23 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2017
    1. The native peoples and their land were, and to some extent continue to be, under siege.

      Here Berger is making a reference to the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada and how they have been affected through the degradation of nature around them. The history of white people bringing disease and other hardships to indigenous people is a well documented one. But the less talked about part is how modern technologies affect on the environment has affected them. Andrew Stuhl writes, "the number of reindeer in Barrow- the largest town in the region with a population of 1,200 Inuit- had dropped from an estimated 35,000 in 1935 to 5,000 in 1940." This dramatic decrease in reindeer population had a lasting effect on the Inuit population as they eventually had to negotiate with the Canadian government to get reindeer herds as a means of subsistence. As technology advanced, over fishing and whaling practices in the 1980s and 1990s drove some species of fish to near extirpation from the Arctic. Furthermore climate change is having a profound effect on indigenous populations in the more recent past. The raise of temperature is creating less sea ice and making the migrating patterns of whales and caribou less predictable. This causes it to be more difficult for Inuit hunters to track and capture their food. All of these things put together shows how white people's affect on the environment has made life harder for the indigenous populations of the Arctic. Ford, James D.1, james.ford@mcgill.ca. "Indigenous Health and Climate Change." American Journal Of Public Health 102, no. 7 (July 2012): 1260-1266. Social Sciences Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed May 8, 2017). Stuhl, Andrew. Unfreezing the Arctic science, colonialism, and the transformation of Inuit lands. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

    2. consuming use

      Berger uses the term "non consuming use" to define activities in the wilderness that do not have a lasting impact on nature. He talks about how these non consuming acts are practiced by the Native People and some recreational activities. He contrasts this with the idea that commercial industry exploits the wilderness in a way that permanently affects it. An interesting example to look at here is commercial hunting and fishing practices in the North compared to recreational and indigenous ones. Commercial hunting and fishing operations does not have a decorated history in the Arctic. Whaling practices have led to the collapse of the North Atlantic Right whale which was at one point considered to be the most abundant species in the Arctic. As of today "it is arguably the most threatened large cetacean in the Atlantic Ocean, if not the world, with an estimated minimum population size of 313 animals." This dramatic decrease in population is not only seen in whales but also in many common fish species in the area as well. In 1992 there was a moratorium put on cod fishing in Canada because the population was so over harvested that there was only a few schools left in the ocean. Both of these situation brought a lot of economic hard ship to fishing regions in Canada that relied on these populations for work. The irony in this situation comes from how the large scale fishing operations caused a ban for indigenous populations too even for their comparatively miniscule action.

      Parsons, E.C.M., J. Patrick Rice, and Laleh Sadeghi. "Awareness of whale conservation status and whaling policy in the US--a preliminary study on American Youth." Anthrozoos 23, no. 2 (2010): 119+. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 8, 2017).

    3. National Parks Act

      In this section, Berger talks about how he believes that there should be an amendment to allow for the creation of wilderness parks. The Berger Inquiry was first published in 1977 and by "1988 amendments also enabled the Governor in Council to give legal recognition to wilderness zones within parks, heightening the level of protection on these lands by prohibiting any activities that are 'likely to impair the wilderness character of the area." The National Parks Act has been an evolving document and has changed throughout its history. The first national park in Canada was established in 1885 which was Banff National Park but the National Parks Act was not passed until 1930. This act allowed for Canadian Parliament to create designated areas as national parks where industrial development and activities like hunting would be restricted. As of 2000 there was over 68,327,742 hectares of land designated as a national parks which is about 6.84 of the land in Canada. While this is a good percentage, there has been a push to add more national parks in different areas of the country. There was a proposal to add over 15,000 square kilometers and establish five new regions to the national marine conservation areas. In general, Canadians care about their national parks and "this significance has been reflected in the additions to the amount of area protected and changes to legislation and policy over the last decade." Dearden, Philip, and Jessica Dempsey. "Protected areas in Canada: decade of change." Canadian Geographer 48, no. 2 (July 20, 2004): 225-239. Social Sciences Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed May 8, 2017).

