The graphical abstract for our new Geoforum paper shows that most baselines were malleable in Mactaquac.

The graphical abstract for our new Geoforum paper suggests that most baselines were malleable in Mactaquac.

A new paper based on Kristina Keilty’s 2015 MES thesis on the adaptation of Mactaquac locals to dam construction is now available at Geoforum (free for the next 50 days at this link). The paper, Baselines of Acceptability and generational change on the Mactaquac dam headpond (New Brunswick, Canada), builds importantly on our recent Mactaquac headpond boat tour paper, Learning (or living) to love the landscapes of hydroelectricity, by improving our understanding of young and elderly demographics. The new paper also does several novel things. First, it develops a new conceptual framework that identifies four kinds of landscape baselines: generational, evolutionary, experiential and cultural, based on the scale at which they are set and how much they change. Second, the systematic map-elicitation data collection allowed for a powerful sequence of thematic analysis, quantitative filtering and data visualization – using that Baselines of Acceptability framework – to show that all demographics have adapted to the dam-in-place landscape. Great that this paper is available in advance of the pending NB Power decision on this prematurely-aging infrastructure as it also explores how energy and climate issues at the levels of proponent and government become issues of landscape and community at the local scale. Stakeholder engagement should be designed accordingly, or else those latter issues will spill outside the process, “in more or less constructive ways” (p. 244).