Talk and Log

Wilderness Politics in British Columbia

By (author) Jeremy Wilson
Categories: Environmental management, The environment, Earth Sciences, Geography, Environment, Planning
Publisher: UBC Press
Hardcover : 9780774806688, 482 pages, July 1998

Table of contents

Tables and Maps



1. Perspectives on the Policy Process: Puzzling,
‘Powering,’ and the Constraining Importance of the Policy

2. The BC Forest Industry

3. The BC Wilderness Movement

4. Government Institutions and the Policy System

5. ‘You Have to Break a Few Eggs’: Environmentalism
Challenges the Resource Development Juggernaut of the 1960s

6. The Ragamuffins and the Crown Jewels: Bob Williams Confronts the
Forest Policy Orthodoxy

7. The Delegitimation of Social Credit Forest Policy, 1976-91

8. Containing the Wilderness Movement, 1976-85

9. ‘Have a Good Day, and Try Not To Damage the Grass’:
Wars in the Woods, 1986-91

10. The Shifting Discourse of Wilderness Politics, 1986-91

11. The Rise of the Cappuccino Suckers

12. Sausage Making in the 1990s: Forest Practices and Allowable Cuts
under the NDP Conclusion



Glossary of Acronyms

Select Bibliography



For more than three decades, British Columbia’s old growth forests
have been a major source of political conflict. In Talk and
Log, Jeremy Wilson presents a comprehensive account of the rise of
the wilderness movement, examines the forest industry’s political
strategies, and analyzes the inner workings of the policy process. He
illuminates the forces behind controveries that have divided British
Columbians, preoccupied the provincial government, and drawn the
attention of people across Canada and the world. By discussing the
patterns and trends underlying the past three decades of wilderness
politics, Wilson identifies the currents likely to dominate B. C.
wilderness debates in decades to come.


  • Short-listed, Donner Prize, Donner Foundation 1998


A comprehensive and readable history of the rise of the wilderness movement in BC, the counterattacks by industry and response by government. Anyone who has been involved over the last three decades in any forestry issues from the Stein to Clayoquot will find this book of value as it throws some light on the back room deals and minds of the policy makers and politicians . .. The text should be required reading for all senior politicians to catch up on the rhetoric their predecessors were spouting 20 and 30 years ago . .. This is a great read and will catch you up on the last 30 years if you weren’t there for all of it.

- The Log

[Wilson] has written an impressive study of the development of forest policy in British Columbia . .. While the book will be of most immediate interest to students of Canadian politics, its rich analysis of the interplay of industry, environmentalists, and government makes a significant contribution to the environmental policy literature.

- Choice

Wilson's book is epic in covering the events, strategies, and personalities that formed the basis of wilderness politics . .. This historical account allows us all to see where we fought in the battle, what armour we put on, and how we acted out our parts . .. This is a compelling read for anyone who was there. For anyone who missed it but wants to enter the debate, it is the definitive history.

- Briony Penn