- Environmental Recording
- Equus caballus caballus
- Sound Effects
- Sound Effects
- Sound Effects
Equus caballus caballus
Banff National Park; Bow Valley; Yellowstone to Yukon; Y2Y; Canmore
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
28 Sep 1998
- Banff National Park; Dormer River area
- 51.481 -115.558
- :03 - 28:12
- Banff National Park border area; Panther River
- 51.6183 -115.6024
- 28:13 - 2:06:04
- Sennheiser MKH 40
- Sennheiser MKH 30
Stereo=2: 1=L, 2=R; Decoded MS Stereo
ambi 00:11 -1:19 horses walking. Running water in the background. Horses picking up the pace. Running water getting louder.
(Two people talking about Karsten taking photos and waiting for everybody to catch up.)
ambi 2:24 -3:22 horses walking on trail. Sound of stones falling away.
AC 3:40 breathing heavily. We're coming out of the Dormer River area. I'm not sure if it's a river or a creek. Anyway, it was flat and we're now on top of a ridge heading into Panther Creek area. I'm not sure whether that's a creek or a river either, but. I just walked up this ridge side which I guess is a 20 minute climb up here, and I've got some idea what Karsten is going through on this walk. more heavy breathing. 4:16
ambi 5:35 -7:47 a "look-back" mike. Pointing microphone towards Alex and crew behind. Sound of horses walking and people breathing and sniffing.
(Alex asking Perky what kind of skull he found. Perky faintly replies that it's a pelvis bone. More talk ensues. Alex states that you have to be sure-footed on this precarious part of the trail.)
ambi 8:40 -12:10 more "look-back" mike. Horses snorting. People sniffing. Someone comments on blackness of stone. More trail sounds. Karsten talking in background with Perky. Horses walk through small stream.
ambi 12:11 -14:01 sound of heavy breathing in the foreground of trail walking sounds. Good "exertion sound".
ambi 18:07 -23:04 a little wind with horse, Uma, eating a lot. Water in background. Some faint birds in background.
ambi 23:45 -27:34
sounds of heavy breathing. walking on slate. Sound of slate falling and colliding.
ambi 27:34 -28:00
nice sound of trickling stream.
ambi 28:29 -32:05
tail end of the ride. Sounds of horses walking on stone trail with people talking in background intermittently. Horses snorting.
ambi 32:33 -34:01
sounds of dismounting. Karsten points out an antler to Perky. Horse shakes up on one of the dismounts.
It's 4:30 in the afternoon, we've just arrived at Barrier Cabin which is near Panther creek. Is it a creek or river? .. river. And, God, it's a nice looking cabin ... nice walk down here.
ambi 37:01 - 41:00
sound of a bell around horse's neck that allows for easy tracking in case they run away at night. Nice bell sound.
ambi 41:30 -43:45
sound of the hobbles.
ambi 44:25 -46:51
ambience outside, off of the horses and the night. You can still hear faint bell in background. "never be free of the bell".
ambi 46:58 -49:40
more dramatic version of the previous ambience. Louder wind and bell. horse snort. This
one is more effective than the last.
(early morning cool gave the DAT machine a little technical difficulty)
ambi 52:08 -1:04:37
early morning sound. bell in background. horses walking. Faint sound of birds chirping.
sound of someone chopping wood (not great sound).
ambi 1:05:16 -1:05:53
sounds from inside the cabin. People talking and moving around.
ambi 1:06:02 -1:06:51 sound of water being poured. More talking. People getting ready. A chair scraping the floor.
ambi 1:06:54 -1:08:24 2 takes of Perky's spurs on wood floor as he walks across and gets some wood.
ambi 1:09:36 -1:11:20 several takes of a gate/door creaking open.
ambi 1:11:40 -1:13:10 sounds of someone brushing down a horse. Karsten and Perky talking in the background toward end of segment.
AC 1:13:16 Karsten, when you're skiing, how many miles a day do you make?
