SH: Oh I didn’t know that.
Glen: Ya, we lived there for six years. So it was perfect – I worked in Lake Louise, Janice worked in Banff, so it was a split in commuting and stuff. So within a pretty short order, because I had worked in Rogers Pass and stuff, that was my intention to get to the ski hill. So it was a pretty natural sort of flow of things with the experience that I had accumulated by then. So I went to the (Lake Louise) ski hill; Clair (Israelson) was the forecaster and John Flaa was competing for the job, I think (Dave) Norcross already had his job there, and (Gord) Irwin was the assistant back then and then all of those ski area guys, Brian Keefer and Chris Newman, who just lives down the road here …..
So then I worked there every winter and did some general summer duty warden stuff, but then I did some bear management stuff and did a couple of years in the backcountry. So I had Cyclone district for two summers. So it was pretty neat, I clearly remember being out at Scotch Camp at the end of October, freezing and then literally coming back – back then that was a ten and four (shift) you did. So you finished your ten day shift, rode the horses back to the (Ya Ha Tinda) ranch, pulled the shoes for the end of the season and the next shift we put our ski boots on.

SH: Wow (Tape 07:32)

Glen: Ya, that was back when winter started early so then you started setting up the ski hill. And then I spent six years at the hill in the winters then ended up – you know Gord left and Dave did it for a little bit – and then I ended up as the assistant forecaster for the last year or two, I can’t remember. And then Parks Canada got out of avalanche control in 1990. So for that last year, 1989, it was that transition where the ski hill was going to take it over. And you know it was back when everybody believed that nobody can do the job like us and clearly for the last thirty years they’ve done just fine, but that was an attitude that everybody had. But that was really the hay days, as far as the Warden Service’s credibility within the public, our recognition within the public, I mean it was a fantastic time to be a young guy doing that with the orange anorak with the flashes on and you could just ski right up to the front of the lift and everybody would be “Okay you need to get on the lift”.

SH: You were Gods, laughs

Glen: Ya some people more than others but it was a pretty ego inflating time to be a warden. Put it that way. So that was pretty neat. (Tape 09:14)

But then in 1990 it was all over, and it also was when this whole forced occupancy thing – you have to live where you work and all that stuff, all of that. Rogers Pass was kind of on part of the leading edge of that. They were trying to force people to live in Rogers Pass when they had families. Phil Hammond was one of those first guys to break that mold so that was all kind of at the edge, because I remember that was when Middle Springs in Banff came up. The first development, the lot draw thing. And a bunch of us, Clair put in because he got drawn, so did we, Ron Tessolini did, Diane Volkers. Anyway this was coming about when in 1990 when we were out of the ski hill, we were buying a house in Banff and there was controversy. I remember you know, Haney trying to say, “Well, there’s no way you guys can live there.” And everybody was saying, you know this is Clair and I and whoever else was up there at the time, Diane, “Well watch us.” And so it just kind of all faded away, that pressure that they thought they had, so we bought the house and moved to Banff. And in very short order I transferred to Banff in 1990 and I worked in Wildlife, because I’d done some bear stuff in Lake Louise and Rick and I got along, and I ended up working as the assistant in the wildlife shop at the time. That was Rick Kunelius. And so right from 1990 til 2007, so 17 years, it was all wildlife stuff. (Tape 11:24)

SH: So different parks, how did they compare?

Glen: Oh, one of the things, sorry, one of the really cool assignments that I got to do; two things… when I was in Lake Louise, I had a chance, I’m not sure how I found out about it or whatever, Tom Hurd knew about it, and maybe he was the one who told me about it. Anyway there was an opportunity for a summer job to go to, at that time it was called North Yukon National Park. And it was just a summer assignment but the old, are you familiar with the DEW line sites, the Distant Early Warning System? They had these old radar sites, but they were only about 22 or 25 miles apart, as the technology didn’t allow. There was one of those old sites, in Stokes Point, right on the Beaufort Sea, right near the Alaska Yukon border, right near Herschel Island. That was when, I can’t remember the year, they were automating it all, taking the people out, there were huge pollution issues with the PCB’s and stuff up there. And they were taking the old station out and building this new fancy automated system. And during that construction they needed something that I had done in Lake Louise in the summers when I was backcountry – I did some environmental assessment stuff, when Lake Louise was putting their new quad chairlifts in, so I had a summer assignment, when Mike Mcknight was there. So I got that as a summer assignment to do sort of all the environmental monitoring there and then low and behold, the next summer this special assignment comes up (Tape 13: 48). So I had some experience in that, and I applied for it. So I got this job for the summer up there. And it was two weeks on and two weeks off, they flew me all the way up there and all the way down every two weeks. Incredible. And flew into the Park, we lived right at Stokes Point and so I did that for the summer. So that was a pretty neat experience. So June was spring, July was summer, August was fall and then I was back home in September. So that was pretty neat, and I got to do some neat things up there. Flying around and doing all that stuff so that was a neat summer.

