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Watch Over The Forest

Watch Over The Forest
by Neil Gilliat

ISBN 0-9683627-2-9
288 pages / maps / photos / illustration

Neil was born in 1928 in the United Kingdom. He emigrated to Canada after serving in the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch). Serving in many of the forested areas of Alberta with the Alberta Forest Service, he was Superintendent of the Lesser Slave Lake Forest. Before leaving the Government he was appointed the Coordinator of Government Services in a socio-economic program in the northern region aimed at assisting native people to cope with the changing times. In later years he became a consultant, an automotive franchise operator, and then a founder of a waferboard plant, a malt plant, and a cereal processing plant. He is now retired and living in Edmonton, Alberta.

Watch Over The Forest is Neil's second book and is a sequel to If Moose Could Only Talk . Written with the same keen sense of humour, it relates the way of life and exploits of people who lived in forest communities around Alberta. After living all those years in the "bush" there are so many tales to tell about nature and the denizens of the forests, not the least interesting of which are stories of the human residents of the forest fringe.They were a hardy lot. They loved to play hard and work hard, and were a host of characters with stories to tell. You will enjoy these folksy, sometimes earthy, fireside stories and smile at the escapades of those who, in their own individual ways, helped this corner of the world come into its own.

The Forest Service was undergoing massive changes as helicopter transportation took over from where the horses and dogs had left off. Fresh from his first years with the Forest Service in a remote community in the Canadian Rockies, Neil was appointed ranger in the Grande Prairie Forest and stationed at Hythe. Though it was a far different life from his years in the mountains, he found living among pioneers of the Peace was still a great experience. After a few months as a timber auditor working out of Edmonton, Neil served a number of years as Assistant Forest Superintendent at Edson, Rocky Mountain House, and Whitecourt before being posted to Slave Lake as Superintendent of the Lesser Slave Lake Forest. All these moves brought fresh encounters with people growing up together to face the challenges of the future.

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