i o n describes a new paradigm; the study of the experience i n the Slocan gives a glimpse of i t s p o t e n t i a l and shows many of the obstacles to i t s emergence. Some of these obstacles are within the people themselves - p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s i n establishing dialogue with the pre-existing residents. Others have to do with the open system context within which they l i v e . I t i s clear, from the evidence as expressed i n t h e i r own words, that they are not masters of t h e i r own d e s t i n i e s . They control only a small f r a c t i o n of t h e i r area's land base and t h e i r input into decision-making processes which d i r e c t l y a f f e c t t h e i r l i v e s i s limited because of the s t r u c t u r a l frameworks of the broader p r o v i n c i a l economy and society. These kinds of obstacles must be overcome i f the values, goals and aspirations that these people represent are to be r e a l i z e d . 157 The new people - and some of the l o c a l people who have been informed or activated by t h e i r presence - i n the Slocan and i n other s i m i l a r places, have taken the f i r s t steps towards making t h i s v i s i o n a r e a l i t y . Through a common experience i n confronting the opportunities and lim i t a t i o n s of the place, and the experience of each other, they have seen what works, what does not, and what l i e s i n the way. Many of those who came are not yet themselves ready to l i v e i n the world they have envisioned. Those who hold the r e a l power over the destiny of the Slocan are not yet ready to acknowledge that t h e i r own worldview and modi operandi will not enable a sustainable community. But a process f o r change exis t s , and the weight of the global argument i s s h i f t i n g ever more i n i t s favour. I, l i k e many others, believe there i s promise f o r a new society i n the v i s i o n a r t i c u l a t e d by people l i k e Murray Bookchin: "We hope for a revolution which w i l l produce p o l i t i c a l l y independent communities whose boundaries and populations w i l l be defined by a new ecological consciousness; communities whose inhabitants w i l l determine for themselves within the framework of t h i s new consciousness the nature and l e v e l of t h e i r tech-nologies, the forms taken by t h e i r s o c i a l structures, world views, l i f e s t y l e s , expressive arts, and a l l the other aspects of t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s . " I believe there i s hope for a society of j u s t i c e , equity, ecologi-c a l s e n s i t i v i t y , personal r e a l i z a t i o n and f u l f i l m e n t , and com-munality: a society where a l l participants acknowledge the bonds of t h e i r humanity, and where, above a l l , they recognize the f r a g i l i t y of t h i s planet and vow to make t h e i r l i f e upon i t a Murray Bookchin, 1980, p. 45. 158 blessing for those to come. My immersion i n the l i f e of the v a l l e y i n the past 10 years, and the research that followed from i t , has given confidence that these overarching goals are possible - par-t i c u l a r l y where people remain intimately connected with place. 159 Bibliography Adachi, K. The Enemy that Never Was: A History of the Japanese  Candians. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1976. Appleton, F. "Where Have a l l the Communes Gone?" The Harrowsmith  Resourcebook. Camden, Ont: Camden House, 1979. Armytage, W.H.G. 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New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. 164 Young, D. et a l . America i n Perspective. Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n , 1986. 