Where I live – Cariboo Country (Big Lake, British Columbia, Canada)
Hewers of wood, miners of ore, and cattle ranchers are common here on the rough southern edge of the boreal forest. Cold artic air collides with warm breezes from the great basin making for much indecision on outdoor apparel. Old lodgepole pine cut in super sawmills become ingredients in mega-mansions in Arizona and mines work copper for IPODS in China. The country was raw and young in the 1970’s when economic refugees from northern India came to work in the sawmills and Newfoundlanders in the mines. Times change as mountain biking trails now follow old skid trails through Rocky Mountain Douglas-Fir forests. Lodgepole pine forests fade and die with warmer winters replaced by clear-cuts the size of Manhattan. The Chinese now have an appetite for our forests as demand from America wanes. A grizzly bear occasionally still hassles golfers on the golf course. Timber wolves use frozen lakes as highways in search of Mule Deer.
Newcomers bring different hopes and ideas. Germans find solace in the empty places and the primeval nature. Young families come in search of affordable housing and small community life. The land of my childhood with -40 Celsius winters is a memory replaced by first nations reclaiming their place in our community and economic life.
The tapestry of economies, ecologies, and communities are all in flux here and never predictable. I think the abundant loons on our countless lakes are right laughing at our expectations for stability and permanence.
Nathan Davis, Professional Forester
Big Lake, BC, Canada