“Johan Dormaar’s work was quite practical, the study of the impact of range grazing in a highly specific, technical and internationally useful way: not tirades against this or that practice, but developing techniques to study soil organic matter and the restoration of carbon — matters of life and death on this planet. He traced soil phosphorus, both organic and inorganic, as it cycled through the seasons.
Since I belong to a number of academic listservs that study both environmental science and the philosophy about it, I’m aware of a huge body of literature of “place,” wherein people look at how land and people shape each other over time. Nomadism may be part of this if the wandering is a pattern-cycle of return. The ideas themselves can become a bit unmoored if they are not anchored by real experience on the land. This Dr. Dormaar knew. He walked the land, he got down on his knees in curiosity and gratitude.”
“Thorpe explores the ways concepts, such as ‘nature’ and ‘wilderness’, were (and are) socially constructed to create exclusionary spaces. The designation of Temagami as a nature preserve and park in northern Ontario at the start of the twentieth century relied on categories of race, class, and gender in order to obfuscate the long indigenous human occupation of the territory and reconstitute it as a place without history. In doing so, ‘nature’ became something without humans, and ‘wilderness’ framed as something antithetical to civilization. Thorpe argues that these ways of thinking reveal far more about the context within which they are expressed than they do about the places and people they describe and their history.”
— Andrew Watson and Thomas Peace, Active History