An unsettling story of early campaigns to eradicate wild horses and grasshoppers from BC’s interior – and a broader history of humans, animals, and ecology in the province’s age of resettlement.
The twinned accounts unfolded in these pages invite readers to think again, and anew, about the processes of dispossession that newcomers inflicted, in different ways, upon Indigenous peoples across the American hemisphere and beyond. They also offer new understanding of the course of development in North America’s interior grasslands, make a fresh and distinctive contribution to the history of British Columbia, and new ways of thinking about questions of importance to environmental historians, historical geographers, and historians of science. - From the foreword by Graeme Wynn
This is an imaginative and innovative book, which introduced me to a new way of looking at relatively familiar landscapes. - Simon Evans is an adjunct professor of geography at the University of Calgary, and author of four books on ranching history
Layer upon layer of history and ecological change are writ large on the map of B.C. Resettling the Range is very much a story about our relationship with animals, landscapes, indigenous peoples and their pursuit of aboriginal rights. Environmental historian John Thistle has generated a necessary and thorough study of rancher settlement, the ranching industry’s interactions with grasslands and the effects of ranching on First Nations peoples, most of whom were dispossessed from access to grasslands – a profound rangeland legacy that lives with us still. - Mark Forsythe, BC Booklook, January 11, 2016
Resettling the Range is clearly written, and its argument is convincingly based in archival sources and relevant secondary material. In addition to the researched narrative, this book is enhanced by an insightful foreword by renowned environmental historian Graeme Wynn and by Thistle's own excellent conclusion, which reaches beyond his central historical argument ... I thoroughly enjoyed Resettling the Range, with its penetrating insights into the capitalist view of land as commodity. Sadly, Thistle's lesson about the human readiness to use lethal options to combat non-human threats has far too many parallels elsewhere. - Max Foran, BC Studies
At a time when climate change threatens a host of populations at the margins, Thistle’s work represents a welcome addition to a body of literature that documents the efforts of humans to improve upon nature and the consequences for the planet and its inhabitants.- Jonathan Hall, Pacific Northwest Quarterly
Thistle writes powerfully about First Nations dispossession at the hands of ranchers and regulators. A variety of national and international forces intersect in his story, including confederation, the railway, capitalism, improvement, and efficiency … While this book will undoubtedly find a place on the shelves of environmental historians and historians of British Columbia, it is also of interest to those studying the history of science, indigenous history, and Canadian history more broadly. In placing BC’s grassland ecology in conversation with interactions between First Nations and settlers, small-holders and monopolists, the province and the nation, and the nation and the world, this book represents an important contribution to the field. - Mica Jorgenson, NICHE
Thistle’s richly researched, interesting, and tightly argued book will be of enormous value to anyone who teaches or researches Canadian environmental history.- Daniel Herman, Central Washington University, Pacific Historical Review
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