Endangered African Elephants – TV Saving At-Risk Wild Species

 

HITN-TV & Wildlife Conservation Network Join Forces To Protect Endangered Species — Including At-Risk African Elephants

 

 

Along with lions, tigers and rhinos, elephants have become high-profile examples of the hundreds of endangered species facing extinction due to Human stupidity.

Our elephants are the biggest land animals on the planet. We’ve probably all seen a real live elephant up close. Most of us went to the circus and loved it. Loved it until we were awakened to the cruelty.

Might not see them as often as we once did, eh? There must be a whole generation of young folks growing up without ever seeing these magnificent giants up close. Not like we did back in the day.

But a lot of us care. And good news about the protection of these imperiled pachyderms is welcome:

HITN, the leading Spanish-language network that offers educational and entertainment content to more than 44 million households across the United States, announced a partnership with Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), an organization that helps protect endangered species and their natural habitats, to include educational capsules on this topic as part of its programming.

The two-minute long capsules are part of HITN’s “Tu Planeta” block, which airs Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays starting at 5:00 p.m. Eastern / 3:00 a.m. Pacific. Each installment features information provided by WCN about at-risk animals, such as the African elephant, cotton-top tamarins in Colombia, Andean bears, and Ethiopian wolves.

“HITN’s audience has a strong interest in nature programming and we have made it an integral part of our lineup. We are pleased to join forces with WCN to generate this content, which, in addition to informing viewers, identifies concrete actions they can take to help protect endangered species and the future of our wildlife,” remarked Guillermo Sierra, Head of Television and Digital Services at HITN.

“We are excited to collaborate with HITN in this initiative to reach and educate the Spanish-speaking community about different species that are at risk,” said Stephanie Carnow, Director of Marketing and Communications at WCN. “Together we can raise awareness and educate people about the steps we can take to address the threats facing endangered wildlife around the world.”

WCN is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting independent conservationists around the world by providing them with strategic services and training in areas such as fundraising, marketing, accounting and strategic planning so they can work with communities to protect endangered species.

According to the most recent information from WCN, the planet’s wildlife face numerous threats; from climate change to human-wildlife conflict to illegal wildlife trafficking. Wildlife conservation is tremendously important not only for protecting endangered species, but also for protecting entire ecosystems which thousands of animals, plants, and people rely on. The global community must take immediate action to protect wildlife so that these incredible and important animals will be here for generations to come.

– Brian Alan Burhoe

Do you agree with this Wildlife Post?

IF SO, YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ WOLFBLOOD — MY MOST POPULAR ANIMAL STORY:

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“GREAT SHORT STORY!  DOES REMIND ME OF CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG…” – Evelyn @evelyn_m_k

A wonder-filled, thrilling tale in the Jack London Tradition of a lone Gray Wolf and it’s search for its place in the Great Northwest wilderness.  FREE TO READ ==>  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

[1] HITN-TV is a leading Spanish-language media company that offers educational and cultural programming for the whole family. It reaches more than 44 million viewers in the US and Puerto Rico via DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse TV, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast, Charter Spectrum, Frontier Mediacom, CenturyLink Prism and Cablevision. For more information, please visit www.hitn.org.

[2] The Wildlife Conservation Network’s (WCN) mission is to protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats by supporting entrepreneurial conservationists who pursue innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive. WCN invests technically and financially in a select network of conservation partners to ensure their mission success, and creates large-scale, range-wide Crisis and Recovery Funds to support the best ideas to end extinction crises and bring wildlife back from the brink. Learn more about WCN’s unique approach to saving wildlife, or learn more about WCN’s conservation partners and their most compelling initiatives. The Wildlife Conservation Network is proud to have a number one rating for wildlife conservation organizations on Charity Navigator — with four stars and a perfect 100 score—and platinum status with Guidestar. Please visit www.wildnet.org.

African elephants photo by Susan McConnell

Source: Civilized Bears, HITN and PRNewswire

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Wildlife Photographer Thomas D Mangelsen Unveils His Legacy Reserve Collection

 

As A Capstone To His Heralded Career, Renowned American Photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen Unveils His “Legacy Reserve Collection”

 

“By purchasing one of these special fine art photographs, collectors get a rare invitation to go wildlife watching with Mangelsen in Jackson Hole and join him for dinner with the legendary Dr. Jane Goodall.”

 

A hundred years ago, one of the most beloved artists portraying our American and Canadian wilderness, and all the wild creatures that lived there, was Charles Livingston Bull.

Charles Livingston Bull (1874- 1932) has been remembered as “the premier wildlife artist of his time in America, perhaps the best of his kind in the world. He drew and painted realistic animals, a subject he explored through literature.” [1]

I’m an aging Boomer, but not that old.  Not old enough to have seen those glorious paintings and pen and ink drawings of Charles Bull when they were first published in magazines and books.  Artwork that illustrated some of the top nature writers of his day: Jack London, Charles G D Roberts, Edgar Rice Burroughs, George Marsh…

I discovered his magnificent images in classic books given me by older folks, as well as in nearby libraries.  And loved ’em.

And collected them.

And still treasure them.

Today, those great wildlife artists seem almost forgotten.  Or maybe replaced by a whole new generation of artists — the wildlife photographers.

Like Thomas D. Mangelsen.

Tom Mangelsen’s popular Catch of the Day (see top of this page) has become almost iconic, an image we wild bear aficionados dote on.

Thomas D. Mangelsen is now hailed as one of the foremost American nature photographers of the last 50 years, often earning comparisons to the great Ansel Adams.

Mangelsen’s dramatic portrayals of wildlife and breathtaking landscapes are collected by connoisseurs around the world, all seeking scenes that bring big visual impact into their homes and offices.

One of the most recognizable wildlife photographs of all time, Thomas D. Mangelsen’s Catch of the Day (1988), sold out since the early nineties, is the flagship image of the Legacy Reserve Collection.

Imagine if by owning one of Mangelsen’s best known and coveted images — photographs soon to be showcased in a nationally-touring museum exhibition — you could also spend personal time with the legendary photographer at his home in Jackson Hole watching iconic wildlife?

And what if, in addition, you could accompany Mangelsen on a search for grizzly bears then have dinner with his good friend, Dr. Jane Goodall, one of the most famous conservationists who has ever lived?

The Mangelsen Legacy Reserve Collection takes the thrill of owning fine visual art to a whole new level, giving collectors the opportunity to have a rarefied experience they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives.

The premium photographs being featured in Mangelsen’s new Legacy Reserve, made available for the first time in August 2017, are in an edition size of only 20 and represent “the best of Mangelsen’s best” and the last chance to collect these special images.

