Nature’s nations: the shared conservation history of Canada and the USA

Sandlos, John (2013) Nature’s nations: the shared conservation history of Canada and the USA. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 70 (3). pp. 358-371. ISSN 1029-0400

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Historians often study the history of conservation within the confines of national borders, concentrating on the bureaucratic and political manifestations of policy within individual governments. Even studies of the popular expression of conservationist ideas are generally limited to the national or sub-national (province, state, etc.) scale. This paper suggests that conservationist discourse, policy and practice in Canada and the USA were the products of a significant cross-border movement of ideas and initiatives derived from common European sources. In addition, the historical development of common approaches to conservation in North America suggests, contrary to common assumptions, that Canada did not always lag behind the USA in terms of policy innovation. The basic tenets of conservation (i.e. state control over resource, class-based disdain for subsistence hunters and utilitarian approaches to resource management) have instead developed at similar time periods and along parallel ideological paths in Canada and the USA.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 12361
Keywords: Conservation, Canada, USA, North America, History, Policy
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 28 May 2013
Date Type: Publication
Geographic Location: Canada, United States
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