Today, efforts at environmental protection commonly take the form of“top-down” measures, in which overarching plans, usuallybased on scientific reports, are implemented through environmentallegislation, which is then enforced at the local level. Fish Warsand Trout Travesties offers an instructive glimpse into an earlierera, before the state assumed its present degree of regulatory controlover the environment. In southern Alberta of the 1920s, townspeople andcivic leaders took a spirited interest in the management of their localrivers and streams and often held strong opinions about which speciesof fish should be conserved and by what methods. Often these opinionsreflected a growing division between the traditional, ruralunderstanding of nature as the means to survival and an emerging urbanconception of nature as recreational space. Such conflictingperspectives – founded, as they were, on differing views aboutthe relationship of human beings to the natural world – meantthat local debates could be quite heated.