When an individual purchases a Legacy Reserve, the collector and a guest are then invited to have a day of wildlife watching followed by dinner with Mangelsen and Goodall at his rustic home, located near the foot of the majestic Teton Mountain Range. So often with fine art, collectors are seldom able to have personal, meaningful contact with the artists whose work they savor.

A limited number of spaces are available for Legacy Reserve members to join Mangelsen and Goodall in autumn 2018, the most spectacular time to be in Wyoming.

Among the photographs included in the Legacy Reserve Collection is Mangelsen’s heralded Catch of the Day, praised as being one of the most famous wildlife images ever taken. All of the Legacy Reserve images are photographs that have either earned Mangelsen critical international praise or been singled out as some of the most important of all time in advancing the cause of wildlife conservation.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to important conservation organizations including the Jane Goodall Institute. These images are also a part of the major Mangelsen museum retrospective, “A Life in The Wild” soon to appear nationwide. For more information, collectors can go to mangelsen.com/legacy or visit a Mangelsen Images of Nature Gallery.

Brian Alan Burhoe

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“GREAT SHORT STORY!  DOES REMIND ME OF CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG…” – Evelyn @evelyn_m_k

A heartfelt and thrilling tale in the Jack London Tradition of a lone Gray Wolf and it’s search for its place in the Great Northwoods.  FREE TO READ ==>  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

[1] To see a thrilling sample of Bull’s illustrations, go to A TRIBUTE TO CHARLES LIVINGSTON BULL, “AMERICA’S PREMIERE WILDLIFE ARTIST!”

[2] For more information about Mangelsen’s Legacy Reserve Collection, you can go to mangelsen.com/legacy or visit a Mangelsen Images of Nature Gallery. Contact Information: Sue Cedarholm, Mangelsen Stock Agency, Jackson, WY 83001, Tel 307-733-6179. Or send requests to marketing@mangelsen.com

Wildlife Photographer Thomas D Mangelsen Unveils His Legacy Reserve Collection

Source: Civilized Bears, Mangelsen Images of Nature Galleries and PRNewswire

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World Elephant Day 2017 – Save The Elephants

 

“Global momentum to shut down ivory markets provides reason to celebrate on World Elephant Day 2017.”

 

 

It’s World Elephant Day 2017 and “millions of animal lovers around the world are raising a cheer for nature’s biggest land animal, the elephant.”

Here’s the strangest part: most of us first saw real live elephants at the circus. I know I did, as a boy, when the Clyde Beatty Circus came to town. We loved ’em. Loved those harnessed giant animals trotting so proudly into centre ring — loved their scantily clad female riders.  It was only later when the stories of cruelty to circus animals came out that we welcomed the closing of those circuses. [1]

We don’t get to see live elephants much anymore — but we still love ’em.

It’s World Elephant Day. And time to look at what’s going on.

“On this World Elephant Day we are celebrating the global momentum to shut down all ivory markets. Awareness and action are definitely leading to change. That said, we need to keep the pressure on and close the door for good to stop the killing and stop the trade. Ivory trade anywhere threatens elephants everywhere,” stated Grace Ge Gabriel, Asia Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) [2].

“HEY LOOK GUYS!  SOMEDAY I’M GONNA HAVE BIG TUSKS!  ISN’T IT GREAT?”

At a time when it is estimated that at least 20,000 elephants a year are poached for their ivory, IFAW is advocating for a complete ban on international ivory trade, the closure of domestic ivory markets wherever they occur and the destruction of ivory stockpiles.

Just this week, eBay declared they are advocating for laws to combat illegal wildlife trafficking in partnership with IFAW.

Other recent positive developments include the announcement by China to close down its commercial ivory markets by the end of 2017; the US finalizing its near-total ivory ban in 2016; calls by Australia and the European Union for a ban on ivory sales; the UK Big Ivory Surrender and the destruction by many countries — most recently the US — of stockpiles of confiscated ivory.

Here’s the frightening news.  Grace Ge Gabriel has explained that rampant ivory trade in the past ten years had heightened fear for the survival of elephants, with more than 100,000 elephants poached for the illegal trade between 2010 and 2012; at least 13 seizures of consignments of smuggled ivory weighing more than 800 kg each in 2011; and the disappearance due to poaching of 62% of the population of forest elephants.

“To end the poaching of elephants, we have to smash every link on the trade chain, from market supply to consumer demand,” Grace added.

IFAW works with international organizations such as INTERPOL and national law enforcement bodies to combat wildlife and environmental crime. In collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), IFAW started a pilot project in Kenya called tenBoma, which uses the newest data technology to enable rangers and enforcers to stop poachers before they kill.

In consumer countries like China, IFAW is raising awareness to stop people from buying wildlife products and is conducting educational sessions to equip enforcers with the necessary expertise to detect illegal wildlife products.

As Grace Ge Gabriel has concluded, “Killing elephants for their ivory, slaughtering tigers for their pelts and bones, and fatally hacking the horns off rhinos have reached epidemic proportions in recent years.”

The battle continues.

Brian Alan Burhoe

Do you agree with this Wildlife Post?

IF SO, YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ WOLFBLOOD — MY MOST POPULAR ANIMAL STORY:

“I JUST READ WOLFBLOOD AGAIN FOR GOOD MEASURE.  ONE FOR ANY WOLF LOVER.  ENJOYED IT BUT WISH IT WAS A FULL LENGTH NOVEL.” – Gina Chronowicz @ginachron

“GREAT SHORT STORY!  DOES REMIND ME OF CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG…” – Evelyn @evelyn_m_k

A heartfelt touching tale in the Jack London Tradition of a lone Gray Wolf and it’s search for its place in the Great Northern Forests.  FREE TO READ ==>  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

[1] “Animal Rights, Circuses, Tarzan & PETA XXX” — A Remembrance of Boyhood Heroes… When I was a kid in the late 1950’s, I loved the circus. What boy didn’t? When the Clyde Beatty Circus came to foggy old Saint John City…  To read the complete post, go to Animal Rights, Circuses, Tarzan & PETA XXX

[2] About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare):
“Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org.  Follow us on social at @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.”

World Elephant Day 2017 – Save The Elephants

Source: Civilized Bears, International Fund for Animal Welfare and PRNewswire

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Saving Fiona: Fiona Hippo Baby Story Book Review

 

Saving Baby Fiona: Science, Social Media, and the Story of a Baby Hippo

 

 

I have mixed feelings about zoos.

For me, they lie somewhere between circuses and wildlife preserves.

Circuses have outlived their time. Too much animal cruelty. Wildlife sanctuaries have become a necessity. Poachers and greedy nonames have endangered too many species…

Zoos? It depends on the facility, eh? Good ones can work as halfway sanctuaries.

