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Book Reviews



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  • Plants of Kananaskis Country in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, by by Beryl Hallworth and C.C. Chinnappa (University of Alberta Press and University of Calgary Press, 1997) 368 pp. paper References, Indexed, Botanical Illustrations by Sharon Orser and Identification Keys by Richard Dickinson.

    As in the "Foreword", this compendium offers information for over 400 species of flora, including plant families for which at least one species and up to fifty species are described, with a colour photograph of a representative species. In this manner, the reader may identify an unfamiliar plant by its family, genus, and species. In addition to a botanical name (genus, species, and authority) for each species, this field guide lists the common name, a description, and line drawing with its characteristic features.

    As cited in "Introduction to Kananaskis Country" (see: "maps") over 900 species of plants have been identified in the 4160 kms squared. Bow Valley Provincial Park is included. Kananaskis Provincial Park, which was established by the Alberta Government in 1977 under the Premiership of Peter Lougheed, was renamed in his honour, in 1986. Kananaskis Field Stations is a University of Calgary institute with two facilities: the Barrier Lake Field Station in the Kananaskis Valley and, in the southeastern part, the R.B. Miller Station in the Sheep River Wildlife Sanctuary.

    For "The Geology of Kananaskis Country" there are the structure, glaciations, and Divisions of Geological Time (Gordy, Frey, and Ollerenshaw, 1975) and McCrossan et al. (1964), Luckman & Osborn, 1979.)

    "The Climate of the Kananaskis Valley" and "Chinooks" provide relevant commentary. In "The Vegetation Zones of Kananaskis Country", we discover the Elevation and topographic effects, The Foothills Zone, The Montane Zone, The Lower Subalpine Zone; The Upper Subalpine Zone, The Alpine Zone, Fire and Weather, After Fire, Old Growth, The Impact of Man on Vegetation.

    The helpful guide "How to Use This Book to Identify a Plant" contains steps 1 through 7, with Keys to the Major Groups and Life Cycles. Of "Plants of Special Interest", there are: Insectivorous plants, parasitic, semi-parasitic plants, saprophytic plants, and an endemic plant. In "Plants & Habitats: Representative Species and Landscapes", we find plant descriptions, "Non-flowering Plants: Ferns & Fern Allies, Conifers"; "Flowering Plants: Monocots", and Dicots".

    Appendix 1 "Other Botanical Investigations conducted in Kananaskis Country" represents work done prior to the present study. In Appendix 2 "Plants of Kananaskis Country Species List", species are arranged in alphabetical order of scientific family name. A "Glossary" is followed by "References, Core Texts, Bedrock Geology, Climate of the Kananaskis Valley, Vegetation Zones; Plants of Special Interest, Other Botanical Investigations, and Suggestions for Further Reading".

    Beryl Hallworth was a botanist, teacher, curator, and early naturalist association member, with the Herbarium of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary, since 1967. She was the author and co-author of several papers and book chapters on plants and natural history: Nose Hill: A Popular Guide.

    C.C. Chinappa was Professor of Botany and Curator of the Herbarium at the University of Calgary. His main research interests are the evolutionary strategies of polyploid plant species. He published more than one hundred papers on biosystematics, cytogenetics, palynology, and phenotype plasticity of plants.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2019

  • Vascular Plants of Alberta, Part 1: Ferns, Fern Allies, Gymnosperms, and Monocots, by John G. Packer and A. Joyce Gould (University of Calgary, 2017) 281 pp. paper.

    According to the "Preface", the Vascular Plants of Alberta lists all species, native and introduced, known to occur in Alberta. Part I describes Fern Allies as a group of unrelated spore-bearing plants. Name changes result from scientific advances. The title provides easier access to information on Alberta species in the Flora of North America, (N.Y.: Oxford University Press) which will comprise thirty volumes and over 21,000 species, most of which do not occur in Alberta.

    The present study lists taxa alphabetically and should be simpler and clearer. There are descriptions new to Alberta, including species newly found in the province and those with new classifications. The keys for identifying all taxa known to occur in Alberta at the time of publication, as well as distribution and habitat information for native species, are all included.

    There have been two editions of the Flora of Alberta, the first, a single volume by Ezra H. Moss (1959) and second (1983) revised by J.G. Packer in both printed (by the University of Toronto Press) and web-accessible forms. The first edition contained 104 families, 499 genera and 1605 species of regional flora. The second edition contained 113 families, 547 genera and 1977 species, of which 1457 were native species. Thus, descriptions in the present study are only for species or other taxa not already described in the 1983 guide.

    The Table of Contents covers: "ferns and fern allies‒Pteridophyta, conifers‒ Gymnosermae; Seprmatophyta/ Seed Plants, and flowering plants‒ Angiospermeae". There is a helpful Bibliography, with useful sources, such as "Alberta Conservation Information Management Systems" (2015). In the "List of Elements in Alberta‒ Vascular Plants‒ Open Government", you will find a list of all known ones confirmed to occur in Alberta.

    In the Geographical Abbreviations of jurisdictions, the North American distribution in the Vascular Plants of Alberta is generally given as west to east tiers proceeding from north to south. Some ranges beyond North America are briefly indicated.

    John G. Packer is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. He was curator of the Vascular Plant Herbarium at the University of Alberta from 1959 to 1988. He is the author of Flora of Alberta, 2nd edition (1983). Ill-health prevented him from including the Dictyledonous families in the present study.

    Joyce Gould is the Science Coordinator in the Parks Division of Alberta Tourism, Parks, and Recreation. She is the co-ordinator of the no longer in print Rare Vascular Plants of Alberta (2000). However, the Alberta Plant Council has announced a second edition, published by the University of Alberta in spring 2019, with a complete listing of Alberta's rare vascular plants with detailed plant descriptions, habitat information, and notes of special interest.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2019

  • The Amphibians and Reptiles of Alberta: a Field Guide and Primer of Boreal Herpetology, Anthony P. Russell and Aaron M. Bauer (University of Calgary Press, 2008) Second Edition, 280 pp. paper Indexed. With colour photography by Wayne Lynch and illustrations by Irene McKinnon.

    "Herpetofauna" pertains to the entire amphibian and reptile fauna of a given area. As in "Preface to the First Edition" (2000), this is a compendium of Alberta herpetofauna associated with conservation and environmentalism, augmented with books and papers cited at the end of each chapter, and, for the non-technical reader, a glossary and general references in the bibliography, intended for the advanced reader. "Preface to the Second Edition" about a series of status reports on Alberta wildlife, includes reptiles and amphibians, by Alberta Fish and Wildlife, of which five of the eighteen species have name changes. There is the enduring importance of the Alberta Conservation Association.

    As in "Introduction", since the age of dinosaurs, there has been amphibian decline, breeding activities, the pattern of species representation based on region and location. The book is divided into two parts: the first, a species account, to be used for identification and observation; the second, the biological perspective, of our native species, indigenous amphibians and reptiles.

    The massive scope ranges from The Devonian Period, the Palaeozoic Era, the Carboniferous Period, and throughout the Mesozoic ("Age of Reptiles"). The reader discovers characterization of amphibians and reptiles in the context of 49,000 living species of vertebrates in all. There are useful graphs of the ways in which a reptile interacts with its thermal environment; the diversity of turtles, crocodylian species, tuatara, lizard, and snakes.

    In Chapter 3, "The Amphibians and Reptiles of Alberta: A Brief Introduction" there are details about further research geographic variation and phylogenetic relationships. Note: the eight species of reptiles and ten of amphibians (See colour plates for photographs of all taxa known to occur in the Alberta.) In biology, a "taxon" is a group of one or more populations of an organism seen by taxonomists to form a unit. A taxon is usually known by a particular ranking, although experts may disagree. There are the body forms and major distinguishing characteristics. Table 3.1 "Breakdown of the numbers of species of amphibians and reptiles occurring in Canadian provinces and territories". There is the possibility of four other species occurring in Alberta (See: Chapter 5).

    In 4, we learn about "How to Observe" (not handle or remove) Amphibians and Reptiles, since they are rather elusive, rare, cryptic, protected in provincial and national parks. In Alberta, ask the Fisheries and Wildlife about regulations and legislation and, on private land, query the landowner.

    In Chapter 5, "A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Alberta" note a list of the scientific and common names of species (known or suspected to occur), names used by Collins (1997). The checklist is followed by illustrated keys to adults, larvae and eggs. Further, there are a general description, outline of age and sex-related variation, summary of natural history and reproductive characteristics, as well as distribution. A list of significant references appears at the end of each account. Every species is illustrated.

    For Species Accounts: the salamander, toad, (the boreal chorus) frog, lizard, snake, turtle, whether found in short grass prairie, prairie slough, badlands, aspen parkland, Cypress Hills, boreal lake, and mountainous terrain

    For Chapter 6, "Zoogeography of the Alberta Herpetofauna", there are four major biomes. A biogeographical region or formation; a major regional ecological community are characterized by distinctive life forms and principal plant (terrestrial) or animal (marine) species, with maps where these animals appear.

    In 7, "Amphibian and Reptile Natural History" we find the food web communities of animals in Alberta, salamander courtship, relative survivorship, staged metamorphosis of a frog, and hormone levels.

    For 8, "Coping with the Cold", the research was done in relation to physiology, morphology, and behaviour, and by obtaining temperature from their surroundings. Since the number of warm summer days is few in Calgary, snakes will den, while frogs are exposed to freezing temperatures.

    In Chapter 9, "The Challenge of Aridity" survival depends on the structure of the skin, nocturnality, spring rainfall, cannibalism.

    In Chapter 10, "Defence and Venoms" apply to toxins, "freeze" in plain sight, speed, and playing dead. Be aware of the venom apparatus of Alberta snakes: the rear-fanged mechanism of a garter snake and the front-fanged arrangement of the rattlesnake; and how the risk of snakebite can be minimized, with a list of regional hospitals

    Of 11 "Amphibians, Retiles, and People", there is fascination with and among the misconceptions about these maligned creatures, the Biblical Satan as a snake, oral and written religious traditions, folklore and dances, commercial and biological uses, urbanization, pollution, habitat destruction which results in declines.

    Where the University of Calgary is situated and once was adjacent to prime amphibian habitat for tiger salamanders and leopard frogs, in the 1960s, which cannot be found now. Traffic on Highways 2 and 22X represents the loss of ponds for chorus frogs, wood frogs, and boreal toads. Since the 1970s, agricultural use, drought, direct persecution, logging, were studied and, in the 1980s, factors such as changing global conditions, stocking with game fish and ultraviolet radiation in Alberta, the ozone layer, global warming, harmful chemicals. Pets were released in national parks but all species are protected, trade is restricted.

    Alberta has no endemic (occurring only in the province) species of amphibians or reptiles. Some uncommon in Alberta are common elsewhere. The Canadian toad, in much of Alberta, is less frequently encountered to the south. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) deals with the endangered, threatened, rare, in Public Awareness Campaigns, while the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division performs monitoring.

    Biodiversity is the total array of life forms that exist in a given area, be it a forest ecosystem or the entire earth; a measure of species richness. The key to preserving biodiversity is maintaining healthy populations of species, as well as ecosystems, which survive. The major aim is to prevent Alberta herpetofauna from extinction, the fate of their predecessors, the dinosaurs

    The Bibliography, which extends from pages 211-262, offers: 1) General References and Guides to the Amphibians and Retiles of North America; 2) References Pertinent to the Study of Amphibians and Retiles in Alberta. Works that refer specifically to Alberta are identified by a receding bullet.

    The Glossary is a very short, but useful, list of technical terms and their explanation. One recommendation is that one of several available dictionaries of the life sciences or zoology be consulted. In the Index, the boldface numbers refer to definitions of terms, provided in the Glossary.

    The first edition received an award from the Book Publishers Association of Alberta and recognized by the Emerald Awards for Environmental Excellence. The second edition has been revised and updated. Naming reflects current thinking in the field. New photographs added, maps and illustrations are updated.

    Anthony P. Russell is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary. Aaron M. Bauer is a professor in the Department of Biology at Villanova University, Pennsylvania.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2019

  • A Century of Parks Canada 1911-2011, edited by Claire Elizabeth Campbell (University of Calgary Press, 2011) 447 pp. paper. Indexed

    Claire Campbell is Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Coordinator of Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University. She is the author of Shaped by the West Wind: Nature and History in Georgian Bay (2004) and coeditor of Groundtruthing: Canada and the Environment, a special issue of the Dalhousie Review (2010). This is the second title in the Canadian History and Environment Series. The first title was edited by Alan MacEachern, Department of History, University of Western Ontario.

    In all, this impressive collection contains fourteen essays.

    The Introduction: "Governing a Kingdom: Parks Canada 1911-2011", by Claire Elizabeth Campbell, states The Dominion Parks Branch was founded, in 1911, to manage our national parks. The first was Banff National Park. The Rocky Mountains Parks Act was passed in June, 1887. Yellowstone National Park, in the United States, was already a tourist destination. From 1906 to 1911, the Dominion Forestry Branch was responsible. The National Parks Act was approved in 1930 and amended in 1974 to reflect aboriginal rights. After 1936, the Parks Branch was moved through a series of departments. The first national parks policy was tabled in 1964. The National and Provincial Parks Association, later the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, emerged. In 1970, the National Parks System was adopted. The World Heritage Convention, in 1976, was ratified. By the late 1980s, we were "loving the parks to death". The Canada National Parks Act of 2000. had more force. In 1979, the agency was transferred to the Department of Environment, then, in 1993, the new Department of Heritage. In 2005, a national Network in Canadian History and Environment was established. Parks became cultural landscapes. Therefore, the 2011 centennial of Parks Canada is an august occasion.

    In "M.B. Williams and the Early Years of Parks Canada", by Alan MacEachern, the reader learns about how Mabel B. Williams explored the parks and did research for the guidebooks used by tourists. She was almost lost to history, although she prepared the memoirs of her boss J.B. Harken, First Commissioner of National Parks in Canada. Her archival papers and oral interviews were subsequently uncovered. In 1911, the parks welcomed 50,000 visitors; in 1920, there were 100,000; by 1930, 550,000 annual visitors. The Alpine Club of Canada was popular. In 1936, Williams helped chaperone Grey Owl on his tour of England. She died in 1972.

    "Nature's Playgrounds: The Parks Branch and Tourism Promotion in the National Parks, 1911-1929", is an interesting essay by John Sandlos, Department of History, at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The basis for national parks was tourism, commercial benefit, as well as protection of wilderness and declining wildlife in western Canada. John Muir was compared to Robert Craig Brown, author of "The Doctrine of Usefulness: Natural Resources and National Parks Policy in Canada, 1887-1914" (1968). A parks system consisted of four mountain parks‒ Rocky Mountains (1885), Glacier (1886), Yoho (1886), and Waterton Lakes (1895), followed by the St. Lawrence Islands National Park, in 1904.

