HEALING AN ISLAND WILDERNESS
By KATHIE DURBIN
From the deck of the 46-foot sailboat Ariel, I scanned the
southern horizon as Lyell Island, lapped by the blue waters of
Laskeek Bay, slowly separated itself from the much larger
land mass of Moresby Island. I had waited eight years for this return
pilgrimage to the Queen Charlotte Islands - to a place where Haida
Indians and Canadian environmentalists changed history. Yet now
that the moment was at hand, I felt a sense of foreboding.
In 1986 South Moresby was an imperiled jewel, and
though I saw it only from a distance, in a small seaplane, it
shimmered unsullied in my imagination. In 1994, I am about
to see it at close range. I am also about to confront the paradox
of life on an exploited planet: Can any natural place ever live
up to the Eden-like expectations of chose who seek out
Earth's last wild sanctuaries?