Even for hippos. The wild hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius — “water horse”) is under attack. Poachers are hunting them for their meat and ivory canine teeth. Their watery African habitat is disappearing due to human encroachment.

When Baby Fiona was born in the Cincinnati Zoo, we couldn’t help it. Awww. Who knew that a baby hippopotamus could be so cute? Although zookeeper Jenna Wingate told reporters that Fiona was soon “a little bit dangerous to actually cuddle and snuggle.”

Our strongest weapon against the cruel extinction of so many species is education. Especially of our children. So this is good news:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers [1] has announced that it will publish SAVING FIONA: Science, Social Media, and the Story of a Baby Hippo about the hippopotamus born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, whose “growth and reintroduction to her family made her an internet sensation.”

Written by Thane Maynard, director of the zoo, SAVING FIONA will be heavily illustrated with color photographs and written for elementary-school aged readers. The author’s proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden [2].

Born on January 24, 2017, nearly two months prematurely, Fiona weighed just 29 lbs, which is less than half the normal birth weight of a hippo. The book will cover her surprise birth, the struggle to save her when she wasn’t growing or eating properly, and the remarkable achievements she has made since, including the recent reunion with her entire family.

Behind-the-scenes photographs and exclusive interviews with the zoo staff will give readers an intimate look at the inner workings of a zoo, and the relationships the caregivers have with the animals that live there.

Videos of Fiona posted to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s social media accounts have reached up to 50 million viewers. Her struggle for survival and the intense care and love she’s been shown have captured hearts and international attention. Using the hashtag #TeamFiona, donations have come in from people around the world, helping the Zoo provide 24-hour-a-day care for Fiona.

“Fiona’s incredible story of survival and hope captured all of us at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and we’re delighted to bring readers behind the scenes at the Cincinnati Zoo where Thane Maynard’s hardworking team dedicated itself to saving the world’s favorite baby hippo. Readers will enjoy an inside look at this one-of-a-kind story that features cutting edge science, community support, and unexpected social media fame,” says Catherine Onder, SVP and Publisher, HMH Books for Young Readers.

Maynard is internationally recognized for his dedication to wildlife preservation, research and education. He has authored more than a dozen books, the most recent, HOPE FOR ANIMALS AND THEIR WORLD, was coauthored with Jane Goodall. He has also shared science and environmental news via his nationally-syndicated radio program, “The 90-Second Naturalist,” for 30 years.

SAVING FIONA: Science, Social Media, and the Story of a Baby Hippo will be published on January 22, 2019 in advance of Fiona’s second birthday. Erica Zappy of HMH’s Books for Young Readers group acquired world rights.

Brian Alan Burhoe

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“GREAT SHORT STORY!  DOES REMIND ME OF CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG…” – Evelyn @evelyn_m_k

A heartfelt touching tale in the Jack London Tradition of a lone Gray Wolf and it’s search for its place in the Great Northern Forests.  FREE TO READ ==>  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

 

[1] For nearly two centuries, HMH Trade Publishing has published some of the world’s most renowned novels, nonfiction, children’s books, and reference works. As part of a leading global learning company, it is uniquely positioned to offer educational and entertaining content for all audiences. Its distinguished author list includes ten Nobel Prize winners, forty-eight Pulitzer Prize winners, fifteen National Book Award winners, and more than one hundred Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Sibert Medal and Honor recipients. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Philip Roth, Temple Grandin, Tim O’Brien, and Amos Oz, and a celebrated roster of children’s authors and illustrators including Kwame Alexander, Lois Lowry, and Chris Van Allsburg. HMH is also home to The Best American series®; The Whole30®, Weber Grill, Betty Crocker®, Better Homes and Gardens®, How to Cook Everything®, and other leading lifestyle properties; the Peterson Field Guides®; CliffsNotes™; books by J.R.R. Tolkien; and many iconic children’s books and characters, including Curious George®, The Little Prince, and The Polar Express. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com/popular-reading.

[2] The world famous Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is committed to inspiring visitors to care about wildlife and wild places. It has been rated the #1 attraction locally and one of the top zoos in the nation by Zagat Survey. It has also received rave reviews from Child Magazine, Parents Magazine, USA Today and TripAdvisor. Over 1.5 million people visit the Zoo’s award-winning exhibits, and more than 500 animal and 3000 plant species annually. The Zoo, an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants and engages in research and conservation projects worldwide. Known as the #GreenestZooInAmerica, the Zoo is doing its part to conserve natural resources that are critical to saving wildlife and its habitats and is committed to greening its daily operations and reducing its impact on the environment through the use of rain gardens, recycled building materials, solar panels and more. The Cincinnati Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Photo of Fiona by Kathy Newton for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Saving Fiona: Fiona Hippo Baby Story Book Review

Source: Civilized Bears, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and PRNewswire

Keywords: #TeamFiona, Baby Fiona, baby hippo, book review, endangered species, Fiona Hippo Baby, Jane Goodall, Saving Fiona, Thane Maynard, wildlife preserves, wildlife sanctuaries

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Stories, Characters, Typewriters: UNCOMMON TYPE by Tom Hanks Book Review

 

Stories, Characters & Typewriters: UNCOMMON TYPE by Tom Hanks – a Book Review

 

 

“I type almost every day,” Tom Hanks once said, while showcasing one of his 250 fully-operating typewriters.

“This keyboard right here — which does not have that many keys on it — is all you need to recreate everything from Ulysses to the screenplay of The Matrix,” Tom explained in a recent interview. [1]

“This thing is bulletproof. Nigh on indestructible… The main thing is, all you need to make this thing last forever is a little oil, the ability to either get the ribbons or re-ink them yourself — which you can do very easily by going onto the internet and ask ‘How to I re-ink a typewriter ribbon’ — and there you go.”

Just opening up Tom’s UNCOMMON TYPE: Some Stories for the first time, flipping through the pages and looking at Kevin Twomey’s evocative black and white photos of those ol’ typewriters had this effect:

Remembering our own typewriters. Who knew we had such fond memories of those old machines? Like remembering fave childhood kittens.

Mum bought our first one. A big reconditioned Remington that smelled of metal and fine oil. We got it about the same time we got our first black and white television. A family typewriter that produced a lot of work over the years. It never broke down. My brother still has it.

One of my first paycheques from my job on the Provincial Highways Dept got me a new Eaton Viking Automatic 12 (made by SCM — Smith Corona Machines). It was gunmetal grey and electric. With a little box of interchangeable type and keys. And a metal carrying case now dented from once-upon-a-time train trips across my evergreen homeland. Wrote a novel (unpublished), short stories (published — some even under my own name) and innumerable letters to family. Only repair was to the carriage return using a length of fishing line. It still purrs when switched on.