165 Appendix A Schedule of Interviews Much of the insight into the evolution of the Slocan Valley a l t e r n a t i v e community over the past twenty years has come from a ser i e s of semi-structured interviews with present and past residents of the area. To streamline the flow of text i n the preceeding chapters, the names, dates, and locations of the interviews referred to i n the text have been recorded i n t h i s Appendix. Interviewee Date of Interview Location of Interview Nancy Harris November 22 January 10, January 17, , 1986 1987 1987 Vancouver Linda Rae Grabler January 03, 1987 Winlaw E r i n Harris February 14 , 1987 Vancouver E r i c Clough February 18 February 20 , 1987 , 1987 Owen Sound, Ont. Carol Gaskin February 20 February 22 , 1987 , 1987 Owen Sound, Ont. Joel Harris February 20 , 1987 Owen Sound, Ont. Judy Maltz August 17, 1988 Si l v e r t o n John Herrmann August 19, 1988 H i l l s John Norris August 19, 1988 New Denver Burgid Schinke August 20, 1988 Si l v e r t o n Richard Burton/ Barbara Foreman August 20, 1988 Si l v e r t o n Colleen McRory August 21, 1988 New Denver Sam Tichenor August 2 2, 1988 Si l v e r t o n Danyele P e r n i t z k i August 2 2, 1988 Si l v e r t o n Colleen Bowman August 25, 1988 H i l l s 166 Jim Rutkowski August 25, 1988 Sil v e r t o n V i c k i A l l e n August 28, 1988 Silv e r t o n S a l l y Hammond August 28, 1988 Sil v e r t o n Corky Evans September 2, 1988 A p r i l 13, 1989 July 25, 1990 Winlaw (by telephone) TC Carpendale September 2, 1988 V a l l i c a n Pamela Stevenson/ Sandy Stevenson September 3, 1988 Appledale Ri t a Moir September 3, 1988 V a l l i c a n John Hodges September 5, 1988 Winlaw Fran Wallis September 7, 1988 South Slocan Ken Minchin September 8, 1988 Sil v e r t o n Sarah Wearmouth September 8, 1988 Sil v e r t o n David Orcutt A p r i l 30, 1989 January 25, 1990 Perry Siding Nelson Helga Copeland A p r i l 20, 1989 Slocan Herb Hammond A p r i l 17, 1989 November 30, 1989 V a l l i c a n Slocan Park J o e l Russ A p r i l 30, 1989 August 28, 1990 Perry Siding (By telephone) Marcia Braundy June 6, 1989 December 16, 1989 August 30, 1990 V a l l i c a n (By telephone) Ruby Truly August 10, 1989 December 20, 2989 New Denver Rosebery Bob Ploss December 15, 1989 Passmore S a l l y Lamare August 17, 1990 (By telephone) Larry Avis August 20, 1990 Nelson Dan Zarchikoff August 25, 1990 Nelson 167 In addition, I have excerpted personal quotations from the t r a n s c r i p t s of interviews conducted with Joel Russ and Lou Lynn, and Judy Maltz, by Linda Herrero i n the Slocan i n 1979. 168 Appendix B The Ideology of the Alternatives Movement The decline of the "hippie" aspects of the counterculture did not mean the end of the alternative c r i t i q u e or the new v i s i o n for society. During the 1970s, "there was a continuing search on the part of a large segment of the public for a more personally meaningful and s o c i a l l y responsible existence than that offered by 186 conventional af f l u e n t or corporate l i f e . " This search was fueled by a growing concern about the costs of uncontrolled economic and i n d u s t r i a l growth ( i . e . Meadows et a l , 1972) and the det e r i o r a t i o n of the environment. I t led i n many related d i r e c t i o n s : towards appropriate economics, p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , and the creation of new bases for human association and development. In the seminal work Small is Beautiful, E.F. Schumaker (1973) l a i d out the foundations for an e c o l o g i c a l l y - and s o c i a l l y -appropriate al t e r n a t i v e economics. In h i s analysis, people and t h e i r communities, and nature and i t s ecosystems were being destroyed by the same things - large-scale technology and corpora-t i o n s . What was needed was human-scaled i n s t i t u t i o n s and "appro-p r i a t e technology", which allowed a wider d i s t r i b u t i o n of economic power, minimized the impact of human a c t i v i t i e s on the environment, and did not r e l y on non-renewable resources. The "deep ecolo g i s t s " l i k e Murray Bookchin, and Arne Naess, saw the roots of the environmental c r i s i s i n the basic underlying attitudes of western publi c s . They spoke of the need for a r a d i c a l r e - o r i e n t a t i o n of Shi, 1985, p. 262. 