A welcome message from the editor: Writing lines on the land

Campfire on the banks of the Kootenay River, BC (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC)

Campfire on the banks of the Kootenay River, BC (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC)

November 5, 2013 | by Christine Beevis Trickett

Welcome to the new blog of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)! Land Lines aims to share stories about conservation and the places and species that are protected thanks to these efforts, and stories about the people who make it possible.

I have long believed in the importance of telling stories about the land. Unlike the calendars that often grace our walls with photos of vast beautiful but empty vistas, Canada’s natural landscapes are rich with stories about the people working on them — but also the people who have come before us and cared for these places.

We connect to the land through our stories. Through them, empty spaces become places.

I experienced that first-hand this summer while on a guided canoe trip along the Kootenay River in BC. At the end of our first day of paddling along the river’s fast-moving chalky blue waters, our group set up camp then set about getting to know each other by a crackling fire.

One of our guides, Lyle, was intimately familiar with the mountains and their history, having lived here for much of his life. As the sun set behind black mountains in an inky blue sky, I asked whether he was aware of NCC.

Sunset on the banks of the Kootenay River, BC (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett)

Sunset on the banks of the Kootenay River, BC (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett)

Sitting with our backs propped up against one of the inflatable canoes, Lyle pointed towards the horizon: “Just over that ridge in the next chain of mountains is Darkwoods, and down by Canal Flats (our put-out point) is Lot 48. Near that are the Hoodoos.”

All of a sudden, a landscape that had seemed remote and wild to me became a storied one. Not only were we surrounded by the rich history of the First Nations who had lived in these forests and travelled along this river long before us, but the landscape became imbued with the stories about the people who had worked to protect these places and those who were still working to manage them.

Through Land Lines NCC staff and guest bloggers will share such stories, and more.

From articles about our close encounters with nature, to interviews with leading conservation researchers and practitioners, to reflections on trends in conservation or updates on research on our lands, Land Lines offers our readers a whole new way to connect with conservation in Canada while allowing conservationists a venue for sharing their stories.

There are countless lines written on and about the land. And thanks to organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada, people can get out into these places, experience first-hand what it feels like to sit on the banks of a river and share stories while the sun sets behind towering mountains.

"We keep each other alive with our stories. We need to share them, as much as we need to share food....One of the most extraordinary things about the land is that it knows this — and it compels language from some of us so that as a community we may converse about this or that place, and speak of the need." ~ Barry Lopez

I wish you happy reading,

Christine Beevis Trickett
Managing Editor
Land Lines

PS - Like what you read? Why not sign up to our RSS feed or bookmark our link, and share our stories with family and friends through our social media widgets. Tell us what you think by commenting at the bottom of the stories.  We look forward to your feedback!

PPS Questions or comments about the blog? Email me at landlines@natureconservancy.ca.

Christine Beevis Trickett

About the Author

Christine Beevis Trickett is the director of editorial services for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Read more about Christine Beevis Trickett.

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