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Nature Environmental Conservation & Protection

The Will of the Land—Updated Edition

by (photographer) Peter Dettling

RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
Initial publish date
Oct 2012
Environmental Conservation & Protection, Photojournalism, Plants & Animals
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price

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This second edition of Peter Dettling’s stunning, bestselling and highly controversial book The Will of the Land, which earned the praise of Farley Mowat, Ben Gadd, Doug Peacock, Canadian Geographic Magazine and Outdoor Photography Canada, features a new afterword by the author that updates readers on the continuing plight of the fragile ecosystem that exists in one of North America’s most renowned, popular and threatened natural spaces. .


Peter Dettling first visited Canada’s internationally renowned Rocky Mountains national parks as a Swiss tourist in 1993. Immediately, he fell in love with the untouched wilderness, breathtaking landscapes, diverse flora and abundant animal life, all seemingly free from human intervention and manipulation. .


With wide-eyed exuberance, Dettling moved to the heart of the Canadian Rockies in 2003, working as an artist and nature photographer. For years he documented the beauty and splendour of life in the mountains of western Canada, selling his art and photography to countless tourists and locals. In time, however, he gained insight into the realities of nature’s growing struggle against developing tourism, ill-conceived transportation routes and questionable wildlife management practices.

About the author

Peter A. Dettling is an award-winning photographer whose passion for nature has taken him from the Galapagos Islands to Canada’s far north, and from the US Grand Canyon to the Swiss Alps. His images have been published in many international magazines and books and featured in gallery shows across North America and Europe, including the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Peter Dettling's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Wolves and bears versus bureaucrats and big business — that's the situation in Banff National Park. Peter Dettling has seen it firsthand and he tells it like it is. Part nature-writing, part wildlife biology and part polemic, The Will of the Land is extraordinary, a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of wildlife in the national parks of the Rockies.—Ben Gadd, naturalist, guide and author of Canadian Rockies Geology Road Tours, Handbook of the Canadian Rockies and The Canadian Hiker's and Backpacker's Handbook even-handed book that nonetheless leaves the reader shaking with rage. That anger must be focused to become effective; it begins, as Dettling points out, in our own passive hearts that stand silently by as oil exploration, housing development and transportation interests lobby local and provincial governments into complicity against the ecological integrity of the wildlife not only of Banff but of Alberta as a whole. Only in June 2010, for example, did the provincial government belatedly list Alberta's grizzly bears as threatened—a population that may already be doomed. Dettling's story is a microcosm of that blindness. This beautiful, compelling book should make you mad as hell.—Doug Peacock, author of Grizzly Years, Walking It Off and The Essential Grizzly

Peter Dettling takes the best damn pics of the Other creatures of anyone I know on our planet. They are windows through the barriers we have built between ourselves and the Others. Through Peter's windows we experience the heart, guts and soul of these, our fellow Beings, and cannot but realize that they and we are of one blood. And that they deserve — must have —our sympathy and understanding if they are to survive the witless ruin we are making of their land and ours. This book speaks for them and their desperate need as no other I have seen for many years has done.—Farley Mowat, author of People of the Deer, Never Cry Wolf, A Whale for the Killing, Gorillas in the Mist, and Eastern Passage

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