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When Getting Back to Nature Becomes a Social Problem: Outdoor Recreation and Social Movements at Jumbo Pass, BC, and the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, NS

Lead Researcher and Department
Mark CJ Stoddart, Department of Sociology, Memorial University

This project compares the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, Nova Scotia, and Jumbo Pass, British Columbia, as places where outdoor sport has become the subject of environmental movement activism. Environmentalists have described the Tobeatic as the “wild soul of the Maritimes.” It is a popular destination for canoeing, hiking and fishing. However, all-terrain vehicle use in the area has been defined as ecologically problematic. Jumbo Glacier Resort is a proposed ski resort that is opposed by environmentalists because of its potential impacts on wildlife populations and alpine eco-systems. During the conflict with resort developers, environmentalists have drawn on the support of hikers and back country skiers as allies. This comparative project uses discourse analysis of mass media texts, as well as interviews with key environmentalists, to expand our knowledge of the relationship between environmental politics, social movements and outdoor sport.

This project is now completed. Publications from this research are available in the Canadian Journal of Sociology, Leisure Studies, Interface, Social Movement Studies, and the edited volume, Social Transformation in Rural Canada: Community, Cultures, and Collective Action, J.R. Parkins and M.G. Reed, Eds., UBC Press.

Environment and society; Recreation, Sport and tourism; Mass media; Social movements

British Columbia, Canada
Nova Scotia, Canada

Industry Sectors
Arts, entertainment and recreation
Sociological research and development (Professional, scientific and technical services — Scientific research and development services — Research and development in the social sciences and humanities)

Thematic Categories
Parks and Natural Areas (Environment and Conservation)
Rural Development
Tourism and Recreation
Media (Communications)

Sociology, Faculty of Arts (STJ)