Stewards of Splendour: A History of Wildlife and People in British Columbia

Jennifer Bonnell
Publisher: Royal BC Museum Publications


Book Description

From concern over dwindling orca populations to debates over the effects of hunting, resource extraction, roads and infrastructure, the subject of wildlife both unites and deeply divides British Columbians.

Spanning the deep history of human relationships with wildlife, from pre-contact Indigenous land stewardship to the present day, Stewards of Splendour explores the ways that scientists, Indigenous leaders, hunter-conservationists and naturalists have contributed to and contested wildlife management practices in British Columbia.

Drawing upon historical and scientific literature and over 80 interviews, the book examines the effects of rising scientific understanding and public appreciation for the province’s fish and wildlife and the gradual reclamation of land and management authority by First Nations.

As it has in the past, Canada’s western-most province, with its astonishing biodiversity and unusually high proportion of public land, continues to carry the greatest opportunities for wildlife conservation and to risk the greatest losses.

Author Bio

Jennifer Bonnell is a historian of people’s changing relationships with land, water, and wildlife in Canada. She grew up on Vancouver Island and spent several summers conducting field research on coastal forest hawks before returning to graduate school to explore her interests in environmental history. Jennifer is the author of Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and co-editor of two collections of essays in environmental history. She teaches Canadian environmental history at York University in Toronto.