The essence of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (W-GIPP)Teacher's Guide is captured in the story of Pluie the wolf.
Pluie (ploo-ee), a five-year-old female gray wolf, was radio-collared in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Alberta, in June 1991. Satellite locations recorded the range of her explorations over the following nine months. Pluie traveled over 100,000 square kilometers – an area 15 times larger than Banff Park or 10 times larger than Yellowstone Park. In her travels she crossed more than 30 different political jurisdictions (including three states, two provinces, private lands, and First Nation’s territories). Pluie was shot and killed in a legal hunt south of Kootenay National Park in December 1995.
Most scientists believe that wolves of the Rockies are part of a metapopulation -- a single large population composed of several, smaller, interconnected populations. The Rockies provide relatively wild (and safe) travel corridors for single wolves and wolf packs. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (W-GIPP) is an important part of these types of travel corridors, but it is only a part. Animals such as grizzly and black bears, elk, woodland caribou, cougars, wolverines, lynx and many birds use these “habitat highways” oblivious of political boundaries. Rivers, plant seeds and weather patterns move through the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem (the Northern Rockies) as they always have. Whether we humans like it or not, the reality of the Peace Park and the Northern Rockies is one of ancient and complex connections.
These connections are the focus of the Units and Activities in the W-GIPP Teacher’s Guide. The connections are not just biological. They are also economic, political, cultural and spiritual. For this reason, we have intentionally widened the scope of the units and activities to a trans- or cross-discipline approach. When it is practical, we encourage team-teaching, outdoor settings and longer-term attention to how your area of study relates to others. Just as the Peace Park recognizes and celebrates the connections between Canadian and USA parks, we hope you help us demonstrate those connections to your students.