    4. superabundance of land and resources gave rise to a conviction that the continent’s resources were inexhaustible

      This idea has been an overarching theme in western society for the last half century but the roots of this problem goes back further than that. Since the industrial revolution, Americans have developed the reputation as the most wasteful people and rightfully so. Berger refers to the early days of frontier settlement in North America where there was flagrant misuse of natural resources. It is easy to think of examples of this but one that stands out above the rest was the extermination of the American Buffalo in the Great Plains. Ranchers and hunters were just killing these animals and leaving the corpses out in the fields. Other examples of this is the different mining practices that were used throughout North America. This includes surface mining which is a very intrusive process that leaves the entire area barren and destroyed. In many areas, "because of [surface] mining, the environment has been very bad, and destroyed the balance of the ecology, the stability of the water level and the water quality around the mine for long term." Fortunately, there has been a much stronger movement through sustainable practices within the new generation. Earth Day was created in 1970 to bring awareness to the environment and conservation efforts. In Vancouver, there is a yearly march and celebration led by high school students to help raise awareness of issues facing our planet like climate change and pollution. One student says "without this Earth, without the stuff it provides for us, and if we don't do something about it, it's going to be too late in the future." "Vancouver youth help raise awareness about climate change." Xinhua News Agency, April 27, 2015. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 8, 2017).

      Yi, Pan, Liu Yang, Yang Min, WangLinyan, Yang Shuangchun, and Zhang Jinhui. "The environmental impact assessments of oil shale in in-situ mining and surface mining." International Journal of Applied Environmental Sciences 7, no. 4 (2012): 403+. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 8, 2017).

    5. Sigurd F. Olson

      Sigurd Olson was a writer in the 20th century who focused on nature and how humans interact with nature. Olson grew up in Minnesota and lived there most of his life where he found his love of nature by traveling to different parts of the state. Olson played a big role in drafting the Wilderness Act of 1964 passed. He was responsible for establishing a few national parks including Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota, Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and Point Reyes National Seashore in California. Olson also held the position of President of the Wilderness Society and National Parks Association at different times in his life. With all of the work he did, Olson was a well known figure in the conservationist and environmentalist field. Olson wrote many books about the wilderness of different places he traveled and many of them focused on places in the northern states of the US. Olson had a simplistic view of nature as he felt "the wilderness offers simplicity and brings people closer to nature. It is also a place where a person can find a renewed sense of identity." Olson's legacy is continued by his preservation work and the many places he was able to establish wilderness protection laws. In 1978 Olson was able to get full wilderness status granted to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area which was the area he grew up near.

      "Sigurd Olson, a Writer And Environmentalist." The New York Times. January 14, 1982. Accessed May 07, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/1982/01/15/obituaries/sigurd-olson-a-writer-and-environmentalist.html. Nelson, Michael. "Wilderness." In Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, edited by J. Callicott and Robert Frodeman, 402-405. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2009. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 7, 2017).

    6. Trans-Mountain oil pipeline

      This is a very controversial oil pipeline that runs from Edmonton to Vancouver. This pipeline was built in the 1950s by Kinder Morgan in order to bring oil from Alberta to British Columbia when large oil deposits were discovered. This pipeline had a lot of political drive behind not only from the Canadian government but also the United States who wanted easier oil access on the west coast. The United States was in the middle of the Korean War and wanted to have more secure oil contact. The pipeline had a lot of resistance from other environmentalist groups because it ran through areas that would later be named national parks. However today, there is another pipeline that is being proposed by Kinder Morgan that runs almost parallel to the pre-existing one. The intent of the new pipeline is to bring more oil to the west coast of Canada in order to keep up with the growing oil market in Asia. The new pipeline was approved by British Columbia in January 2017 but the decision immediately faced resistance from the public. Many people are skeptical of a new pipeline because of Kinder Morgan's track record with spills in the past. A journalists from Vancouver writes "British Columbians will continue to fight this decision in the courts and on the streets well past next spring's election." This pipeline is a good example compared to the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline that is in a similar situation right now. There has been a new pipeline proposed there as well that is supported by the oil companies but many citizens and environmental groups are resisting it. "British Columbia nod to pipeline expansion." Oil & Gas News, January 16, 2017. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 7, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T004&docId=A477938750&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0. "Kinder Morgan - EHS - Pipeline Safety." HOUWWWP1. Accessed May 07, 2017. http://www.kindermorgan.com/pages/ehs/pipeline_safety/default.aspx.

