Mountain Nature and Culture Podcast
About This Show
This podcast explores the natural and human history of the Canadian Rockies as well as its attractions and culture. We'll look at the ecology and wildlife as well as the unique plants and birds that make the Canadian Rockies home. Looking back through our history we will share the stories behind the scenery. This is the place for all things Rockies.
Most Recent Episode
020 Castle Park Announcement, Whirling Disease Updates, Shocking Grizzly Stories and Frigid Pine Beetles
2 days ago
Story 1 - Castle Parks are Expanding Whenever we hear about new parks being established, it's great news - and this January, we got a double whammy as the Alberta Government finalized the boundaries of Castle Wildland and announced the creation of Castle Provincial Park on January 20, 2017. These two parks protect more than 1000 square kilometres or almost 400 square miles of the southern Alberta Rockies known as the crown of the continent. They provide a critical habitat that encompasses the spine of the Rockies which is one of the most diverse ecological areas in the entire Rocky Mountain chain. Bordered on the south by communities like Missoula and Great Falls Montana, it follows the Rocky Mountain Ridge northward to Alberta's Kananaskis Country. These newly established parks will help to provide more consistent protection along the Rocky Mountain Ridge and runs all the way from Waterton Lakes National Park to the Crowsnest Highway, or Highway 3, in southern Alberta. The Wildland Park will focus more on low-impact access and will contain the most critically sensitive landscapes in terms of headwater protection, wildlife movement corridors and critical plant and animal habitat. The provincial park will have more frontcountry development and includes former Provincial Recreation Areas like Lynx Creek, Castle Falls, Castle River Bridge, Syncline, and Beaver Mines provincial Recreation Areas. Story 2 - Whirling Disease Updates Just this week, aquatic specialists with Parks Canada announced plans to remove all the fish from Johnson Lake. Parks is planning to use nets and electrofishing this spring to begin the removal process. They'll pack it in for the summer months between Canada Day on July 1 and the end of the Labour Day weekend in September. The lake will be open for visitation this summer, but all watercraft will remain banned. This includes stand-up paddleboards as well. The spores are just too easily spread by watercraft and all too often the boats are not cleaned well enough to make sure they are spore free. In the fall they'll continue to collect fish and also lower the water level using pumps in order to make it easier to force the fish into a smaller area and facilitate their capture. It's also a better time to lower the water level as park biologists are worried about the local amphibian population and they're more prevalent in the lake during springtime. Story 3 - Shocking Bears As part of a recent study undertaken by Parks Canada in coordin