....was born in 1944 in Chemnitz, Germany, and did frustrate my parents by complaining about long hikes in the erhard2.jpg (33059 bytes)Bavarian countryside. Studied mathematics for three years at the Freie Universitšt in Berlin (West Berlin, in case you need to know...), then got a scholarship to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Spent a year there, got a Masters degree and decided to immigrate to Canada rather than returning to Germany. Bought the first canoe in 1969 and paddled the mouth of the French River as the first canoe trip. Over the next years, and a few canoes later, I had paddled most of Ontario's  Near North and a few other places as well. Lately, after 30 years, I have hung my computer job on the proverbial nail and decided to spend my time on nature and environmental matters. I now live in Scarborough, a lowly suburb of "big bad Toronto", in Canadaerhard1.jpg (29967 bytes) During summer, I explore and document canoe routes, and I guide others on canoe trips, even for commercial outfitters and my own company called "Kanu Links". The rest of the year is spent on desk work - yes, the computer is a wonderful tool - and a little bit on travel, like the trip to Patagonia and Southern Chile on a bicycle in 1998.

My canoe trips in Ontario's north have taught me that our wilderness will disappear if we do not fight for it. We can no longer believe that these precious places are so inaccessible that they will stay untouched. The traditional threat of logging and mining is overshadowed by the advance of technology: ATVs allow motorized travel way beyond the last dirt road, and GPS technology takes the fear of getting lost out of the modern intruder. Development is pushing roads further and further north, right to the shores of our northern seas, and these roads spawn more roads, thus eating away at the tracts of wilderness that still exist.

I have no problem to share these spaces with others - I am a newcomer myself - but such discovery must not result in the destruction of these treasured places. Technology in the name of recreation must not be allowed to destroy the land, and even development - where necessary - can be pursued with consideration. Thus, I have for four years now been active as the Environmental Representative of the Wilderness Canoe Association (WCA) and have recently joined with others to establish Save Wilderness Canoeing, an organization to work towards this very goal.

Erhard Kraus
February, 2003

 

You can reach me at erhard@interlog.com

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