    7. Jasper National Park

      Jasper National Park is a Canada's largest national park in the Rocky Mountains. Berger references how this national park was not intended to be one when it was first created and this is true. The region was at first a trading post for the North West Company and became an established park in 1907. Jasper National Park is well known for its wildlife and mountainous terrain. There is a diverse ecosystem there with animals such as moose, beavers, bears, and caribou. Berger talks about how a pipeline travelling through the park would be a dangerous situation for the environment and the creatures living there as well. This is a reasonable concern and since then there has been other efforts to stop development in the area. In 2014, the Canadian government stopped logging in an area just north of Jasper National Park in order to protect the caribou populations. This has been a massive problem in this region of southern Canada as "all 15 of Alberta's caribou herds have been shrinking rapidly, mostly due to habitat destruction by energy and forestry development." Berger is right when he claims that added infrastructure would disturb the wildlife. Not only does it impact the animals but it affects the natural pristine state of nature. Jasper National Park is a big attraction for ecotourism in the area and a large gas pipeline would definitely affect the natural beauty. "Environmentalists praise logging ban to help caribou." Globe & Mail [Toronto, Canada], August 13, 2013, A5. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 7, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T004&docId=CJ339457927&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0. Aldwin Galapon, JA Media Solutions, April 2009, www.jamediasolutions.com. "Mammals of the Mt. Robson Area." Jasper National Park Alberta - Jasper travel, tours and hotels. April 16, 2009. Accessed May 07, 2017. http://www.jaspernationalpark.com/wildrob.html#.

    8. wilderness

      Wilderness is a very vague term that get used a lot in this chapter. Berger uses the definition which is “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” This definition covers the technical and legal definition of wilderness, but wilderness has many meanings that has changed over time. Before modern technology, the wilderness was a place that was dangerous and unforgiving. Because of this perception of the wild, there was a sense of masculinity to travelling in the through it. Even today this idea manifests in pop culture as shows such a Man vs Wild are still popular that focus on humans overcoming the elements in the wilderness. However, wilderness has a even deeper meaning than that. There has been a spiritual element to the wilderness that has been integral to North American society for centuries. From the Pilgrims to Thomas Cole to Thoreau to John Muir to Bob Marshall to Aldo Leopold, the spiritual aspect of the wild led these men on philosophical movements. John Nagle argues "the spiritual benefit which people receive from a stay in the wilderness is not a tangible item, but it must be an important consideration in legislation of America is truly dedicated to a somewhat idealistic sense of values." This notion has been seen throughout history as there was a clear sense of spirituality recognized when the Wilderness Act of 1964 was passed. Nagle, John Copeland. "The spiritual values of wilderness." Environmental Law, Fall 2005, p. 955+. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources, find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T002&docId=A141802024&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0. Accessed 6 May 2017.

    9. Alberta-British Columbia

      Alberta-British Columbia is a region in south western Canada. This region is where the proposed pipeline would be travelling through to get to the lower parts of Canada and Vancouver as well as the United States. This region is home to foothill forests which are very interesting ecosystem that is only found at this latitude. The foothill forests border the Canadian taiga forests from the north and the temperate forests from the south. This combination makes the foothill forests a very unique community which is known as an ecotone because it works as a buffer in between two other ecosystems. This ecosystem is home to a variety of fauna such as moose, reindeers, snowshoe hares, and beavers. This area is home to the most abundant moose populations in the world. Forests have become increasingly vulnerable to mortality due to the direct and indirect effects of climate change and human activity. "In Western Canada, recent increases in the frequency and severity of natural disturbances in forests, such as wildfires, pest outbreaks, and droughts, have been attributed to a changing climate" Like many other ecosystems in the north, the foothill forests are facing major problems due to climate change. Moose populations are dropping due to new diseases that are prevalent because of the warmer year round temperatures. This phenomenon is being experienced all over the northern part of the United States and southern Canada.

      Hajjar, Reem, and Robert A. Kozak. "Exploring public perceptions of forest adaptation strategies in Western Canada: Implications for policy-makers." Forest Policy and Economics 61 (2015): 59+. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 6, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T002&docId=A437244896&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0.

