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A Logging History of the Whirlpool Valley, Jasper National Park

The Forest History Program explores an overgrown, but not forgotten, episode in forestry.

By 1911 the railroad had arrived in Jasper, and railway ties became a critical need. At the time, logging was allowed in the park. The Whirlpool Valley was chosen and logged throughout the 1920s.

Dr. Peter Murphy’s study focuses on the railway tie logging of the 1920s but includes the river’s links to the history of Aboriginal people in the area, the development of the fur trade, and the early development of Jasper National Park.

  • January 1911

    Logging begins in the Whirlpool Valley

    Progress update: Logs were sent down the Whirlpool River to the Athabasca during the 1920s

  • 2011

    Project Begins

    Progress update: Dr. Murphy begins a study on the logging and Indigenous history of the area

  • March 2016

    Maps Created

    Progress update: Camps, timber limits, and trails are plotted with modern GIS technology

The Jackladder: Tie Logging on the Whirlpool

Presentation, including historical photographs, on tie logging on the Whirlpool River.

Adaptive Forest Management/History Program 2010 AGM

Presentation on the Northern Rockies Ecotour and Whirlpool Logging History Projects of the Adaptive Forest Management/History Program.

Adaptive Forest Management/History Program 2010

Poster promoting the FRI's Adaptive Forest Management/History Program, including completed book projects and Northern Rockies EcoTour project.

Adaptive Forest Management/History Program -AGM 2009

Presentation given at the 2009 Foothills Research Institute AGM on the projects of the Adaptive Forest Management/History Program.

Julie Duval

Program Lead

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