    "A Questionable Basis for Establishing a Major Park": Politics, Roads, and the Failure of a National Park in British Columbia's Big Bend Country", is an important essay by Ben Bradley, Department of History, Queen's University. Some parks were proposed but failed, while others "never were". In 1930, The Natural Resources Transfer Act gave the prairie provinces control over their lands and returned the Dominion Railway Belt to British Columbia. The 2.4 million acres of Hamber Provincial Park, established in 1941 by the government of B.C., was a failed national park, because it was part of a scheme to have the federal government incorporate it (and several other provincial parks) into the national parks system. Figure I displays Transportation Routes and National Parks in the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains, 1927. British Columbia was effectively bankrupt by the summer of 1932 and unable to meet its public relief commitments. Figure 2 displays New Grade and Big Timber at Boulder Creek, Big Bend Highway. The Big Bend Highway finally opened to the public in June, 1940. Figure 3 displays Golden Stoke Highway, Base STA 240+ 100 West, Big Ben Highway, in August 1939. When Hamber was downgraded from a class "A" to a class "B" provincial park, mining and logging were permitted. The Big Ben Highway was unpopular. Construction of the Mica Dam, in the 1960s, accompanied the virtual elimination of the Park.

    "A Case of Special Privilege and Fancied Right: The Shack Tent Controversy" is a far-ranging essay by Bill Waiser, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan. In 1970, Jean Chrétien, then Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, publicly withdrew the controversial White Paper on Indian Policy. Prince Albert was Saskatchewan's first national park and was encountered by the problem of campsites, summer lots, and several hundred automobiles. In the 1930s, the primary aims were recreation, a town site, and visitor accommodation. Figure 4: Shack Tents in the Waskesiu Townsite campground offered an affordable family holiday. During the Second World War, the demand for accommodation fell, and then climbed, in the 1950s and 1960s. Figure 2: By the 1940s, the Shack Tent Community has become a park institution and there was a petition to retain them year-round. However, a regional holiday resort was not in keeping with a National Park.

    The question of public land for private individuals was debated. The redevelopment plans for Waskesiu were completed in 1967. Figure 3: Portable cabin owners were prepared to fight the National Parks Bureaucracy to keep their special accommodation privileges in the Prince Albert National Park. Chrétien reported that the policy would be unchanged and the attrition of these abodes would continue, after the National and Historic Parks Director was said to be "apoplectic". Yet, there was a delay in implementation and further consultation about what people wanted. Ecological integrity was added to the National Parks Act in 1988.

    "Banff in the 1960s: Divergent Views of the National Park Ideal", by C.J. Taylor discusses the dual roles of a protected natural area and a recreation area for public benefit. Overdevelopment occurred in the 1960s. Automobile travel was easier and the post-war boom continued. Academic and environmental interest groups lobbied for change and idealism. There were complaints about the unsightly campgrounds. There were no property taxes because the land was owned through government leases. Banff was granted limited municipal status in 1990. The zones for activities had been established and the Parks Branch did not support the ski-hill industry. The conservation movement of the early twentieth century was revisited in the 1960s. In 1961, the Resources for Tomorrow Conference was held in Montreal. This led to the formation of the National and Provincial Parks Association (the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) in 1963. Park management was criticized. Academic programs were introduced at the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary. The first Canadian National Parks: Today and Tomorrow" conference was in Calgary, in 1968. Ecology took centre stage and habitat for wildlife. The Bow Valley Naturalists was formed. A coyote cull reflected the position of park wardens at that time. The 1968 Olympic proposal was derailed. Parks Canada introduced a new management plan for Banff which led to protecting heritage sites around the world.

    "Films, Tourists, and Bears in the National Parks: Managing Park Use and the Problematic Highway Bym Bear in the 1970s", by George Colpitts, Department of History, University of Calgary, explores the paradoxes of popular wilderness. There was a National Film Board production of "Bears and Man", in 1978, which set off the debate about use versus protection. Other films followed. Popular culture enjoyed images of bears, especially the National Park Nature postcards. Figure I: A quite typical Banff postcard about the 1920s (and well into the 1960s) about Tourists' Cars subject to inspection by wild game on the auto road near Banff, Alberta. Figure 2: Black bears became keystone species in tourist understandings of parks roads landscape. "Wildlife of the Rockies" encouraged tourists to stop their cars and look at park wildlife. "Away from it all" (1961) and "The Enduring Wilderness" (1963) were produced to promote tourism. This resulted in bear culls after mauling incidents. "Where Has the Sanctuary Gone?" (1971) was about too little wilderness. Figure 3: The 1950s saw larger numbers of tourists and greater bear habituation, some of it encouraged by tourist bus operators and concessionaires who often stopped their vehicles to let tourists get photos along roadways. Carcasses of road-killed elk and moose were used to attract bears to open areas suitable for filming. The national parks were declining in black and grizzly bear populations. The First Nation's voice was effective. The roadway was an obstacle to the bear and its wilderness habitat.

    "Hunting, Timber and Harvesting, and Precambrian Beauties: The Scientific Reinterpretation of La Maurice National Park's Landscape History, 1969-1975, is an essay by Oliver Craig-Dupont, Départment D'Aménagement, Université De Montréal.

    As in the Introduction, Campaigns for the first National Parks reflected "great unspoiled nature and true wilderness". National park wilderness is a powerful cultural product. Parks Canada has often used this idealized representation of wilderness to protect its parks. Note: Parks Canada stipulated the Guiding Principles and Operational Policies of 2008. Preservation permitted commercial uses, including tourism. Mauricie National Park provides an example of the Social Construct based on Parks Canada's wilderness ideal. There are Sections devoted to The Natural Beauties of Canada and the Project of a Park in the Mauricie; "Hunting and Timber Harvesting: The Industrial and Recreational Imprint in the Mauricie"; and the "Scientific Reinterpretation of the Mauricie's Landscapes". Figure 2: "Exploitations and land holdings before 1972 on the territory of La Mauricie National Park, 1959-1972". Figure 4: "Proposed Zoning changes in La Mauriceie National Park's Backcountry by Interpretive Specialist R.C. Gray. Visit of interpretive specialist R.C. Gray was on 9-15 June 1971. Figure 5: The thirty-nine natural regions of Canada. The Conclusion is: far from being a natural area, La Mauricie National Park appears as an object laden with interpretations of what wilderness should be, according to Parks Canada.

    "Kouchibouguac: Representations of a Park in Acadian Popular Culture", by Ronald Rudin, Department of History, Concordia University, begins with "A Walk in the Park", in New Brunswick, Figure 1: "Obliterating the Park's Name with those of the communities destroyed, 16 April, 1980". This special protected area depends on 200 hundred families who gave up their homeland, but not willingly. Long-standing Acadian communities had once existed there. Nevertheless, "The Story" of expropriation and displacement, was promulgated, in the mistaken belief that a resident population could not co-exist with nature. There was not resistance in this particular case, unlike others. Acadians expressed their grievances on the public stage. Resistance first surfaced in June 1971. The process by which residents were removed from their lands was involved. The original package of compensation was insufficient, to acquire the land, to deal with the social upheaval, expropriation, and relocation. A squatter was denied services, before demolishing his home. Park offices were occupied. There was a special inquiry about the issues. Figure 4: "Barricading Offices, 18 March 1980. Kouchibouguac Meets the Acadian Artist Community. A 1979 film played a role in the crisis. Figure 6: of Expropriated families return, July 2008.

    Kluane National Park Reserve, 1923-1974: Modernity and Pluralism", by David Neufeld, Parks Canada/Yukon College, is an essential essay. In his "Introduction": an aggressive and extensive transformation of Canadian heritage protected areas took place from the late 1960s through the 1970s. A Figure of The Mountain vastness of Kluane National Park and Reserve, June 2002.

    The idea for a protected area in the southwest Yukon dates back to the 1920s and to Kluane National Park Reserve, in 1974, meeting newcomers in the southwest Yukon. The Yukon mining industry was moribund by the 1920s. In the 1940s, trapping, big game outfitting, and fur farming expanded. Yukon Aboriginal people felt shut-out of their own country. There were visions of a Northern National Park. High Modernism arrives in the Yukon. Burwash Indians had hunted in the sanctuary area. There was no formal claim. The Indian should accept wage labour or relocate to more remote territory. Aboriginal challenges to modernism occurred from the late 1940s into the early 1950s. Figure 9: The Yukon Fist Nation Leaders who travelled to Ottawa in Feb. 1973 to present Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow: A Statement of Grievances and an Approach to the Settlement by the Yukon Indian People to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Conclusion: The story of Kluane between 1923 and 1974, from bison preserve to the Kluane Game Sanctuary, the national ark reserve, and today's Kluane National Park and Kluane National Park Reserve.

    In "Negotiating a Partnership of Interests: Inuvialuit Land Claims and the Establishment of Northern Yukon (Ivvavik) National Park", by Brad Martin, Department of History, Northwestern University, we read how, in the early 1960s, administrators in the recently created Planning Division were determined to establish a great chain of wilderness reserves from the Yukon-Alaska border to Labrador. The new northern reserves were vacation destinations connected by new roadways and displaced the local aboriginal peoples, although native political power grew and land claims policy evolved. Native and non-native opposition were expressed in art, literature, and storytelling. Northern Yukon National Park (later Ivvavik National Park) reveals different cultural understandings of nature, the proper place of humans in the natural world, and conflicts over protected areas. The essay deals with "Conservation and Development in the Western Arctic", "Negotiating the National Park", "Opposition and Compromise", and "Rethinking Colonial Conservation in the North". Figure 2: Coastal Calving Grounds and Winter Ranges of the Porcupine Caribou Herd in the Northern Yukon and Alaska, 1971-78. Figure 3: The Yukon-Alaska Borderlands, showing the Arctic National Wildlife Range, the Berger Wilderness Park Proposal and the 1977 Parks Canada Proposal for a National Park in the Northern Yukon. Martin sums up the moral, scientific, economic, and aesthetic questions, as well as the illusion of "uninhabited wilderness".

    In "Archaeology in the Rocky Mountain National Parks: Uncovering an 11,000-Year-Long Story", by E. Gwyn Langmann, Parks Canada, the mountains were once thought to be difficult a place for people to have lived, so there would be no archaeology to be done. Archaeology grew rapidly in Canada in the 1970s with new heritage legislation in all the provinces. By the early 1980s, regional offices had permanent staff and a program of inventory and research in the national parks. There are now two thousand known sites in the mountain park block, with research, mitigation, and interpretation projects. This essay deals with "The First Prehistoric Remains to be reserved in Canada", "1955-64: Creating a Discipline", "1964-78: Archaeological Research in the Mountains Begins"; "1979-88: A Full-Time Parks Canada Archaeological Presence"; "1989-2010: Integrating Cultural and Ecological Research in Park Management"; and, finally, "Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going?" Figure 1: Looking Towards Mount Rundle, Across Grounds and Road Way, to the Semi-Subterranean House sites near Banff. Figure 2: semi-subterranean house sites between Mount Rundle and Bow River near the Golf Grounds. Figure. 3 University of Calgary Archaeology Fields School at Site DgPl-10 in Waterton, 1971.

    In "Rejuvenating Wilderness: The Challenge of Reintegrating Aboriginal Peoples into the Playground of Jasper National Park", by I.S. MacLaren, Department of History and Classics and Department of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, distinguishes between Category II designation (ecological integrity) and Category V (protected area). James Morton Turner coined the phrase "paradoxes of popular wilderness". The essay begins with 1872, a living homestead (Ewan Moberly, 1860-1919), the restored, unoccupied house, in Jasper National Park. The plan of the town of Jasper, 1902-1910 Rocky Mountains Park, Jasper Forest Park, and the Rocky Mountains Forest Reserve, 1911-1913 diminished parks, expanded forest reserve.

    "Epilogue", by Lyle Dick, Parks Canada begins with a quote from The Banff-Jasper Highway: Descriptive Guide, 1928 and other more recent sources. National parks are symbols of identity. The Alpine Club of Canada plays a significant role in the history of National Parks, from 1885-1910, 1910-1945, to 1981-2000.

    This important reference source also contains an "Appendix A: Canada's National Parks and National Park Reserves; Appendix B: "National Parks, Zoning System, Parks Canada Agency"; "Notes on Contributors"; "Selected Bibliography: Archival Sources, Secondary Sources".

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2019

  • A New Era for Wolves and People: Wolf Recovery, Human Attitudes, and Policy, edited by Marco Musiani, Luigi Boitani, and Paul C. Paquet (University of Calgary Press, 2009) 282 pages, paper, indexed

    Wolves are one of the most admired, reviled, and controversial carnivores all over the world. This is a title in the Energy, Ecology, and the Environment Series. The Alberta experience in the global arena will be showcased. The inaugural title was Places: Linking Nature, Culture, and Planning, by J. Gordon Nelson and Patrick L. Lawrence.

    The "Table of Contents" begins with: a List of Tables, List of Figures, Biographies for Editors, Contributing Authors, and Artists (drawings and photos of wild wolves only); and Acknowledgements. "Introduction‒ Newly Recovering Wolf Populations Produce New Trends in Human Attitudes and Policy" reveals how they have been recovering since their protection in the 1970s, a veritable resurgence; a study of human attitudes to changes and trends in wolf management and conservation in general; some political contexts contributing to wolf recovery and public opinion swings; cultures and ethics favouring wolf recovery, and enduring conflicts with human interests.

    In Section I‒ Arts and Science in Management Plans for Recovering, Recolonizing, and Reintroduced Wolves, we find:

    1.1 Wolf management Across Europe: Species Conservation without Boundaries: an introduction, the status of European wolves, wolf conservation issues, small populations; the process of recolonization, availability of suitable habitat, legislation fragmentation, livestock conflicts; economic incentives for livestock producers, human attitudes, pan-European, population level, and local scales of conservation.

    1.2 Ecological and social constraints of wolf recovery in Spain, an introduction to study of the area and wolf recovery in Spain: Factors Affecting Wolf Recovery in Spain; Characteristics of Wolf Recovery, Methods: The Effects of Man-Made and Natural Barriers; Damage to Livestock and Wolf Surveys, Mixed Barriers, and Results Discussion.

    1.3 Gray Wolf Conservation in the Great Lakes of the United States: an Introduction to the Study Area, Methods, Results Population Estimates and Growth Rates; Gray Wolf populations in the Great Lakes states, 1950-2005. We read about: Survival Rates, habitat predictors, depredation management, state plans. One Table is about wolf population growth and wolves killed in depredation control activities 1979-2005. Another Table indicates Comparisons of Gray Wolf Management Plans for Great Lakes States. For Discussion are: Population Surveys, Survival Rates and Population Growth, Suitable Habitat Assessment; Depredation Management, Wolf Conservation Plans, The Future of Wolf Conservation in the Great Lakes.

    1.4 The Art of Wolf Restoration in the Northwestern United States: Where to Now? contains an Introduction, a Table of the minimum estimated Dec. 31st wolf population, annual confirmed wolf depredation, and annual agency wolf removal in the northern Rocky Mountains of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, 1987-2006. A Study Area Table has a matrix of generalized environmental attributes and an illustration of the relative probability of them occurring in the different types of areas used by wolf packs in the northern Rocky Mountains of the U.S. methods. The Results depend on wolf population statistics, wolf habitat, livestock depredation, wolf removal, wolf-management strategies. with Discussion.