Mary Lee brought a blue Brother Majestic 400 to our relationship. Also works.

Late in the 20th Century we got a Smith Corona PWP 3100, a pale grey electric word processing typewriter with flip-up screen showing blue lettering. Works. Still use it, both in Type mode and WP mode — except the floppy DataDisk drive is wonky.

After this mechanical memory-fest, let’s open to the first story.  Book review time.

Tom Hanks creates lovable characters.

I discovered this when Anna and Steve Wong and MDash and our Unnamed Narrator from the first story showed up again in the seventh — a flight of fancy — and finished off the book in the seventeenth tale. By the last paragraph, they were old friends.

And there’s Sue in “Who’s Who?” Facing an actor’s biggest decision?

And Virgil Beuell. His wife Deloris. Kids Davey, Jill, little Connie. In “Christmas Eve 1953.” A story reminding us why the Fifties were the Fifties and such a wonder-filled decade for Boomers to grow up in. And the hard price our Fathers had payed to give us that exhilarating wonder.

And even when Tom gives us an unsympathetic character — who can like a self-centered multi-Billionaire unhappy with his fourth young trophy wife? — I bet you’ll race through the last pages of “The Past Is Important To Us” hoping for him, hoping…

And Francis Xavier Rustan, also a billionaire and the star of the next story “Stay With Us,” who IS likable, in an easy Sixties SitCom way.  And you’ve got to meet Bea and Phil, “two adorable old folks” — my kind of people.

The typewriters? Yes, they appear in UNCOMMON TYPE. But in a good way. Not obtrusive. Heartily welcomed when they show up. Especially in “These Are The Meditations Of My Heart.” This, too, is a story about love.

Never met Tom Hanks, of course.  Never will.  But we sense we know him.  Amiable, sensitive, thoughtful, creative.  This is the voice in UNCOMMON TYPE: Some Stories.

Thanks, Tom!

And thanks to Alfred A Knoph & GoodReads for my Advance Reader’s Edition of Tom’s UNCOMMON TYPE: Some Stories.

Brian Alan Burhoe

Did you like this Book Review?

IF SO, YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ WOLFBLOOD — MY MOST POPULAR ANIMAL STORY:

“I JUST READ WOLFBLOOD AGAIN FOR GOOD MEASURE.  ONE FOR ANY WOLF LOVER.  ENJOYED IT BUT WISH IT WAS A FULL LENGTH NOVEL.” – Gina Chronowicz @ginachron

“GREAT SHORT STORY!  DOES REMIND ME OF CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG…” – Evelyn @evelyn_m_k

The taut, thrilling tale in the Jack London Tradition of a lone Gray Wolf and it’s battle for its place in the Great Northwoods.  FREE TO READ ==>  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

 

[1] From an interview by Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen – https://www.wbez.org/shows/nerdette/tom-hanks-and-typewriters-a-love-story/837ecca0-da85-44f3-bed3-2cd24956975b

Stories, Characters, Typewriters: UNCOMMON TYPE by Tom Hanks Book Review, Photos by Kevin Twomey

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Healing Leashes for War Vets: Pups for Patriots Act – Service Dogs

 

“The new Pups for Patriots Act seeks to put more healing leashes into the hands of America’s veterans coping with the invisible wounds of war.”

 

 

I grew up with war vets. Guys from the Big One: WWII.

My Father, Uncles, Dad’s fellow workers — guys who had been on the beaches of Normandy, in Holland, the Rhineland, Italy — wherever they were needed. They were the nicest guys I’ve ever known and I didn’t really get a hint of what they’d actually been through until I was old enough to work side by side with some of them. They’d seen darker things that they rarely talked about, even Dad — until they had a few drinks in. [1]

But the one good thing that generation of old soldiers had going for them was they had each other. Hundreds of thousands of guys returned home from those foreign fields and they worked together, went to the thriving Legion together…

In the wars since — Korea, Viet Nam (yes, thousands of Canadians volunteered to serve in the American forces in that one), Afghanistan, Iraq, so many more — the numbers of veterans are fewer. I know some of these guys. Some are family. And they often seem to be on their own. In Canada, at least, they seem abandoned by the government that sent them over there.

Some of the best efforts to help are from support groups providing service dogs.

Especially from our neighbours to the south…

American Humane, that country’s first national humane organization, which has been working to support the U.S. military, veterans, and military animals for more than a century, is publicly praising the introduction of H.R. 3335, the “Pups for Patriots Act of 2017,” by Congressmen Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). [2]

The bill “directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a pilot program to provide more highly trained lifesaving service dogs to the nation’s veterans struggling to cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and establishes the requirement to adhere to national standards on the selection, training, and assessment of the service dogs.”

American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert explained, “We thank Congressmen Bilirakis and Cuellar for working to serve those who serve our country by providing veterans with sufficient numbers of service dogs, rigorously trained using the first set of national standards developed by top experts from across the country. The Pups for Patriots Act will get more healing leashes into the hands of America’s veterans in greatest need.”

As co-founders and co-chairs of the Caucus for the Humane Bond, Congressmen Bilirakis and Cuellar are committed to promoting life-changing and life-saving interactions between humans and animals, in particular between veterans and service dogs.

Here’s the hard reality: Every day, 20 American veterans take their own lives. Vast anecdotal evidence and a growing body of scientific research show that specialized service dogs offer support to affected veterans in managing the symptoms of PTS and TBI.

However, there are obstacles standing in the way for veterans in need of service dogs. Waiting lists are unconscionably long at 18 to 24 months, and the training process is time-consuming and expensive, costing as much as $30,000 per dog.

“We must supply a greater number of better-trained service dogs more quickly to America’s veterans grappling with Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury,” said Dr. Ganzert. “The Pups for Patriots Act is a vital step forward in helping protect those who have given so much to protect us and our freedom.”

Congressman Cuellar adds,”Our veterans are some of the bravest men and women alive today. It’s our duty as Americans to provide these heroes with the support necessary to aid their adjustment back into everyday life. I thank Congressman Bilirakis for his support in helping to introduce this bill.”

“The benefits of service dog therapy can in some ways go beyond anything that comes in a pill bottle,” said Congressman Bilirakis.

“Our legislation would help support service dog therapy as an alternative treatment by connecting the VA to the many qualified nonprofits nationwide who train and provide service dogs. Many of us have known the unconditional love dogs bring to our lives. This bond can do wonders to help our nation’s heroes as they deal with their invisible wounds.”

It’s a great effort. Our American allies are doing more to support their vets and their families than we are up here. Looking to see the same kind of bill here in Canada. What about it, Justin?

Brian Alan Burhoe

Did you like this Service Dogs post?

