While serving as history curator at the Royal B.C. Museum for more than 30 years, Dr. Robert Griffin wrote many articles on the forest and mining industries. Upon retirement, Dr. Griffin co-authored (with Nancy Oke, a research volunteer at the Royal B.C. Museum, and Greg Evans) Feeding the Family: 100 Years of Food and Drink in Victoria (RBCM 2011). The book includes more than 200 photos.
In 2014, Dr. Griffin and Lorne Hammond co-authored Stewards of the People's Forests: A Short History of the British Columbia Forest Service (RBCM 2014), about the men and women who have worked in the management of B.C.'s forests. The book covers the creation of the British Columbia Forest Branch in 1912 - renamed the Forest Service in 1947 - to the announcement by Premier Gordon Campbell on October 25, 2010 that the BC Forest Service would be disbanded and its duties divided between the Ministry of Forest Lands and Mines and the Ministry of Resource Operations. It relates not just the big stories involving major personalities, such as H.R. MacMillan, Ernest Manning, C.D. Orchard and Ray Williston, but also the foresters, rangers and firefighters on the frontlines striving to protect BC’s forests. Told through excerpts from research and interviews the authors conducted as well as snippets of information from radio shows, government records and obscure newsletters (such as what it takes to make a Forest Ranger in the comic "Recipe for a Ranger") ultimately the book demonstrates the evolution of British Columbians’ relationship with their forests.
In 2016, Rick Rajala and Robert Griffin’s The Sustainability Dilemma examined issues that arose for the Forest Service, the forest industry and British Columbians in general over a roughly 60-year period, starting from 1930s. Chiefly it presents different viewpoints as to how the BC Forest Service managed forests before the word ecology gave rise to sustainability concerns. The authors seek to highlight historical events that have been largely forgotten by the public and mostly unexamined by scholars. In doing so, they unveil some of the larger power dynamics beyond the efforts to practice sustained-yield and multiple-use forestry methods.
The Sustainability Dilemma (RBCM 2016) with Richard Rajala
Stewards of the People's Forests: A Short History of the British Columbia Forest Service (RBCM 2014) $22.95 978-0-7726-6832-5
Feeding the Family (RBCM 2011) $29.95 978-0-7726-6343-6
Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Feeding the Family: 100 Years of Food and Drink in Victoria
Stewards of the People's Forests: A Short History of the British Columbia Forest Service