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Nature Essays

Our Place

Changing the Nature of Alberta

by (author) Kevin Van Tighem

RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2017
Essays, Wilderness, Mountains
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
    List Price

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A collection of essays and articles that reflect upon the ecology, conservation history, missed opportunities and emerging possibilities of a place that could have been about so much more than oil.


Naturalist, hunter, conservation activist and recovering bureaucrat Kevin Van Tighem explores the landscapes and wildlife of one of Canada's most diverse and beautiful provinces and the ways in which Albertans have often failed – and sometimes succeeded – at the challenge of sustaining their home place.


Previously published writings are mixed with current reflections on the streams, forests, grasslands and mountains of a Canadian province whose ambivalence about the nature of place, the responsibilities of citizens and the temptations of resource-based prosperity continues to mar the landscape and raise questions about the future. Challenging, eye-opening, instructive and soul-searching, this collection nonetheless delivers an overriding message of hope and possibilities. Alberta is our place now; we can still sustain the best of it, and bring out the best in ourselves, if we choose to know it well and care for it better.

About the author

Kevin Van Tighem, a former superintendent at Banff National Park, has written more than 200 articles, stories and essays on conservation and wildlife which have garnered him many awards, including Western Magazine Awards, Outdoor Writers of Canada book and magazine awards and the Journey Award for Fiction. He is the author of Bears Without Fear (RMB 2013), The Homeward Wolf (RMB 2013) and Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow River (RMB 2015). His next book (to be published by RMB in 2017) will be a series of essays that reflect on the ecology, conservation history, missed opportunities and emerging possibilities of Alberta, a place that could have been about so much more than oil. He lives with his wife, Gail, in Canmore, Alberta.

Kevin Van Tighem's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Kevin Van Tighem...writes of the Alberta that was, of the changes that are potentially destroying it, and of the Alberta he hopes to preserve and safeguard."

Canadian Literature

It’s a joy to read, and whether Van Tighem is discussing forest management, the role of humans as stewards of the land, or Alberta’s policies towards predator control, he is always eloquent and convincing.

Publishers Weekly

Van Tighem has spent a lifetime in the Alberta wilderness and both his love for it and his anguish at its sustained degradation ooze from the page.

The Jasper Local

Other titles by Kevin Van Tighem