Ecology and Wonder in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks Heritage Site
380 pages, 7 1/2 x 9 1/2
colour illustrations throughout
Release Date:01 Mar 2010

Ecology and Wonder in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks Heritage Site

Athabasca University Press
Ecology and Wonder makes several remarkable claims:


The greatest cultural achievement in the Western Canadianmountain region is what has been preserved, not what has beendeveloped.

Protecting the spine of the Rocky Mountains will preservecrucial ecological functions.

Because the process of ecosystem diminishment and species losshas been slowed, an ecological thermostat has been kept alive. This maywell be an important defence against future climate change impacts onthe Canadian west.


Ecology and Wonder is a must-read for those who appreciateWestern Canada’s breathtaking landscape.

Robert W. Sandford is the author or editor of over 20books on the nature, history, and culture of the Canadian West. He isthe Canadian Chair of the United Nations International Decade“Water for Life,” an initiative that aims to advancelong-term water quality and availability issues in response to climatechange in Canada and abroad. He is also an Honorary Member of theAssociation of Canadian Mountain Guides. He lives in Canmore, Alberta.
Foreword  ix

Acknowledgements   xv

   Overview Map  xx

Invocation The Magnificent Seven xxi

Part One The West We Had: Foundations ofPlace

1. A Walk into the Past: Setting a Context of Place 3

2. The Creation: Monumentality and Place  17

3. The Creation: People and Place Before European Contact 27

4. Exchanging What We Had for What We Want: The Fur Trade Era in theCanadian West  33

5. The Coming of Death: Diminishment and Loss among the FirstPeoples of the West  41

Part Two The West We Have: Making theMountains Our Home

6. Giving Meaning to Mountains and Making Them Ours: Mountaineeringand the Aesthetics of Place  47

7. Brushes with Eternity: Landscape Art and Photography in theCanadian Rockies  69

8. Crystal and Cold Blue Chasms: The Literature of the CanadianRocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site  77

9. Stemming the Tide of Loss: The Give and Take of Modern ManagementIn and Around the Mountain Parks  91

10. Countering Dispossession: Saving Our Unique MountainCulture  105

The East Slope: Flowing Toward the Atlantic

11. The Birthplace of Canada’s National Park Ideal: BanffNational Park  115

The North Slope: Flowing Toward the Arctic

12. The Birthplace of Western and Northern Rivers: The ColumbiaIcefield and Jasper National Park  145

The West Slope: Flowing Toward the Pacific

13. The Roof of the Canadian Rockies: Mount Robson ProvincialPark  187

14. Small, Remote, but Utterly Wild: Hamber ProvincialPark  201

15. The Geography of Wonder: Yoho National Park 215

16. The Road to Radium: Kootenay National Park 243

17. Matterhorn of the Rockies: Mount Assiniboine ProvincialPark  257

Part Three The West We Want: Creating aCulture Worthy of Place

18. Respecting and Honouring the Great Bear: The Grizzly as a Symbolof the West We Want  273

19. Seeing What Is Hidden in Plain Sight: Triumphing OverDiminishment and Loss  299

20. Expanding the World Heritage Site Designation: Managing forFuture Integrity Instead of Loss  313

21. Creating a Culture Commensurate with Place 321

Notes  339

Index  347

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