    In Section II‒ Human Cultures and Ethics Influencing Recovering Wolves, we come across:

    2.1 Ethical Reflections on Wolf Recovery and Conservation: A Practical Approach for Making Room for Wolves.

    The reclasssification rule of moving wolves from the endangered to threatened status was considered the first step in the eventual elimination of all federal protections for gray wolves in the United States. Wolf recovery and conservation requires a sustained commitment toward building human tolerance for the presence of large carnivores. There are ethical questions to ponder and some guiding principles: the importance of ethics arises. All perspectives must be considered. A case study of the Mexican wolf reintroduction program is an instance of wolf persecution: (repeating the cycle?) Reintroduction, as compared with natural recovery, deals with the role of fear which is based on extreme human emotions. The debate about delisting will determine the future of wolf conservation and management in the United States. In Alaska, wolves are hunted, trapped, and aerially gunned to boost moose and caribou population. The urban-rural divide calls for integrating ethics into wolf and carnivore conservation. Practical models of carnivore coexistence will be implemented. Conservationists conclude that, from looking into the future and learning from the past, the lesson is that we can always do better.

    2.2 Compensation and Non-Lethal Deterrent Programs: Building Tolerance for Wolf Restoration in the Rockies" begins with an "Introduction: Wolves in the Northern Rockies". Alternative plans were proposed about "no wolves" and reintroduction of wolves. A non-essential status was allowed under The Endangered Species Act, to provide for livestock protection, by having the wolves moved or killed. Wolf compensation programs reimburse livestock owners for their losses. The 2003 World Wolf Congress was held in Banff. Wolves are protected, addressed through lethal control, or not addressed at all. Data was collected to determine the effectiveness of the wolf compensation program. A fair market value is one component. Findings were discussed. Administration is a problem. Non-lethal, proactive conflict management is recommended. Criteria for such projects are: location, cooperation, feasibility, agreements, evaluation, and limitations. The Future of wolves is in the balance.

    2.3 Education as a Conservation Strategy: Exploring Perspective Transformation begins with Introduction: Education for Wolf Conservation. The groups are children, wolf advocates, and adults opposed to wolf conservation. However, there are the risks of wolf education, such as entrenched attitudes toward wolves; advocacy, indoctrination and propaganda. Perspective Transformation depends on awareness. Wolf education as a conservation strategy requires forums for knowledge on wolves; conservation education as a discipline, and knowledge about current trends.

    2.4 Working with People to Achieve Wolf Conservation in Europe and North America begins with an Introduction: Incorporating Human Dimensions in Wolf Management. Managing game (deer) is actually about management of people. Perspectives are human-oriented and involve human-dimension issues. For each European study, a quantitative questionnaire was designed. The Results and Discussion include public attitudes toward wolves. Figure 2.4.1 is on Croatian residents' feelings toward wolves. Figure 2.4.2 UK and Spanish teenagers' feelings toward wolves are expressed as a percentage of respondents. There are Public Attitudes toward possible wolf-management options. Figure 2.4.3 focuses on France and the general public's attitudes toward wolves. There are strategies to target educational programs. Figure 2.4.4 on understanding Croatian existence‒ values of wolves asks "Whether or not I would get to see a wolf, it is important to me that they exist in my region." Figure 2.4.5 is on understanding France and the future generation value of wolves, factors influencing attitudes toward wolves. Figure 2.4.6 provides understanding elements of fear, again expressed as percentages. Responses of UK and Spanish teenagers to the statement: "I would be afraid to walk in the woods if wolves were present, nature of conflict. Figure 2.4.7 is Typical scenario for a public meeting. Consider the human dimensions with a facilitated workshop approach: the Croatian wolf-management plan. Figure 2.4.8 offers the author engaged in a human-dimensions facilitated workshop approach, in Croatia. Figure 2.4.9 is the cover page of the Croatian Wolf Management Plan by the State Institute for Nature Protection, Republic of Croatia Wolf Management Plan for Croatia: Towards understanding and addressing key issues in wolf management planning in Croatia. The conclusion is basically how the wolf has coexisted with people in many parts of Europe.

    There are a List of Literature Cited, Colour Photos of wild wolves by Peter A. Dettling, David C. Olson, and Robert J. Weselmann, drawings by wildlife artist Susan Shimeld, and an Index.

    Musiani is an Assistant Professor of landscape ecology at the University of Calgary and is also affiliated with the University of Montana. He was born in Rome, the city of the famous she-wolf, and has conducted research and published internationally on wolf management.

    Boitani is the head of the Department of Animal and Human Biology at the University of Rome and a leading authority on wolves. He has conducted an extended series of research and conservation projects on the Italian wolf population, which has recovered dramatically in the last thirty years. He has authored more than two hundred peer-reviewed scientific publications and eight books.

    Paquet is Adjunct Professor with the Faculties of Biology and Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. Dr. Paquet has studied wolves for more than thirty-five years and is considered an authority on carnivore ecology, with international research experience. He has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed articles and was the founder and director of the Central Rockies Wolf Project in Canmore, Alberta.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2019

  • Wolf Mountains: A History of Wolves along the Great Divide, by Karen R. Jones (University of Calgary Press, 2002) 336 pp. paper Indexed.

    The remarkable allure of wolves within North American culture as symbols of wilderness reflects the popular culture, their legendary stature in human society. Of the wolves' return to the Rockies, as in "Epilogue: Legal Wranglings, Canine Appetites, and Shifting Cultural Attitudes", The Endangered Species Act gave the tools needed to achieve this milestone, wolf recovery and meet the needs of the species and those of the people. Wolf restoration signified an ecological and mythological significance, which may prove considerably more contentious.

    As in "Preface and Acknowledgements", the wolf figured in competing visions of the North American landscape. Attitudes to Canis lupus have changed drastically overtime; as supernatural, lupine pelts, noxious predators, and were endangered, in national parks and wildlife protection.

    In "Introduction: National Parks and the Wolf", the reader discovers a comparison of the wolf and the domesticated dog; the "grey wolf" varies in colours from jet black to blue white, with a lifespan up to sixteen years in captivity but, in the wild, only about three or four years. The wolf appears in natural history and folklore, legend and fiction, fairytales. Natural parks were places for the preservation of scenery, before recognizing wildlife and human activities.

    "Wolves in Yellowstone National Park", established in 1872, deals with "The Thunderer (a mountain peak) and Canine Howls". Chapter One explores the history of Yellowstone's wolves, park operations and perceptions of the wolf, hunting, trapping, poisoning. There were priorities of preservation and extermination. Wolf pups were captured during predator control activities, while there was dissenting opinion about park policy, which was revised. The steel trap was withdrawn in 1928 and poison in 1931. Animal ecology was a factor in science, the wolf, and the balance of nature. The prodigal predator was not entirely redeemed. There were lupine "ghosts", punning on "crying wolf", sporadic sightings and secrets, returns amid debate about the wolf. "Wolf Stories" begins with their return in winter 1994, transported from Canada to the Unite States. In Canada, wolves were shot, trapped, or poisoned, while in the United States, they could be killed for preying on livestock. Bounty payments of $342,764 were replaced by a subsidy of $6,757,750 to restore the wolves.

    Chapter Two: "Wolves in Glacier National Park" follows the wolf paw prints in "The Demise of Chief Wolf" (Blackfeet, 1910). Eco-American travellers looked for adventure. Glacier National Parks was established on May 11, 1910. Wolf Policy in the Early Park was set by John Muir, Our National Parks (1901). Hunters posed with wolf or coyote pelts. Biological warfare was introduced. Of the "Grey Peril" an ever-present danger towards a revised policy, which redefined the status of predators, such was the welcoming of wolves, after the rise and fall of their fortunes. When wolves were resettled, due to restoration, radio collars were introduced. Official and public responses were varied and changes in wolf society resulted. There were repercussions for other species.

    Chapter Three: "Wolves in Banff National Park: from 'Wolf Country' to the 'Whoop-Up Trail'" reports that, in the Castleguard Icefield, a dental relic was a fossilized tooth of an ancient canine in the Banff landscape, during the Ice Age. Wolves and First Nations were inevitably associated. The Banff area was territory for two subspecies of wolves, prior to the arrival of Europeans, with explorations of the fur trade. The North West Mounted Police brought order, as civilization encroached. A bill was introduced, in April 1887, to establish Rocky Mountains Park. Wolves were not protected but were only seen in museum cases and zoo cages, during the 1920s. Elk were eliminated, by 1900. From Cages to Wild Habitat, there was re-appraisal of the wolf. Wild wolves were not seen for the 1930s. The Banff zoo was closed in 1938. The prevailing opinion was there should not be a black list against any animals in the parks, by 1940. Yet, there were battles over canines in Banff National Park. The disputed role concerned anti-wolf forces, the scientific approach, and spreading this message. Protective policy managed predator numbers in the 1940s. There were hysterical news stories of lupophobia and the rabid wolf, rabid foxes and human epidemics, thus a ready rationale toward eradication. Few protested the policy of wolf slaughter. Wolf defenders appeared in the 1960s. Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf exonerated wolves. The Canadian Wildlife Service received correspondence from all over the world. By 1987, "Wolves Retake Banff". It took three decades for packs to recapture territory in the Central Rockies, since early park wardens shot wolves to promote elk numbers. A wolf cull using aerial darting from helicopters was enacted in a British Columbian program, in the early 1980s. Wolves were characterized as bloodthirsty murderers. Human interference needed management.

    Chapter four "Wolves in Jasper National Park" from Earth-Maker Wolf to the Fur Trapper: This survey ranges from The Creation story by Native Cree; the Stone Age to the Rifle Age; Europeans, Wolves, and Fur; a trapper's cabin in Fallen Timer Country in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Of Nature, the Railroad, and National Park, Wolf Policy in Jasper Park was guided by disdain for the wolf, promoting bounties, and patrolled by horseback and canoe. There are some passages on "The Consolidation of Control", Wrestling with Wardens and Wolves", "Ecology, Reason, and Control". In 1943, monitoring and manipulating coloured the park picture. A new phase of wolf control occurred in 1943, with rabies in Jasper, so the canis lupus was subsequently welcomed and repelled ("From Outlaws to Lupine Legends") The course runs from rifle butts to cameras, Nature's Cycles and Human Constructions; Across Park Boundaries: Wolves and Species Protection.

    For Chapter Five: "Conclusion: The Trials and Trails of Wolf History: Exceptionalism in the Rocky Mountain Wolf Packs" is marked since New England, 1633. Yellowstone National Park was a unique place of natural splendour. A photo of: "Two wolves in the Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park, July 1995" is significant. Predators returned to Glacier in the 1980s. National Park Service legislation extending protection to predatory animals bolstered notions of American primary, in 1933, while protection for large carnivores in Banff and Jasper was not evinced until 1959. With Canadian policy from 1924, park practices improved, but wolf control in the 1950s was part of an anti-rabies public health program. Wolf history served national exceptionalism. Wolves roamed popular narratives, thus "Restor(y)ing the Wolf" (1995).

    After "Crossing National Park Boundaries" since 1986, there follows an "Epilogue, Legal Wrangles, Canine Appetites and Shifting Cultural Attitudes". Wolf restoration in the West remains controversial. In 2000, three judges from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals determined the wild wolves could rightfully occupy Yellowstone National Park. Both ranchers and environmentalists were critical of the federal reintroduction plans. We still do not fully understand the role of lupines in ecology. There are a myriad of cultural, biological, and ethical assumptions. The long-term role of wild predators in our natural systems remains unclear. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the reclassification of canis lupus from endangered to threatened status, due to the relatively quick success in the northern Rocky Mountains.

    This ambitious textbook contains numerous End Notes from pp. 223 to 299. Additional resources are to be found in a "Bibliography: Archival Sources, Alberta Wilderness Association, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Alberta; Newspapers, Films, Internet/E-mail, Interviews; Conference Proceedings, Unpublished Papers, and Theses; Articles and Pamphlets".

    Karen Jones is a teaching fellow in the Department of History at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. She specializes in the history of the United States and the Canadian West, as well as North American environmental history.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2019

  • The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild, and Dangerous, by Paula Wild (Madeira Park, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018) 304 pp. cloth $34.95. Indexed.

    Cougars are more closely related to cheetahs and jaguars, than small cats. There have been urban sightings and various encounters based on first-person observations of the largest cat in Canada. The cougar is also known as mountain lion, or puma. However, attacks on humans are extremely rare and fatalities even less so. There are Blackfoot legends in Stoney and Sarcee that demonstrate the animal was both feared and revered.

    Ernest Thompson Seton, Theodore Roosevelt, James Carnegie, Charles G.D. Roberts, Zane Grey, and others figure in the history of the cougar. Early settlers in Ontario left as few as forty cougars, by the 1800s. In the west, bounty hunters and predator control agents depended on trapping.

    Cougars are part of popular culture, as mascots and in zoos. Many captive cougars are abused or neglected. Canada had no federal animal act, so wildlife legislations differed by province. Cougars have been radio-collared and there are guidelines for avoiding them. They can roam long distances and children are magnets to the predator, so cougar awareness should be taught. An aggressive cougar will be shot. Canada's first long-term, in-depth study was in the 1970s. The statistics have been managed, from 1812-2012, based on B.C. and California attacks. Biologists use telemetry equipment, GPS radio collars, and high-definition trail cameras. University of Alberta students studied cougars in 2004 and 2007. Not one kill, during the study, was livestock. Cougars require habitat for adequate prey. There have been some incredible journeys. The Panther Dispersal Zone is a natural migration corridor. Florida has a confirmed breeding population. A young, old, sick, or starving animal is more desperate. A tranquilizer may be slow-acting and inadequate, unless there is an opportunity for release back into the wilderness. Dogs are used as part of a "hard release" when relocating problem predators to avoid humans. If attacked, fight back!

    "Appendix: Cougar Safety Checklist" is very useful. "Selected Sources: Interviews, Conversations, and Other Personal Communications: on Wildlife Experts", "Personal Accounts of Experience with Cougars", and Additional Sources acknowledge research. In addition, there are "Books, Courses, Videos, and Online Resources" for further reading. There are: "Articles, Reports, and Related Materials", "Statistics" compiled from data collected during the 1800s through the end of 2012.

    The Cougar was a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prizes' Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award. Paula Wild has published several books, One River, Two Cultures and Sointula Island Utopia, winner of the B.C. Historical Federation's Certificate of Merit. She has written for Beautiful British Columbia, Reader's Digest, and Canada's History magazines.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2018

  • Return of the Wolf: Conflict and Coexistence, by Paula Wild (Madeira Park, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018) 272 pp. cloth, 45 black-and-white photos, with 21 colour photos Indexed $32.95

    The B.C. government hired trappers to kill wolves on northern Vancouver Island. The scene shifts to "Who Speaks for Wolf", an education and advocacy program. Speculative dates cast wolf-like canids from one to nearly three million years. The wolf appears in "The Three Little Pigs" and Peter and the Wolf. North American wolves have repopulated. Wolves in The Old World differ, including werewolves in folklore. The New World extends to winter ceremonies in Indigenous culture along B.C.'s West Coast. The grey wolf has the widest range. Steel leg-hold traps were once popular but strychnine was the poison of choice. Dogs were used, usually greyhounds, to obtain the furs. A wolf howl is as distinct as a human fingerprint. The life of a wolf begins as a pup when it nurses from its mother and older pack members regurgitate undigested food. Pups learn to hunt. In Wolves on the Hunt, by David Mech, some are radio-collared to track their movements. Drones are also used. In a fight over a carcass, the bear won.

    A hundred years ago, eastern coyotes evolved from interbreeding between eastern wolves and western coyotes, due to predator control programs. They have been called "coywolves". There are only about 30 wild red wolves today. Dogs diverged from their wolf ancestors, some are high content wolf dogs. The Wolf Centre, in Austria, is known for hand-raising of wolves and dogs, their differences remain. Wolf Haven International is a sanctuary near Seattle.