And then also when I was in Lake Louise, there was another opportunity. Sylvia Forest did it as well. Parks Canada, maybe in one of their phases, they were trying to promote us globally. And there was an event, a whole series of events actually, in Japan. You must have heard about this.

SH: I just vaguely remember now.

Glen: Japan wanted, it was a commercial thing basically, they wanted to have some wardens go over there and do presentations at these big, they were in …. there was one in Hokkaido, that was in a ski area, they had a big stage, there was tons of people and so on, and we did a bunch of press stuff. And so I had to bring all my warden uniform over there. In fact Sylvia, because she was a climber, she brought all her climbing stuff. I brought my riding gear and stuff, I even had my slicker and my chaps on, and on stage, and we had canned programs we were presenting. You had to go through a bunch of training. And there was a guy named Danny something from Kootenay, he was an interpreter, he went and there was an artist, Barb somebody from Jasper. Anyway, we all went over there together for two weeks, for the grand tour of Japan making these presentations, and it was almost like it became a culinary tour, because they would treat us to these fantastic …. I had the best sushi of my life. And it was all, you know we didn’t pay for any of it, and eating in Japan, well, you’ve been there, it’s a ceremonial thing so we had a bunch of preliminary, sort of cultural training before we went. Because it’s pretty easy to make a faux pas when you are over there. So there were things like how do you present your business card, with two hands and so on, you never just grab the sake bottle and pour it, you take it and you pour it for somebody else and then they’ll reciprocate. And there is still things like before you have your meal you say (Glen quoted Japanese dialogue) and there is one line (again Glen expressed a quote in Japanese).

So I got to do that trip, and Sylvia was there.

SH: So that was two weeks you were in Japan. Wow that’s a great assignment.

Glen: Ya, so, then I was in Lake Louise, and got in and was working in Wildlife ever since. And then there were issues, Rick left and it was at a time when we were really starting to see conflict …. elk stuff, bear stuff. And it was clear that it wasn’t just sort of, you couldn’t just have a summer seasonal that was assigned that for the summer to do it. It was too big in the public’s eye, it led to too many difficult challenges in the press and so on. And that was at a point in the Warden Service…. You know the appeal for most of us at that stage, was it was a generalist job. What other job can you get to ride around on a horse in the summer, go skiing in the winter, drive a zodiac, all that sort of stuff. Go climbing, hang under a helicopter, and that was still in the day when I did a lot of that stuff. Especially in Lake Louise. Lake Louise had its own reputation, of that’s the hub. There was no question you got exposed to it just because you were there. So it had that kind of reputation as well. So that was kind of when the public safety guys were becoming more specialists, there were always the specialists, but they came to the rest of us to assist with everything. And everyone was moving away and that was the same thing that was going on with wildlife, and particularly with the elk problems in the Town of Banff, and the aggressive contact charges we were having there and so on. (Tape 19:58)

So that became the point where there was a discussion of we need a Wildlife Conflict Specialist. Rick had left so I was doing that job. I think he went back to school then or something.

SH: Yes because you needed the education all of a sudden to be the biologist.

Glen: Yes that was when, because when I moved and worked for Kunelius, that was when Ian (Pengelly) and Tom Hurd started. Ian went back to school and I tried to do that as well. I was looking for some support and they said, “Oh you can take as much time off as you want.” But there was no sort of “Don’t worry, we’ll back you.” They weren’t going to do that. Ya because I wanted to do the same thing. Anyway that was when Tom, the Faunal Specialist was starting. So everything was moving in that direction. And the same with the wildlife conflict stuff. And then I was kind of the defacto guy doing it anyway, and it just got to the …. ‘cause Haney kept saying, “You know we need that job, and we need you to keep doing this job.” And it was to a point where it was, well sure I’m willing to keep doing it, but I’m not going to keep doing it without something at the end of it for me, otherwise I’ll do what everybody else is doing. So it went from a GT3, they created a GT4 job and I got it without competition. Haney just gave me the job. Which, I was very fortunate about that. There was some rule or something so there was no competition or anything. And so then I got that officially and it was a higher classification, and then it went up to a GT5 when everybody was reclassified after that. (Tape 22:02)

So I did that until the end except when (Ian) Syme, remember when Syme went to Waterton as the acting Supt, at that point I had done the wildlife job for a number of years and thought that I would want to move to a higher level, and he went and who was the Chief Warden then? Bob Haney or Perry Jacobson?

