Chasing Clayoquot: A Wilderness Almanac

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9781551925431: Chasing Clayoquot: A Wilderness Almanac

Presents twelve journeys across the Clayoquot Region, along with discussion on environmentalism, politics, and natural history.

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About the Author:

David Pitt-Brooke leads the reader on twelve journeys through Clayoquot Sound, one of Earth's last untouched places on the northwestern rim of North America. The result is a beautifully written meditation, a paean to an extraordinary, precious, and threatened environment.

Award-winning Writer and researcher David Pitt-Brooke writes for a variety of science and nature publications. He lives in Tofino, British Columbia, on the edge of Clayoquot Sound.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

FOREWORD It is increasingly rare these days that citizens of the North American continent really know the place in which they live. Not that long ago, we lived off the land and our survival required that we be acutely aware of the natural world around us. Today, it is considered a luxury to have the time to watch for the signs of a season changing, to look for the return of a favorite song bird, or to take days "off" to hike into nature. David Pitt-Brooke has given us a bit of a reprieve. We can almost taste the salt air blowing off the roaring Pacific on Chesterman Beach. We can follow marbled murrelets as they fly over the ocean looking for a spot to roost in the old-growth forest of the Sound.

I am grateful for this book because it reminds me of what I loved best about being involved in the fight for Clayoqout Sound. I loved the place and the rugged people that call it home. I loved the fact that it was still there, still so forceful, still so beautiful and astounding in its diversity. From the first time that I visited in the early 1990s, I found a place that exceeded all my expectations. I was surrounded by snow-capped mountains that fed estuaries filled with fish and bird life. I could walk out on the mudflats at dawn to catch salmon and harvest mussels and oysters. I could trace the tracks of bears through the forests of giant cedar and Sitka spruce. It was a place that engaged all your senses and made you want to do what you could to ensure that it would never disappear.

Many of us fought for the Sound’s future during that decade. We met on stormy nights to drink coffee with Native leaders and discuss their aspirations for their people and home. We attended countless meetings with government and industry officials all over Canada about the clearcut logging there. We took the battle home with us to Washington d.c. and New York to engage the public and private sector in shaping the Sound’s future. One thing that never wavered throughout those years, one thing that continues to drive efforts for its conservation, is the pure life force of the Sound. That life force is beautifully captured in Chasing Clayoquot as David Pitt-Brooke takes us through the seasons while he embarks on his personal journeys out into nature, out into the Sound.

We are made better as a people by our alliances with places like Clayoquot Sound. With so much of nature being destroyed around us, we can take solace, as we might in the sanctuary of a church, in its wholeness and timelessness. While many of Mr. Pitt-Brooke’s readers may never travel to the Sound, they will know something of what keeps drawing us back, of what makes us want to engage in bettering this miraculous natural world we have been so lucky to inherit from our ancestors. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

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