Because of Climate Change, Canada’s Rocky Mountain Forests Are on the Move

Because of Climate Change, Canada’s Rocky Mountain Forests Are on the Move

Using century-old surveying photos, scientists have mapped 100 years of change in the Canadian Rockies to document the climate-altered landscape

Pictured: Protected land near Crowsnest Pass, Alberta
Protected land near Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, above, was one of the sites studied in the new analysis of tree lines in the Canadian Rockies. (Mountain Legacy Project, CC BY-NC 4.0)

On an overcast day in 1927, surveyors Morrison Parsons Bridgland and Arthur Oliver Wheeler trekked up from the Owen Creek drainage in what is now Banff National Park to take a series of photos of the mountains along the North Saskatchewan River. They aimed to make the first accurate topographical maps of the region but in the process created something much bigger than they could have imagined.