» Seeing the Ocean Through the Trees Ecotrust Canada

Seeing the Ocean Through the Trees

Seeing the Ocean Through the Trees (1997) demonstrates for the first time that a truly sustainable economy is within reach in one of the most hotly contested forest ecosystems in North America - and, that the "war in the woods" can end in Clayoquot Sound.

Ecotrust Canada’s book features the first ever landscape analysis of the findings of the Scientific Panel for Sustainable Forestry Practices in Clayoquot Sound. After the so-called “Clayoquot summer” of 1993 – when more than 800 people were arrested for protesting the government’s land-use decision that year – the scientific panel was asked to produce world-class logging standards for Clayoquot Sound. The analysis that shows that fully 20,000 cubic metres of timber per year can be sustainably harvested from Clayoquot Sound, and the protection of the Sound’s remaining pristine watersheds can be secured.

In addition to its findings concerning the rate of logging, Seeing the Ocean Through the Trees includes a set of recommendations that describe the necessary elements to move Clayoquot Sound’s economy away from its dependence on forest products towards a truly sustainable economy. These include redrawing Clayoquot Sound’s administrative boundaries to coincide with watershed boundaries, thus reflecting natural processes; creating a set of community indicators for measuring socio-economic and ecosystem health over time; and establishing a permanent development institution to offer marketing, managerial and technical support, and non-bank credit to local businesses, in order to promote responsible business practices and to help grow a green market for sustainably produced goods.

Canadian Geographic magazine described Seeing the Ocean Through the Trees as, “Eloquent and meticulous in its research, sensible and realistic in its recommendations, resonant in its writing, this is a powerful, illuminating narrative that will lift the hearts of those who despair at finding a way through the tangled conflicts of interest that characterize so many environmental disputes.”