    Europe is irate about wolves and livestock. The Wolf Advisory Group deals with American ranchers and Canada has similar problems. An Alberta study noted that 62 percent of Alberta beef producers do not report losses to the Wildlife Predator Compensation Program. Livestock guardian dogs are used. When caribou and reindeer are declining, wolves may be blamed. Farley Mowat's 1963 Never Cry Wolf was based on Adolph Murie's research in his books The Wolves of Mount McKinley and Ecology of the Coyote in the Yellowstone. Wolves from Canada were relocated to Yellowstone Park.

    Paintballs are used to haze some wolves, while other wolves avoid humans. More than one cyclist has been chased by a wolf when the quickly moving bicycle could have excited a wolf's chase instinct, similar to a running ungulate, as a wolf would go after its prey, by exhausting the victim. Valerius Geist, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science at the University of Calgary, weighs in. Wolves are intelligent animals. In the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site, wolves have been known to become habituated to people. Parks Canada levied fines under the Canada National Parks Act and scavenging is a problem. Deer are a primary prey of wolves and, when they move into communities to find food, their predators follow. Dogs off-leash and cats are prey, those easy calories. Not all encounters are reported. Aggressive behaviour is common in old and starving wolves, especially when fed by humans. More wolves may have to be destroyed. Coastal wolves eat clams or salmon. Learning to Live with Wolves is an acquired skill set. Reducing conflict is key. Motion-sensor cameras reveal more about nature than we can imagine or through observation.

    The Appendix offers a Wolf Safety Checklist. There are "Selected Sources: Interviews, Conversations, and Personal Correspondence on Wildlife"; Wolf-Dog Specialists, and Additional Sources; Government Agencies, Books, Articles and Reports; Online Resources, and Films. There are a few Acknowledgements, an Index.

    Paula Wild is the author of seven books including Return of the Wolf (Douglas & McIntyre, 2018) and The Cougar (Douglas & McIntyre, 2013), a gold winner in the nature category of the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. She lives in Courtenay, BC.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2018

  • Extraordinary Ornamental Edibles: 100 Perennials, Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Canadian Gardens, Mike Lascelle (Madeira Park, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018) paper 272 pp. 225 colour photos, paper Indexed. Canada $24.25.

    The number of photographers is too many to name but, suffice it to say, the book is replete with full colour photographs, and all the plant photos have been taken in Canadian gardens.

    In "The People behind the Plants", the author says that he researched the book by visiting nurseries and demonstration gardens, in order to interview the experts who know gardening from their years of experience.

    In the "Foreword" by associate editor Carol Pope, she especially praises the sections on "Growing Edibles" (from pollination to pests to propagation, simple pruning and planting in pots); "Design Essentials" (vines with food value, appetizing ornamental annual vegetables and flowers, edible native plants, crops with fall colour); and "The Food Guide" (weeds to eat, how to make green tea, summer cordials, fruit and herb syrups, sweet and savoury jellies, vinegars, and tempura). Just to add, "Cultural Problems" deals with fruiting habits, weather conditions, unsuitable pH, mechanical damage, and inadequate drainage.

    In an "Introduction" to this simple comprehensive guide to edible ornamentals, "Herbal for the 21st Century" was intended for modern gardeners, who can experience the full range of unique and exciting options now available to them. Although there are one hundred in-depth sections on the most notable ones, hundreds of others have been included (in some detail) which range in hardiness, from zone 2, the more tolerant, to 8, the less tolerant.

    In "Meet the Plants" from A (Akebia) to Z (Zingiber), the chapters are available for quick reference. Each section contain species (botanical name and identification), A.K.A. (common names), plant type, origins, and hardiness. The basic zone hardiness ranges from 1 the most tolerant of cold weather. To find your zone, go to "Plant Hardiness by Municipality" at www.planthardiness.gc.ca. Calgary is zone 3. In addition, there are gradations from "a" being 5 degrees F colder than "b" zones. "Sun" may be classified as full, part, partial shade, or shade during the growing season. Water, Size (some small space options for pots and patios), bloom, pollination, and pruning. "What's Edible" pertains to those parts of the plant which are edible and any precautions. Harvest time varies. "Tastes Like" is an added benefit.

    In addition, there are: a very useful Glossary, Index, and "About the Author". Lascelle is a nursery manager and certified arborist, with a thirty-five-year-old horticultural background in estate gardening, landscape construction, and design.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2018

  • Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands, by Dr. W. Scott Persons IV, with illustrations by Dr. Julius T. Csotonyi (Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing, 2018) 144 pp. paper.75 colour photos and illustrations. Indexed. Canadian $14.95.

    This is a youth-friendly introduction to pre-history, with a variety of specimens and their remains, discovering science by means of pictures and carefully filtered text. "High Seas: An Ocean in Alberta" draws attention to a greenhouse climate, while "Death From Above" deals with the asteroid theory of near extinction. Nevertheless, there are more than one hundred thousand species of living dinosaurs: birds.

    The table of contents offers "Introduction: Alberta's Lost Work", "Finding Fossils", "Time and Place", "Meet the Family", "Dinosaurs in Motion", and "Beyond Extinction". The book concludes with "What Comes Next?" a Glossary, and "About the Authors".

    There are profiles of researchers: Joseph Tyrell, Dr. Philip Currie, Dr. Angelica Torices, Dr. Victoria Arbour, Dr. Eric Snively, Dr. Michael Burns, Dr. Scott Persons, and Dr. Ryan McKeller.

    The book offers a schematic of Albertosaurus bones and an image in silhouette, photos and specimens from the University of Alberta Paleontology Museum, a map legend of dinosaur dig sites, museums, and cities. Of note are the Alberta Dino Sites: Pipestone Creek Bonebed, Danek Bonebed, Dry Island Provincial Park, and Dinosaur Provincial Park.

    The work of Dr. Persons, a paleontologist and instructor at the University of Alberta, has been featured on the National Geographic and Discovery channels and in Smithsonian and Discover Magazine. The work of Dr. Csotonyi, a paleoartist, has been used by the National Geographic Society and the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Recent books are The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi (London, England: Titan Books, 2014) and Dinosaur Art: The World's Greatest Paleoart (Titan Books, 2012). He received an award, on three occasions, from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, for his vivid two-dimensional art.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2018

  • Best Places to Bird in the Prairies, by John Acorn, Alan Smith, and Nicola Koper (Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2018) 266 pages paper indexed. Canadian $24.25.

    For Birding in Alberta enthusiasts, in section one there are: Banff Natural Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Frank Lake, Glenmore Reserve; the Alberta Grain Terminal, in Edmonton; Gull Lake, in Central Alberta, Lac La Biche in the Boreal Forest; Lake Newell around Kinbrook Island, Pakowki Lake Wabamun Lake near Edmonton, Weed Lake near Calgary, and Whitemud Ravine in Edmonton.

    For Saskatchewan birders, there are: Estevan-Roche Percée, Grasslands National Park, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park; Avonlea, Chaplin Lake, Leader, Regina, Last Mountain Lake (South and North Ends); Saskatoon, Duck Lake-Macdowall, and Prince Albert National Park. For Manitoba enthusiasts, there are: Nopiming Provincial Park, Ostenfeld, Oak Hammock Marsh, Manitoba Tall Grass Prairie Preserve; Winnipeg, Beaudry Provincial Park, Riding Mountain National Park, Oak and Plum Lakes; Whitewater Lake, Manitoba Grasslands Birding Trail, Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park, and Churchill.

    In the "Foreword" by Candice Savage the reader is invited by seasoned birders to share insider information on the home provinces of each of the contributors; these are their favourite birding areas and they are keen to disclose some of their rare ?and not so rare? bird sightings.

    Richard and Russell Cannings, in "Introduction: A Journey Through the Prairie Provinces", describe Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, as an always-changing birdscape, with a diversity of landforms; among them are: grasslands, tundras, mountains, and the boreal forest. Further research resources are eBird, a public database for recording bird sightings and birding ethics, adapted from The American Birding Association Code of Birding Ethics. Some of the rules are to avoid stressing birds, limiting the use of recordings, keeping well back from nests, and use artificial light sparingly.

    This is a compact but comprehensive guidebook, with discrete chapters on each province, an ideal birding guide, having directions on "getting there", maps, and full colour photos of diverse bird fauna. There is acknowledgement of the Manitoba Naturalists Society and Brandon Naturalists Society, as well as photographers Nick Saunders and Ilya Povalyaev.

    John Acorn is a lifelong naturalist. He was the writer and host of two television series and is the author of seventeen books on natural history. Born and raised in Edmonton, he teaches at the University of Alberta, in the Department of Renewable Resources.

    Nicola Koper is a Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Manitoba, a scientific advisor to numerous government organizations, and actively involved in volunteer programs, such as the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas. She has co-authored over fifty scientific journal articles in ecology and has written for popular magazines such as The Cottager. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Alan Smith spent thirty-seven years with the Canadian Wildlife Service, during which time he helped establish and run the Last Mountain Bird Observatory. He is a Life Member of Nature Saskatchewan, who sits on the board of directors of Bird Studies Canada, and is the author of several birding books, including the forthcoming The Birds of Saskatchewan. He lives in Avonlea, Saskatchewan.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2018

  • Awesome Grains & Seeds: A Garden to Kitchen Guide, which includes 50 Vegetarian Recipes, by Dan Jason and Michele Genest (Madeira Park, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018) 208 pp. paper. Indexed. 100 full colour photos throughout. Canadian $24.95.

    In the "Foreword" by Carol Pope, Associate Editor, we are introduced to how ancient grains and seeds are managed, then learn about how we can grow them for ourselves and ensure sustainable living. Readers may prefer to source them from a local market. There are quick-to-fix and more elaborate special occasion meals, all vegetarian and family friendly, some international dishes. Jason, in the Preface, shares his some thirty-years of experience, with crops, heritage grains, a precious heritage from past generations.

    Our diet has to do with carbon footprint and greenhouse-gas emissions. Organic plants are grown without biocides and synthetic fertilizers, in home gardens or on acreages. Sowing of them is said to be easy. Saving seeds is also simple. Harvesting is done by hand, threshing follows. The basic seeds and grains are: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, flaxseed; styrian pumpkin seeds, quinoa, soybeans, and wheat. The section on "Soaking and Sprouting Grains and Seeds" contains step-by-step instructions. An example is "10 Steps to Sprouts" and "How to Grind Flour". The Recipes range from: Breakfast, Appetizers, Soups; Hearty Salads and Main Dishes; Breads, Flatbreads, and Crackers; cookies, cakes, bars, and desserts. The instructions for "Pumpkin Seed Butter Cookies" were adapted from The Joy of Cooking's Peanut Butter Cookie recipe and this one contains no peanuts. There are extensive Endnotes for online sources and a Gardening Index.

    In addition to Jason's Salt Spring Seeds Cookbook, he has written Some Useful Wild Plants; The Whole Organic Food Book, Saving Seeds as if Our Lives Depended on It; and The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas, and Lentils (Douglas & McIntyre, 2016).

    Genest is the author of two cookbooks, The Boreal Gourmet and The Boreal Feast (Lost Moose, 2010 and 2014). She was dining editor of enRoute Magazine. She writes a regular cooking column for Yukon, North of Ordinary Magazine.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2018

    A Field Guide to Insects of the Pacific Northwest, by Robert Cannings (Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing, 2018) pamphlet folder, 10 pp. paper Canadian $7.95.

    The basics of What is an Insect, How do Insects Grow, and Why are Insects So Important are prologue to an assisted study of insects in their natural habitat. The reader will find about fifty of the common insect types, such as silver fish, mayflies, damselflies and dragonflies; darners, rock crawlers, cockroaches and termites; earwigs, and many others. The proper nomenclature for each is offered, as well as habitat, distinguishing features, if any, and full colour photo identification. The omission of five orders of insects was a conscious choice. Their species are rare or hard to see. Among them are jumping bristletails, parasitic lice, and bark lice. Thrips, twisted-winged insects, and fleas are mentioned only in passing. This eight-fold field guide is an introductory companion for those who wish to pursue more information about insects, representing eighty-percent of the 1.5 million named species of animals.

    Dr. Robert Cannings, who has devoted his life to the study of entomology, is Curator Emeritus of Entomology at the Royal British Columbia Museum. He has written several books on insects, Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon; Checklist of the Lepidopters of British Columbia, Dragonflies of Conservation Concern in Northern British Columbia. The latter was with a systematic review, in a joint study, for the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund and the Ministry of Environment, since dragonflies are among his favourites.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    October 2018

    calgary city of animals, edited by Jim Ellis (Calgary Institute for the Humanities & University of Calgary Press, 2017) 125 pp., notes, works cited, sepia and full colour photographs throughout, paper or available as an e-book, open access PDF 144 pp.

    We would like to extend an invitation for you to join us at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities 37th annual Community Forum CALGARY: CITY OF ANIMALS, which takes place April 29, 2016. This year's forum brings three outstanding Canadian scholars from the fields of history, animal studies, and geography together with members of the Calgary community, to explore the roles that non-human animals have played and continue to play in the life of our city. The seminar will think about how our interaction with animals has shaped Calgary, and the traces they have left on the city's geography and identity. We the routes that animals have taken through the city, and the places where they currently live. We will think about the different ways we categorize urban animals ‒ wild and domestic, livestock and entertainers ‒ and consider the implications of these categories. Most importantly, we will think about the implications of seeing the city as an ecosystem that includes animal life, and the implications of seeing humans as one animal among many in the urban environment.

    As President of the Friends of Nose Hill Society, I was an observer and avid participant in the 2016 seminar which prompted this collection of essays. Lunchtime discussions at our table centred on "Silence of the song dogs" on the decline of wildlife near the University due to ongoing development of campus land for commercial purposes. A table mate begged to differ and praised the care of animals in the Stampede rodeos from her first-hand experience. Another observation was the choice of luncheon menu: meat eaters, vegetarian, vegan. When a City representative recommended slaughtering the goats after an invasive plant species pilot programme, and providing the meat to corporate sponsors, there was an audible and collective gasp in the room. Someone commented, "After the animals work hard and well over the summer, then they are butchered?!"

    Since I represent a group of stakeholders "Friends of Nose Hill" in effect I also bring with me "Citizens for Nose Hill", longstanding members who are responsible for preservation and conservation of the Park.

    I should add that they have more than a passing interest in the Durban Accord and implementation of the City's ten-year Biodiversity Strategy. One of our members is engaged in advocacy about light pollution on ecosystems through the Dark Sky Preserves, Urban Star Parks Nocturnal Preserves, and International Dark Sky designations. Another is a proponent of the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society. Editor Jim Ellis is Professor of English and Director of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities at the University of Calgary. He has written widely on art, literature and film and has served on the boards of Truck Gallery and Calgary Cinematheque. Ellis draws on the City's ten-year biodiversity strategy, in his Introduction. "How do we categorize the different animals that live among us (pets, livestock, entertainers, pests?) what does it mean to think of humans as one animal among many in an urban biosphere?" Generally, municipalities in the nineteenth century managed many aspects of Public Health concerns through regulations and a series of bylaws. However, the growing population of wild urban animals, including raccoons, coyotes, and rats meant livestock and wildlife interactions increased but were not one of the considerations.