KH 1:13:19 It really varies on the trail breaking. How consolidating or unconsolidating the snow is. If you happen to be by a river where there's good ice that you can just skim along, you can put on 30-40 km a day no problem. While breaking a trail, deep, up to your knees, skis getting caught in willows, 10 km a day would be a big day. So, it'll really vary. 1:13:44
ambi 1:14:17 -1:14:24 gate creaking open.
ambi 1:18:00 -1:20:26 some faint bird sounds (Gray Jays-not great sound). Horses snorting.
(Monday, 28th) AC 1:22:16 asks Bert to identify himself.
Bert Dyck [BD] 1:22:20 he does and states that he's the mayor of Canmore.
AC 1:22:24 Tell me about Canmore, and I'm thinking of how a town like Canmore fits into overall scheme ofY2Y that's the basis to these stories. I'm noticing as we come along here, the growth of places and how places are, in terms of the wildlife, can plug and disrupt what the system is.
BD 1:22:51 Well, Canmore is a very fast growing town on the edge of Banff and it's nestled between Banff National Park and Kan ... country which is a very big provincial recreation area. The other point about Canmore is that it's growing at a phenomenal rate. It's been discovered, so to speak, by people all over north America, it was the Nordic ski venue for the 1988 winter Olympics, and since then has just been on a roll of development with development rates of 10% and over. We're trying to get it down to 6%. Last year we were at 7.7% and we're hoping to achieve down to a 6% growth rate by next year. 6% means that you double every 10 years, so that's still a pretty phenomenal growth. This growth is, of course, encroaching into the surrounding wilderness. You don't grow into farm land, you grow into wilderness, and so consequently we wind up taking wild land as we grow.
(1:24:01) And Canmore, there's been traditional movement of game, of Elk, of deer, and wolves, and all of the other sorts of large animals, bear, between Kananas ... country and Banff, especially across the number 1 highway. And as Canmore grows, it makes it more and more difficult for bear and other game to cross between Kanana... country and Banff. So, we have pioneered the concept of wildlife movement corridors where we have no development zones, 2-300 meters wide in the primary pathways where these animals move. We've got about 4 of these, 2 on either sides of the valley, and we're trying to make, uh, prevent the kind of development and human activities in these corridors that would interfere with wildlife movement, so it's pretty much restricted to hiking and only hiking across the corridors. I would say it's an experimental thing where we're not sure if it's going to work, but it's very critical that it does work (quick interruption) because it is a vital link in this whole Yellowknife to Yukon concept. Canmore is apparently one of those areas where there is a lot of game movement across the highway and we have to make sure we do our part to maintain the linkage across the Rockies.
AC 1:26:05 You're a local politician, and you have people in the town who are asking a lot of things I would guess. How do you balance those kinds of things? How do you keep those wild places going and still manage to satisfy the people who want to come and live in Canmore because it's a beautiful place?
Well, you've touched on a very critical point. When I first came into office, in '92, the community was intensely polarized between pro and anti development forces, between the environmental community and those that just wanted to see us take advantage of the boom that was coming our way. We, in fact, received a petition of 500 signatures asking us to stop growth altogether. How we responded was we, urn, initiated a growth management consultation, where we engaged 25 different community groups, where any group of25 different people could self-select themselves into the process and we engaged in an 11 month community-wide discussion on how we wanted to grow, what was our future to be, how did environment play into this. And out of that came a growth management strategy which we are presently working to implement.
1:27:26 And that growth management strategy includes a policy commitment to these life corridors. The development community was all present at that table, and of course they had a lot at stake, because they required a local political approval for their various projects and so they were motivated to be at the table .... And I think what we have is a balanced outcome, who knows whether it's balanced too much to one side or the other. I think, perhaps, the development community is proceeding with their various projects. They've bought into the 6% negotiated targeted growth and they've accepted the concept of wildlife corridors, and they are agreeing to allow us to save that land.
1:28:23 The other thing that one of the developers has recently done, he's in fact signed off 52% of his land to a conservation organization, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and we have placed perpetual easements onto this land so that it's guaranteed protected perpetuity ... overtime, all of these wildlife corridors will get this perpetual conservation easement.
