Academic journal article Alberta History

Wilderness and Waterpower: How Banff National Park Became a Hydroelectric Storage Resevoir

Academic journal article Alberta History

Wilderness and Waterpower: How Banff National Park Became a Hydroelectric Storage Resevoir

Article excerpt

Wilderness and Waterpower: How Banff National Park Became a Hydroelectric Storage Resevoir by Christopher Armstrong & H.V. Nelles. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 267 pp., illus., soft cover, $34.95.

With a growing need for electricity by the city of Calgary at the turn of the 20th century, covetous eyes looked at the pristine rivers of Banff National Park. Corporate powers wanted to exploit the park, conservationists did not.

In 1906, 1,000 acres for a dam, power house, and head works were obtained from the Stoney Indians, and in 1911 the first electricity was provided to Calgary through a dam at Horseshoe Falls. Later that year, work began on the Kananaskis Dam. This included 200 acres of land within the National Park to be used as a reservoir. With the development of a dam at Lake Minnewanka, conservationists and park authorities seemed powerless against the corporate and political interests behind the scheme.

State the authors, "Beginning in the early 1920s, the Parks Branch started to object to the power company's requests to increase storage capacity within the park. …

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