Great Cascadia Awakening Moment

Andrew Engelson is the Publisher/Editor of the new venture Cascadia Magazine. He is distributing an email called Cascadia Daily which highlights some of the more compelling news stories from around the bioregion each day. Yesterday he linked to an essay entitled “What Is Cascadia?” In it he described HIS come to Sasquatch moment:

When asked about why I’m interested in the notion of Cascadia, I often talk about a hike I once took to the top of Desolation Peak. It’s a remote mountain in North Cascades National Park, but it can be done as a day-hike. You’ve got to take a boat up Ross Lake to get to the trailhead, and the steep, exposed switchbacks make for a grueling trudge in summer, when the trail is snow-free for a few short months. At the summit is an old Forest Service lookout, famed as the spot where Jack Kerouac spent time scanning for fires, jotting notes, meditating, and getting spooked by the loneliness. The lookout shelter is still there, and on a clear day the panorama is astonishing. All around you are the glaciated peaks of the North Cascades, the jagged summits of Canada’s Coast Range, the ice-cream cone of volcanic Mount Baker.  Inside the lookout cabin with windows on all sides, you can still observe the old fire-finder (though it’s no longer used–satellites have made it obsolete). It’s a circular table with a couple of viewfinder sights for pinpointing the location of a fire. On my visit the fire-finder and old map were still intact. Clearly marked about halfway through the map was the Canada-US border on the 49th parallel. And to my surprise, everything north of that line on that map was blank. No topographic lines, no ridges and valleys. Just empty white space. If a fire was burning just a few miles to the north, in that other country, it wasn’t considered the Forest Service’s problem.

Engelson also understands that Cascadia is not:

…a nationalist movement. Rather, it’s an awareness of a region, a biologically significant place. It’s no accident that one of the symbols of the  Cascadia bioregion is the Douglas-fir, the massive evergreen tree whose native range overlaps most of Cascadia– from the Skeena River in British Columbia south to Cape Mendocino, California.

You can sign up for Cascadia Daily here.

I think you’ll see more of this kind of activity emerging as nation states continue their devolution away from people-centric needs. Regardless, understanding of where one lives is critical to our own individual well-being and knowing what is happening here is critical, which makes Cascadia Magazine and Cascadia Daily incredible important efforts.

About Splabman

SPLAB founder Paul Nelson wrote American Sentences (Apprentice House, 2015), Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, German, 2008) as well as a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010). In 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others. Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, recent publications on and off-line include: Hambone, Pageboy, Menacing Hedge, Fieralingue, Rain Taxi, Solitary Plover, the Soul of the Earth anthology, Along the Rim: The Best of the Pacific Rim Review (Vol 2), Inactual, Raft magazine and Golden Handcuffs Review. He lives in Seattle, won the 2014 Robin Blaser Award from the Capilano Review and writes at least one American Sentence every day.
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