Levelling the Lake
Stretching across parts of Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota, the Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake basin spans boundaries and jurisdictions. Levelling the Lake explores a century and a half of social, economic, and legal arrangements through which the resources and environment of the Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake watershed have been both harnessed and harmed. Jamie Benidickson traces the environmental consequences of logging, mining, forest industries, commercial fishing, hydro-electricity production, and recreation on the natural environment and the often unanticipated impacts of these activities on water flows and quality as well as on local residents, including Indigenous communities, which encouraged new legal and institutional responses. Assessing the transition from primary resource extraction toward sustainable development at a watershed level with a focus on law and governance, Levelling the Lake also shows how interjurisdictional and transboundary issues – many involving the Canada-US International Joint Commission – continue to play a significant role throughout the region.
Levelling the Lake features historical examples offering hard lessons and successful experiments that provide encouragement for the effective management of ecosystems such as the Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake basin.
Levelling the Lake will interest students and scholars of environmental history, resource management, legal history, historical geography, and Indigenous studies. Those who work in US-Canada environmental relations and water management will also find this book highly relevant, as will residents of the Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake region.
About the Author:
Jamie Benidickson teaches Canadian and International Environmental Law, Water Law, Sustainable Development Law and legal history. His publications in these areas include Environmental Law 4th (Irwin Law, 2013) and The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage (UBC Press, 2007), short-listed in 2008 for the Harold Adams Innis Prize. In addition to these academic interests, he has been actively involved in the public policy process through his work with a number of royal commissions and inquiries, including the Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada and the Walkerton inquiry. He has also held several administrative positions with professional and academic organizations. His ongoing research projects centre on governance regimes for watersheds, biodiversity and sustainable development in Canada, a social history of the Lake of the Woods, and the regulation of beer and breweries.