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Walking the Big Wild: From Yellowstone to the Yukon on the Grizzly Bear's Trailby Karsten Heuer
Synopses & Reviews
Walking the Big Wild is the story of Karsten Heuer's extraordinary 18-month journey of hiking, skiing, and paddling across 2,100 miles of mountains, forests, and rivers from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to the Canadian Yukon. Accompanied by occasional human companions and a remarkable border collie named Webster, Heuer encountered immense challenges: storms, avalanches, floods, and grizzlies. At the end of the journey, Heuer proved that there is nearly continuous wilderness that can support wildlife along the length of the Rockies — and is salvagable if the right decisions are made now.
"Far-ranging grizzlies, elk and wolves don't know where the parks and preserves established to protect them end and much less hospitable public (and private) land begins. Thus, environmentalists have focused on creating wilderness corridors along which animals — mammals, birds and even fish — can migrate from one seasonal 'island' habitat to another. Canadian wildlife biologist Heuer gives a harrowing, humorous, engagingly personal and unabashedly polemical account of his 2,100-mile trek along one such potential link, from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to Watson Lake in the Canadian Yukon, along what activists hope will become the Y2Y (Yellowstone to the Yukon) corridor. Heuer hiked, skied, snowshoed and canoed his way along Rocky Mountain ridges, across icy rivers and through near-impenetrable forests; he encountered heart-stopping beauty and soul-soothing calm, as well as harsh winter storms, clouds of voracious mosquitoes and fierce opposition from logging and mining interests. He also found signs that the grizzly — the animal most vulnerable to the creeping incursion of logging roads, oil pipelines and suburban sprawl — was somehow hanging on. Heuer's journey is exciting, and his passionate vision of a network of protected pathways connecting two mostly pristine wilderness areas is inspiring. Photos, maps. Forecast: The extensive coverage of Heuer's trek in newspapers along his route suggests the possibility of solid regional sales." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[Heuer] is an engaging guide to both the idea and the terrain. When he gets up north into pristine wilderness...the book gets downright thrilling. And for wildlife, Heuer has taken a step — a hike, if you will — in the right direction." National Geographic Adventure
When a nature biologist wants to learn whether North American mammals are, as he suspects, genetically wired to roam over hundreds of miles of wilderness and civilization, there's only one thing he can do to prove it — follow them.
That's what Karsten Heuer did on foot for more than 2,000 miles from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon. His adventure is amazing; what he discovered is enlightening.
Walk wild Route Y2Y with wolves, bears, the author, his dog, and other creatures on one of North America's last migratory corridors.
About the Author
Karsten Heuer has worked as a wildlife biologist and park warden in Banff National Park in the Rockies, in Inuvik in Canada's far north, and in the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. With his wife Leanne Allison, he recently completed the "Being Caribou" project, a 1,000-mile journey traveling on foot with the migrating Porcupine Caribou herd in northern Canada and the U.S. Heuer was awarded the 2003 Wilburforce Foundation Conservation Leadership Award.
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