    10. rare and endangered species

      Similar to the United States, Canada has the Species as Risk act. This act is was published in 2002 and is intended to protect any species that is being threatened in Canada. Many of the species on the list are endangered due to human activity in the area. In February 2017, "Eighteen species were recently added or reclassified under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act because of threats to their recovery and survival, including habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation; changes to land use and human activity; climate change (variability, unpredictability, severe storms); and invasive species." Many of these species are different types of birds found in Western Canada. The recent increase of human activity in western Canada has led to a lot of habitat loss for these birds as humans continue to cut down forests and pollute the area. However, not just birds are being threatened in Canada. The Collared Pika was recently added to the Species at Risk Act. The collared pika is a small mammal similar to a rabbit that has being endangered due to habitat loss. The situation with the collared pika is an important one because the Canadian distribution takes up about half of its global range. The pika is a good example of what Berger is referring to about species that do not need wilderness habitat but are being pushed to extinction by humans. Canada overall has their hands full with conserving the biodiversity in the country with all of the invasive oil techniques that are being applied. "Canada : Amendments involving 18 species under the Species at Risk Act." Mena Report, February 28, 2017. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 6, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T004&docId=A483932721&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0.

    11. Wallace Stegner

      Wallace Stegner in an American author, environmentalist, and historian who grew up in the western part of the country where most of his writing was focused. He wrote about his life moving around the western states and growing up with nature having an important role in his life. Berger is quoting from Stegner's Wilderness Letter that he wrote in 1960. This quote is a good reflection of what Stegner's message was. Even though Stegner was a writer, he was an avid conservationist that was vocal with his beliefs. Once place Stegner lived was in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended the University of Utah there and received his B.A. in 1930. Stegner continued his academics at the University of Iowa where he got his doctorate in 1935. Stegner went on to write Pulitzer Prize winning Angel of Repose in 1971 and National Book award winning the The Spectator Bird in 1976. Stegner's legacy as a writer and a conservationist can be seen throughout the places he lived. At the University of Utah the Wallace Stegner Prize in Environmental or American Western History was established in 2010. This award shows the lasting impact of Stegner's life on the subject. Stegner writes "Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed." Stegner is one of the fathers of the conservation effort of the wilderness in the United States and it is appropriate that Berger quotes him here. Stegner, Wallace. "Earth words." Mother Earth News, August-September 2004, 128. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 6, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T003&docId=A119782042&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0.

    12. 1964 of the Wilderness Act

      In this context, Berger is using the Wilderness Act to reference how wilderness is defined. This is a very famous definition for the eloquent way the wilderness is described. "A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” After many drafts and eight years of work the Wilderness Act was signed in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Since the passage of this act there has been much debate about what land is "wilderness" and what should be done with this land. The main reason for the act is to protect these lands from development and industrialization. But another part of the reason was to increase recreational use of this land such as hiking, canoeing and fishing. "Over the decades an obvious contradiction has emerged between preservation and access." The National Forest Service is reluctant to put up signs and other infrastructure in these areas because it goes against the foremost goal of this act. Unfortunately, this is causing safety concerns for recreationists. Overall the Wilderness Act has made over 170,000 square miles into "wilderness" and has protect this land for the last half century. Gourlie, Don. "The Wilderness Act at 50." Environmental Law, Spring 2014, 285+. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 6, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T002&docId=A375290680&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0.

    13. Sequoia National Park

      Sequoia National Park is a large land reserve in southern California which is home to the Sequoia National Forest. This forest is home to five out of the ten largest trees in the world and contains the single largest tree known as the General Sherman Tree. General Sherman stands at a whopping 275ft and a 14ft diameter at the middle of the tree. Sequoia National Park was founded in 1890 and was part of the initial effort to create more national parks to conserve the different habitats and ecosystems in the United States. The mission of the national parks was to bring awareness of the beauty of our environment. National parks were created to have designated areas that were set aside for humans to enjoy in a natural state. This concept still holds true today in parks as research shows "that this wilderness, in contrast to where most visitors live, is highly valued for clean air and water, natural sounds, low density of people, lack of motorized noise, and where evidence of human influence is relatively unnoticeable." Sequoia and other national parks around it are a large source of eco-tourism in the area. Eco-tourism is becoming a more prevalent force in the world today and some countries such as Costa Rica have much of their entire economy built on it.

      Watson A, Martin S, Christensen N, Fauth G, Williams D. The Relationship Between Perceptions of Wilderness Character and Attitudes Toward Management Intervention to Adapt Biophysical Resources to a Changing Climate and Nature Restoration at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Environmental Management [serial online]. Septe](http://insert-your-link-here.com))mber 2015;56(3):653-663. Available from: GreenFILE, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 25, 2017.

