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If Canadian conservationists had had their way at the turn of the twentieth century, their country would be the place Americans looked to when they sang yearningly of a home where the buffalo roamed. With the proper measures, Canada could have been a haven for North America's wild animals, a place where remnant populations devastated by settlement and development would recover and flourish.
The country's treatment of wildlife became a way for some Canadians to distinguish themselves from their southern neighbours. For others, it embodied a different kind of ecological consciousness, one that reconciled human needs with those of wildlife. For them, Canada could be home to people as well as a place where wild things lived and played. Despite the international celebrity of Canadian environmentalists such as Jack Miner and Grey Owl, and the fact that wildlife is literally common currency in the country, the story of saving Canada's wildlife is largely unknown.
"States of Nature" is the first book to tell that story, looking at the changing substance, aims, and impacts of the conservation initiatives undertaken by government as well as private organizations and individuals during the twentieth century, before the emergence of the modern environmental movement. Organized around case studies, this book will appeal to specialists in environmental history as well as in Canadian and social history. It will also be useful to policy makers and of interest to general readers who want to know how the country's history was intertwined with wild things and the people passionate about them.