    According to "how canadians used to live with livestock in cities" there was a pilot project, in Edmonton, on Urban Hen Keeping with the River City Chickens Collective. In 2014, eighteen of the nineteen sites were found to be compliant with bylaws and regulations. Six of the sites received animal control complaints. There were none over predatory wildlife, such as coyotes. In the second phase, the program was renewed and expanded.

    In 1919, the Stampede excluded events designed for animals "to bleed, pass out, break legs, or lose body parts (horns) before an audience (although all of these things happened occasionally anyway." (p. 17) ("outlaw horses & the true spirit of calgary in the automobile age") The contributor Susan Nance is said to be working on a new book, Born to Buck: Rodeo, Animals, and the Myths of the West. As a historian of animals and of live entertainment, she offers a case study of "Greasy Sal" a grey mare, in relation to the Calgary Stampede, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, insofar as this pertains to horses "employed" there as "outlaw" bucking stock. The rodeo was (and is) stylized to bring urban and rural together for entertainment purposes and commerce.

    Artist Yvonne Mullock's installation "Dark Horse" at Stride Gallery ran from June 3 to July 15, 2016, overlapping the dates of the Calgary Stampede. In "Her Dark Materials", Ellis observes that the crushed stetson, a key symbol of the cowboy and the west, could be interpreted as a sign of the horse's revenge. Horses have been used for entertainment purposes. See also: "Yvonne Mullock and the New Stampede Aesthetics", an interview by Leah Sandals, in Canadian Art, Summer, 2016.

    Are animals found in cities (except for pets) interlopers or pests? Culling coyotes to keep green spaces safe is not only ineffective but upsets the predator/prey balance of nature. This view extends to raccoons, beavers, skunks, and others, such as white-tailed deer, Richardson's ground squirrels, and Canada Geese.

    Shelley Alexander, a professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary, researches Animal Geography, Geospatial Analysis, Human Dimensions of Wildlife, and Road Ecology. (www.ucalgary.ca/canid-lab) She has over twenty-five years of experience studying wolves and coyotes, with Compassionate Conservation, non-invasive methods in wildlife research.

    In "silence of the song dogs", Alexander imagines a more tolerant society, beginning with understanding coyote ecology in the city, rather than blindly accepting what the media reports, so we can foster a different approach to co-evolution, coexistence, and even co-flourishing. Her research explores the animal as "trickster, song dog, shape-shifter, and creator", while also acknowledging its rapid and routine execution across North America. Leg-hold traps are no solution for zones of human settlement (whether city, agricultural, hinterland). From coyote ecology, she indicates three key conflict drivers: during the pup-rearing season (April-June); ravines, river valleys, or small green spaces; areas in which coyotes ate more garbage.

    Gus Yaki is an eighty-four-year-old birder who leads nature lovers on walking trips and fundraises for conservation groups across the country. Now retired, he operated Nature Travel Service guiding participants on wildlife viewing around the world. Yaki will speak in Calgary at the Edworthy Park Heritage Society at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15. He is a nominee for a new Calgary Award called the Top 7 Over 70 and the gala is Oct. 2. (www.top7over70.com) Angela Waldie's account of his monthly Elbow River Bird Survey is based on her first-hand experience. There is a diversity of species despite noise, invasive species, and habitat loss. Waldie teaches at Mount Royal University. Her PhD research focused on species endangerment and extinction in literature. Her first poetry collection A Single Syllable of Wild explores wildlife practices in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks.

    Any artificial light disrupts nature and is a new environmental concern, due to melatonin hormone production. Light at night impacts foraging patterns due to light attraction or avoidance, reduces the ability of some species to find mates; inhibits the ability of birds, insects, mammals, and humans to use the stars, and interferes with the natural circadian rhythms.

    Sandy Cross Conservation Area, (ASCCA) is a 4,800-acre day-use natural area. Originally a ranch, the donated land is a conservation area for the protection of native wildlife habitat; provides space for native species of wildlife; and offers conservation education programs that do not jeopardize wildlife and habitat ("light pollution in an animal city", by Maureen Luchsinger and Laura Griffin, educators about a love of the natural environment).

    ASCCA was Canada's first Nocturnal Preserve, in 2015, led by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). Dark Sky Programs, Nocturnal Preserves, and International Dark Sky (IDA) designations are an integral part of ecosystem health. RASC differs from the IDA in several areas. One of the more basic differences involves the requirements for the designations.

    The RASC developed specific lighting guidelines that significantly reduce the ecological impact of artificial light at night (ALAN). It was then discovered that "what is good for the ecology is also good for astronomers". The RASC Guidelines for Outdoor Lighting (GOL) are based on nocturnal biology, animal behaviour, and human vision. As such it differs significantly from typical urban lighting. The IDA adopted these Guidelines but compliance is not required for IDA designations.

    This highlights a second difference between the RASC and IDA. The IDA allow urban lighting in their Dark Sky Places, whereas the RASC required a different character of lighting. This makes it more difficult to achieve compliance with the RASC-GOL and its Programs.

    Thank you to Robert Dick RASC-LPAC and Roland Dechense, in Calgary, a senior member of the National and LPA Committee for these comments:

    We agree with the IDA that being in a city, Nose Hill would not qualify as a Dark Sky Preserve. However, the RASC has developed a program for urban Parks ‒ called the Urban Star Park Designation. There is no difference from the DSP except an USP has a brighter sky glow component. Otherwise the GOL has the same ALAN requirements, or restrictions.

    Sean Kheraj produces Nature's Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast and is also the author of Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. In "how canadians used to live with livestock in cities", he points to the fact that Calgary City Council has twice rejected pilot programmes for raising urban chickens, or practising urban livestock husbandry. However, there is currently a pilot programme for goat herding, whereby invasive plant species (commonly known as "weeds") are controlled from spreading. Ellis, alludes to this purpose in his "Introduction". I should add that, to its credit, City administration has devoted some time to researching how permits and zoning might be amended to permit urban grazing by farm animals in Calgary (outside Confederation Park.) There are community gardens and even human foraging activities proposed to augment other sources of food.

    However, this spirited initiative does not, at least at this time, extend to supporting domestic urban livestock within the City boundaries. In 1993, when I was elected President of my Community Ranchlands, I was made aware of a little-known clause in the legislation that one could be fined for permitting one's rooster to crow before daybreak. This has since been eliminated and replaced by the Responsible Pet Owner's Bylaw. Ranching of horses was once situated next to the University of Calgary. Horses were boarded on Nose Hill. There were feral dogs, in 1978, which roamed in packs, while jack rabbits, coyotes, hawks, and other wildlife still abound in Northwest Calgary.

    Mohammad Sadeghi Esfahlani is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication, Media, and Film at the University of Calgary. His research includes new social movements, social innovation, and energy systems transformations. As Acting Project Manager for the Calgary Institute for Humanities, Esfahlani organized the 34th Community Seminar, in 2016. He offers background research in humanities literature, concerning animals, and our relationship with them. His essay spans the development of critical animal studies; its background, scholarship, and institutions. "Critical: Animal Studies" as an academic discipline, has a strong affinity with feminism, post-colonial theory, ecofeminist writings of the 1970s and 1980s. Other applications are to radical environmentalists, renceadicalism, how exploitation of animals is related to dominant categories of gender, race, and class. From this discourse, he moves on to "Practical issues: problems and solutions". Among them are: "The Animal Industrial Complex" and capitalist societies, where vivisection and experimentation are practiced. At lunch, participants overwhelmingly chose the vegan option.

    Andrea Hunt, Executive Director, and Jenna McFarland, Animal Care Operations Manager both work at the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society. Together, they oversee four hundred species of wild animals, since 1993; specifically the injured and orphaned animals, for example, Canada geese, white-tailed jackrabbits, mallards, robins, magpies, and crows. With caring for two thousand animal patients a year in their nonprofit hospital, they concur that, yes, the striped skunk, Richardson ground squirrel, and others such as the beaver are well worth protecting. ("wild animals in the city")

    In terms of the arts and other genres, One Yellow Rabbit Performance offers "Calgary,/ I Love You, but You're Killing Me" at their 30th High Performance Rodeo in 2016. Paul Hardy is an internationally recognized fashion designer. "Kaleidoscopic animalia", an exhibition designed and curated by Hardy, was made possible by Melanie Kjorlien, Vice President Access, Collections and Exhibitions, at the Glenbow Museum. Hardy was artist in residence for 2015. There were images of the fur trade, brand products, Haida carvings, "beastly fetishes" of mother-of-pearl, feathers, leather, buffalo hide, and tortoiseshell. Exotic animals were featured in circus posters from the Glenbow Archives, becoming popular in the late 1800s.

    For "becoming insects: a new universe" Kimberly Cooper, the Artistic Director of Decidely Jazz Dance Works, took inspiration from cockroaches, dung beetles, scorpions, spiders, dragonflies, caterpillars, moths, butterflies, ants, wasps, stick insects, flies, and the praying mantis. Lisa Brawn, a Calgary-based artist, has worked in a variety of media, including installation art, and she paints graphic images or woodcut portraits. One group was of pop culture icons: movie monsters, country singers, artists, and musicians. The other major group are portraits of wild birds. Her works were featured on Calgary banners, in Calgary's Festival Hall. Her 2016 show combined exotic characters from film with wild birds. She presents woodcuts from her exhibitions in galleries across North America. She supplied the cover art, for purposes of calgary city of animals, with an interview and samples of her portfolio. In all, the artist mentions: magpies chickadees, crows, sparrows, pigeons; swallows, black birds, finches, ducks and gees; gulls, hawks, falcons, downy woodpeckers; northern flickers, waxwings, nuthatches, and robins.

    Ellis concludes that Plato used animals to help define what it means to be human. He rejects the dichotomy of "Cities are for people. Animals found in cities are interlopers or pests". Rather, "we are part of the animal world, and they are part of ours, since we share the same fate." Indeed.

    Some resources are on the website of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities at the University of Calgary. https://arts.ucalgary.ca/cih/news/calgary-city-animals.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    September 28, 2017

    Nature Place and Story: Rethinking Historic Sites in Canada, by Claire Elizabeth Campbell (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017) 214 pp. indexed, Endnotes (pp. 133-207) black and white photographs throughout. Cloth $34.95

    The author draws on John Newlove, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Dickens, Robert Kroetsch's Badlands. This book visits five historic landscapes across Canada, L'Anse aux Meadows, Grand Pré and the Annapolis Valley, Fort William, near Like Superior, the Forks of the Red River in Winnipeg, the Bar U Ranch in Alberta. Among the issues are climate change, agricultural sustainability, wilderness protection, urban reclamation, and oil and gas extraction. A synthesis of a national environmental history, a mari usqu ad mare, and a syllabus for "A History of Canada" are all important aims. The national historic sites system plan depends on human achievement rather than nature. National Parks have been described as cultural landscapes not wilderness. UNESCO represents heritage and environment.

    Public memory, ideology, and human history are interrelated. The 1930 National Parks Act, The Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters, and Sciences during the 1950s, Centennial projects in the 1960s, park creation in the 1970s, 1980s' national Historic District, and a 1982 federal report on cultural resources are how our understanding has evolved. The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places, in 2003, were subsequently revised. There are fewer historians at Parks Canada.

    The Little Ice Ag was AD 1300-1850, preceded by the Medieval Warm Period. L'Anse aux Meadows is a national historic site and village, along with The Viking Trail, representing profitable heritage tourism. Grand Pré is a memorial to the Acadian deportation by the British before the Seven Years' War. Fort William was reconstructed but not until 1970-1975. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board was created in 1919 and the site designated in 1923. The Forks of the Red River in Winnipeg is Manitoba's most visited attraction and important in Western Canada. Parks Canada issued Ten Principles of Environmental Citizenship in 1995. The Bar U Ranch was established in 1882. It preserves an older view of the frontier. Ranching was part of colonization, capitalism, and modernity. This was the geography of displacement, the end of the buffalo hunt, removing indigenous species; replacing them, with large lease ranches. Calgary Stampede in 1912 was by the "big four" (two of whom owned the Bar U.) In the 1970s, there were heritage projects. Turner Valley required remediation for hydrocarbons and heavy metals. Fescue is the provincial grass of Alberta, since 2003. The language of "tar sands", economic exploitation, and the arc "of hope and ruin" are reserved for Calgary. Then, environmental citizenship and stewardship replaced by marketing for adventure, wedding venues.

    Claire Elizabeth Campbell is an associate professor of history at Bucknell University, a private liberal arts college along the West Branch Susquehanna River, in the town of Lewisburg, in central Pennsylvania

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta

    September 29, 2017

    Some Useful Wild Plants: A Foraging Guide to Food and Medicine from Nature, by Dan Jason (Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing, 2017) revised edition, illustrations by Robert Inwood, 192 pp, paper, $16.95

    This guide was originally published in 1971, with plants found in the B.C. Interior, then expanded to North America. Jason lives on Salt Spring Island, B.C. where he operates Salt Spring Seeds and wrote The Power of Pulses (Douglas & McIntyre, 2016) with Hilary Malone and Alison Malone Eathorne. Some food uses of palatable plants are to be found here in recipes for tea, beer, soup, salad, or ground, as syrup, and in wine. Medical uses range from athlete's foot, ear ache, indigestion, ulcers, sore throat, warts, and wounds. However, the author cautions that St. John's wort contains a phytotoxim or phototoxic called hypericin that causes photosensitivity when exposed to strong sunlight. Other uses are as a dye, fibre, insect repellent, scent, shampoo, soap, and tooth cleanser. The compact field guide is organized by types of plants, Herbs & Shrubs, Berries, Seaweeds, Trees, and poisonous; with an Appendix and Index of Plants. There is some overlapping, for example, with berries only a few are described in a discrete section. Seaweeds are attached marine algae; there are five hundred species identified near the B.C. coast. Jason delineates Pacific kelp, in addition to brown, green and red versions of algae. (There is an alert for blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, a fluorescent scum.) The book has an extensive section on trees: the alder, birch, cedar, cherry, fir, hazel, and hemlock. Mountain hemlock and Western hemlock are promoted, not Water hemlock which is poisonous. Furthermore, he examines juniper, pine, poplar, spruce, and willow. First Nations used syrup from the poplar bark for setting fractures. The major focus is devoted to Herbs & Shrubs, beginning with Alfalfa, a cough remedy; Goldenrod, a dye; Skullcap, a member of the mint family; Vanilla Leaf, and Watercress. A typical entry delineates where a plant can be found; a description of its appearance or characteristics; nutritional value, and common uses. Whether you seek tea or a broth; an astringent and tonic; pain reliever or even a hair tonic; the ubiquitous Yarrow Achillea millefolium Astraceae is recommended. While First Nations chewed the leaves or boiled the roots of the Gumweed Grindelia spp. for a stomach tonic, today Western medicine recognizes its anti-spasmodic effects similar to atropine. The black-and-white line drawings are attractive and together with the straight forward text represent a sample selection from the over seven hundred varieties of plants the author maintains. The addendum suggests further research, since many food and medicinal plants could not be included. Some of these are less useful, uncommon, or could easily be confused with look-alike poisonous plants. He lists seventeen in this category. However, the author observes that there is probably more danger from cultivated plants and vegetables (their leaves, sprouts, seeds, and pits). The most delicious berries can be eaten raw though others are unpalatable. Water hemlock is more dangerous than lobelia and wild tobacco. Baneberry, a member of the buttercup family, contains a poison. Avoid nightshade in all its varieties. Death camas can be mistaken for camas and wild onion.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    September 29, 2017

    100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens, by Lorraine Johnson, (Madeira Park, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017) Revised third addition, full colour photographs throughout by Andrew Leyerle 160 pp. paper. $26.95.

