Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (1984, 1990)

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The contiguous national parks of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho, as well as the Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber provincial parks, studded with mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons and limestone caves, form a striking mountain landscape. 

The Burgess Shale fossil site, well known for its fossil remains of soft-bodied marine animals, is also found there. 

  • United Nations (Vienna) 2002. World Heritage Series. Mount Robson, Canada. 

United Nations (Vienna) 2002  Rocky Mountains, Canada. Mount Robson.

Hoodoos...Kicking Horse Pass...the Columbia Icefield....the Cave and Basin...Lake Louise...the Icefield Parkway...Peyto Lake. These world-famous attractions are found in Banff, the first of Canada's magnificent system of national parks. The mountains in the park were originally deposited over millions of years as sediment on the bottom of a shallow inland sea. Continental drift subsequently jammed on a continent-sized land mass into the west coast of North America. 

Canada 1985. Rocky Mountains National Parks. Banff.

The force of the impact thrust the Rocky Mountains out of the former seabed. Wind, water, and four ice ages then reshaped the mountains. The process continues today, and travelers can still view the remnants of the last ice age in the Columbia Icefield. Recent research has determined that humans arrived in Banff about 9000 B.C. Kooteney, Assiniboine, and Cree Indians dwelt there in historic times. The postage stamp features a serigraph of this beautiful lake by printmaker and watercolourist George Weber of Edmonton, Alberta. 

  • Canada 1985. Banff National Park. 

In 1792 the Hudson's Bay Company fur trader and surveyor, Peter Fidler, was the first European to mention the region. Nothing much changed, however, until 1883, when the CPR passed through on its way west. On 8 November 1883, two railroads workers discovered the Cave and Basin Hot Springs on Sulphur Mountain. That same year, Sir Sandford Fleming and the Reverend George M. Grant had discussed the idea of founding a national park there. 

In 1885, the federal government reserved the land around the springs "from sale of settlement or squatting" and in 1887 enlarged the reserve, designating it as the "Rocky Mountains Park of Canada." Its future popularity as a health and recreation resort was predicted by Sir John A. Macdonald, who said, "I have no doubt that that will become a great watering-place." Today, a hundred years after the development of Banff, Canada boasts an unsurpassed system of national parks that will be the pride of the nation for generations to come. 

Of the many sparkling lakes in Banff National Park, Canadians are perhaps most familiar with Moraine Lake, nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, because of its appearance on the back of the (then) current twenty-dollar bill, issued 1978. 
  • Canada 1978. Specimen image of the backside of the 1978 twenty-dollar bill (no longer legal tender), featuring Moraine Lake. Image © Bank of Canada. 

Canada 1978. Specimen image of the backside of the 1978 twenty-dollar bill (no longer legal tender).  Image (c) Bank of Canada.

Other than the moose, elk, grizzly and such spectacular species, there is particularly one worth mentioning, the Cougar, which appeared on 13th October 2005 on a souvenir sheet, jointly issued with the Republic of China. 

Canada 2005. Souvenir sheet, jointly issued with China, featuring the Cougar and the Amur Tiger.

The sheet is very nice in its appearance, with the Canadian national symbol, the Maple Leaf, incorporated in the perforation between the two stamps. The cougar is on the left stamp. 

The cougar occurs in B.C. from the Canada/USA border to Big Muddy River on the Alaska Highway. Although they have not yet reached the Queen Charlotte Islands, they can be found on most other coastal islands. 

This animal is found only in the western hemisphere of the Americas generally in mountainous areas. 

Much of the mainland region of British Columbia was originally known as New Caledonia; however, this name (duplicated in the South Pacific) was discarded in favour of British Columbia. The designation appears to have originated with Queen Victoria and was officially proclaimed in 1858. Columbia (after the Columbia River which was named by the American Captain Robert Gray for his ship Columbia) had previously been loosely applied to the southern portion of the colony.  

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Canada (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Canada for further information about such sites. 

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Revised 03 aug 2006  
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