1:29:14 But, really, it was the growth management consultation that resulted in a consensus on how we should proceed as a community into the future, is really the answer to your question. That's the growth management strategy.
AC 1:29:36 We talked to someone who's trying to buy a house in Canmore but can't afford it because the average house there is $236,000 now. I mean, that's expensive. And, in part, that's a result of slow growth, less development, what you're saying is some people who want to live here simply aren't going to be able to because there's no more room here.
BD 1:30:13 Well, that's the nature of government. There's always issues that tug against each other. You're never dealing in one direction, there's always a counter-direction that pulls the other way. And, yes, when we preserve lots of wild land, we actually increase the value of property that is not wild land, we decrease the supply of development land and that has an upward effect on pricing. We have a staff housing policy being hammered out and co-op housing issues that speak to this issue of high-cost housing that you're talking about. We don't want to make this a haven just for the rich. We want all levels of income to be comfortable and to have a good life in town, and hopefully our staff housing policy and lower-cost housing initiatives that we're taking will work.
1:31:07 For example ... he goes on to talk about the specifics of their initiatives.
Do you run into people in Canmore who say, look I live here, this is my home, and I'm not really concerned with what people in Yellowstone think and I don't really care what they're doing up in the Yukon, I live here, and my concerns are here. The heck with this big concept that may be complicating my life in ways that I don't like.
BD 1:32:11 Well, that's certainly the case, and we don't necessarily sell this initiative that we've taken on the basis of Yellowstone to Yukon. We sell it on the basis of local wildlife issues and the local movement of wildlife. If the deer and the elk and the wolves and the bear have traveled here for the last 1000 years, why should we pinch off the last remaining pathway. And we're trying to protect what are actually the vestiges of these migration routes so that they can continue in the future ... we sell it locally on the basis of hey let's keep the wildlife and the ecosystem happening locally the way it's always done.
AC 1:33:03 Just generally, in the last year, as the Y2Y concept has gotten known locally, what has been the reaction?
BD 1:33:12 I think the reaction has been most positive and I'm surprised, even people who've been intrusive to the environment ... they accept and appreciate the fact, I think, that there has to be a protective zone riding along the spine of the Rockies for game to multiply, to mingle, to have genetic pooling between islands of animals, and I think it's very well accepted. I don't think it's known as widely yet as it should be. Karsten's project is an exciting project, and I'm sure by the time he's done it'll be very widely known and accepted.
ambi 1:35:12 -1:35:40
rustling of a gortex jacket.
ambi 1:36:00 -1:39:15
outside ambience. Quiet. Faint birds in background. (intended to go underneath Bert and
Karsten' s interviews).
ambi 1:39:15 -1:39:26
nice bird call.
AC 1:41:10 asks Karsten to identify himself.
KH 1:41:17 Karsten Heuer and I'm a seasonal Park Warden and contract wildlife biologist on a leave of absence.
AC 1:41:26 what is a contract wildlife biologist?
KH 1:41:29 I couldn't find anyone who would hire me and so I started my own company. (laughing).
AC 1:41:36 (laughing) And you do wildlife studies for people.
KH 1:41:38 predominately government agencies ... and mostly concerned with the movement of large mammals.
AC 1:41:55 How's your Y2Y hike going?
KH 1:41:58 unbelievably well. Very, very few hiccups. The first month was pretty rough, pretty wet, pretty snowy. But from then on the weather has been pretty fantastic. Even though I kind of hurried the plans to make the schedule ... that's all gone smoothly as well. I can't believe how little hardship I've had to go through, the bugs haven't been bad all summer. .. my body hasn't fallen apart yet.
AC 1:42:40 But during that first month, were you getting rained on a lot?
KH 1:42:45 Yeah, pretty much every single day. Many mornings of waking up and a new layer of4-6 inches of snow..
AC 1:42:54 Isn't your tent wet?
KH 1:42:56 soaking. (laughter). And you just pack it ... it's probably twice the weight when it's wet, and you set it up in the evening and it's still wet.