    A native plant is one that grew in a region prior to European settlement. Not all wildflowers are native. Non-native can be exotics, aliens, introduced species, and weeds. The aims and aspirations of growing native plants can be summarized as supporting a complex web of ecological relationships as the basis of a healthy, resilient ecosystem. In short, "Dig in ‒ the roots of change need to be anchored deep...".

    Nearly ninety plants in a number of categories are represented, with a useful series of terms, such as common and botanical names, height, blooming period, exposure; moisture, habitat, range, description, maintenance and requirements; propagation, good companions, related species, wildlife, and finally miscellany, "a catch-all category for tidbits."

    Johnson is a prolific author on green future, composting, urban food growing, and wild, naturalized gardening. The topics are organized with a Foreword, List of Entries, Introduction, 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants; Ethical Gardener's Guidelines, Propagation, Plants for Specific Conditions: Quick-Reference Charts, Resources, and Index of Plants by Botanical Name.

    The Guidelines are reprinted from the North American Native Plant Society. Among them, we are advised to keep accurate records, obtain permission before transplanting, do not disrupt native plant communities; attract birds, butterflies, and moths; and share your knowledge through public education.

    In this edition, there is more information about native plants in relation to native bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects and pollinators. In the section on "Propagation", the author admits that starting plants from seed does take patience and there are some special requirements, especially for ferns. The alphabetical charts pertain to specific conditions for a variety of areas. Some are Woodland, Meadow, Prairie, Northwest, and Northeast. Others must have drought-tolerance; there are dry and acidic soils, deep shade, moist areas, and to attract butterflies and other such pollinators.

    As the author suggests, there are hundreds of other plants native to your region, so consult a field guide, join a native plant organization, visit a local garden, or ask for information. She recommends three online sources: the Database of Vascular Plants of Canada, the USDA Plants Database, and E-Flora B.C.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    September 29, 2017

    The Birder's Guide to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland: An Essential Companion for Birders Exploring the Metro Vancouver Area, edited by Colin Clasen, Revised and Expanded Edition, Nature Vancouver (Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing, 2016) 272 pp. Indexed, paper $26.95.

    There are an estimated 450 bird species in Canada, of which more than 400 are found in the Metro Vancouver area (in 33 unique habitat areas). Nature Vancouver was previously known as Vancouver Natural History Society. The goals are to enjoy, study, and protect nature in Vancouver and throughout B.C., as well as to educate its members and the public. Activities include habitat restoration, a Christmas bird count, raptor survey, coast bird survey, and a Wildlife Tree Stewardship program.

    This new and expanded edition, with more than 100 additional colour photographs, is organized by places: Vancouver, North and West Vancouver, Fraser Delta, Burnaby, Fraser Valley, Straight of Georgia (part of the Salish Sea). Other topics are the seasonal status and a select list of Vancouver Bird Species, online resources, reporting tagged or banded birds, photography etiquette, reporting harassment, nature organizations, transit and weather information, tides, black bears, cougars, and other wildlife.

    The "Foreword" is by George Clulow, President of the B.C. Ornithologists, who also updated the "Introduction." This is a new edition, since 2001, which was revised, updated, and rewritten. Nature Vancouver offers 150 field trips annually and this field guide is also useful for the tourist or vicarious traveler, because it is lushly supplied with full-colour photographs of birds and their habitats. The maps are excellent and directions clearly delineated.

    Each section is discrete with an introduction and detailed directions, with descriptions for each subsection. Overall, the approach is by locality, "Which species can I expect to find in a particular area?"

    The section on "Vancouver" covers Stanley Park, Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Jericho Beach Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Fraser River Park. The section on "North and West Vancouver" covers Maplewood Conservation Area, Lighthouse Park, Ambleside Park, Lionsdale Quay; Mount Seymour Provincial Park, and Cypress Provincial Park.

    The section on "Fraser Delta" covers George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Westham Island, Ladner Harbour Park, Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty, Brunswick Point; Point Roberts (Washington), Boundary Bay Regional Park, Serpentine Wildlife Area; Blackie Spit, Kwomais Point Park, Iona and Sea Islands, Lulu Island; Sturgeon Banks, Burns Bog Area, The Fraser River Delta Reserve.

    "Burnaby" covers the Lake Regional Park, Deer Lake Park, the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, the Fraser Foreshore Park, Barnet Marine Park. The "Fraser Valley" section covers Minnekhada Regional Park, Pitt-Addington March Wildlife Management Area, Colony Farm Regional Park, Brydon Lagoon, Campbell Valley Regional Park, and Golden Ears Provincial Park.

    The "Strait of Georgia" covers birding from BC Ferries to Vancouver Island, the main ferry routes, as well as others.

    The "Seasonal Status of Vancouver Birds" contains areas covered, a checklist divided into two parts: a list of 268 reported annually and 152 not reported every year. Some bird species are regularly occurring and others are only seasonal, casual, or accidental. There are helpful bar graphs for sightings A "Selected List of (88) Vancouver Bird Species" answers: "Where can I find a particular species?" Some are common in North America and others are not. For avid bird watchers, uncommon or rare species sightings locally (or rare and absent elsewhere) are desired. "Online Resources" send the reader to a (Yahoo Group) free online birding group with 600 members in VANBIRDS; in addition to "eBird" a free international online database, "eBird Rare Bird Alert", and "BC Rare Bird Alert", with a free blog, and regional reports (see: Vancouver and Fraser Valley at bcbirdalert.blogspot.ca).

    Reporting wing-tagged and leg-banded birds of prey contains important contact information. Be ready with details, especially about public lawbreakers. Be respectful with a Code of Birding Ethics, and mindful of the Boundary Bay incident. There were onlookers harassing birds, using bait, loud sounds, and repeatedly flushing birds out. "They have very little space left in which to feed and rest." (p. 253)

    There are citations for nature-related organizations in the B.C. area, valuable online bird research information, hands-on research-based groups, rehabilitation and rescue groups; groups offering casual outings and nature information; public transit and weather information contacts; tides for watching water birds and shore birds. An article on black bears, cougars, and other wild animals indicates that we share the wilderness areas, so avoid such encounters whenever possible. There are additional references for further research.

    All in all, The Bird's Guide to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is an excellent and rewarding resource, whether for immediate use in the field by a birding specialist or casually consulted by the general public; in other words, for anyone who has even a passing interest in nature.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society
    Calgary Alberta
    July 31, 2016


    The Calgary Herald (August 31, 2016, sec A, p. 2) reported on beekeepers who will be wearing their beekeeping suits when they take on the Canmore Quad Challenge. Their purpose is to raise funds and awareness about their Bee Aware AB project. ("Couple to tackle race in beekeeping suits: Canadians seeks to raise awareness about declining bee populations.") Another report claims "Chestermere is the most bee-friendly city in the West." (Both articles were written by Volande Cole). This is a timely and topical subject in which there is definite public interest.

    Another article about the perceived global glut of honey and questionable trading practices have driven the production costs up, while revenue has fallen. Statistics Canada estimates 95.3 million pounds of honey worth about $232 million were produced in 2015 (Alberta produced about half of that) 42.8 million pounds ‒ up 20 percent from 2014. ("Honey producers feel sting of low prices", Calgary Herald, Sept. 3, 2016, section C, pp. 1, 5.) An accompanying photo is of a local bee keeper near Innisfail.

    Review of Victory Gardens for Bees: A DIY [Do It Yourself] Guide to Saving the Bees, by Lori Weidenhammer (Madeira Park, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre, 2016) 240 pp. paper Indexed. Full colour photographs throughout.

    Early beekeeping occurred in northern Europe, so that now we can give back to nature by caring for our gardens, pastures, and other green spaces.

    Beekeeping during World War I was practiced by women to help feed their families and it came to be regarded as a "gold rush", until too many failed. Victory bee keeping alludes to World War II beekeepers who were allowed a sugar ration to feed their bees. It also invokes the sense of defence against Colony Collapse Disorder, although the practitioners of keeping bees need to be educated about competing interests of imported bees, with wild bees and other honeybees, for pollen and nectar.

    This book is dedicated to future gardeners, farmers, and ecologists. The layout uses full colour captioned photographs, elaborate and decorative charts, inserts of pertinent information, pithy quotations, and observations on bee biodiversity.

    The ten fulsome chapters deal with charts of weeds to leave for bees, bee plants with benefits, edible herbs for bees; vegetables for bees, new world natives, bee pasture plants; trees for bees, shrubs for bees, perennials for bees.

    In "Weeds to leave for Bees" there is a seasonal planting chart, including plant origin, bloom period, hardiness, and bees attracted. "Bee plants with benefits" is a companion planting chart. "Bees of all stripes" promises the reader will "become a bee spotter". Healthy herbs for pollinators and people precedes "Edible herbs for bees" another seasonal planting chart, bee-licious edible gardens, and vegetables for bees. Those who venture afar will want to consult "Wild for Indigenous Bees" and learn more about nesting sites and materials; how to make a "stumpery" by collecting rotting wood stumps. Hollow stem "hotels" of twigs can replace Old Bee Logs or Cane Bundles which have been phased out. Beware of disease or microscopic pests. New World Natives, Bee Pasture, Trees for Bees, Shrubs for Bees offer more seasonal planting charts. Bee Hedgerows (deer resistant and bee rich) are dense borders of trees, shrubs, and vines. Eco-agriculturalists are turning to an ancient model of farming.

    The penultimate chapter "Victory Borders for Bees" calls for a long-time commitment with a "Perennials for Bees" seasonal planting chart. "Growing to Love Bees" encourages a flight from indoor technology to community and family building outdoor pursuits.

    This compendium is suitable for neophytes without a green thumb, as well as the mature and experienced. Anyone with an interest in joining the lifecycle of nature, of which we all form a part, in some manner or other. The text is readable, design engaging, and with more than enough suggestions.

    The selection of sources contains inspiring and useful websites, helpful blogs; seed companies, online publications, useful and inspirational books.

    The author is a Vancouver-based artist, from Cactus Lake, Saskatchewan. She appears in costume as The Queen Bee at schools and community events. She is a member of the Second Site Collective and Women Who Run with the Bees.

    Anne Burke
    President
    Friends of Nose Hill Society

    Review of Hiking Trails of Montréal and Beyond and Trails of Prince Edward Island, by Michael Haynes (Fredericton, N.B.: Goose Lane Editions, 2015) paper Indexed.

    These compact companion guides are part of an extensive series on Nature and the Outdoors. The first-mentioned extends to Laval, Lanaudière, the Laurentians, Montérégie, and the Eastern Townships. There are fifty walking routes proximate to Montréal, ranging from city parks to wilderness treks, and the research resulted from preparation for the Hiking Trails of Ottawa. It contains a Glossary of French Hiking Terms to render the content accessible to Anglophone users. The Trans Terrebonne is part of the Trans Canada Trail network. Some unique features are the Lachine Canal National Historic Site, St. Lawrence River, Parc du Mont-Royal, Laurentian Highlands, and St. Lawrence Lowland. Indeed, the author alleges that the hiking trail network in Québec is far more extensive than anywhere else in Eastern Canada. There are more hiking trails proximate to Montreal "than in any Canadian city east of Calgary," except, perhaps Quebec City. Surprisingly, the Québec park system is equaled only by that of British Columbia, "if at all." (p. 10)

    Given the context a hiker encounters the bad with the great: poison ivy and mosquitoes, white pine, red pine, purple aster, giant hogweed; larch, yellow birch, hemlock, sugar maple, chickadee, and the Great Blue Heron, wild turkey. Among the animals are: wolf, coyote, black bear, turkey vulture; thrush, grouse, turtle, pheasants, raccoon; woodpecker, moose, beaver, loon, deer, butterflies, and geese. There are web pages listed with resources on Outdoors Associations, Park/Trail Web Sites, Animals/Plants, General Interest, Weather, and details about cell phone coverage (or lack thereof).

    The second volume includes Confederation Trail, Queens County, Kings County, and Prince Edward Island National Park. Web pages are current as of Dec. 2014, on Parks, Trails, and Outdoor Associations; General Interest, Animals/Plants, and cell phone coverage. There are fifty-six walking and biking routes, the entire Confederation Trail, at nearly 450 kms., is the only provincial portion of the Trans Canada Trail to be completed. Some unique features are: fox farming, lady's slippers, bald eagle, aster, owl, blueberries, blue jay, red elderberry, chickadee; white spruce, sugar maple, larch, ducks, grouse, blue heron, potato blossoms, hemlock; white pine, red pine, beaver. The coyote, "the most recent wild animal to be classified as dangerous," p. 253) is cited among woodpecker, muskrats, "singing sands one of the seven wonders of Canada." The Green Gables is a national historic site, paired with ticks, piping plover (of which there were eight breeding pairs in 2014); raccoon, poison ivy, loon, dunes; red fox, pheasants, mosquitoes, blue heron, and others.

    Both trail guides contain engaging prefaces, informative introductions, maps, full-colour and black-and-white photographs, and come complete with assessments of their "walkability" and GPS coordinates. Some common features are the "Trails at a Glance," permitted uses, website addresses (subject to change); "Index of User Tips and Sidebar" notes as capsule descriptions on some of the plants, animals, geological features, and human institutions, such as fraternal provincial hiking organizations you might want to encounter on the various trails.

    There is a degree of interaction, since you can post comments on: http://hikingmontreal.blogspot.ca.where updates since Dec. 2012 are added.

    Haynes is the author of several bestselling trails guides, among them Hiking Trails of Nova Scotia, Hiking Trails of Cape Breton, Trails of Halifax Regional Municipality; Hiking Trails of Ottawa, the National Capital Region and Beyond, and numerous articles about Canada's outdoors. He is a regular contributor to CBC radio, has worked for numerous trail organizations, including "Go for Green" and the Nova Scotia Trails Federation. He is now the Director of TransActive Solutions and conducts workshops and presentations on trail development and use, in order to improve the "walkability" and "bikeability" of Canadian communities.

    Some other titles in the series are: Birding in New Brunswick, by Burroughs; Birds of a Feather, by Johns; Trails of Fredericton, by Thorpe; Trails of Greater Moncton, by Merlin; Hiking Trails of New Brunswick, by Eiselt; Waterfalls of New Brunswick, by Guitard; Woodland Canoeing, by Spakman.

    Anne Burke

    Review of A History of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, by Bill Freedman (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2013) 242 pp, cloth, Indexed.

    Natural is a term used in reference to the predominately non-human world or a reference to habitats or ecosystems that have developed unaided by humans and that are dominated by native species.

    The present text charts the first five decades of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and concludes with the author's personal view of possible outcomes over the next several decades. A strategic plan for 2012-2017 was developed to consider a Business Model, the next level of Business, Conservation Planning, Direct Conservation Action; Non-traditional Regions for NCC Action in Canada, International Work, Influence and Outreach. Since insufficient financing could hinder these objectives, private-sector conservation initiatives and a larger community of donors will be sought.

