Parks Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

A History of Canada's National Parks
Volume IV
by W.F. Lothian


The compilation of this volume was achieved with the generous assistance of many former associates and friends in the Public Service of Canada. Although much of the required research involved the examination of existing records, documents and files now in the custody of the Department of the Environment and the Public Archives of Canada, valuable contributions were received from other sources. Especially helpful were the recollections and data provided by Parks Canada personnel — both active and retired — which help bridge the time gap from the date I retired from the Public Service until the manuscript was completed.

To Jean-Paul Cuerrier, former limnologist of the Canadian Wildlife Service, and later senior scientific adviser to the director general, I am indebted for invaluable help in narrating the history of game fish propagation in the national parks. The contribution of Joe Kilistoff of the Resources Division, Western Region, Parks Canada, in reviewing the manuscript, also is appreciated.

The chapter recording the growth of the Canadian Wildlife Service provided interesting research. When I first became associated with the National Parks Branch in 1930, the Wildlife Division had grown from a one-man effort to a substantial group concerned with the protection of migratory birds and assisting in the administration of the wild animal parks. Later, as the Canadian Wildlife Service, it assumed greatly enlarged responsibilities in wildlife protection, and was given branch status before being transferred to another ministry. An insight of its growth and activity was obtained by the review of an unpublished history written by Harrison F. Lewis, Ph.D., its chief officer for eight years. I especially appreciate the interest of Dr. John Tener and Alan Loughrey, successively the former and current director general of the Canadian Wildlife Service — both of whom read my manuscript. Thanks are also due to Dr. N.S. Novakowski, coordinator of wildlife research; Dr. V.E.F. Solman, coordinator of habitat and ecological assessment; Dr. L.P.E. Choquette, chief of wildlife pathology and parisitology; and Roy Webster, acting chief of interpretation, Canadian Wildlife Service, for valuable information and assistance.

Former associates in the Western Regional Office at Calgary took a special interest in chapters dealing with the buffalo and antelope, the park warden service, and the repossession of title to mineralized and forested park lands. James Sime, recently retired natural resources officer and a former chief park warden, was more than generous with his time and effort. He reviewed the first, third and fourth chapters and offered constructive suggestions. He also made possible an interview with "Bud" Cotton, former senior park warden at Buffalo National Park, Alberta, from whom I obtained previously unknown facts relating to the development, decline and eventual elimination of Canada's great bison herd at Wainwright. Completion of the text dealing with the acquisition of timber berths and mining claims in the national parks was facilitated by Steve Kun, director of the National Parks Branch and formerly regional forester, Western Region; Reinhardt Kroll, former parks conservation officer, and Brian McDonald, resource officer, Western Region, Parks Canada. All assisted by reviewing the manuscript and furnishing relevant documentary source material.

The history of the national park interpretation service proved an interesting field for research, in which I received assistance from present and former members of the Interpretation and Visitors Services Division. Dr. George Stirrett, first chief park naturalist now retired, provided details concerning the development of the first park nature trail at Point Pelee, and also of the organization of early interpretation activities. Alan Helmsley, chief of interpretation from 1965 to 1972, recalled details of interpretation development and offered constructive comment on the draft manuscript. Grant Tayler, interpretation policy head, and John MacFarlane, extension head, extended generous assistance by providing comment, background material and reports. Gary Sealey, chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services, indicated a keen interest in this history, and his suggestions helped broaden the scope of the manuscript. Observations offered by Harry Webster of the Western Region and Dick Sutton of the Prairie Region also are gratefully acknowledged, as are the recollections of Syd Roberts, former chief parks information officer at Ottawa.

Staff members of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs library, the Public Records Division of the Public Archives at Ottawa, and the Parks Canada records office, all helped me in my search for documentary references. Jean McNiven, reference librarian, Indian and Northern Affairs also reviewed manuscript and was diligent in tracing essential material. Sincere thanks are extended to James D. Georgiles, Philip Cooper, and Madeleine Doyon — English and French editors of Environment Canada's Information Directorate — for vigilant editing. A word of commendation also to Diane Parent, Linda Rooney and other members of the Parks Canada word processing centre for the careful and accurate typing of the manuscript of this history.

W.F. Lothian,
April 30, 1980.

previous Next