SH: It would have been Perry, because Syme came after Perry.

Glen: That’s right. So when Ian went there on his assignment, I got the acting position -I applied and got the Acting Backcountry Supervisor’s job – and so I did that for six months. You know, trying to get some more higher management experience and so on. But it was also when we were just being reclassified and they decided to get rid of that job, so I never made any extra money doing it ‘cause Ron Leblanc moved into – he went from a, what was it, 4 to a 5 when he acted for me, and then I was supposed to go from a GT5 to a GT6 I guess if I wanted to do the backcountry job. They eliminated that job so I never got any extra money. So I did the bigger job, ran the whole backcountry, and never got paid for it, but got paid the same as Leblanc did for acting in my job. So I was always a little miffed about that. They just never would, they just said the position doesn’t exist anymore so we don’t know if it would have gone to a GT 6 or not… one of those deals.

But, there are always ways to compensate. So I did that right til, you know the history, right til 2007 and you know, who was I talking to the other day, oh (Marc) Ledwidge when we were on our bike ride, and we both just sort of said, we were some of the lucky ones. There was lots of people, I don’t know why, are just bitter by the end of it. And you just sort of look back and say – I mean there was always those days, where the bureaucracy and so on would really weigh on you – but the reality is it didn’t take much to think back and look forward to what’s next and stuff and say you know … you can live with it. And I was very fortunate, particularly in the last couple of years, I was at a point in my career and doing that job that …They knew I could do the job, and I knew I could do the job so they basically just said “Glen go and do what you know how to do.” They left me alone, I had great autonomy so I was able to do some initiatives, that I was working on and wanted to do. One of them was bear risk assessments at backcountry campgrounds. And a bunch of other stuff. And so I was really happy those last couple of years and I also had a say, I sat in and did the interviews for my replacement. So I was totally, and it was also, it was quite fulfilling to be able to do that, but I also recognized that it was time for me to move on, and let some of these younger guys take it over and move… because the program didn’t exist until Haney gave me the job. So I had sort of started doing that and there was a bear management plan that was originally written I think by Dave Cardinal, a long time ago and so we had rewritten that stuff. So I had a lot to do with the establishment of that program, and I clearly remember walking out of the Warden Office within a few months of retiring and Mike Henderson and Mike Grande, and we met on the stairs there by the back door and we were chatting and they were saying not too much longer and stuff, and I turned away, another one of those things that you remember, and I just thought, that’s the next generation. And I was totally happy with that. So that’s the family tree.

SH: Yes I find it’s really neat with the family tree to see some of the kids of the Wardens in it now. Like Niddrie, and Leah and Tom Hurd’s kid and Cliffy White’s kids, they’re all in Resource Conservation.

Glen: Ya, well Devlin’s kid is an Engineer in Yoho..

End Section (27:59)

Tape 12:07 – Tape 00:16
SH: What were some of your main responsibilities over the years? Do you think we’ve covered that?
Glen: Yes

SH: What did you like about being a warden? What didn’t you like about being a Warden? Would you like to summarize some of that?

Glen: Well, you know, you’ll hear the same stories from everybody. Obviously starting out it was just the absolute appeal of the variety and stuff you got exposed to. In the real world, the practical world, if you filled out a resume and said what have you done and what are you good at or whatever. Well, I can immobilize grizzly bears and I can throw a bomb and start an avalanche. Well I don’t know how that gets me a job in the real world but in a lot of ways we weren’t working in the real world. So that was, for a young guy that was wide eyed about it all, it was like wow, they’re going to pay me to do this? And over time we realized they didn’t pay us a whole lot but there were other ways of compensation. (Tape 01:25)

