In “How much do we Caribou them, Part 1,” we examined the urgency of the situation facing caribou populations in Alberta and the significant desire among Albertans to see this iconic species preserved into the future. Despite this desire, successful solutions to this conservation problem do not seem to be emerging from either our provincial or federal governments. Why is the case? Well, although we zeroed in on the benefits of caribou conservation in the last post, there is more to the story: costs.
Fast forward forty years and I find myself as a cameraman working on a documentary about food in Alberta. The producer Jeff tells me that he wants to film at Skoki Lodge in Banff National Park. Chef Katie Mitzel and her staff create five start meals in a rustic kitchen without any electrical power. “Awesome!” I say. Wanting to make sure I understand the situation Jeff informs me “The thing is, we have to hike in. There is no other way unless you are royalty.” This makes me want to go even more.
2015 marks my tenth year in Canada. Looking back, it is hard to believe that my tropical toes have survived ten winters – I still have trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that I've been here long enough to go to college twice, be on my fifth job, and own a house. But most of all, it astounds me how much I've grown to love living here, and how Canada has truly become my home.
My earliest experience with backpacking was a feeble attempt to hike forty two kilometers from London, Ontario to the city of St. Marys following the Thames Valley Trail... Not having a lot of cash, but having a stack of Canadian Tire money, it was an easy decision as to where to buy my camping gear.
The plight of Woodland Caribou in Alberta has been well-documented over the last several decades. Despite belonging to the privileged class of wildlife known colloquially as “charismatic mega-fauna,” which generally affords a species a high level of public concern, caribou populations remain in serious decline and are now classified as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.