Prato and Fagre offer the first systematic, multi-disciplinary assessment of the challenges involved in managing the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem (CCE), an area of the Rocky Mountains that includes northwestern Montana, southwestern Alberta, and southeastern British Columbia. The spectacular landscapes, extensive recreational options, and broad employment opportunities of the CCE have made it one of the fastest growing regions in the United States and Canada, and have lead to a shift in its economic base from extractive resources to service-oriented recreation and tourism industries. In the process, however, the amenities and attributes that draw people to this 'New West' are under threat. Pastoral scenes are disappearing as agricultural lands and other open spaces are converted to residential uses, biodiversity is endangered by the fragmentation of fish and wildlife habitats, and many areas are experiencing a decline in air and water quality. Sustaining Rocky Mountain Landscapes provides a scientific basis for communities to develop policies for managing the growth and economic transformation of the CCE without sacrificing the quality of life and environment for which the land is renowned. The book begins with a natural and economic history of the CCE. It follows with an assessment of current physical and biological conditions in the CCE. The contributors then explore how social, economic, demographic, and environmental forces are transforming ecosystem structure and function. They consider ecosystem change in response to changing patterns of land use, pollution, and drought; the increasing risk of wildfire to wildlife and to human life and property; and the implications of global climate change on the CCE. A final, policy-focused section of the book looks at transboundary issues in ecosystem management and evaluates the potential of community-based and adaptive approaches in ecosystem management.
'A timely, large-scale exposition about the natural and human forces that shape the CCE. The authors expertly indicate opportunities to maintain benefits and mitigate environmental damage in the region.' Donald M. McLeod, University of Wyoming 'The natural world is fast deteriorating from human activities. What can be done? A lot, as it turns out . . . Prato and Fagre apply the latest science to one of the largest areas of wilderness in the lower 48 states and Canada. If you are a land manager, hunter, recreationist, academic, or environmentalist - if you love and care about the outdoors - you need this book.' Ben Gadd, Author of Handbook of the Canadian Rockies 'A definitive work . . . By examining issues at regional to subregional scales, this volume informs resource management across geographic and institutional boundaries. This is good science with applications to both management and policy.' David L. Peterson, U.S. Forest Service