    14. Alexis de Tocqueville

      Alexis de Tocqueville is a French politician and historian that is best known for his work, "Democracy in America". Tocqueville wrote this piece with two volumes in 1835 and 1840 after visiting the United States. He traveled around the country making observations on American society compared to his European standard. His work focused on the many aspects of US government and policy ranging from manifest destiny to slavery. A major part of de Tocqueville's work was his study of the different races and how they interact. He drew the picture of America "where three typical characters predominate: the black who suffer in slavery, the Indian who is free in idleness, and the white American who is at work and at work. Profit." Tocqueville focused on other parts of American society as well that Berger references at this part. Here, Berger is quoting a section about how American's drive for expansion led to the destruction of the environment which. Tocqueville was a revolutionary with this observation as he was one of the first people to document the devastation that industrialization can bring to the natural world. Over the next decades this idea would be adopted by many including Theodore Roosevelt and lead to the creation of National Parks across the United States. Berger is using this quote because this idea is still extremely prevalent in the conservation effort today. Berger concedes that expansion of technology and industrialization is inevitable but that sometimes the cost of this advancements is not worth the punishment to the environment. Tocqueville's observations are still major issue in developing countries where massive industrialization is just beginning.

      Denys Delâge and Catherine Desbarats and Jean-Philippe Warren. "Alexis de Tocqueville in" wild "country." The Tocqueville Review / La revue Tocqueville 36, no. 2 (2015): 175-204. Https://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed April 17, 2017).

  2. Apr 2017
    1. frontier

      The frontier has for a long time been an essential part of the identity of North America. In the United States, after the French and Indian Wars, people rapidly began to move out West on the "frontier" to create better lives for themselves. They saw the frontier as a land of great opportunity. Especially in America, there was so much fertile land that people would be able to move out westward and own massive areas of land to start agriculture on. But the frontier has also had many different motifs in the development of North America. The frontier was a very difficult place to live. Before the French and Indian Wars, white people on the frontier would constantly be harassed or even killed by Native Americans protecting their land. The frontier was also miles away from any substantial civilization so families were pretty much all on their own out there. It was seen as an area of grit and masculinity. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner talks about how the frontier was crucial to the development of American culture. He says that, "this perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, furnish the forces dominating American character." While here I focus on the expansion westward, the "frontier" extended both northward and southward. When people began to move to westward and northward into Canada, it had already been done before in America. This led to pre-legislation and treaties with the indigenous people that allowed for easier transitions and avoid creating another "Wild West".

      Turner, Frederick Jackson. The frontier in American history. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1935.

    2. Yellowstone National Park

      Yellowstone National Park is a large land reserve in the American west that extends into Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Yellowstone is very well known for its incredible geology and wildlife. Yellowstone National Park is built on top of a ancient super volcano that causes interesting geological phenomena like geysers and hot springs. Furthermore, Yellowstone has very diverse wildlife that ranges from wolves to American bison to elk populations. Yellowstone was the first ever National Park in the world as it was established in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. The original initiative for national parks came from the idea for people to leave areas of great natural beauty to be left alone and enjoyed by everyone. Though the first national park, the development of Yellowstone stared a theme of conservation and preservation that spread throughout the country. Even to this day, Yellowstone stands as a prime example of environmental preservation because of their ever expanding American Bison population as well as wolf populations. This can be seen even as early as last year as the Obama administration placed a ban on mining in an area near Yellowstone saying, "Today's action helps ensure that Yellowstone's watershed, wildlife and the tourism-based economy of local communities will not be threatened by the impact of mineral development."

      Dennis, Brady. "Obama administration moves to block mining near Yellowstone." Washington Post, November 21, 2016. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed April 10, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T004&docId=CJ470939393&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0

    3. dust-bowl

      The dust bowl is a geographic region in the United States centralized in the panhandle of Oklahoma and northern part of Texas that extends to surrounding states like Kansas and New Mexico. The dust bowl is infamous for experiencing a severe drought for almost a decade in the 1930's. In addition to the drought, decades of poor farming practices led the top soil to be overused and low in nutrients. Because of these compounding problems, crops were not able to be grown in this region which forced tens of thousands of farming families to move away. The drought in the dust bowl could not have come at a worse time as it occurred during the Great Depression. With an already struggling economy, food supplies were severely reduced nationwide leading to even more struggle. "This convergence of geophysical and anthropogenic factors conspired to create what is arguably the most severe long-term human ecological crisis the USA has seen.” An iconic part of the dust bowl were the intense dust storms that were experienced because of the loose top soil and high power winds. These storms were know as black blizzards as they covered the sky in dust and blackened everything. These dust storms reached all the way to areas of the East coast.

