(0:46:22) After Minnewanka, I went to Tech School at Hinton and got that training, which is forestry basically. But, they did have pretty good wildlife program. Then I came out of that and shortly after got promoted to Chief Warden at Yoho. That was at the time of centralization. They had centralized, but at that point, the wardens were still living out in their districts. In Yoho park, the housing was all along the highway. There was no housing in the town anyhow. So the wardens were still living out in the districts, but they were no longer District Wardens. They would all come in to the compound in the morning where they had a little office…Shortly after I arrived I discovered, and this is following the warden whose name we won’t use (there were many problems in the Park). He (the previous Chief Warden)…had turned the fire lookouts over to the General Works. He just basically turned all the (warden’s) responsibilities over to (other departments)…

(0:47:54) Shortly after I arrived, there was a father and son canoeing in the Kicking Horse River and they ended up on a little island with a log jam. They punctured their canoe and they were stranded out there. The General Works crew went to stores and headed out to the rescue. They didn’t even report it to the wardens! That was the state of affairs. The wardens morale was such that there was no complaining, no nothing. They just were completely quiet about everything. Around there they (the wardens) would jump in the truck, go for a little drive up and down the highway and that was it…Basically what I did was check them out, and I partly knew some of them. I told them I wanted them out in the Park. I wanted them out on horses, full coverage. I said, “I don’t know anything about this Park.” I had a whole bunch of film, and I told them, “I don’t expect reports out of you.” Actually, I had one of them that was completely illiterate, but a dependable, good warden. “(So) take pictures of anything you think I should know. You can scribble on the back of the picture, or write a report, you can do whatever you want. Just get the message to me.” I said, “When I come down here in the morning, you know your jobs. If anybody doesn’t know what to do, I’ll assign you something to do.” That would be the jobs that no one wanted to do! So everybody immediately found things to do! With that the morale came up. They also were giving very good information in to me. Basically there were some things that were almost unbelievable.
(0:51:53) They were cutting a trail into Linda Lake. There was nothing there, but the lake. They put the road in for it and none of the wardens knew. When I checked with the Superintendent, (I found out the road) was for the town’s people to go fishing! Field was a dismal little town and you had to look after the town’s people. I said, “Well, I ‘m surprised that Region approved it.” He said, “We don’t need Region…” There were things like that that came up, just one after another. They were getting their firewood for the Park by going up the logging roads that had been built in the Park. Every valley pretty well had a road in it. I mentioned this and they said they were lining this so that if the timber fell down it wouldn’t reach the road. Well, when you got 60/80 foot trees, plus the fact that it opens it up to wind action, you get more blow downs… Meanwhile up the Amiskwi there were great piles of logs that the lumber company when they pulled out, they just left. They left a mess and they left a cut block. There was so much (lumber left) that we couldn’t possibly use it. It ended up that we hauled it as far as Jasper Park. We got rid of it that way.

(0:53:44) The big one that I ran into was Gordie Rutherford took pictures of the (Lake) O’Hara meadows. The summer before I came in the Trail Hikers of the Canadian Rockies had camped there. The damage was pretty obvious and Gordie said, “It was extensive. Almost unbelievable.” So, I got a guy working on it, a full investigation, lots of pictures. We took trees that they had cut down, if I remember the figure right, (they cut down)144, most of them for the donut tent. These trees, we tried to age them…At that elevation the growth rings are so tight together (that) without a microscope we couldn’t properly age them. The most we could see was with magnifying glasses and we knew that they were over 300 years old. In every case, there was a tent and a pole with a ball on it. There were three very distinct rings. I couldn’t figure out what they were possibly for. I finally found out they had moved that three times and the growth in the meadow at that elevation (is very slow). O’Hara is one of the jewels of the Rockies. You are looking at 500 years to get the growth back to where it should be. We had all this evidence and a response came in from the Trail Hikers, so I sent an answer back to them. I reminded them of their motto, “We take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.” I said, “You certainly left your footprints. Your footprints will be there for at least 100 years.” And I sent some of the photos to illustrate it. They took offence at my letter. They wrote back, but they also wrote to Ottawa, complained to Ottawa. The Superintendent was just in a dither over it, but Ottawa when they got a hold of it, they agreed. The Trail Hikers, basically prided themselves, it was the Trail Riders that did all the damage, it wasn’t the Trail Hikers. The Trail Hikers were a bunch of what they considered very environmentally conscious people and so on and so forth. Actually in the letter they sent back they said that they didn’t expect to be back there for another seven years and if we kept the people off it for that time it would recover. Can you imagine the audacity to keep everyone off it for seven years so that they could come back. The attitude was something else! Anyhow then Ottawa got on it and they ended up not only prohibiting any camping in that area, they put out a general prohibition of any group camping. This really came about as I say by just giving wardens the jobs that they should be doing, observing and reporting. My philosophy always was the wardens job was not to conduct studies, the wardens job was to observe, and you can’t tell the unnatural unless you observe the natural. There is always disease in the forest. There were always wardens living in that for a number of years. They were able to see things that happened.

(1:00:02) There was a change incidentally that took place around 1968. They were hiring wardens up until that time, most of whom had ranch backgrounds, or they were capable with handling the horses. They got into hiring also the ones that had some basics (in mountaineering and); you could teach them the rescue methods. In the 1960s, they decided what they should be doing was eliminating the Schools that we had. We had the old Cuthead College. Then Cuthead College days were over and they were hiring people (with a more formal/university education)…The old Schools that taught the basics started to disappear.