    The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), or The Conservancy, is a nonprofit organization intended to conserve the natural world through land trusts, stewardship plans, and by creating protected areas in carefully selected places; and to make a difference to the survival of native species and natural ecosystems; to create more and larger protected areas. This preservation and sustainable conservation of extensive private lands are used to augment public lands as parks. NCC has a non-advocacy mandate, except for tax treatment of donations, legal and funding issues; operating in collaboration with philanthropists, foundations, companies, other environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), and governmental agencies. One of the aims of land trusts is to acquire such areas and fund them, if possible, through voluntary taxation by donations to environmental charities.

    Conservation is sustainable use of a renewable natural resource or stewardship of the habitat of native species and other natural values in ways that allow them to be sustained.

    We are experiencing a modern biodiversity crisis, a mass extinction that is happening today and is being caused by anthropogenic influences, especially the destruction of natural habitats. There are: threats to the natural world, natural extinctions, resulting in this modern biodiversity crisis, with alien species and pathogens, nature is at risk in Canada.

    A protected area is a tract of natural habitat set aside from intensive economic use, such as a park, nature reserve, ecological reserve, or wilderness area. A special management area may be protected, but is usually of economic importance such that hunting, forestry, and some other extractive industries may be permitted.

    In a brief Preface, the author surveys the near losses of the whooping crane, plains bison, and trumpeter swan. Is there a global biodiversity crisis, due to irresponsible economic development, given the loss of the passenger pigeon and the great auk? Others are: the Labrador duck, sea mink, deepwater cisco, eelgrass limpet; Macoun's shining moss, blue pike, and Queen Charlottes Islands caribou. Some of the information is culled from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Among the species now locally extinct, or extirpated, are the Atlantic whale and the blue-eyed Mary. Of those at imminent risk of extinction or extirpation (in all but an important portion of their range) or known as endangered are: the Vancouver Island marmot, whooping crane, piping plover, and thread-leaved sundew. Classified as threatened, is a species that is likely to become endangered, unless factors affecting its risk are mitigated. Classified as: of special concern means a species is at risk of becoming threatened because of small or declining numbers or occurrence in a limited range (also as vulnerable). Some of the endangered are: the tall-grass prairie, a native grassland, of which less than 1 percent survives; the mixed-grass and short-grass depleted the Carolinian forest; dry open forest, dry coastal forest, semi-desert, old-growth forest, and natural communities of fish.

    Conservation refers to the judicious use of renewable resources, animals and timber, with ecologically wise use. The history of the national park movement leads to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) under the United Nations program, 1993; and the Federal Species At Risk Act, 2003. Currently we have protected areas: parks, wilderness areas, ecological reserves, and comparable tracts. According to Freedman, there are 58 natural communities, with the rare tall-grass prairie, savannah woodland, southern hardwood forest, and various wetlands.

    Nonprofit land trusts have a board of directors, own property, are independent, and entrepreneurial, with corporate structure, and intended conservation, as members of the Canadian Land Trust Alliance (CLTA), 2006. They work with willing landowners. A bargain sale is a land purchase for a price that is substantially less then the appraised value of the land and that usually results in a charitable tax receipt for the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price. This is what is known as a split-receipt transaction or other binding conservation agreement, associated with the appraised value, and controls the kinds of activities that can be undertaken on a property. Other factors to be considered are: a conservation covenant, conservation planning, and research.

    The history of the NCC, from the beginning in 1962-71, is in Ontario and by 1962 the NCC is trustee-governed, as a no-share capital corporation (not-for-profit corporation) under the Canada Corporations Act, with charitable status under the Income Tax Act. Some of the aims are for education, to acquire land, and to solicit donations, etc. The author cites The Ontario Naturalist (1963) article.

    Of note is that, as early as 1937, there existed a privately-held Province of Quebec Society for the Protection of Birds (Bird Protection Quebec). The survey moves to: The Organization, 1972-80, when Xerox Canada offered a multi-year action plan, for the conservation program, followed in 1972-80, all culled from the minutes of board meetings, endowments, and matching funds.

    Working from Coast to Coast to Coast, in 1990-97, the organization, and industry players were: Shell Canada, Amoco, Tembec, and World Wildlife Fund. They continued the campaign for conservation, 1998-2005. Paul Martin abolished capital gains taxes, which were changed to environmentally friendly tax legislation for land trusts.

    The campaign for Conservation, 1998-2005, adopted The One Conservancy principle which is intended to ensure that the NCC is committed to assisting financially those regions with a lesser ability to raise the necessary revenues locally to achieve the Conservancy's mandate.

    The outcome is that NCC has become a Force for Nature, 2006-2011. The Nature Conservancy of Canada "at Fifty" is examined thoroughly for governance, planning, securing of properties, stewardship, fundraising; communications with the general public, individual donors, high net-worth individuals, foundations, the Corporate Sector, governments, financial system, with a winning formula for success. In one graph we read of indicators to growth of the revenues and conserved areas of the NCC.

    There are positive indications about "Further down the road" accompanying The Natural World's biophilia, hidden biodiversity, natural heritage or native species, alien species as biological pollution; of intrinsic or inherent value, bioresources, with full-colour photographs.

    In addition there are: a helpful Glossary, Appendix 1: Members of the National Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Appendix 2: Chief Executive Officers of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

    Freedman is an ecologist and professor in the Department of Biology at Dalhousie University and a long-term member of the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, serving a term as it chair. He received a Career Achievement Award from the Canadian Council of University Biology Chairs (2007) and a Canadian Environment Award, Gold Medal Level, in the category of Community Awards for Conservation from the Geographic Society (2006).

    Anne Burke

    Review of Wilderness and Waterpower: How Banff National Park Became a Hydroelectric Storage Reservoir, by Christopher Armstrong and H.V. Nelles (University of Calgary Press, 2012) 286 pp. paper $34.95 Maps, photos, tables, appendix, notes, and indexed.

    As this book went to press, the coauthors received a copy of Powering Generations: The TransAlta Story 1911-2011 (Calgary: TransAlta, 2011) by Robert Page and David A. French. A note says they had supplied the authors with pre-publication drafts of earlier versions of the present account which assisted them in their project. The beautifully illustrated account of the whole range of company activities provides context for the present focused examination of hydroelectric development by the company on the Bow.

    An introduction parses path dependence, waterpower or hydropower, and wilderness. There are political ends of the spectrum on "wilderness"; this is augmented by founding of The Alberta Wilderness Association and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

    The present authors contributed "Car Parks: The Influence of Auto Tourism on Banff National Park, 1905-1918," in Alberta History (Winter 2008).

    The authors acknowledge William Cronon's launch of the debate in one of his essays, in a collection he edited, on Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature (N.Y.: Norton, 1995). This essay was published in Environmental History, which provoked responses to the text, such that the influence of Cronon's essay can be tracked. The present text references Nature's Metropolis, Chicago and the Great West (N.Y.: Norton, 1996), by William Cronon.

    "It is a pleasure to acknowledge the influence of this [Cronon] book, inspired as it is in part by the 'metropolitanism' tradition of Canadian historiography." (p. 230, note 13)

    He loosely defines first nature as original, prehuman nature and second nature as the artificial nature that people erect atop first nature. He explores the interaction of the two natures (in the hinterland and in the city) under the dominion of urban capitalist commodity flows in separate chapters devoted to grain, lumber, and meat. (pp. 259-260, note).

    They co-authored Monopoly's Moment: The Organization and Regulation of Canadian Utilities, 1830-1930 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986); also by Armstrong and Nelles, who coauthored Southern Exposure: Canadian Promoters in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1896-1930 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988)

    The duo researched The River Returns, in which they promised a forthcoming fuller treatment of the subtle and complicated matters, and are now able to offer extended coverage of the conflict between hydroelectric development and park policy.

    As a result, they co-authored, with Matthew Evenden, The River Returns: An Environmental History of the Bow (Montreal and Kingston: McGill Queen's University Press, 2009).

    While Walter Hildebrandt released a brief guide, An Historical Analysis of Parks Canada and Banff National Park, 1968-1995 (Banff: Banff-Bow Valley Task Force, 1995), Armstrong and Nelles acknowledge there are polemical ends of the spectrum on parks policy. For example, a thesis that making a profit from tourism was more important then promoting preservation, is argued, in Parks for Profit, by Leslie Bella (Montreal: Harvest House, 1987). From a political science perspective, see: Paul Kopas, Taking the Air: Ideas and Change in Canada's National Parks (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007).

    For ecological integrity, see: E.J. Hart's J.B. Harkin: Father of Canada's National Parks (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2011). E.J. Hart also produced two volumes, The Place of the Bows and The Battle for Banff (Banff: EJH Literary Enterprises, 1999 and 2003). A Parks Canada centennial collection of essays was edited by Claire Campbell, A Century of Parks Canada 1911-2011 (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2011).

    The present study builds on the standard account of Canada's national parks policy in Fergus Lothian's four-volume A History of Canada's National Parks (Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1976).

    This is number five in the Energy, Ecology, and the Environment Series. Other related titles are on Places: Linking Nature, Culture and Planning; A New Era for Wolves and People: Wolf Recovery, Human Attitudes, and Policy; The World of Wolves: New Perspectives on Ecology, Behaviour and Management; and Parks, Peace, and Partnership: Global Initiatives in Transboundary Conservation.

    This is a stunning narrative of hydroelectric development in the Bow River Watershed, in particular about how Banff Natural Park had to be significantly altered to accommodate hydroelectric storage. They analyzed annual reports of Calgary Power, 1909-1972, and TransAlta Utilities.

    Accompanying the text there are: black-and-white photos of: Horseshoe Falls Power Plant, Kananaskis Falls, (with diagrams of) Kananaskis hydro-electric plant and Dam; Lake Minnewanka Dam and Power Station, Cascade Power Plant, and Wabamun Power Plant. In addition, there are: a map of Spray Lakes Development, Calgary Power Hydroelectric Installations on the Bow River; graphs of hydroelectric development in Canada in 1910; Installed Hydroelectric Capacity in Canada, 1910-1960, Bow River Hydroelectric Development, 1910-1970; in addition to an Appendix on Calgary Power Generating Capability, 1911-90, from the company annual reports.

    The accredited research sources are of the Calgary Power Company Fonds, Glenbow Archives, London House of Lords Record Office, Ottawa Library and archives Canada, Calgary Water Power Company Minute book, Edmonton Provincial Archives of Alberta, University of Alberta Archives, and Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, in Banff.

    Christopher Armstrong is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of History at York University. H.V. Nelles is the L.R. Wilson Professor of Canadian History at McMaster University.

    Anne Burke

    Review of Parks, Peace, and Partnership: Global Initiatives in Transboundary Conservation,, edited by Michael S. Quinn, Len Broberg, and Wayne Freimund (University of Calgary, 2012) 576 pp. paper $39.95, maps, black-and-white photos, tables, figures, case studies, notes, bibliography, and indexed.

    This is volume four in the Energy, Ecology, and the Environment Series. According to the "Foreword", by the Chair of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, the number of protected areas globally exceeds 200,000; and covers over 14 percent terrestrially and over 1 percent of the world's oceans. Further expansion by 2020 will be 17 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Among the acknowledgements, the editors compare international peace parks with international, trans-boundary, collaborative efforts. A continuous ecological and cultural system connects the landscapes, cultures, and wildlife along and across the Rocky Mountains.

    Quinn offers an Introduction on the historical, jurisdictional, and geographical divisions of the Rocky Mountains, beginning with the indigenous Chief Mountain, Ninastakis, and Miistákis. Canada and the United States shared their common borders, boundaries, frontiers. There are four categories or divisions which align with the Parks for Peace in collaboration and partnership. In an overview, the locations of parks discussed in this volume are identified. There was a conference, in 2007, at the town of Waterton Park, which was impacted by security concerns since September 2001. There is a Conclusion devoted to securing a peace park between the United States and Mexico, under homeland security. One of the aspirations is that another such conference will be held. The chapters are organized into broad themes.

    • Section 1 "Lessons From The Field".
    • Section 2 "The Southern African Experience".
    • Section 3 "Education And International Peace Parks"
    • Section 4 "Peace Park Proposals", including the Peace Park between India and Pakistan in northern Kashmir in the western Himalayas; a demilitarized zone between North and South Korea; The Niagara International Peace Park as a legacy twenty-first century symbol.

    The Notes on thirty-four Contributors serve to display their impressive credentials in a global context. Quinn is Professor of Environmental Science and Planning at the University of Calgary. He is Director of Research and Liaison for the Miistákis Institute. Broberg is Director of the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Montana. He led the UM Trans-boundary Policy, Planning, and Management Initiative (TPPMI), an international graduate programme. Freimund is the Director of the UM Wilderness Institute and is in the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana. He is the Arkwright Professor of Protected Area Studies.

    All their research is relevant, topical, well-documented, and eminently readable for both scholars and general readers who have an interest in ecological preservation efforts.

    Anne Burke

    Review of The Swift Fox: Ecology and Conservation of Swift Foxes in a Changing World, edited by Marsha A. Sovada and Ludwig Carbyn (Regina, SK: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 2003) 236 pp. paper $39.95. Full colour cover, Indexed, black-and-white photographs.

    There have been few incentives, in the past, for landowners to maintain wildlife habitat. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is an important component of wildlife and habitat conservation, in addition to the roles played by industry, business, government, and First Nations.

    Only 25 to 30 percent of the prairie ecozone of Canada now consists of rangeland or grazing lands. It is estimated that as much as 14 percent of the 353 species at risk occur in the prairie ecozone. Public lands play a significant role in conservation. They also provide significant outdoor recreation and wildlife viewing opportunities.

    Conservation of all grassland flora and fauna (since land use decisions and activities have largely neglected conservation of wildlife) must be bolstered by restoration efforts in parks management. The imperiled and depauperate status of grassland ecosystems and their species is a legacy of this neglect and the dramatic anthropogenic changes on the landscape.
    (Source: The Socio-Economic Context for Swift Fox Conservation in the Prairies of Canada, by David A. Gauthier and Daniel S. Licht)

    The province of Alberta has been part of the success story of reintroducing the swift fox to the wilds. However, the methods and means of capturing wild species for purposes of scientific study will be of particular interest to Nose Hill and Calgarians, given the recent controversial leg-or-paw-hold trapping of coyotes (and some domestic dogs) in public parks (including Nose Hill, Fish Creek, and Bowmont) by University of Calgary researchers.

    Swift foxes were extirpated from Canada in the 1930s, but reintroduced since 1983, and their population by 1997 was approximately three hundred, which means they are still highly endangered. Of one-hundred-and-twenty-five individual animals trapped in 273 captures, fifty-three radio-collared foxes died during the study. There were no injuries (at least by sight), minor injuries, and no major injuries. Foxes were re-caught as frequently as six times in one trapping session and fourteen times over the course of the study. Table 1 demonstrates the number of swift fox captures, with no injury and with minor injury in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, from January 1995 to February 1998. Table 2 demonstrates comparative causes of mortality for radio-collared foxes in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, between January 1995 and February 1998 that experienced minor injuries versus those that did not.