43:10 ac & kh talking about wet sleeping bags.
1:43:35 alex asks about strenuous nature of walking
1:44:00 kh yeah the pack, I think you've pretty much identified that the pack is the biggest thing. that makes it work, that pack is my biggest enemy, you feel like you can go for miles and miles without one but you put one on and it really slowly you down. 1:44:20
1:44:21 ac you're carrying enough to survive for ten days at a time?
1:44:23 kh the longest section so far has been ten days, that'll be the longest section till I get to jasper this late fall but north of jasper there's going to be sections that are three weeks long., so its significantly more weight hopefully on something like that on three week section I'll be able to get in somewhere with someone whether its someone who'd skidooing into the area anyway and will be able to drop off a cache of food so maybe we can split it into two one and a half week sections.
--ac talking about presentation, when woman asked about greatest challenge, you mentioned coming out of solitary exp and talking to people.
1:45:26 ac yeah that has been the greatest challenge although not always physical, I'm completely drained after a round of presentations and interviews--but its making that sort of transition from being fairly quiet, able to think thoughts through urn not being bombarded by all sorts of sensory input that you are in conventional society and then coming out and Justin Thomas my publicist literally waiting where we've pre¬arranged a meeting after I've come off the trail and saying "alright Heuer here's you're schedule for the next four or five days and its pretty much booked solid," trying to work through all that and being outgoing when naturally I'm a fairly self-contained person--I'm not an extrovert naturally--it takes more out of me than prob an extrovert would find would be taken out of them, to go out and talk to people day after day, hour after hour and you know ev from one-on-one in media interview situations to large crowds and presentations and having to be on the ball because there's a lot of pressure here--you know you care about something passionately and you want to rep and convince as many people as possible that this is something that's necessary protecting different areas along the Rockies for wildlife.--and so to maintain your energy levels it takes a tremendous amount of energy to try and do that day after day
1:47:08 ac more energy for you than it does to hike
1:47:11 kh the hiking is the easiest part (laughs)--(repeats) 1:47:17
--what kind of shape are you in right now?
urn I think I'm probably in pretty darn good shape right now but I was probably in better shape maybe a month ago--and that's probably where I peaked this summer about three months into the trip and now I feel like my bodies saying okay time to take a good two or three weeks off and rejuvenate, recover--I think now I'm actually wearing my body now and not getting in any better shape, this horse trip has def been a nice change and you guys have seen how much I'm eating at mealtime and so I'm trying to put on extra pounds and give the normal muscles that I'm using when I'm hiking a bit of a break so its been a been a welcome a change 1:48:03
your sister said she's never seen you look so scrawny
(laughs) I guess I am fairly skinny, yeah--I lost about 20 pounds this summer and I wasn't no I didn't think I was overweight when I left.
talking about presentations:
I think probably the best way to talk about it is--this is what's going to be a needed changed perception a heightened perception about the scale of the landscape that we have to be thinking about in order to keep what we have today in terms of abundant wildlife populations esp. the wider-ranging creatures like grizzlies, lynx, wolverine and wolf depending on the audience and I'm always thinking of the audience I am talking to you know the argument normally made to urban audiences through those large carnivores, but if its a rural aud. can equally be made through pop off or instance trophy elk or trophy sheep bc the things that threaten grizzly bears and wolves well as we start to think of parks as islands surrounded by human development well the pressures of inbreeding and the problems of not being able to escape from wide-spread disease or fire on these islands is just as poignant for something like elk and sheep as for grizzlies and wolves, its simply grizzly bears and wolves are sort of the litmus, they'll be the first to go bc they need the largest areas. but its indicative of the health of the entire system
1:50:09 ac and what was it that inspired you to take this walk. ..