IF SO, YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ WOLFBLOOD — MY MOST POPULAR ANIMAL STORY:

“I JUST READ WOLFBLOOD AGAIN FOR GOOD MEASURE.  ONE FOR ANY WOLF LOVER.  ENJOYED IT BUT WISH IT WAS A FULL LENGTH NOVEL.” – Gina Chronowicz @ginachron

“GREAT SHORT STORY!  DOES REMIND ME OF CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG…” – Evelyn @evelyn_m_k

The taut, thrilling tale in the Jack London Tradition of a Timber Wolf and it’s battle for its place in the Great Northwoods.  FREE TO READ ==>  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

 

[1] To read more, see OUT OF MY FATHER’S SHAVING BOX: Dad’s War, Algonquin Regiment & Liberation of Holland

[2] American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. American Humane began working with the U.S. military more than 100 years ago when they deployed to the battlefields of World War I Europe to rescue more than 68,000 wounded war horses every month. Following World War II they advanced the field of animal-assisted therapy to help returning veterans cope with the invisible wounds of war, and aided children of military families during their parents’ deployments.

Recently, American Humane worked with lawmakers to strengthen U.S. law to ensure we bring our military working dogs home to U.S. soil when their service to our country is finished. They also work to reunite these four-footed warriors with their former handlers, and provide them with free specialized healthcare so they can enjoy the happy and healthy retirement they deserve. For more information, please visit www.AmericanHumane.org.

Healing Leashes for War Vets: Pups for Patriots Act – Service Dogs

Source: Civilized Bears, American Humane and PRNewswire

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World’s Largest Bathtub Made from a Tree – Beautiful or Destructive

 

Can a Tree Become a Bathtub?

 

“Timber Neutral Makes World’s Largest Wooden Tub!” or, as one viewer observed, is it “a badly photoshopped image of a girl in a cereal bowl?”

Here’s my thoughts on seeing the girl in the bowl…

I’ve always loved working with wood. Loved trees and forests. Growing up surrounded by woodlands, I know that our forests are essential to our spiritual wellbeing.  Certainly my wellbeing, and I hope yours.

As such, watching the devastation of our woodlands has been painful to endure. As much as I love our old, old farmhouse — its traditional furniture — the big deck out front — the trees (from ancient apple trees to birch, pine and firs) surrounding us, I don’t like the destruction.

At the same time, I believe it’s perfectly natural to harvest wood or its byproducts for personal use.  Perfectly Natural.

We don’t mind, for instance, when our ancient apple trees attract local wildlife — even if some of the bigger critters, like our bruin friends, break a few branches…  We love our bears!

So the news “Can a Tree Become a Bathtub?” and the photo of that beautiful bowl-shaped tub certainly brought out mixed emotions.

 

Yes, I’m all for that big wooden bathtub — IF it is really sustainable!

Here’s the News:

“Is it possible to make a solid wood bathtub out of a single 3000-kilogram (6600 lbs) mass of wood, that didn’t contain glue or epoxy? More importantly, can this be done in a sustainable manner?”

The general consensus is you can’t even make a kitchen cabinet out of solid wood let alone a nearly 6-feet diameter bathtub. There was a concern, “will it hold water?”

In this case, it was a literal metaphor. Woodworkers insisted it would crack from uneven drying, and architects just shrugged it off as “impossible” as the wood would be too unstable and move and twist and be as one architect stated, “a hopeless mess.”

Dugout canoes, it was pointed out, contain many cracks and issues, yet the thought of making a dugout seems very daunting in this day and age.

“Most architects have very limited training in wood,” explained Jonathan Kitzen, sustainable wood expert and one of the original founders at Timber Neutral (www.timberneutral.com), the company that oversaw the sustainability issues. There are more than 2,000 commercial tree species in the world and each one has different mechanical and aesthetic qualities.

In the past, the company consulted on a 2.4m (8-ft) by 25m (80-ft) hardwood slab from a single tree, which at under 100 years old was one-quarter the age of many mature European hardwood trees. “Just because it’s big doesn’t mean its old,” commented Kitzen.

“In fact, if you think about it you can cut one single big fast growing tree or 300 to 500 slow growing temperate ones to equal the same mass, which is more sustainable? Which is better for the environment? Cut down an acre or a single tree? And this is not a 3000-year-old softwood sequoia, we are talking huge fast-growing hardwood tree.”

The tubs are carved from trees that are less than 75 years old, sourced from a supplier in Colombia, or about the same age as most mature oak, or beach trees you might find in your yard but far more massive. They were also replanted under the Timber Neutral planting scheme, which replaces sustainable timbers with replanted endangered species.

“There’s no point in replanting a maple, for example, as they grow like weeds; we need to rethink sustainability and replant those in need,” explained Roberts. Timber Neutral offers timber audits to manufacturers to allow them to take control of sustainability and not rely on someone else’s chain of custody, because as Roberts pointed out, “Certified does not mean replanted; most people do not realize that.”

“The goal was to make a 100% natural object and a reflection of the organic nature of wood and true to the spirit of the tree,” said company spokeswoman Fiona French of Timber Neutral. “The client was very happy with the result and appreciated that we replanted scores of endangered trees in the area we took the single tree down in.”

The company has no plans to continue making them, but a few of the limited collection are available in North America and sold exclusively through www.amelieandmax.com.

About Timber Neutral
Founded in 2004, Timber Neutral (www.timberneutral.com) is as a trusted adviser within the sustainable forestry sector. Its breadth and depth of experience in responsible forestry practices help mitigate the environmental impact of commercialization and allow consumers and manufactures to take control of their own wood product use with out relying on vague and incomplete third-party certifications.

What do you think?

Brian Alan Burhoe

Did you like this Wildland & Forests Post?

IF SO, YOU’LL LOVE WOLFBLOOD — MY MOST POPULAR ANIMAL STORY:

“I JUST READ WOLFBLOOD AGAIN FOR GOOD MEASURE.  ONE FOR ANY WOLF LOVER.  ENJOYED IT BUT WISH IT WAS A FULL LENGTH NOVEL.” – Gina Chronowicz @ginachron

“GREAT SHORT STORY!  DOES REMIND ME OF CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG…” – Evelyn @evelyn_m_k

The tender, thrilling tale in the Jack London Tradition of a Grey Wolf and it’s search for its place in the wild Northern Forests.  FREE TO READ ==>  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

World’s Largest Bathtub Made from a Tree – Beautiful or Destructive?

Source: Civilized Bears, Timber Neutral & PRNewswire

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4 Crucial Summer Health and Safety Tips for Cats

 

Four Crucial Summer Health & Safety Tips for Cats!

 

PLEASE DON'T DECLAW US!

