Sign up for AU Press news

View AU Press 2018 Fall Catalogue

University Press Week 2015 banner


[book cover] Ecology & Wonder  in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks  World Heritage Site

Robert W. Sandford

Order paperback

March 2010

9781897425572 (Paperback)
9781897425589 (PDF)
9781897425589 (ePub)


Environmental Studies / Geography & Landscape / Philosophy


Interview with the Author

CBC Radio Homestretch interviews Robert W. Sandford: click here to listen.




About the Book

Ecology & Wonder makes several remarkable claims:

The greatest cultural achievement in the Western Canadian mountain region may be what has been preserved, not what has been developed.

Protecting the spine of the Rocky Mountains will preserve crucial ecological functions.

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

Ecology & Wonder is a must-read for those who appreciate Western Canada’s breathtaking landscape.

About the Author

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





Download the eBook

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 CA). It may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original author is credited.


Download the entire book

Select a Chapter

DownloadFront Matter

DownloadTable of Contents



DownloadOverview Map

DownloadInvocation: The Magnificent Seven

Part 1. The West We Had: Foundations of Place

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

Download    2. The Creation: Monumentality and Place

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

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

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

Part II. The West We Have: Making the Mountains Our Home

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

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

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

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

Download    10. Countering Dispossession: Saving Our Unique Mountain Culture

    The East Slope: Flowing Toward the Atlantic

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

    The North Slope: Flowing Toward the Arctic

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

    The West Slope: Flowing Toward the Pacific

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

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

Download    15. The Geography of Wonder: Yoho National Park

Download    16. The Road to Radium: Kootenay National Park

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

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

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

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

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

Download    21. Creating a Culture Commensurate with Place




"Every once in a while a book comes along that quickly proves its value by going beyond the simple act of sharing information and, through its quality and depth, not only helps us understand who we are, but how we fit into this place we call home. ...?With the publication of Bob Sandford’s Ecology & Wonder in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site this short, but extremely important, list of books has just grown by one." [read full review]

Rocky Mountain Outlook