1:50:20 kh no that def was a huge attraction, to spend two years traveling through the Rockies you know I the places that we've been going through the four of us these are the home part of the Rockies this is where I've lived and worked pretty much all my life but to explore the Rockies further afield that def was an attraction but the impetus was not necessarily just do an adventure but to heighten the awareness of the need for something like y2y. bc y2y has talked about the time period by which we hope to achieve this interconnected system by y2y the time period is something 50-100 yrs and yet there are key areas ...(lists places) .¿.that you don't have 50-100--yrs you got maybe 5-10 yrs before things are completely cut off and so you have a sense of urgency in key areas and bc there's a sense of urgency I'm trying to communicate that out to people so that we start mobilizing and coordinating over a huge area, an area that's never been coordinated you know people have never been coordinated or mobilized or organized over as huge an area before as y2y is proposing to do and just getting the message out there to people to tell them this is what needs to be done, this is how we plan to do it and we'd like to get you involved. I'm really trying to push this thing forward give it a bit of a kick in the pants in and make sure it happens in time for some of the key areas.
1:52:15 ac do your feet get sore?
1:52:17 kh definitely (laughs) at the bottom of my boots there's a nylon shank meant to maintain the stiffness of the boots and that nylon shank also prevents rocks protruding you know sharp rocks protruding to the soles of your feet, but that nylon shank broke on my right boot about ten days ago and then it broke on my left boot two days later and I haven't had time on the intervening days in between the trip to have that fixed so I expect I'll have that until jasper but so my feet will prob get even more sore as we head north-its pretty common esp after the first day you start to go more than 20 km a day and you def start feeling it on the feet prob the toughest kind of terrain ironically is flat terrain when you're following a logging road which hasn't happened to much but its that kind of continual movement there's not much variation so your joints and muscles are always the same being used every step of the way and that's prob. The most painful kind of walking its prob some of the fastest and regarded at least from an energetic perspective as the easiest
--ac what kind of boots do you have?
they're called "Zamborland" its an Italian boot company and they're called hike-lites and very simple boot, full leather quite light and fairly flexible.
no, straight leather and I impregnate them with a thing called snow seal which is you know beeswax and silicon.
when are you going to finish hiking this yr.?
the plan if everything goes smoothly will be October 17th in a place called jasper about 350 km north of where we're standing right now. And uh the only thing that might come in the way of the plan would be if we get lots of snow and as you guys saw on the first day its pretty probable this time of year that you get snowed in somewhere and the route I'm planning is pretty high elevation so its probably going to be I might be pushing the envelope a little bit for this time of year and so I might have to take an alternate route but we'll see. I was telling perky this morning all indications is that it won't be an early winter and the reason is none of the horses have started to get their thicker winter coats yet.
I think for almost anyone listening to this the idea of hiking 350 km is nearly 300 miles in the next 2 Y2 wks is overwhelming part. The country you're going through how do you think about it so that it doesn't overwhelm you?
I break it down into component parts so I haven't been thinking about hiking 3400 km to the Yukon, I don't think that has ever entered my mind since I started some of the detained route planning what I'm doing is I'm thinking of it as a series of consecutive back-packing trips and so right now I'm really only thinking of the four day section that I'll take north of the ranch where we'll go tonight. The four day section that it will take me to get to the next little spot where we'll go out and do the presentation and I'll get re-supplied. And then north of there its another eight day section and then north of there its another three day section so just thinking about it as individual sections and that's all you're really focused on when you're on the trail as well you know I only have the maps for that section so I'm only thinking ahead that far and trying to make the schedule for that.
