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“Bert Riggall’s Greater Waterton: A Conservation Legacy”

“Bert Riggall’s Greater Waterton: A Conservation Legacy,” by Bert Riggall

“Bert Riggall’s Greater Waterton: A Conservation Legacy” by Bert Riggall

What a treasure Canada received when Bert Riggall emigrated from England and settled in the Waterton area of Alberta. He came with that English explorer mentality and the ruggedness common to his former countrymen.

In the elegantly presented “Bert Riggall’s Greater Waterton: A Conservation Legacy,” you will be thrilled by the copious number of photographs Bert took throughout the first half of the 20th century. He took more than 14,000 photos in his lifetime and the ones chosen by editor Beth Towe are of the majestic and awe-inspiring environment in which he lived. He also excelled in cartography, animal training, hunting, guiding, and lobbying on behalf of nature.

Along with Bert and his wife Dora, you can experience their trials and travails with home building — a chinook wind blew their first home into a ditch. As Bert spent more time involved in guiding activities, Dora took complete charge of all the farm duties.

The photos presented are sumptuous in their alpine glory. The overwhelming majority are in black and white, with a large number of panoramic views. Bert set up his darkroom and enlarging equipment on his own, learning all the facets his craft through reading.

The book consists of chapters written by some of Canada’s leading nature writers, some of Bert and Dora’s grandchildren, and some who used his guide services. You will also discover how he inspired future generations to explore the wilderness and to carry on his conservationist legacy.

A truly magnificent collection awaits you in this coffee table tome, and it may very well inspire you to visit Glacier National Park or Waterton National Park right over the border.

Louis Wolff is an avid reader and volunteers at the Billings Public Library as often as he can.

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