 

“THE ONLY THING I ENVY ABOUT A CAT IS ITS PURR. IT’S THE MOST CONTENTED SOUND IN THE WORLD.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery [1]

We’ve always had cats.

As a boy, I’d happily add to our immediate family by occasionally bringing home a new kitten — always the last one in the litter, the one nobody else wanted. And I loved ’em all. And they gave back a quiet love.

These many years later, we have Tillie and Rusty. And they’re part of the family, for sure.

Rusty is always up for playtime, at times a golden blur, at times lazy and trusting and full of lion-loud purrs. He’s my best bud.

Tillie is the watcher. When we brought them home, Rusty curled up in the cat carrier at my feet to sleep. But his sister Tillie kept looking up at me through the screening, while batting Rusty in the ear, saying, in her own way, “Hey, wake up! Something’s going on here. Who is this human? They’re taking us somewhere.”

Tillie eventually deigned to give us purrs. But she still watches everything. Never saw a cat who figures things out like she does. She’s not a black cat, but she can find the shadows and blend in.

Summer’s here. And we’re hearing about endangered family pets. Dogs left in overheated cars — big news! But our cats — no problem. Just leave ’em home. They’ll be okay.

Oh yes, Summer’s here. “While it may be the perfect time for family trips and outdoor activities,” explains Dr Ernie Ward, veterinarian and IAMS Cat spokesperson, “it’s also a great time to reset and make sure you’re keeping the whole family healthy, including your feline friend. By keeping your cat healthy, hydrated and active, your family will be able to enjoy more time together and get the most out of the season.”

Dr Ward continues, “For both people and cats, hydration, proper nutrition and overall healthy habits are imperative to fully enjoying the summer months. To live their best lives, cats need to feel healthy from the inside out and much of that stems from what they eat. It’s important to look for a premium cat food that includes high-quality protein to help your cat maintain strong, lean muscles and incorporate healthy vitality.”

Four Crucial Summer Health and Safety Tips for Cats:

1. Focus on food – Cats are natural carnivores and need the proper amount of protein in their diets. Ward recommends IAMS High Protein cat food, which is formulated with 84% animal protein – more than the leading dry cat brand. [2]

The high concentration of high-quality chicken and salmon helps maintain strong muscles and keep cats active.

Other key elements to look for in a high-quality dry cat food include:

Optimal levels of fatty acids for a soft and shiny coat.

A fiber blend, including prebiotics and beet pulp, for healthy digestion.

A good mix of premium, high-quality ingredients to contribute to healthy energy levels.

2. Keep hydrated – Cats need to stay hydrated, especially in warmer weather. Make sure their water dishes are always full and place a few dishes throughout the house. If there are certain rooms your cat is drawn to or if the family is spending quality time in a different area, have water readily available so pets can easily quench their thirst and avoid dehydration.

3. Prioritize playtime – Though they tend to sleep a lot, cats need exercise, too. Playing a cat and mouse game with your furry friend is one way to give him or her necessary exercise and create a fun bonding experience. Toys that can encourage cats to get off the couch are a great way to get engaged in a little aerobic activity.

4. Eliminate clutter – Cats are curious by nature and it’s no secret that they tend to explore even the highest or smallest nooks in the house. It’s nearly impossible to keep an eye on your cat at all times, so it’s important to create a safe environment at home. Tuck cables and cords away, limit the amount of free-standing, sharp or glass objects and keep hazardous chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, locked away to help reduce the possibility of illness or injury.

These tips from Dr Ernie Ward can help keep your cat active, healthy and safe during the summer months. For more information on establishing healthy habits for your furry friend, visit IAMS.com/visibledifference.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate:
Established in 1974, Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for print and online publications. Our articles, photos, videos and web content solutions save you time, money and help create advertising opportunities. Registration is fast and free – with absolutely no obligation. Visit editors.familyfeatures.com for more information.

Brian Alan Burhoe

Did you like this Feline-Friendly Family Homeplace Post?

IF SO, YOU’LL LOVE WOLFBLOOD — MY MOST POPULAR ANIMAL STORY:

“I JUST READ WOLFBLOOD AGAIN FOR GOOD MEASURE.  ONE FOR ANY WOLF LOVER.  ENJOYED IT BUT WISH IT WAS A FULL LENGTH NOVEL.” – Gina Chronowicz @ginachron

“GREAT SHORT STORY!  DOES REMIND ME OF CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG…” – Evelyn @evelyn_m_k

The tender, thrilling tale in the Jack London Tradition of a Grey Wolf and it’s search for its place in the wild Northcountry.  FREE TO READ ==>  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

4 Crucial Summer Health and Safety Tips for Cats

[1] Have you had a laugh today?  Shed a tear?  Had that glowing feeling of love?  To See Our “Cats Quotes: Loving & Funny Cat Quotes”  CLICK HERE NOW!

[2] Based on Nielsen sales data and in-market packaging as of March 11, 2017. Comparison does not include specialty products.

Source: Civilized Bears, Family Features Editorial Syndicate & PRNewswire

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WILDLIFE 911: ON PATROL by Wildlife Conservation Officer John Borkovich – a Book Review

 

WILDLIFE 911: ON PATROL by Wildlife Conservation Officer John Borkovich – a Book Review

 

 

When we think of Wildlife Officers bravely battling poachers, trophy hunters and greedy lowlifes to protect our endangered wildlife, we think of the war — and it IS a dangerous, fighting WAR — we think of the brave and dedicated men and women of Africa.

But the war is now being fought much closer to home.

And has been for years! Just think of the North-West Mounted Police who, shortly after arriving in the Northwest Territories in 1874, had to fight foreign buffalo hunters to protect the quickly disappearing bison herds.  If not for the “few shaggy bunches” of bison that the Mounties were able to save, the herds later re-established in American and Canadian western sanctuaries would never have happened.  The plains buffalo, in fact, would have been extinct.

In the past few decades in North America, the ante has been upped!

And the personal unknown histories of our modern heroes are just beginning to be told.  What’s quickly becoming plain is that conservation officer jobs ain’t easy!

Wildlife Conservation Officer John Borkovich tells us of his adventures experienced over 27 years in the State of Michigan.

“I continued yelling, ‘Drop your gun’ as I began pulling my trigger back to shoot the poacher. Not dropping his gun forced me several times during the standoff to pull the trigger on my .40 caliber Sig Sauer…”

WILDLIFE 911: ON PATROL, “Through the Eyes of Conservation Officer John Borkovich,” from Arbutus Press, is a “collection of short stories about a DNR Conservation Officer’s encounters and investigations in the field.

“The stories range from funny encounters to serious and potentially deadly use of force while protecting our natural resources. Poachers, gunmen shooting salmon, litterers dumping construction waste, lost hunters, found hunters, thieves, and even terrorists planning an attack on ‘American Boys’ engage the readers throughout the pages.”

