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    Outstanding novel about Canada's largest park

    A sequel to Dyed In The Green, and the second in an upcoming series, Wood Buffalo continues the story of park wardens Ben Matthews and Kate Jones. Following the events of Dyed In The Green, Ben is posted to the largest national park in Canada: Wood Buffalo National Park. Straddling the border between Alberta and the Northwest Territories, this UNESCO World Heritage Site, was established nearly a century ago to preserve the last herds of boreal bison. Although most famous for the wood bison, through the course of the novel readers will become familiar with the other remarkable features of the park including the enormous Peace-Athabasca inland delta, salt plains, and the fire-scarred forest uplands. Just as important, they will come to know the first nations that inhabit this region and their unique history with the park. Based on all too real events that happened in the late 1980's where factions within the federal government had proposed a cull of the entire bison population of the park, Wood Buffalo is a dramatization of the struggle against this plan and the eventual cancelation of this ill-conceived slaughter. As with the first book, Wood Buffalo has an intense veracity that can come only from real life experience on the frontlines. While the characters are fictional, George Mercer's vivid descriptions of Ben's life in the north and the inhabitants he meets bring the park itself to life as a central character. The description of the challenges and difficulties of fighting forest fires in northern Alberta make real the same challenges and hard work by those combatting the tragic fires last summer in nearby Fort McMurray. Also, spot on are the descriptions of the inner machinations of the federal public service, both good and bad. The review panel depicted in the novel accurately captures the all too real in-fighting and self serving agendas that happen, but also the dedication and commitment of those rare special individuals in the departments. Although the plot centers on a past tragedy just barely averted, the story of Wood Buffalo National Park is still just as relevant today. Just this month (March 2017), UNESCO issued a warning that the environmental health of the park is threatened by energy development, hydro dams and poor management. The report warns the park will be added to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger unless it is better cared for. Fortunately, the report states that for now the overall condition of this amazing wilderness park remains good. Mercer's novel foreshadows the news of today by describing the early effects of the drying out the delta and the accumulation of mercury in fish almost 30 years ago. Reading this novel will put Wood Buffalo on the bucket list of many a Canadian outdoorsmen and women. I’m looking forward to the release of the next book in the series
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    Great Read!

    I loved Wood Buffalo. This series is gaining momentum, and I hope Mr. Mercer is busy writing another book in this series. Ben and Kate go to Jasper, next, and are taking me with them.

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