Author Archives: Kevin Van Tighem

Kevin Van Tighem, a former superintendent of Banff National Park, has written more than 200 articles, stories, and essays on conservation and wildlife which have garnered him many awards, including Western Magazine awards, Outdoor Writers of Canada book and magazine awards, and the Journey Award for Fiction. He is the author of Bears Without Fear, The Homeward Wolf, Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow River, Our Place: Changing the Nature of Alberta, and Wild Roses Are Worth It: Alberta Reconsidered. Van Tighem was born and reared in Calgary, his family roots in what is now Alberta going back to 1875. He graduated with a degree in plant ecology from the University of Calgary in 1977 and went on to work as a biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service. In 1985, Van Tighem joined Parks Canada and subsequently worked in various national parks before retiring as a park superintendent in 2011. Van Tighem is the author of 14 books on wildlife and conservation, and writes a regular column, “This Land,” in Alberta Views: The Magazine for Engaged Citizens. He lives with his wife, Gail, in Cowley, Alberta. Read more about the author here. Find Van Tighem’s books here. (Author Head Shot Augment: René Laanen.)

Loving One’s Water Mother

“The windy forests of the high foothills and Front Ranges are the birthplace of rivers: rivers like the Oldman, beside whom I sit most evenings on what I’ve come to know as the whiskey chair. Sometimes, I hold a glass of ice cubes flavored with a bit of whiskey, other times, a cup of warm […]

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Hermit Song

“Back in the late 1970s, I landed what seemed the perfect job for one who likes himself better when hanging out with wild things in wild places than when with others of his own species. That wildlife inventory work took me into remote corners of Jasper National Park, alone, for days on end. More often […]

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A Conversation with Leaves

“And what the leaves told me, now that I was listening, was that I have it all wrong. Leaves are not part of the trees and shrubs that grow them. They only live there for a while. The willows and alders waken in the spring and their buds break and the leaves emerge, but it’s […]

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Forgetting the Names of Things

“I knew these plants better now than I ever did back in those botanical days of looking things up and labeling them. I know them as friends, as members of my community, as fellow inhabitants of the good green places I’ve now inhabited for so many years. How many springs had Gail and I pointed […]

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