My interest in writing on the boundary surveys dates back to 1975 when I had the good fortune to accompany Hugues Salat of Aquitaine Company of Canada on a geological reconnaissance from Dawson, Yukon, north almost to the Arctic coast. During it, our helicopter landed at many points close to the boundary, and having worked with horse parties over similar terrain some twenty years earlier, I had some conception of the problems the surveyors had overcome. Hugues very kindly modified his planned programme somewhat to allow me to visit or fly over a number of points of particular interest.
Later, the hospitality of good friends John and Nora Wheeler, then living in Ottawa, made possible extended visits at the Public Archives of Canada and the International Boundary Commission. Both the Canadian and the United States Sections of the International Boundary Commission have supplied material and permitted me to examine their holdings.
Much of my work was done in the library of the University of British Columbia, and as with an earlier book, I consider myself a beneficiary of the policy that makes the stacks of this excellent facility available to the public. Fishing expeditions for information would be difficult if not impossible if the many publications consulted had to be requested individually. Unfortunately, increasing amounts of historical material have disappeared into storage as the library attempts to make the best use of their now inadequate shelf space. Librarians everywhere have been helpful, but two deserve special mention for assistance in locating obscure publications and maps: Mary Akehurst of the Geological Survey of Canada's Vancouver office and Anne Yandle of the university's Special Collections.
A chance encounter with Gordon Stead on the summit of a local mountain elicited the information that he had once worked for the Geodetic Survey of Canada and was interested in many aspects of surveying. Subsequently, he read my manuscript and made many valuable suggestions about preparing it for publication.
Later, G.S. Andrews, retired Surveyor General of British Columbia, read the manuscript as a critical reader and became an enthusiastic supporter of the project. He has helped with the technical aspects and brought a wealth of new material to my attention.