At the Cutting Edge: The Crisis in Canada's Forests


294 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55013-832-4
DDC 337.75'0971





Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is professor emerita of English and Canadian Studies at
Concordia University and an avid outdoor recreationist. She is also the
author of The Mountain Is Moving: Japanese Women’s Lives, Kurlek, and
Margaret Laurence: The Long Journey Hom


At the Cutting Edge mounts a clear, forceful, and convincing argument
for the need to diagnose Canada’s forest practices before it is too
late and to pass new regulations to ensure sustainable practices.

In this well-documented book, Elizabeth May, executive director of the
Sierra Club of Canada, details the wasteful and hazardous practices of
forestry companies in a province-by-province analysis. According to May,
provincial governments typically subsidize the forest industry and
refrain from forcing companies to clean up the damage they create.
Throughout the book, she draws analogies between current conditions in
Canadian forests and those that led to the collapse of the East Coast
cod fishery. She warns that the long-term results of many current
logging practices actually imperil life on earth.

At the Cutting Edge comes with the highest praise from Canadian
environmentists David Suzuki, Farley Mowat, and Glen Davis. In a
foreword, Mowat credits May with shining a fresh and powerful light on
“what modern industrial forestry is really all about,” namely the
rape of Canadian forests. Davis supports May’s general arguments with
a hard-hitting afterword detailing the harmful effects of clear-cutting
and other common forestry practices.


May, Elizabeth., “At the Cutting Edge: The Crisis in Canada's Forests,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,