Ecology and Wonder in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks Heritage Site

Table of contents

Foreword  ix

Acknowledgements   xv

   Overview Map  xx

Invocation The Magnificent Seven xxi

Part One The West We Had: Foundations of

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

2. The Creation: Monumentality and Place  17

3. The Creation: People and Place Before European Contact

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

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

Part Two The West We Have: Making the
Mountains Our Home

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

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

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

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

10. Countering Dispossession: Saving Our Unique Mountain
Culture  105

The East Slope: Flowing Toward the Atlantic

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

The North Slope: Flowing Toward the Arctic

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

The West Slope: Flowing Toward the Pacific

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

14. Small, Remote, but Utterly Wild: Hamber Provincial
Park  201

15. The Geography of Wonder: Yoho National Park 

16. The Road to Radium: Kootenay National Park 

17. Matterhorn of the Rockies: Mount Assiniboine Provincial
Park  257

Part Three The West We Want: Creating a
Culture Worthy of Place

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

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

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

21. Creating a Culture Commensurate with Place 

Notes  339

Index  347

A must-read for anyone who appreciates Western Canada’s
breathtaking landscape, Ecology and Wonder looks at how preserving the
Rocky Mountains may be an important defence against climate change.


Ecology and Wonder makes several remarkable claims: The greatest cultural achievement in the Western Canadian mountain region is what has been preserved, not what has been developed. Protecting the spine of the Rocky Mountains will preserve crucial ecological functions. Because the process of ecosystem diminishment and species loss has been slowed, an ecological thermostat has been kept alive. This may well be an important defence against future climate change impacts on the Canadian west. Ecology and Wonder is a must-read for those who appreciate Western Canada’s breathtaking landscape.