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Distributed for Athabasca University Press

Ecology and Wonder in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks Heritage Site

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.


380 pages


Table of Contents

Foreword   ix

Acknowledgements    xv

      Overview Map    xx

Invocation The Magnificent Seven xxi

Part OneThe West We Had: Foundations of Place

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 the Canadian West    33

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

Part TwoThe 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 North

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