Encounters with bizarre religious cults, devious burglars, illegal immigrants and much more are told in Michigan Conservation Officer John Borkovich’s new book, WILDLIFE 911: ON PATROL — being released on Amazon.

Ride along on “armchair” patrol with Officer Borkovich as he outsmarts deer poachers, thwarts fish thieves, and foils outlaws and felons, all while putting his life in danger as he protects Michigan’s natural resources. John’s collection of true stories is action-packed, suspenseful, and often humorous.

The love and admiration of nature are what drew Officer Borkovich into the profession. As John became more and more interested in the natural resources around him, he realized that he wanted and needed to dedicate himself not only to enjoying and respecting our wildlife, but also to protecting our fish, game, and natural resources.

The Michigan conservation officer says, “My mission is to be part of the Conservationist Movement to protect and preserve natural resources for future generations so that they can experience and love nature like I do.”

His love of nature has led him to a long and successful career against poaching, land abuse, litter and pollution. He has even experienced dangerous (and often amusing) encounters featuring gun and knife fights.

In an article posted on the NRA website titled “Why I Served as a Conservation Officer,” John wrote, “This conservation movement seems to be fueled by our love for animals…  Loving and respecting our wildlife and its habitat is what this conservation movement represents.” [1]

John Borkovich isn’t the only family member who has served as a conservation police officer in Michigan. His brother Mike is now sheriff in Leelanau County. And his brother Bruce is now police chief at Ferris State University in Big Rapids. “Most of the reasons came from the fact our father taught us to protect the resources and respect fish and game,” John explained in an interview with the Times-Herald.

John was part of the DNR Firearms Transition Team and was also a firearms instructor. He was a Field Training Officer for recruit conservation officers and was an instructor at the Conservation Officer Police Academy held at the Michigan State Police headquarters in Lansing. John received many safe driving awards and received recognition for his “Fit for Duty” performances.

John was an adjunct professor at St. Clair County Community College in the criminal justice department. He developed the curriculum for two separate courses at the college and taught the Conservation Law Enforcement and Environmental Law Enforcement classes.

He has received many awards and accommodations: The Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Officer of the Year Award and the National Wild Turkey Federation Michigan Officer of the Year. John received lifesaving awards and has been recognized many times by the Michigan State Police and St. Clair County Sheriff Department.

You can learn more about Officer Borkovich’s new book WILDLIFE 911: ON PATROL here: www.arbutuspress.com/wildlife-911

As of this writing, WILDLIFE 911 is “Currently Unavailable” on Amazon but they can e-mail you when it is available again.

And John can be contacted at book@wildlife911officer.com and found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Wildlife911OnPatrol/

Brian Alan Burhoe

Did you like this Wildlife Book Review?

IF SO, YOU’LL LOVE WOLFBLOOD — MY MOST POPULAR ANIMAL STORY:

“I JUST READ WOLFBLOOD AGAIN FOR GOOD MEASURE.  ONE FOR ANY WOLF LOVER.  ENJOYED IT BUT WISH IT WAS A FULL LENGTH NOVEL.” – Gina Chronowicz @ginachron

“GREAT SHORT STORY!  DOES REMIND ME OF CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG…” – Evelyn @evelyn_m_k

The tender, thrilling tale in the Jack London Tradition of a Timber Wolf and it’s search for its place in the Great Northern Forestlands.  FREE TO READ ==>  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

 

[1] “Why I Served as a Conservation Officer”  https://www.nrahlf.org/articles/2017/6/27/why-i-served-as-a-conservation-officer/

WILDLIFE 911: ON PATROL by Wildlife Conservation Officer John Borkovich – a Book Review

Keywords: Environmental Conservation Officer, Nature Conservation Officer

Source: Civilized Bears, John Borkovich and PRNewswire

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MOUNTIES ON THE COVER By Al Lund – A Canadian Book Review

 

“I’ve been collecting Royal Canadian Mounted Police literature for more than fifty years.” Al Lund, Staff Sergeant, RCMP (retired)

 

 

In his chapter called “Dust Jackets” in MOUNTIES ON THE COVER, Al Lund writes of a practice that, as an avid collector of old Canadian wilderness books myself, I’d never heard of. “It was quite common for public libraries in earlier years to destroy or discard the dust jackets when they obtained a new book.” This was before Mylar plastic sleeves.

Al had learned of the practice when he wondered how a Minnesotan book collector had come into “hundreds of dust jackets in pristine and new condition.” He learned that they had come from a man whose job it had been to discard those brightly coloured jackets from newly arrived library books.

If you’re a collector of old books, then I know how you feel: dismayed at the thought of all those dust jackets being thrown away — excited by the hope of possible treasure troves of such book jackets out there, waiting to be rescued.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere how, as a boy in the 1950’s, I came into a number of old books. Grown-ups — neighbours and family — hearing how young Brian loved the old regional writers of wilderness and animal stories, would hand me beloved hardcover books of their own. Writers like Charles G D Roberts and Grey Owl and Jack London and George Marsh, who I’d already met in the dusty school library. And some I’d never heard of, like H A Cody, James Oliver Curwood, William Byron Mowery and James B Hendryx. [1]

Those hardcover books often had faded spines and covers, red, blue, green, brown, that were sometimes a bit loose. I didn’t, of course, know then that most of those books had once had brightly illustrated jackets. At that time, it didn’t matter. Opening up those covers was a trip to a Canada lost in time… And as real as the wild woodlands outside my own back door. [2]

And a lot of those old-time thrilling tales told of our own Canadian Mounted Police.

It was 1967, Canada’s Centennial Year. A young Mountie walked into a second-hand bookstore in Burnaby, British Columbia, his new posting. Alert Henry Lund, known as Al, had been a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for seven years. He loved it. And on that March day of ’67, Al Lund would find another love — collecting old books with a Mountie theme.

Soon he was “becoming obsessed with collecting and began to visit all the second-hand bookstores…”

By 2008, now retired, Al had collected over 9000 Mountie-related items, especially hard cover and paperback books, numerous magazines, digests and comic books.

Over the past few years Al has donated his full collection to the University of Alberta Libraries, to be safely archived. “I’m just so pleased that it’s protected, and it becomes a research item for people for generations to come.”

And now a selection of hand-picked books from that amazing collection sit on display in the university, part of the Bruce Peel Special Collection, along with the historic Sir Samuel Steele Collection.

Of those books on display, almost 100 of them have been assembled in MOUNTIES ON THE COVER, an exhibition catalogue and quality trade paperback from the University of Alberta Press.

