Wes Olson

Wes Olson

Wes Olson has worked in the field of wildlife and landscape conservation for more than four decades. His career began in the Yukon in 1977 while working as a Wildlife Technician, studying everything from mice and voles to the Porcupine caribou herd. From there he moved to northwestern Alberta, conducting surveys on moose and woodland caribou during the winter and radio-collaring black and grizzly bears in the foothills west of Grand Prairie.

In 1981, he began a career as a National Park Warden in Banff National Park, then to Waterton Lakes and, in 1984, to Elk Island National Park. It was during his twenty-four years in Elk Island that he became passionate about everything related to Canada’s plains and wood bison populations. During those years, he participated in the reintroduction of bison into many areas of their former historic ranges – in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Alaska, and central Siberia. Those experiences left him with a deep appreciation for the keystone ecological role that bison provide to the ecosystems they share with other species.

Website: wesolson.ca

Wondrous to see #grasslands National Park: National Treasure! + to hear #bison knowledge from Wes Olson, also National Treasure.” –Margaret E. Atwood


The Ecological Buffalo

<strong>An expert on the buffalo tells the history of this keystone species through extensive research and beautiful photographs.</strong>

The mere mention of the buffalo instantly brings to mind the vast herds that once roamed the North American continent, and few wild animals captivate our imaginations as much as the buffalo do. Once numbering in the tens of millions, these magnificent creatures played a significant role in the varied ecosystems they occupied, and North American Indigenous Peoples depended upon them.

With the arrival of Europeans, the bison were all but exterminated, along with their millennia-old intricate food webs and inter-species relationships. In a span of just 30 years during the mid-1800s, buffalo populations plummeted from more than 30 million to just 23. And with them went all the intricate food webs, the trophic cascades, and the inter-species relationships that had evolved over thousands of years. Despite this brush with extinction, the bison survived, and are slowly recovering. Alongside this recovery, the relationships once shared with thousands of species are being re-established in a remarkable process of ecological healing.

Based on Wes Olson’s 35 years of working intimately with bison – and featuring Johane Janelle’s stunning photography – <em>The Ecological Buffalo</em> takes a journey through the myriad connections this keystone species has with the Great Plains.

“Wes Olson generously shares his intricate knowledge of the buffalo, and we are all richer for it. He explains how having more bison walking the land will benefit not just the threatened grasslands ecosystem, but the multitudes of birds, bugs, plants, and animals who need the buffalo," says filmmaker Tasha Hubbard (<em>Singing Back the Buffalo</em>).  "He also acknowledges the connection between the buffalo and Indigenous people but respectfully leaves space for Leroy Little Bear to tell of Indigenous Peoples’ special relationship with the buffalo."

<strong>GET THE BOOK</strong>

<a href="https://shop.owlsnestbooks.com/item/wsxHDXv980Q-6fzgnWvQ_A">Owl’s Nest Books (Calgary)</a> | <a href="https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S95C1467024">Calgary Public Library</a>

<strong>BE CURIOUSER</strong>
<li><strong>Book Marks: A Bridge to tell the story – the latest from Edmonton author.</strong> <a href="https://edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/local-arts/book-marks-a-bridge-to-tell-the-story-the-latest-from-edmonton-author"><em>-The Edmonton Journal</em></a></li>


5 PM
Gain Deep Understanding: The Ecological Buffalo
Sep 30 @ 5 PM MT - 6:15 PM MT

Memorial Park Library, 2nd Floor

1221 2 St SW