The Origins of Forest Management in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

Last year, I published an article in BC Studies on the origins of forest management policy for Vancouver’s Stanley Park titled “Improving Nature: Remaking Stanley Park’s Forest, 1888-1931”. This article is based on research from my dissertation on the environmental history of Stanley Park.

Insect Invasion in Stanley Park
Newspaper cartoon depicting insect attack on Stanley Park in 1914.

As a result of the threat of fire and a series of devastating insect and fungus outbreaks in the early twentieth century, the Vancouver Park Board employed the expertise of federal forest entomologists to improve the visual condition of Stanley Park in order to conform with a more aesthetically pleasing park landscape, consistent with popular expectations of idealized wilderness. By 1931, the board adopted a formal forest management policy based on decades of work by the Department of Agriculture’s entomological division that included brush clearance, tree-topping, Douglas fir reforestation, and aerial insecticide spraying. These policies remade Stanley Park’s forest in an attempt to improve nature in the park.

The article is now available for digital download and I’d be glad to hear what you think. Please download a copy and send me your thoughts, comments, and criticisms. You can post your comments here or send me a private message.

Download the article here.

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