Conservation, Science and Canada's Fur Farming Industry, 1913-1945

  • George Colpitts


Fur farming gained its greatest popularity during the 1920s, when nature conservation became prominent at the national level in Canada. Promoters claimed that fur farming, as a thoroughly modern answer to the apparent and inevitable exhaustion of nature, would eventually replace the wild trapping industry altogether. By the 1940s, however, the fur farm was in decline. Farmers operating small-scale enterprises faced problems with the management of their stock and much higher costs than did trappers. Economic considerations aside, promoters never managed to separate fur from the mystery of the wilderness. The new demand for ‘‘genuine’’ fur in the 1940s market might indicate that Canadian society believed that the north and its wilderness were no longer imperiled.