169 personal values and b e l i e f s i n order to turn society i n a more life-enhancing d i r e c t i o n . Changing laws or increasing the regulation of industry was not enough; introspection and s e l f -analysis were needed to discover the root of the problem. To disseminate the new values necessary to change the world, Ivan I l l i c h and others advocated a revolution i n our approaches to education. Waldorf (Rudolf Steiner), Montessori, and other types of a l t e r n a t i v e schools became popular. One l i f e s t y l e response was the concept of "voluntary s i m p l i c i t y " (Johnson, 1978; E l g i n , 1981) stemming from a concern about the l i m i t s to growth, the rate of consumption of resources, and the s p i r i t u a l and physical costs of acquisitiveness and affluence. I t taught that "less i s more" -that we could be content to consume less i f our l i v e s were s a t i s f y i n g and meaningful i n other ways. In t h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l climate of personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and environmental awareness, a preferred p o l i t i c a l orientation emerged. In 1973, Roszak observed: "Almost without exception these experiments [of the altern a t i v e s movement] blend into the t r a d i t i o n of anarchist socialism....Their 187 p o l i t i c s runs to workers' control and community home r u l e . " In general, the i n t e l l e c t u a l developments of the al t e r n a t i v e movement were h o l i s t i c ; i . e . , they sought to see every aspect of l i f e i n the context of how i t related to every other aspect, and considered ecology and economics together, i n recognizance of t h e i r common root i n the "oikos" or household. This thinking was the d i r e c t precursor to the idea of "sustainable development" popular i n the 1980's ( i . e . , Brown, 1980, the Brundtland Commission report, 1987). T. Roszak, 1973, p. 288. 170 Most of the preceding movements have tended to support the argument for the back-to-the-land l i f e s t y l e , as i n t h i s observation by Ophuls (1977, p. 238): "Where the [new recognition of l i m i t s and the need f o r a steady state] seems to lead i s toward a decentralized p o l i t y of r e l a t i v e l y small, intimate, l o c a l l y autonomous and self-governing communities rooted i n the land (or other e c o l o g i c a l resources)." In addition, throughout the decade there was an ongoing cross-f e r t i l i z a t i o n between alternative thinkers i n these various f i e l d s , and the people l i v i n g on the land who were attempting to put the movement's ideals into practice. By the 1980s, the "alternatives movement" had become a sophisticated and comprehensive i d e o l o g i c a l and p r a c t i c a l response to the l i m i t a t i o n s of the dominant society. Salway (1975) i d e n t i f i e s i t s value orientations: • communitarian/co-operative/convivial • ecologic/minimalist/conservatory • egalitarian/non-authoritarian/non-hierarchical • oriented to personal, s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l growth and change • decentralist/community-controlled/self-helping/member-run/ grass roots • non-sexist/non-manipulative/non-exploitative/informed/ educated/activated 1 One of the clearest examples of t h i s marriage between theory and praxis i s bioregionalism: "Bioregionalism s p e c i f i c a l l y values the l o c a l and the regional, seeing the r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of l o c a l places, peoples and cultures as perhaps the only sure way of healing the planet. Fundamental to the bioregional outlook i s the idea of respecting natural boundaries over a r t i f i c i a l , human-imposed boundaries; learning to l i v e within the l i m i t s of the places we inhabit i n a sus-tainable manner, over time, learning to care for the land, not e x p l o i t it....Rooted i n ecology, the bioregional movement places emphasis upon a l l our relations - with the earth, with a l l other 1 D O Quoted i n Herrero, 1981, p. 29. 171 • • 189 life-forms, with each other." This i s the i n t e l l e c t u a l legacy of the alt e r n a t i v e s movement and i t has remained central to the l i v e s of many engaged i n the back-to-the-land experience. Each of the various strands of the al t e r n a t i v e ideology have had, at some point, advocates and prac-t i t i o n e r s among the community of new people i n the Slocan Valley and have consistently underlain t h e i r actions to a l t e r i t s destiny. Excerpted from "What i s Bioregionalism" - a b r i e f explana-t i o n of the aims and b e l i e f s of the movement - contained i n an app l i c a t i o n form for the t h i r d North American Bioregional Congress, held i n L i l l o o e t , B.C., August, 1988. 172 

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