Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow River

Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow RiverFor Than A Century The Foothills And Front Range Mountains Of Western Alberta Have Been Recognized As Vital To The Future Water Supply For Canada S Prairies Virtually All The Water That Sustains Communities, Ecosystems And The Economy Of Prairie Canada Comes From This Narrow Strip Of Land Along The Continental Divide For All Its Importance, However, Water Management Decisions Have Ignored The Land S Health And Focused Almost Exclusively On Building Dams The Result, As The Author Points Out, Is That The Bow River S Annual Flows Have Decreased By Than A Tenth, Even While Spring Floods Become Frequent And Destructive The Solutions To Prairie Canada S Water Challenges Lie In Healing The Wounded Landscapes Of Our Headwaters. Normally a book as beautiful as this one is handicapped by prose so vacuous that it would dislodge the toupee from an unsuspecting reader.This is not the case for Heart Waters it is a magnificent book.It is an effective mixture of lilting prose, science, and a balanced discussion around competing land uses and social values As such, the book would have universal appeal to anyone who is connected to the environment For me, it is also about a region that I adore, which is probably why I am gus Normally a book as beautiful as this one is handicapped by prose so vacuous that it would dislodge the toupee from an unsuspecting reader.This is not the case for Heart Waters it is a magnificent book.It is an effective mixture of lilting prose, science, and a balanced discussion around competing land uses and social values As such, the book would have universal appeal to anyone who is connected to the environment For me, it is also about a region that I adore, which is probably why I am gushing a bit here This book as about the ecology of the headwaters of the Bow River The author has a special affinity with these waters as he fished them with his father while he was growing up Much of the discussion in the book revolves around the fish stocks.To some degree, the book is a celebration of the beauty of the various environments found in this drainage There is good material explaining how the environments work A chapter on the beaver suggests that beaver constructed environments help to limit th This book as about the ecology of the headwaters of the Bow River The author has a special affinity with these waters as he fished them with his father while he was growing up Much of the discussion in the book revolves around the fish stocks.To some degree, the book is a celebration of the beauty of the various environments found in this drainage There is good material explaining how the environments work A chapter on the beaver suggests that beaver constructed environments help to limit the effects of flooding Another chapter discusses the hyporheic zone the alluvial gravel surrounding the main body of the river that carries significant water and is a significant ecosystem for small animals.The history of trout stocking in Alberta is one of trout being brought in from other locations to improve sport fishing Unfortunately, the stocked fish have been non native Brook, Rainbow and Brown, rather than the native Cutthroat and Bull Fish stocking had been done from 1903 to the end of the century by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Dominion Parks Service, the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company and the Province of Alberta Stocking has been shown to be unproductive and has been discontinued except for a few heavily fished lakes.The spawning strategies of the native Cutthroat and Bull trouts differ from those of the non native Brook and Brown trouts The Bull trout needs quite specific streams where groundwater prevents freezing in the winter Logging and ATV use have largely destroyed such environments in McLean and Fisher Creeks.An amusing anecdote revolves around the discovery of a high concentration of dippers along the Bow below Lake Louise in the 1970 s In 2003, sewage treatment in Lake Louise was upgraded, reducing downstream phosphorous to natural levels Perhaps unfortunately, the dipper concentration also returned to natural levels.A large component of the book shows how various human activities have degraded the environments These include the power dams, offroad ATV use, cattle ranching and logging Issues with power dams are largely due to the change in the timing of water flow and the barrier they represent to fish flow Apparently, cattle ranchers have a tradition of trying to preserve wetlands as they provide both water and shelter for the cattle and most ranchers truly love the land While logging can have a severely negative effect, the author describes the mitigation efforts of the Spray Lakes Sawmills.A wrap up chapter reviews each human threat to the headwaters and what could be done to mitigate them This is an excellent book on the interconnectedness of all of nature water, plants, trees, animals, etc Told in a personal, easy to read, yet powerful historical account of the evolution of the source water of the bow river He has suggestions as to how we can preserve the wetlands that feed the river and criticisms of how this has been done in the past Also, praise for those who had the foresight to preserve what we have today even though it is struggling and the water flow is diminishing This is an excellent book on the interconnectedness of all of nature water, plants, trees, animals, etc Told in a personal, easy to read, yet powerful historical account of the evolution of the source water of the bow river He has suggestions as to how we can preserve the wetlands that feed the river and criticisms of how this has been done in the past Also, praise for those who had the foresight to preserve what we have today even though it is struggling and the water flow is diminishing Beautiful pictures and beautiful writing together made this an interesting and satisfying read Excellent photographs perfectly placed in the text.

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  • Hardcover
  • 240 pages
  • Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow River
  • Kevin Van Tighem
  • 21 May 2019
  • 1771601396