Glacier Conservancy Book Club to discuss native trout
The Glacier National Park Conservancy’s bi-monthly book club will look at “A Fine-Spotted Trout on Corral Creek: On the Cutthroat Competition of Native Trout in the Northern Rockies” by Michael Dickerson as the group hosts an online Zoom discussion with the author on Wednesday evening.
A teacher at Middlebury College in Vermont, Dickerson became interested in cutthroat trout ecology after reading “For the love of Rivers” by Kurt Fausch.
After securing a grant through his university to research the issue further, Dickerson spent the summer of 2016 with two research assistants learning more about the species in Wyoming before spending June 2017 as an artist in residence at Glacier National Park, further exploring the subject.
“Cutthroat trout is incredibly important. The entire Rocky Mountain ecosystem, including Glacier National Park, evolved around these native fish. They’re not just a sport fish to someone, they’re important to every creature that lives there,” Dickerson said of his book. “I hope that when people read the book, they realize the importance of the park and the importance of its work.”
The third book in Dickerson’s “Heart Streams” series, which also includes “Trout in the Desert” and “A Tale of Three Rivers”, “A Fine-Spotted Trout on Corral Creek”, again gave Dickerson the opportunity to explore and explain the impacts of mankind on the ecology of native fish.
“I have a personal love of the outdoors. I enjoy hiking, backpacking, fishing and camping. I’m also very interested in conservation and ecology, nature and the environment,” Dickerson said. “We are all interdependent on each other. What happens in the forest impacts the stream and what happens in the stream impacts the lakes and the oceans. Everything is interconnected.” I’m trying to communicate an important ecological story to people who might not sit down and read science or even consider themselves to be interested in environmental issues.
For Dickerson, who also spent May 2018 as Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park, his experiences in America’s national parks give him the chance to explore his passions while gaining first-hand knowledge of the impacts of humanity on the environment.
“It’s not just facts you learn. It’s a personal experience. There’s a deeper connection when the things you’ve learned abstractly in a textbook come to life because you’re sitting there looking at them firsthand,” he said. “Some of the stories in the Glacier National Park area have taught me how devastating human tinkering with the environmental system can be. Stories like those about the number of invasive species introduced into Flathead Lake and the extent of these impacts These stories show that we cannot blindly change an ecosystem without knowing what we are doing.
Dickerson donated the proceeds from the sale of his book to the Glacier National Park Conservancy, with his publisher matching his contribution.
Wednesday’s Zoom chat will begin at 6:30 p.m. and registration for the event is required. For more information or to register for the event, visit the Glacier Park Conservancy online at https://glacier.org/glacier-book-club/.