Cascadia is a bioregion of the Pacific Northwest, that includes British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon. The verdict on how much to include of northern California and Idaho is still out for debate. If you would like to learn more about what Cascadia is, check out the resource links below.
This post is more about why I’m Cascadian and what draws me in. There is something very special about this geographic area. I’ve travelled extensively around the United States (seen 47 of the 50 states) and from my perspective there is nothing like Cascadia. The air has a smell that is unique of itself and even when I step off of an aircraft I can smell past the jet fuel and realize I’m home. The natural beauty of the ecosystem clearly defined by where the sea meets the glacier peaked mountains creates our bioregion. The habitat for all creatures that live within Cascadia are not only diverse but have learned to live in symphony together. This is a place that we must nurture and protect if we as a species are to maintain the symbiosis of our place of home.
Essentially, our current national model is formed around multiple bioregions that collectively make up the United States — we can examine the politics or an area combined with the geography and it becomes a visual epiphany. Bioregionalism works because not only are there shared cultural ethos but societies are designed to function on such an economic and political scale. Yet, our nation continues to run into the bigger and better ideology that in my belief will be the fault of our nation’s collapse if it continues on its self destructive path. The overarching individual selfishness, depletion of our resources, the abusive power of a few and the decline of systematic efficiencies have not only led to a mistrust of our government, but further highlight that the course we are on is the wrong direction. Yet we all feel so helpless to change anything. For example, our nation’s products are being outsourced for cheaper manufacturing, thus in turn creating a loss of jobs and the income for families to buy goods or services is now less. Therefore they need to buy cheaper goods which predictably are the outsourced goods. It’s a cycle that is non-sustainable. Don’t even get me started on the production of food….
We are all so wrapped up in being an “American” which is a narrative dominated and perpetuated by specific regions to use and ultimately exclude individuals or groups who do not necessarily share their conservative ideals and therefore brand everyone else as “Un-Patrirotic.” It is for that reason that I choose not to buy into all of that identity. As an American I take pride and find honor in the diversity that is our nation and I celebrate the cultural richness we are lucky to have, even though at many crossroads I feel isolated from my fellow American’s as I do not necessarily relate to their ideology or belief systems. I would say that all of this can boil down to a circumstantial identity that I was born in to.
I believe that Cascadia would better serve those living within its boundaries as those who use the resources are also the ones more likely to protect the resources. Additionally, it seems to me that systematic efficiencies (government, social services, etc) would be better off if they served a smaller populace and people felt more like a stakeholder in the various systems as it would directly affect them. The benefits of our bioregion is rooted in individuals who care about the area as they are the ones who choose to live here. Let those of us who live here make the decisions that will impact our lifestyles, our natural landscape and let the control be back in the hands of “We the People”
This is not necessarily a cry of secession as it is my belief that given the current trajectory the natural cause of events will give rise to the republic of Cascadia and furthermore I believe it will happen in my lifetime.
“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” -Aldo Leopold
For further reading: