JGardner's blog

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Posted on March 18, 2014 - 1:27pm, by JGardner

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at] mail.ubc.ca

As I was sitting down to read my bit of yoga philosophy before meditating the other day, the foghorns were sounding in English Bay near my home in Vancouver, BC. In a beautiful coincidence, the reading spoke of “dissolving the fog” to connect your heart to your head, and each time I drifted off into problem-solving during meditation the foghorn would bring me back.

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Posted on January 17, 2014 - 9:34am, by JGardner

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at] exchange.ubc.ca

BC ferries has been having a tough time this winter among our gorgeous Southern Gulf Islands. The main ferry for the route, the Queen of Nanaimo, was damaged in early November as high winds pushed it off course, inconveniencing many travelers on a long weekend. A month later I set out from Vancouver for Galiano Island, which is normally a one-hour ferry ride. To cut a long story short I didn’t arrive until some 30 hours later, due to high winds and resultant re-routing via Vancouver Island.

The scariest stage of the journey was our first try to dock at Galiano’s Sturdies Bay. Having been sternly warned over the intercom, we 25 or so passengers stayed in our seats as the little Queen of Cumberland bucked forward and back, side to side, banging the dock infrastructure. Cars on the open deck swayed and were doused in sea water, as we could see through the window. The captain ultimately backed out in retreat.

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Posted on December 9, 2013 - 11:12am, by JGardner

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at] exchange.ubc.ca

I was on a long-awaited hiking trip to the national parks in southern Utah last month – the exact week they were closed. Utah’s not traditionally a national park-loving state, but after a few days of furor resulting from the federal government shutdown, the governor anted up enough funds to pay for re-opening the parks. That was quite the unintentional experiment: it revealed the true economic value of protected areas, as income to businesses and communities in the vicinity of the parks had plummeted.

Here in Canada the Harper Government (thus branded by the Prime Minister) has been steadily axing the budget of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), as if to see how far he can go before impacts are so obvious that funding has to be restored. This follows on a history of diminishing federal support for delivering programs critical to marine resources.

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Posted on October 30, 2013 - 10:27am, by JGardner

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at] exchange.ubc.ca

The closer our connection to special places, the bigger our stake in their future. But the ability to ensure these special places are protected is often vested in far away powers. As Saya Masso, a Councillor in the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation said recently, “We’re the ones who have to bathe in the river and eat the fish in it.”

Masso was explaining why his people oppose the BC Government’s issuance of a mining permit in a Tribal Park in Clayoquot Sound, on Vancouver Island’s spectacular Pacific coast. Tribal Parks, Wild Spirit Places, Cultural and Natural Areas – these are all First Nations designations for lands and waters that they are striving to protect in their traditional territories. The First Nations want to shelter these areas from developments that threaten both ecosystems and customary ways of life, while (usually) keeping them open to sustainable economic activities such as wilderness tourism.

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Posted on August 19, 2013 - 9:16am, by JGardner

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at] exchange.ubc.ca

How does your garden grow? That’s what my neighbors have been asking each other during a glorious summer in Southwest British Columbia. Between weeding and harvesting I’ve been pondering questions like this from a “knowledge frame” perspective, because the issues remind me of resource challenges further north on our Pacific coast.

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Posted on January 25, 2013 - 12:11pm, by JGardner

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at] exchange.ubc.ca

First Nations and the Canadian Government are working to redress the injustices of colonialism, which were at their peak only a few generations ago, and it’s a rocky road. The largest class action settlement in Canadian history is under way, aiming to bring a fair and lasting resolution to the harm caused by residential schools, a system of forced boarding schools for Aboriginal peoples. Headlines about First Nations standing together for indigenous sovereignty have been dominating the news.

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Posted on November 16, 2012 - 4:22pm, by JGardner

Canada’s Cohen Commission calls on government to implement the Wild Salmon Policy

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at] exchange.ubc.ca

As an environmental policy and planning consultant, I have to accept that the fruits of my labors can end up sitting on shelves. It hurt when one policy into which I and many others had invested much effort didn’t gather the momentum it deserved: Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon (the Wild Salmon Policy). Recently, however, a federal Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of the Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River (the Cohen Commission, named for its commissioner, Justice Bruce Cohen of the British Columbia Supreme Court) felt my pain. A key recommendation calls on the federal government to fully implement and fund the 2005 Wild Salmon Policy.

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