For nearly 20 years, the fRI Research Forest History Program has been gathering information and producing books and reports on the remarkable history of the landscapes contained within the Ecotour route. This rich history includes First Nations, early fur-traders, artists, missionaries, tourists and scientists, many of whom left a record of their observations and travels through the area.
Contained within the area of the Ecotour are the northern part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, as well as Alberta’s first and most acclaimed Forest Management Agreement Area, where a forest company has accepted responsibility for the forest management and conservation on a million hectares of public land. Also within the area are coal mines, oil and gas developments, tourism, recreational use and major environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity (including endangered species) conservation.
In 1992 fRI Research began its internationally-acclaimed program of research on the forests and landscapes contained within the Ecotour route. This research continues and is being applied by natural resource managers across the area and beyond to improve the management and conservation of natural resources in the area. Most recently, the Institute has begun a woodland caribou research program on a touchstone species of very high interest in the region as well as nationally.
The Northern Rockies Ecotour is of high value to both travelers and at-home readers. It takes all this history, ongoing management, conservation challenges and applied research and presents them in a bias-neutral, plain-language publication to assist in the understanding of this spectacular landscape, the history that shaped it and the issues currently affecting it. Most importantly for the traveler, these concepts and history are described on the very landscape locations where they took place or are happening today.