SH: That’s a good answer. So what didn’t you like about being a Park Warden?
Glen: And that’s the other thing, this idea that some people have different experience. One of the things I do believe is that you could sit back and let Parks Canada and the Warden Service come to you or allow it to manipulate you and say well, this is what you are going to do and so on; or, you can be proactive and try and chart your career path, what do I want to do and so on. And I was never a … I worked for John Steele in Lake Louise and he was a real law enforcement guy. And that was when the whole specialization of law enforcement was coming on, and he was always pushing for that. It was a function that I did but it wasn’t something that appealed to me, it was what really interested me. So I think that you always got stumped at times by bureaucracy, and in the wildlife stuff more than anything it was you know, you got managed by people in Ottawa that really didn’t understand what was going on in the field, the realities of how you dealt with, the things that I got confronted with. Because I did a lot of media, I did lots of TV interviews and radio interviews, and press and so on, so I had …they would phone me up directly. I mean I did interviews with the Washington Post, I did a film, I did two films for National Geographic so they were willing to put me out there. Maybe because I just didn’t stick my foot in my mouth too often or something. And then when we got all of those gag orders, you know, everything you say has to go to … Well last year I was good enough to respond to, you counted on me to respond to this bear mauling interview and now I’m not qualified to do it, so you are going to get some guy in Ottawa to make a generalist thing that really would whitewash it to the point where you’re not giving the public the information honestly or accurately and stuff. I think that would be it generally speaking. But as far as … there was nothing that left a bad taste in my mouth. Really, honestly there wasn’t. (Tape 04:45)

SH: Yes
Glen: Earlier on we were talking about the orange anorak, and the people looking at you with recognition. I mean we lived in town in Banff. That was back when you took a Warden truck home, it was parked in your driveway, so everybody knew who you were, everybody knew what role you were playing, and that was at a time when there was a respect, there was a willingness by the townspeople because they understood your job, that they would turn to you seeking expertise, and you had that authority, whereas that just, when the science program started and there was maybe a little bit of an identity crisis within the Warden Service, everybody was just splitting off. Well are you a warden or are you a resource specialist or a scientist. There was all of that stuff. And I think it was confusing internally and it was confusing to the public. We used to be able to turn to you guys for everything and now we’re not really sure about it.

So I think that’s everybody that you talk to Sue, is going to have some tales. Some you are going to hear repetition because we were all in cahoots at the same time, and others will be new but I don’t know if these guys today, men and women, I don’t know if they have that same.. it’s not fair for me to say from the outside, but I don’t think they appreciate how much fun you can have in the Wardens job. (Tape 06:43)

I remember a few months before retiring, and I drove out along the 1A and I drove down to the …. and then walked down to the train tracks, there’s some great views along there and I sat there. Because I did a lot of telemetry along there and picked up bear carcasses and all that so the railway played a big role in what we were doing at the end with the grain and all that sort of stuff. So I was sitting there, for a reason, I think we were doing telemetry or something, and I was starting to count down the days of, ‘I’m not going to be doing this much longer.’. So you do reflect I’m sure.

SH: What are some of the more memorable events of your Warden Service career? The Japan one was good and up North.
Glen: So specific operational things and stuff?

SH: Ya, like do you have a good bear story or something?
Glen: Janice reminded me of one this morning, I thought maybe that is a good one to tell. So you know we have lots of those little snippets, some sad ones obviously, some of the public safety stuff I was involved with, the fatalities, avalanches and stuff like that. Ya, that stuff will always be there. Obviously the cougar mauling and fatality in Banff was a huge affair and because I was doing the wildlife conflict stuff it influenced the rest of my career, that event, and also in 1995 the multiple bear mauling in Lake Louise campground, which took over 15 years, and I had been retired for four or five years when I ended up in court testifying.

SH: I remember just when I was leaving, contacting you about that. So you did go to court on that? (Tape 08:57)

Glen: I spent an entire day on the stand.
SH: Do you want to talk about that or are you allowed to?

Glen: Oh ya, well the deal was there were six people involved, six contacts and there was, it was basically two people from Australia, two Americans and two Brits. I think that’s what it was, in 1995 in the campground. And I was living in Banff and I remember getting that phone call at 2 or 3 in the morning. And I think it was Joe Owchar that was the duty warden that was called out and then they called me and of course I’m in bed and I remember saying “Okay, I’m going to hang up and walk down the stairs. Give me two seconds to do that and phone me right back”. And then I went downstairs and the whole thing started from there.