In a rugged knot of mountains in northern British Columbia lies a spectacular valley
known to the First Nations as the Sacred Headwaters. There, three of Canada’s
most important salmon rivers—the Stikine, the Skeena, and the Nass—are born in
close proximity. Now, against the wishes of all First Nations, the British Columbia
government has opened the Sacred Headwaters to industrial development. Imperial
Metals proposes an open-pit copper and gold mine, called the Red Chris mine, and
Royal Dutch Shell wants to extract coal bed methane gas across a tenure of close to
a million acres.
In The Sacred Headwaters, a collection of photographs by Carr Clifton and members
of the International League of Conservation Photographers—including Claudio
Contreras, Paul Colangelo, and Wade Davis—portray the splendour of the region.
These photographs are supplemented by images from other professionals who have
worked here, including Sarah Leen of the National Geographic.
The compelling text by Wade Davis, which describes the region’s beauty, the
threats to it, and the response of native groups and other inhabitants, is complemented
by the voices of the Tahltan elders. The inescapable message is that no
amount of methane gas can compensate for the sacrifice of a place that could be the
Sacred Headwaters of all Canadians and indeed of all peoples of the world.
Wade Davis is explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and is the
author of numerous books, including Light at the Edge of the World and The Clouded
Leopard. He has lived and worked in the Stikine as a park ranger, guide, and anthropologist
since 1978. He and his wife, Gail, own Wolf Creek Lodge, the closest private
holding to both the Sacred Headwaters and the proposed site of the Red Chris mine.
1 1 ” x 10” · 160 pages
ful l -colour photographs throughout , 1 map