      Porter, Jess. 2014. "What was the Dust Bowl? Assessing contemporary popular knowledge." Population & Environment 35, no. 4: 391-416. GreenFILE, EBSCOhost (accessed April 10, 2017).

    4. The buffalo herds, estimated to number about 75 million, were reduced in only a few decades to a few hundred survivors

      American buffalo also known as bison were at one point the thought to be the most abundant mammal living in North America. They have been reported to grow up to 6 feet tall and weigh over 2000 pounds. Buffalo, in the wild, are indigenous to the Great Plains region of North America but lived all throughout the continent all the way into Canada and Alaska. This massive animals played an essential role in for many Native American populations throughout history. In the 19th centuries mass hunting of these animals began with the use of horses and rifles. Before this hunting it was reported that one would be able to see entire parries filled with millions of these animals. Over the course of the century, reckless hunting of bison led to a massive collapse of their population. There was many different reasons for their hunting ranging from sport hunting, to killing them to hurt the Native American populations that heavily relied upon them. The American Buffalo has become a symbol of conservation and there has been an ongoing effort to try and rebuild their populations. Recently they were named as the official mammal of the United States as "the bison is North Americas largest land animal the embodiment of American strength, resilience and the nations pioneer spirit.” Many national parks including Yellowstone have protected bison populations that have been steadily growing over the last decades.

      "American bison designated national mammal of U.S." St Louis Post-Dispatch [MO], November 24, 2016, A17. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed April 10, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T004&docId=CJ471488256&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0..

    5. transportation networks were evolved

      In this sentence, Berger refers to how transport and industrial activity expanded heavily over this time period when many Americans were moving out west. This is a massive part of North American history because of the opportunities it opened up for rich and poor people alike. The first railroads in North America were established in the 1820's and quickly altered the face of life on the continent. The rapid expansion of the railroad industry led to the development of other industries like oil and steel. For a time in the 19th century these were the largest economic factors in the United States and whoever controlled these essentially controlled the country. However, Berger here is referring to the opportunities that railroads opened up for expansion across the west and north. The incredible development of railroads made travel to the west coast of America much easier than it ever was before. This changed the idea of the "frontier" in many people's mind. Because travel was much easier, the idea of the west in North America being a rustic and dangerous environment changed overtime and culminated in western economic opportunities like the Gold Rush. "Gold discoveries in the Far West preceded the gold rush of 1849 and encouraged migration from eastern cities." As western movement became more and more popular, the idea of a pristine, wild, and natural American west began to fade. The idea of a getting rich quick from the California Gold Rush was translated to the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon of Canada in 1896. This had similar affects on how people viewed the Northwest region of Canada and its wilderness.

      "Railroad Promotion and Economic Expansion at Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1857-1869." Annals Of Iowa 42, no. 5 (Summer1974 1974): 371-389. America: History and Life with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed April 6, 2017).

  3. Mar 2017
    1. Metis

      The Metis are a group of aboriginal people in Canada who trace their descendants back to the First Nations and European settlers. In the early part of European expansion into Canada the Metis were a tribe of aboriginal people that lived in the North Western part of Canada. The Metis people today are an interesting group because most of them are not direct result of intermarriage between European and First Nations people. The Metis primarily live in the Western Part of Canada and today there are about 500,000 people considered part of the Metis community. They represent about a third of the aboriginal people in Canada today. However, because of assimilation of Metis into European Canadian populations, many people can trace their ancestry back to some aboriginal past. Much of this interaction occurred in the mid 20th century with the fur trade as many European Canadians interacted with Metis tribes. Because of this, today it is hard to define someone who has a clear legal or moral ability to call themselves Metis because of the extensive assimilation into the Euro-Canadian culture. Unfortunately, "a universal consequence of the meetings of people is the rise of a mixed population whose social status is ambiguous..." This is partially true for the Metis today because there it is hard for the Canadian government to discern what people are Metis. When Berger refers to the Metis in this report he is most likely talking about a tribe of aboriginal people who identify themselves as Metis.