ac Don't you worry a little bit you know if you were halfway out on that 8 day section that's north of here pretty good chance that you'll run into bad whether you could you could get snowed in or you might hurt yourself, get stuck, its you and you're dog,
1:57:14 kh if its really impossible to move you sit and wait I had to do that for four days before and uh but as you're sitting and waiting you -good opp to catch up on some sleep do a bit of reading again like I said you got a realize that changes in the weather will come about you have to be patient enough to wait for them. And so just having that attitude that anyone situation is temp. -that's true of anything in life until we die. And I don't think anyone that's alive is really sure about how kempt or unkempt things are after that so that's my attitude-but id do I am sort of not going out and being careless bc I have considered diff points of escape if necessary from the trip and so its -for instance that 8 day section of the trip that you're talking about to jasper it normally wouldn't take more than a day or a day and a half if I did have to escape off the route to get out to some sort of road or house or warden station 1:58:32
1:58:35 ac that's if you could move, that's if you hadn't broken an ankle or fixed yourself up someway so that you couldn't go you have no radio and you're out there by yourself and uh it might be a while before you're friend whose traveling with you realizes that your not showing up on time and then he's gotta go look for you it could be quite a while out there before anyone found you
1:59:02 kh yes if something happened on the first day of an 8 day session then uh Justin whose the publicist meeting me by vehicle on the next stop he wouldn't really know that something went wrong until seven days later uh, so if its serious, if I'm bleeding to death uh yes I guess I've bled to death-but the twisted ankle or hurt knee if you have the food and the shelter which you always have on your back that's one thing about backpacking you always have everything you need to stop anywhere and survive which is an incredible feeling you never have to make it to a certain point you can just put your pack down and uh and so having that capability you have the capability to wait for help to come-if necc-I hope it won't be necc. I'm def taking a lot of precautions that I wouldn't
norm take if I were traveling with more people or if it was a shorter trip, you know everything my footing if I'm clambering across a shale slope or above cliff or something I'm def a lot more cautious and thinking about each individual step than I normally would cutting cheese with my knife I know that if I make a slip up it could ruin not only that section of the trip but the entire trip and then precautions with bears precautions with water filtration this is the first summer I've ever filtered water in my life I normally just drink out of the streams as we have been here. But I don't know the water quality of the Rockies from Yellowstone up to Banff. And so I've been carrying a water filter which is an extra pound and a half in the pack and prob an every half hour of work each day filtering enough water to try and minimize the chances of me getting some sort of intestinal parasite or sickness and would throw this whole trip and the assoc awareness campaign that now has a momentum and a bit of a following in each of the
stops you know I'm taking all of these precautions to try and prevent something from throwing all that off--2:01:31
--do you think at all of how people think about you?
2:01:42 kh urn not much to tell you the truth and I think you know in reading about other people who have made a difference, normally those people without reason you know you have to be diplomatic and you have to consider, and if you're a presenter you have to consider your audience all the time-and so from that perspective yeah I'm def thinking about how people are thinking of me-but overall I'm not too worried if I'm staying true to what the message is and if I'm representing it well I'm not worrying to much about how people might be perceiving me as a person-no. 2:02:26
2:02:26 ac I guess of thinking of people perceiving you as a sort of super-person bc you can do this thing that is pretty unusual
2:02:37 kh well Alex you walked five miles yesterday, and from wash. Dc you come out and walk five miles in the Rockies, between 6-7000ft above sea level my sister virtually got off the couch and came for a six day session that was fairly rugged and I was incredibly impressed with how she was able to do that. What I'm doing isn't that special. You know everybody goes out, around here anyway, for overnight backpacking trips what I'm doing is stringing together a whole series of overnight backpacking trips and doing some presentations and publicity assoc w it-I think the only thing is that most people don't have the time and maybe not quite the energy to string together something this long but I think people if they don't have any chronic ailments are capable of doing it-its just finding the time which is prob one of the most precious resources in our world today
--ac its the time but its also the vision.
2:03:43 kh sure and I think part of that comes from how you were brought up--what you're background is and what you know or don't know and my values have come from growing up as a kid going out with my parents just about every weekend out of the city into the mountains, getting up early in the dark, going into the lakes for fishing
and that growing into an appreciation with a set of friends that we went out for adventures in the mountains and that kind of spurred me to study ecology in university and bc I had that ecology then I kind of landed me a job that had me in the mountains surrounded by and studying the landscape and trying to conserve it. and so that vision comes from somewhere--you know there are people out there w vision for social causes that I don't have the vision for bc I don't have the background or the knowledge that's really brought it about
2:04:57 END OF INTERVIEW
AMBI for intv with Karsten Heuer 2:05:18-2:05:50 occasional bird, V quiet