Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.



John Dean Photo Exhibition

Kootenay 2003 Fires by John Dean

John Dean's new work featured at The Edge Gallery in Canmore is a series of recent photographs from the site of the 2003 forest fire in Kootenay National Park. The Photographs were made with a high resolution digital camera and are printed on beautiful cold rolled art paper. Read more »

Northern Pygmy Owl

Northern Pygmy Owl perched on a Douglas Fir snag - February 3, 2014 - Larry Halverson

As its name suggests, the Northern Pygmy Owl is Canada’s smallest owl, about the size of a pop can and weighs only 70 grams. But despite their small size, they are quite fierce, and will attack prey several times their own size. There are even cases where pygmy owls have killed domestic chickens. 
 Read more »

Take a hike with Street View through U.S. National Parks and Parks Canada


Moraine Lake by Google

What do tents and hiking boots have in common? You don’t need either to start exploring or planning your next adventure to some of the best national parks and historical sites across North America. Read more »

Numa Fire

Fighting Fire with Fire in Kootenay National Park
by Parks Canada

Using fire to fight fire may seem counter-intuitive, but a deliberately lit fire can be a very important tool in a firefighter's toolkit. Read more »

Missing Your False Teeth?

Pack rats are on the move this time of year as the young disperse, looking for winter residents.
Photo by Larry Halverson

The bushy-tailed wood rat, more commonly know as a pack rat, derived its name from its compelling desire to collect all sorts of small articles, especially shiny objects. There have been instances where pack rats have taken money, diamond rings and even false teeth. The items stolen are often replaced with useless things such as twigs or pebbles. Occasional they will trade valuable objects. According to one tale "a pack rat left some gold nuggets on the table in a prospector’s cabin in exchange for some trivial trinkets."  Read more »

New Plant Species for Kootenay National Park


Chicory is also called Blue Sailors - by Larry Halverson

On August 20, 2013 a single Chicory plant was found growing at the Kootenay View Point. This exotic plant was introduced from Europe and is now naturalized in North America. It grows in the drier parts of BC in fields, roadsides and waste places. Over the years Chicory has been spreading northward in the Rocky Mountain Trench. They are normally found at lower elevations averaging around 600 meters. So this new sighting at the view point may also be a new elevation record at 1365 meters. Read more »

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants have occupied an old Pileated Woodpecker hole and by the looks of the sawdust pile
they have been busy excavating new nest galleries.
by Larry Halverson 

Carpenter Ants are excavators and not wood feeders like termites. They usually build their nests in dead or decaying trees and logs. Read more »


Bighorn Sheep ewe making her way down the Redwall cliffs by Larry Halverson Read more »

Helping Wildlife Cross the Road


 Building wildlife crossing structures near on Hwy 93 near Dolly Varden picnic site by Larry Halverson Read more »

Making Something Bad Look Good

Leafy Spurge"looking good" near Invermere is one of the largest out breaks in BC by Larry Halverson

The greenish-yellow flower may look pretty but it is one bad noxious weed. It degrades grazing capacity, and devastates wildlife habitat by reducing diversity. It is also poisonous to most livestock except sheep. Read more »

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