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Image: Adam Roy. Terrace, BC

Some residents in Terrace, BC maintain that the town was a “victim” of provincial policy, that the economic oscillations in Terrace were initiated by the provincial government, which destabilized the community at critical points. A series of background studies conducted in the 1980s provided a history of the different economic sectors and outlined planning processes for Terrace and area during that time. The province had over-allocated the annual allowable cut for the processing facilities in the community. In other words, the available timber was less than the logging permitted by the province. Some assert that “they were doomed for a collapse”. Apparently nobody noticed that a permit is not an obligation, and few noticed that the system was not sustainable. The region’s forest industry “busted” in 1997. From that point forward, local politicians and businesspeople deemed that in order to diversify, taking into consideration its strategic geographic placement, Terrace was to become a service centre for the surrounding region -which also happened.

• In Revelstoke, BC, people knew for decades that the quantity and quality of snow in their area was eminently usable for skiing in all its versions. Shared memories, stories and histories of early skiing in the community kept this dream alive. Everybody had at least a great-aunt who knew the home-grown world champion ski jumper a century ago, or a grandfather who hosted a funny Swedish cross country group every winter. Even the people working on highways and preventing avalanches shared with locals that, in fact, they had very good snow. The older ski experience, and the detailed material knowledge of the environment (both snow quality and avalanche risk) made it possible to link the community’s development strategy and material environment closely. This way of thinking also made locals sensitive to the risks of pollution, including visual pollution, and encouraged careful monitoring of other economic activities such as logging, railroad services, and highway development, for their potential impact on potential tourism and skiing-related development. •

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Boom and Bust: a guide

Profile for University of Alberta Extension

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

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