Dikes, Ducks, and Dams: Environmental Change and the Politics of Reclamation at Creston Flats, 1882-2014
Keywords:hydroelectric development, reclamation, agriculture, Columbia River Treaty, Kootenay River, Creston, Guy Constable, rivers
This article maps more than a century of environmental change and shifting debates tied to agricultural reclamation in Creston, British Columbia. It argues that local notions in Creston about reclamation, wilderness preservation, and the Columbia River Treaty have been continuously shaped by how farmers perceived the landscape and river system. By building the dikes and farming alongside the once-meandering Kootenay River in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, farmers inadvertently created and later perpetuated the idea of dangerous flooding and the necessity of constructing a managed environment. What was once understood as a local or regional matter is now enmeshed within complex state organizations and institutions.