MOUNTIES ON THE COVER starts with an excellent 15-page Foreword by Dr Peter German, RCMP Deputy Commissioner (retired). Illustrated with period photographs and line drawings (many by Roger Pocock, an early Mountie who would write and illustrate his own books), Peter outlines our proud Mounted Police history and the part our Mounties once played in books, films and other popular entertainment media. [3]

And then Al Lund takes us on a guided tour through this sample of his collection.

You’ll see Mounties in bright scarlet tunics on every cover known to the print medium. Hardcover book jackets illustrating top writers like Zane Grey, L Ron Hubbard, Harwood Steele and — a man Al has called “one of the great Mountie writers of all times” — James B Hendryx (I agree). Paperback novels, including Harlequin romances. Popular magazines like Canadian Home Journal and Saturday Evening Post. Pulp magazine covers of Adventure, Argosy, North-West Stories and Western Stories Magazine. Beloved comic book characters Sergeant Preston, King of the Royal Mounted and Dudley Do-Right. Did you know that Donald Duck once joined the Force?

Besides the many American — especially American — and Canadian publications, Al also shows us covers from England and even France.

There was a time when cover images like these stirred excitement and national pride in Canadian hearts. And, you know what? For me, they still do.

 

 

Getting to know Al Lund has been a pleasure.

With the news coverage the Force has been getting lately, many of the good men and women who have served with our Mounted Police seem to have been forgotten in the heated kerfuffle. I’m not talking about the Historic Mounties who are our cultural heroes — Sam Steele, James MacLeod, Major Walsh, Constable William Pedley. I mean the regular Members we Canadians have met over the years; sometimes briefly, sometimes to have a yarn. One Member I have called a friend: a Good Man in every sense.

Sgt Lund’s strong connection and pride for his RCMP shows in this book. A labour of love.

Of course, the heyday of the Mythic Mountie is gone. I didn’t know even as a boy just how BIG the Mounties had once been in Canadian and World mythic culture.

By the mid-Fifties, when I was coming into those old books, the Mythic Age was closing. Yes, I had Dell Comics’ Sergeant Preston and King of the Royal Mounted — which are now lost after a number of moves as a kid — along with most of my favourite George Marsh titles. Others, however survived, and form the core of a slowly growing collection (Retirement hath its rewards).

Back then, occasional old Hollywood “Northerns” were still shown on our new black and white TV (even now, I never miss THE WILD NORTH, which I discovered later with delight was actually filmed in colour!). But by that time most of my friends, fellow young Boomers, were more interested in Davy Crockett and Superman and Captain America than anything Canadian. I tried to tell them. But they had never read Jack O’Brien’s SILVER CHIEF: Dog of the North and experienced Sgt Jim Thorne’s thrilling capture of the savage wolf dog. Or read Curwood’s GRIZZLY KING. Or listened to my favourite old companion, Archie Grey Owl. Or even the Sergeant Preston comics.

I didn’t have the words or understanding then to tell my doubting friends that Canada is a young Wilderness Nation — our Myths came out of that vast, green Wilderness. And those Myths are OURS! Who We Are. [4]

At this moment, when we so proudly celebrate Canada Day — CANADA150 — our Nation’s — our CULTURE’s — 150th birthday, it’s just great to be reminded of our own legendary heroes. And their stories.

MOUNTIES ON THE COVER, by Staff Sergeant (retired) Alert Henry Lund of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is an essential addition to every true patriot’s book shelf. Or coffee table.

– Brian Alan Burhoe

Did you like this Mountie Book Review?

IF SO, YOU’VE GOT TO SEE “THE WRITERS OF THE NORTH-WEST MOUNTED POLICE” — MY MOST POPULAR LITERARY HISTORY POST:

“Thanks for a wonderful in-depth article on Mountie fiction. I’m a big fan of the Mounties and I really enjoyed the amount of details you provided and found many, many more books to put on my wish list.” Jack

“I just discovered your blog recently and need to dig deeper into it. That post on Mountie fiction is great.” James Reasoner

When our Canadian Mounted Police first arrived in the lawless North-West Territories, they soon entered our National Mythology.  A look at the many writers, such as James B Hendryx, who helped create that magnificent Mythology.  Amply illustrated with glorious book and magazine covers.  FREE TO READ ==>  The GREATEST AUTHORS OF NORTH-WEST MOUNTED POLICE FICTION

 

[1] Canadian writer Charles G D Roberts was my first literary hero. For an example of his once-popular story-telling, SEE The Bear That Thought He Was A Dog.

Now mostly forgotten, George Marsh, author of wilderness stories like FLASH THE LEAD DOG, once had an avid following. SEE Wolf Whelps & Lead Dogs: Tribute to George Marsh, Wilderness Writer.

[2] But those old books often had illustrations inside. Sometimes photos — stills from long-ago Silent Movies; more often paintings or line drawings from some of the top artists of the time. American Charles Livingston Bull was my favourite wildlife artist. He illustrated Charles G D Roberts, Jack London, Frank Baum, Edgar Rice Burroughs, George Marsh, among others — SEE Charles Livingston Bull, Wildlife Artist.

A more recent discovery of mine has been accomplished illustrator Stephen Voorhies, who illustrated three editions of William Byron Mowery’s Mountie fiction. SEE Stephen J Voorhies: Artist of the American People — and Places.

[3] Here’s one impression upon reading this book I just can’t help sharing…

If you look at the photographs and pen & ink drawings of the real-life men of the early North-West Mounted (such as those in Dr German’s Foreword to MOUNTIES ON THE COVER), you’ll notice that most of the younger Mounties wore mustaches. Photos from the Klondike Gold Rush era make it seem that mustaches were regulation issue for the men, with beards for the senior officers.

Yet you’ll note that the Mounties in most (thousands of ’em!) of the Canadian and American book and magazine covers went clean shaven.

Three exceptions appear in MOUNTIES ON THE COVER: historic Commissioner James MacLeod in full beard; Sergeant Preston, of course, with his pencil mustache — and a 1928 MacLean’s Magazine “Canadian Life Series” illustration by Montreal painter A C Valentine of a Mountie with a fierce bushy soup strainer. And there’s a photo of our genial host, Al Lund, with a neatly trimmed one. Otherwise: Why this decades-long artists’ prejudice against an honest mo?

[4] “our Myths came out of that vast, green Wilderness…”  While the works and words of Charles G D Roberts, Grey Owl and E Pauline Johnson had enthralled me, I was still three or four years from being given my first copy of Ella Elizabeth Clark’s INDIAN LEGENDS OF CANADA — and our Centennial Year was over a decade away when Gordon Lightfoot would finally put it all together for me: “There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run, when the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun. Long before the white man and long before the wheel — when the green dark forest was too silent to be real…”

MOUNTIES ON THE COVER By Al Lund – A Canadian Book Review

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