Conservation Through Connections
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I grew up in the Calgary-Banff area, where my family has deep roots in the Canadian Rockies. We spent much of our leisure time in Banff National Park, hiking and horse riding in the summer and skiing in the winter. We routinely saw wildlife, we drank directly from undammed streams, and I was reared on stories of family encounters with grizzly bears and wilderness. I thought this was normal. Then at 16 I went to college in the Swiss Alps, where all of that had been lost. Though the Alps are as beautiful as any place on earth, they had lost their ecological integrity and I felt the melancholy that is present wherever the natural world has been degraded by our species. I vowed that would never happen to my beloved Canadian Rockies. I felt strongly that at least in this one place, my home, the mountains should be protected.