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In a rugged knot of mountains in the remote reaches of northern British Columbia lies a spectacularly beautiful valley known to the First Nations as the Sacred Headwaters. There, on the southern edge of the Spatsizi Wilderness, the Serengeti of North America, are born in remarkably close proximity three of the continent's most important salmon riversthe Stikine, the Skeena, and the Nass. Now, against the wishes of all First Nations, the government of British Columbia has opened the Sacred Headwaters to industrial development. In particular, Imperial Metals proposes an open-pit copper and gold mine, called the Red Chris mine, processing 30,000 tons of ore a day, and Royal Dutch Shell wants to extract coal bed methane gas from an anthracite deposit across an enormous tenure of close to a million acres.
The Sacred Headwaters is both a celebration of one of the most extraordinary regions in North America and a call to arms to preserve it for future generations. A remarkable collection of photographs taken by members of the International League of Conservation Photographers stunningly portray the beauty and diversity of the ecologically diverse region.
The eloquent and compelling text by Wade Davis, which describes the unparalleled beauty and grandeur of the region, the threats to it from industrial development, and the response of native groups and other inhabitants of the area, is complemented by the voices of the Tahltan elders. The inescapable message is that no amount of methane gas can compensate for the sacrifice of a place that could be the Sacred Headwaters of all North Americans and indeed of all peoples of the world.
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About the Author
Wade Davis is explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and is the author of numerous books, including One River and The Serpent and the Rainbow. He has lived and worked in the Stikine as a park ranger, guide, and anthropologist since 1978. He and his wife, Gail, own Wolf Creek Lodge, the closest private holding to both the Sacred Headwaters and the proposed site of the Red Chris mine.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. serves as Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and was named one of Time magazine's "Heroes for the Planet" for his work in the fight to restore the Hudson River. Kennedy has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands.
Carr Clifton, landscape photographer and award-winning documentary filmmaker, has spent thirty years exploring endangered, wild landscapes. A native Californian, Clifton began photographing in 1977 and his portfolio showcases landscapes from Arctic Alaska to the Amazon Basin.
What People are Saying About This
“Splayed next to southern Alaska, Canada’s Sacred Headwaters region is a vast panorama of mountains, salmon rivers and canyons criss-crossed with the trails of caribou, grizzlies and mountain goats...as anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis explains, it could become a war zone. Corporations are queuing up to develop the region...Carr Clifton’s haunting photographs evoke what’s at stake."Nature Magazine
"This visual feast and compelling text describes the Sacred Headwaters where the Stikine, Skeena and Nass meet which is under threat from industrial development and gas extraction. Stunning photographs from the International League of Conservation Photographers and National Geographic contributors provide an inescapable message of the importance of the area for Canadians and all peoples of the world."—Vancouver Sun