Big Trees Saved and Other Feats
The story of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society
by Deanna Kawatski
Big Trees Saved documents the highlights of the twenty-five year history of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society (SEAS). The story begins with the group’s inception in 1989 when there was no umbrella conservation group in existence in the Shuswap region. SEAS soon singled itself out as a group engaged not only in talk, but also action.
For several years SEAS focused on developing a sustainable stewardship plan that further evolved into advocacy efforts to improve forestry practices, to promote wilderness conservation, and to push for land use planning. They produced a series of three Eco-watch newspapers, with the third one featuring satellite photos revealing the true picture of logging in the region.
Over the years SEAS’ hard work and dedication has resulted in 25,000 hectares of new parks in the Shuswap, including the Upper Seymour River rainforest and the magnificent Anstey Arm Hunakwa Lake wilderness area. Further, thousands of hectares of old growth forest were set aside, and forest management was vastly improved, leading to better protection for non-timber forest values.
In 2008 SEAS rallied to stop West Beach, a proposed marina and condominium development, from being built at the mouth of the Adams, one of the most significant sockeye salmon spawning rivers in the world. Even though the provincial government failed to purchase the property to add to Roderick Haig-Brown Park as SEAS had hoped, the new Cottonwoods Campground includes public access to the beach, removal of buoys, a continuation of RV parking with no condominiums, and restoration of important fish habitat.
First SEAS changed the map of the Shuswap through the creation of new parks, and then in 2010 it helped produce the first map of the Shuswap watershed in a poster format.
Over its first twenty-five years SEAS has tackled numerous important environmental issues and has left an impressive legacy. Big Trees Saved is a lively documentation of the SEAS story, and one that will enrich public understanding of the conservation movement in Canada.
Praise for Big Trees Saved:
“Engaged, activist citizens are the heartbeat of every healthy democracy. In that sense, the 25-year story of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society is the story of us – the story of who we are and who we can be – and Big Trees Saved is a book that anyone who cares about where we live will want on their bookshelf.”
– Stephen Hume, author and columnist
“I applaud organizations like SEAS, a small passionate group of grassroots activists, who stood up for what they believe in for us all. We would have nothing left in BC without these stalwart bands taking a stand, against very powerful forces, to protect our outstanding natural legacies for the future. And Deanna has done a marvellous job at telling the story of how SEAS did it.”
– Vicky Husband, renowned BC environmentalist, Order of Canada
Big Trees Saved and Other Feats is available NOW at these locations:
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$20.00 CDN (+ GST and Shipping)
5.5 x 8.5