      Berry, B. (1968), GENERAL AND ETHNOLOGY: Metis of the Mackenzie District. Richard Slobodin. American Anthropologist, 70: 373–374. doi:10.1525/aa.1968.70.2.02a00330

    2. Mackenzie Delta


      The Mackenzie Delta is a geographic region in the Northwest region of Canada that was formed by the Mackenzie River. It is an outlet into the Arctic Ocean and is one of the largest and intact ecosystems in North America. The Mackenzie Delta is a sparsely populated area with most of its population coming from the indigenous people living in the northern part. During the Berger report, the Mackenzie Delta was a very important region because the pipeline proposed went right through it. There was many concerns involving the ecosystem of the Mackenzie Delta region and the addition of a new pipeline. The building of the pipeline and the potential for a massive oil spill were two things that people thought could have lasting negative impacts on the pristine environment. On top of these concerns, the native people living in the area were against the pipeline because of the lasting affects it could have on their lives and culture. Interestingly enough, the Mackenzie Delta region is facing the same questions that it did when the Berger Report was written. A new pipeline has been proposed in the area and has been cleared to be built. However today, "aboriginal stakeholders and other stakeholders in the North strongly support oil and gas activities, But only if they are confident that communities will benefit and negative impacts will be limited."

      Voutier, K., Dixit, B., Millman, P., Reid, J., & Sparkes, A. (2008). Sustainable energy development in canada's mackenzie delta-beaufort sea coastal region. Arctic, 61 , 103-110. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/197733071?accountid=9784

    3. economic religion of our time
      When Berger refers to the "economic religion of our time" he is talking about the problem of consumption that we have. Most of the industrial revolution was driven on the back of the need for consumption. This incessant need for better and newer goods causes countless problems in today's world from  economic collapses to environmental destruction. It is this need for consumption and expansion that caused many of the issues in the Arctic. Oil and gas companies looking for new places to drill caused massive environmental destruction in the region. Not to say that the Inuit people do not enjoy the luxury of modern goods, but it has been seen, like in many indigenous people, that they do not have the same need for these items. In the Inuit culture they believe that living off the land and avoiding modern day luxuries is an important part of self-growth. They believe that "living off the land creates intelligent and moral persons. Individuals develop isuma (reason, capacity to think) through facing the elements of sea, snow, ice, and wind." This philosophy can be seen throughout many indigenous people all around the world. This Inuit in particular believe that excess consumption leads to people being soft and further removed from the historic Inuit culture. This is definitely a legitimate position for them because so many problems have been caused in their societies from the need for consumption of "white people".  The economic religion of our time is one with dramatic consequences and tremendous benefits as well. No one can deny that this need for consumption has driven our society to many great discoveries and inventions that have made life better. But it has definitely come at the cost of certain populations.  

      Edmund (Ned) Searles (2010): Placing Identity: Town, Land, and Authenticity in Nunavut, Canada, Acta Borealia, 27:2, 151-166

    4. The native people have had some hard things to say about the government, about the oil and gas industry and about the white man and his institutions.

      It is no secret that there was a lot of tension between the oil and gas company and the indigenous people of Canada and Alaska. In the 1950's and 1960's there was extensive drilling in areas of Alaska and Canada. Almost all of these decisions were made without consulting with the native people living in these areas. The drilling and exploration of the oil and gas fields had severe impacts on the ecosystem in the region. These impacts included the destruction of habitats from marine and terrestrial wildlife. This created many problems for the Native people who relied on hunting and fishing for a living. The Native people felt slighted by the actions of the oil and gas companies who refused to recognize their claims to the areas. Much of this problem was related to the fact that the Canadian and American governments also did not recognize them as people with claims to the land. The "Inuit in Canada faced a federal government that developed some powers-- in this case, to the territorial rather than the state government-- but nevertheless disregarded Aboriginal rights in the pursuit of Northern development." This stance from the government without a doubt led to the same dismissive attitude from the big oil and gas companies. Eventually, in the 1960's the native groups began to take steps in getting themselves recognized by the government and oil industry. It was through the help of environmental agencies that the native people started to be known. Many environmental agencies made it clear that activities in the Arctic such as oil drilling is extremely detrimental to the ecosystem and that it should not be continued. Many native groups piggy-backed on this stance and made themselves heard on the topic. Through this act both the oil industry and government began to recognize them as a legitimate body.

      Stuhl, Andrew. Unfreezing the Arctic. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.