Author’s outreach philosophy

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Author Ira Sutherland on a visit to Carmanah Provincial Park to see Canada’s tallest tree

My name is Ira Sutherland. Growing up among the tall trees of Vancouver, BC, early on I developed an appreciation of Earth’s beauty and a curiosity for how people interact with the environment. I explored extensively through the mountains of Vancouver, and travelled widely abroad, often by bicycle.  Climbing over mountainscrawling through rainforest and swimming in the ocean has provided me with a deepening connection with nature. Following this interest, I undertook and recently completed seven years of study (a BSc at UBC and MSc at McGill) to become a forest scientist. Now I have a lens to observe the human-forest connection, and I enjoy sharing it. This hiking guide is to share my passion for nature exploration and discovering the secrets and stories that run around us

An aim of this guide is to develop a deeper understanding of forest ecology among readers, and specifically Vancouverites —comprising half of BC’s population— so that they may take greater interest and voting responsibility in the management of forests across BC.

My philosophy is partially inspired by the history of old-growth forest conservation in BC. A primary reason that we still have old-growth forests remaining in BC is that proactive individuals and organizations brought the beauty and importance of our province’s forests to the eyes and understanding of the public. Look at a map of BC, and note that nearly every large park is there due to efforts of a few individuals and organizations. I deeply respect the work of Randy Stoltmann, author of the seminal big tree guidebook, and groups such as the Wilderness Committee who brought the backwoods of BC to the public table for thought and discussion.

Shaketown illustration

My aim is therefore to bring old-growth forests to the eyes of British Columbians through photos, film and instructions for them to visit. In my stories, find maps to the largest remaining trees as well as interpretation of the ecology, history and human values associated with these forests. I hope that you find this engaging and entertaining, and that it adds to your understanding and perspective of what once was and still perhaps is the Great Vancouver Forest.

Ira Sutherland with a group of hikers out to see the ‘Super Stumps’ of Seymour Valley

5 responses to “Author’s outreach philosophy

  1. I am so thankful to find this web-site. I am constantly looking for biggest tree of every city I’ve been to. It is not a easy job. This is a wonderful wonderful web-site. Thank you for all your effort.

  2. Pingback: Vancouver Big Tree Hiking Guide | Vancouver Big Tree Hiking Guide

  3. Ira I would like to make email contact with you. Together with others I have started an inventory of “Notable ” trees on the Sunshine Coast. This initiative is described on the website of the Sunshine Coast Natural History Society. Tab re background of Notable Trees. We have some very large trees as well as many that are notable for other reasons.
    I’d like to discuss all this with you.
    Bob Sitter (retired RPF)
    Bob@bobsitter.com

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