    The causes of death for injured and uninjured were: predators, human, starvation, and unknown agents. The maximum amount of time that injured foxes were in traps was longer than that of uninjured animals. These scholars recommend a test for stress in captured animals. For the study area, human habitation was sparse. Foxes resisted removal using the noose by bracing against the trap, biting the chord, or biting the trap. One field worker restrained the fox, while the other performed parasite counts, canine measurements, and body condition assessments. Foxes were sexed, ear tattooed, treated, and radio-collared, vaccinated; then checked for no external wounds, limb irregularities, tooth breakage, chipped teeth, broken claws sheaths, external lacerations, breakage or dislocations of limbs.
    (Source: Reducing Capture-Related Injuries and Radio-Collaring Effects on Swift Foxes, by Axel Moehrenschlager, et al.)

    Captive breeding of the swift fox began in Canada in 1972, six years before the species was declared extirpated in Canada. The goal is to reproduce swift foxes for reintroduction into protected areas of their historic range. Swift foxes are largely monogamous and it was important that the pair bond be maintained; pairs should not be separated unnecessarily.

    Swift foxes have been bred in captivity for over twenty-five years, but little has been published on the methods or results of the program. Data was collected and obtained from the breeding records, and from daily observations of the foxes. Injuries as a result of active digging along the wired perimeter fencing were common. Because of the lack of information on litter sizes in wild populations, it is difficult to make comparisons between captive-bred and wild-born litters.

    Wild animals being brought into an existing colony should be examined, immunized, and quarantined for a minimum of sixty days. (Source: Captive breeding of the Swift Fox at the Cochrane Ecological Institute, Alberta, by Clio Smeton, et al.)

    This is a peer-reviewed volume of twenty-four papers of swift fox ecology and status in North America by experts in the state-of-the-science. The topics are: conservation, distribution, habitat loss, taxonomy, and physiology. The intended readers are scientists, resource managers, and students.

    The germ of the project was a 1998 International Symposium on Swift Foxes, held in Saskatoon, with papers from biologists and endangered species experts from fifteen states, three provinces, and seven countries. This is a collation of papers presented, as well as additional research since then. The five major sections are: Part I Setting the Stage; Part II Distribution and Population Shifts; Part III Censusing and Techniques; Part IV Population Ecology; and Part V Taxonomy/Physiology/Disease.

    In summary, the papers consider swift fox issues in general; explore the current distribution of North American species; evaluate scent stations for surveys; along with a review on mitigating capture-related injuries. The reader will understand the dynamics of changes, related to loss of suitable habitats, due to human activities and climate change.

    According to Axel Moehrenschlager, et. al., the trapping of wild mammals can lead to decreases in fitness by causing stress, physical injury, immunosuppression, or a change in scent that may subsequently affect survival. (p. 107) In North America, box and leg-hold trapping and darting from helicopters has occasionally resulted in overstress, injury, or death of coyotes, red foxes, and wolves. Radio collars have been found to affect their body weight and survival, in the first 30 days after collaring, together with neck abrasions, a paw trapped, loose collar or when a young animal outgrows it.

    Anne Burke

    Review of Natural Neighbours: Selected Mammals of Saskatchewan, (Regina, SK: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 2001) 206 pp. paper $19.95

    According to this competent and attractive resource, there are over 4,600 species of mammals on earth, including Homo sapiens. There are 78 species of wild mammals in the Province. The vertebrate class is Mammalia. There are suggestions for further reading. The present text contains both black-and-white and full colour photographs. There are also line drawings by a local artist-illustrator for this collective project.

    This publication was a joint project with Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management. The book contains a selection of mammals, some of which are widely distributed and others are fairly unique and/or endangered. There are species accounts of insect-eaters, rabbits and hares, gnawing mammals, flesh-eaters, and even-toed hoofed animals. It describes their appearance, habits, food, habitat, survival strategies, ecological relationships, status and range.

    There are four Appendices: 1 is a Listing all the Saskatchewan Mammals, 2: Mammal Specific Viewing Site Information, 3: An Ecological Perspective on processes and the Ecological Land Classification System of Canada and Saskatchewan, and 4: more detailed information on the characteristics, in an Overview of the Ecozones/Ecoregions in Saskatchewan.

    This is a title in the several planned for Discover Saskatchewan sub-series on the flora and fauna of the Province. The present text is an update of the Resource Reader, first published in the late 1960s as a school textbook. Future books will describe interconnected animal and plant life. The next title will contain selected birds and further books may focus on reptiles, amphibians, trees, shrubs, native plants, fish and insects.

    For further research, The Ecoregions of Saskatchewan, a technical document, reveals that the Prairie Ecozone extends into Manitoba and Alberta. You may also consult A National Ecological Framework for Canada, 1996, and Ecological Regions of North America, 1997.

    Anne Burke

    Review of 620 Wild Plants of North America, Fully Illustrated, by Tom Reaume (Regina, SK: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 2009) 784 pp. cloth $80.

    The author teaches plant taxonomy at Luther College at the University of Regina. He was not trained in botany or as an illustrator, but his interest in plants and drawing skills are advanced. He suggests that Universities make it mandatory for each student working on an advanced degree in the natural sciences to visit the herbarium and maintain dot maps for 30 species during their years of research. "That way, someone with an interest in birds, beetles, or bats might actually get to know a few plants by the time they finish their academic training." (p. 22)

    "It is, perchance,
    that sweet scent of the earth
    of which the ancients speak."
    —Henry David Thoreau

    This is a prodigious resource with 89 Families and 620 Species, accompanied by illustrative pen-and-ink, black-and white-line drawings, in alphabetical arrangement. Each of the plant species has a letter-size page with readable print, a map of its range and large, labelled drawings in ink.

    According to the author the internet was a valuable resource (cited H.D. Wilson, 2001). Some maps online are based on published books. As the Flora of North America volumes are published (two per year) their maps become available online at www.fna.org. The author admits it was impossible to recheck the original identifications or to make adjustments for some taxonomic changes.

    This sumptuously produced reference work contains a Foreword, by the Academic Dean and Professor of Biology, Luther College at the University of Regina, who espouses "the beauty of the drawings, the beauty of the plants shown, the beauty of the poetry and ecological insights, and the beauty of this part of the world". (p. 8)

    In the Preface, Reaume opines, "From a naturalist's perceptive, all plants are native to this planet and were drawn with little thought to their place among undulating human attitudes." (p. 9). Among his acknowledgements are: Nature Manitoba (formerly Manitoba Naturalists Society), University of Winnipeg, and University of Manitoba, the Living Prairie Museum in Winnipeg, and others.

    In his Introduction, he observes, "At the fundamental level nature, for whatever reasons, prefers beauty." (cited David Gross, p. 13) This section outlines Field play; Arrangement of Species; Names, Illustrations, Species Descriptive Text; Measurements, Native Plant Restoration, and Maps of Plant Ranges.

    In addition, there are: a glossary, references, and maps, the area covered for the range of each species, general location of mountains and four vegetative types presented with five patterns or ecozones of Boreal Forest, Tundra, Mountains, Prairie or Great Plains, and Deciduous Forest.

    This is an essential tool for scientists and would-be scientists to learn about the taxonomy of plants, amid the wealth of the natural world, depicted and respected for its endless variety.


    Anne Burke


    Review of Wolves in Canada, by Erin McCloskey (Edmonton: Lone Pine Publishing 2011) paper 208 pp. $18.95; Mammals of Canada, by Tamara Eder and Gregory Kennedy (Edmonton: Lone Pine Publishing, 2011) cloth, 448 pp. $39.95.

    McCloskey has edited and written several nature guides for Lone Pine Publishing, including her recent Bear Attacks books. She has a Bachelor in Science, with a major in conservation biology and management from the University of Alberta. She surveys current wolf management across Canada: culling, hunting and trapping; aerial shooting, poisoning, and sterilization. There are some other strategies which involve non-lethal measures, as well as mitigation of human impact on wildlife. She observes that the wolf is now primarily a Canadian species, although there has been some reintroduction to the United States. In general, wolves will avoid urban areas, while coyotes can become habituated to garbage. The animal story is a Canadian genre. The word bounty has been replaced by incentive and compensation. This book contains maps, black-and-white photographs, and References.

    Tamara Eder has a degree in environmental conservation sciences. Gregory Kennedy is a naturalist and historian, producer of film and television programs. Their book, with a Quick Reference Guide, contains full-colour photographs and illustrations; maps, a glossary, selected references, and an index. We find: hoofed animals; whales, dolphins, & porpoises; carnivores, rodents, hares & pikas; the mole family of insectivores & opossums; with keys to bats and shrews. Among the carnivores, in the dog family, are: coyotes, grey wolf, arctic fox; swift fox, red fox, and grey fox. Although rabbits and hares belong to the same family, you will learn their distinct differences.

    Only nine humans have been killed by wolves in North America in the past 110 years. As the number of moose, elk, deer, and other prey species grow, so do the number of wolves. (Source: Controlling the wolf population won't save caribou, biologists say, by Ed Struzik, Edmonton Journal, Monday, June 13, 2011, B3.)

    Anne Burke


    Review of The World of Wolves: New Perspectives on Ecology, Behaviour and Management, edited by Marco Musiani, Luigi Boitani, and Paul Paquet (University of Calgary Press, 2010) 352 pp. Indexed. paper $34.95

    With an informative introduction on The Key Role Played by Wolves in Community Ecology and Wildlife Management Planning, this collection of nine essays has been divided into two Sections. Section I Re-discovering the Role of Wolves in Natural and Semi-natural Ecosystems deals, in part, with the population genetics of wolf-like canids, establishing What, if anything, is a wolf? The articles examine the recovering of wolves in Banff and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as comparing the future of wolves and moose.

    The Section II Wolves Role in Wildlife Management Planning includes a study of Human Impacts in Protected Wolf Populations, Hunting and Removal of Wolves. The articles analyze anthropogenically-modified snow conditions on wolf predatory behaviour; re-colonizing the wolf population in two Scandinavian countries; as well as wolf management in Eastern Europe, in comparison with North America. In addition, a snowmobile wolf hunt in the North West Territories is described, with reducing wolf depredation risk in Alberta.

    In Alberta, wolves are relatively abundant in northern and central Alberta; wolves in southern Alberta are restricted to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains along the southwest forest and agricultural fringe. The authors observe that non-lethal means, such as relocation, to protect livestock may be essential to maintain a viable wolf population in southern Alberta. (p. 262)

    Grizzly bears are hit and killed by trains in Banff National Park. Biologists and ecologists study bear-and-wolf behaviours, with radio-or-satellite-collars. To capture wolves, nets are cast from a helicopter and the wolves anaesthetized. Wolves use roads for easier transportation because they are free of obstacles and thick vegetation. In Canada, wolf hunting and trapping are both allowed. Ranchers can kill wolves that are considered a threat to their livestock year-round. Governments may kill wolves to protect prey populations.

    Complementing the text are 38 colour photographs, grouped at the back of the book, 44 black-and-white figures, and 9 pencil drawings. There is a profusion of tables and figures, with a bibliography of Literature Cited (pp. 287-352).

    This is number 3 in the Energy, Ecology, And The Environment Series, preceded by Place: Linking Nature, Culture, and Planning, by J. Gordon Nelson and Patrick L. Lawrence, Number 1, and A New Era for Wolves and People: Wolf Recovery, Human Attitudes, and Policy, edited by Marco Musiani, Luigi Boitani, and Paul Paquet, Number 2.

    Both Musiani and Paquet teach at the University of Calgary. Paquet was the founder and director of the Central Rockies Wolf Project in Canmore, Alberta.

    The List of Tables and Figures, with Biographies for the Editors, Contact Authors and Artists, should have been placed near the end of the book.

    Anne Burke


    Review of Birds of a Feather: Tales of a Wild Bird Haven, by Linda Johns (Fredericton, N.B.: Goose Lane Editions, 2005) 263 pp. paper

    This joy-filled narrative is a recent contribution to the grand tradition of the animal story, practiced by Edward William Thomson (1849-1924), author of Old Man Savarin Stories; and Americans Ernest Thompson Seton and Teddy Roosevelt.

    Some of these were fictionalized accounts of animal-human interactions, based in first-hand experience. More recently, a journalist's 2005 bestseller about a family dog, (after a move from Michigan to Florida) as the memoir by John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog became a movie. The title was abbreviated from the adage Birds of a Feather, Flock Together written by and for a naturalist; of interest to birders, child and child-like readers.

    This title, which incorporates some of her fan mail from readers, contains black-and-white illustrations by the author, who is also an artist, sculptor, and poet. The chronology cycles through spring and summer, ending with winter solstice. Johns lives and paints in rural Nova Scotia. She manifests maternal pride in her adopted babies, youngsters, and adolescents, who seem like new kids in a schoolyard (p. 228)

    Gannets are among her avian convalescents, while starlings and deer make their appearances in this back-garden-centric setting. Her attempts at gardening are sometimes foiled by raccoons, snakes, mice, and squirrels, much as prey animals are sanctioned by predators. A queue of cow, sandpipers, cats, and starlings accompany her efforts and, with varying results, to release some of them into the wild.

    More often, rehabilitated grosbeak, raven, ladyhawk, falcons, and woodpeckers must be fed, on occasion by bug and worm hunting, in order to provide for their growing menage of animals. Naming plays a significant role in habituated pets, such as the goats, Mower and Munch, her robins and turkeys, her husband Mack, Kiwi male and Starr a female, Beejay and Pip bluejays, to promote her anthropomorphic point of view.

    Rehabilitation of injured wildlife may prepare them only to become part of a domestic household as family members. Johns named her rabbit Edna, after Edna Staebler, a dear friend and long-time writer of cookbooks. Blossom, a chicken, leads a variety of pigeons, warbler, ducks, Whiskey a grey jay, and assorted woodcocks.

    I concur with a reader, that: "I now see animals and other living creatures with an entire[ly] new perspective. I always knew they can show emotion as well as deep feeling, but it is the birds that surprised me most of all." (p. 61)

    Johns is the author of Sharing a Robin's Life (1994) which won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, the only such award in Canada, endowed by Staebler (1906-2006) and administered by Wilfred Laurier University). Other popular titles are: In the Company of Birds; For the Birds; A Feathered Family; and Wild and Woolly.

    Anne Burke


    Review of Best Groundcovers & Vines for the Prairies, by Hugh Skinner & Sara Williams (Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd, 2008) 234 pp. paper $24.99 Indexed.

    This text, with full colour photographs and a map, is suitable for neophytes as well as experienced gardeners who face the challenging growing conditions of gardens in the Canadian prairies and the northern Great Plains of the United States. Some of the options are: designing by habitat as well as by function. The step-by-step process involves purchasing, planting, and maintaining gardens. There are details about getting ready; purchase and planting; propagating, and maintaining. Proper preparation includes spacing. Propagation involves seed; suckers, divisions, and layers; hardwood and softwood cuttings. Maintenance calls for mulching, pruning, fertilizing, and pest and disease control.

    This is an able follow-up to Best Trees and Shrubs for the Prairies by the same authors. Skinner has a B.S.A. in Horticulture from the University of Manitoba and Williams, who is a retired Horticultural Specialist at the University of Saskatchewan, has a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Horticulture from the University of Saskatchewan. She is the author of Creating the Prairie Xeriscape and of In a Cold Land: Saskatchewan's Horticultural Pioneers and co-author of Perennials for the Plains and Prairies.

    There is a Glossary of Terms, a Bibliography for further reading, and an Index.

    Anne Burke