Toad River Valley, Canada

Photograph by Michael Christopher Brown

Like curtains drawn across the landscape, the walls of the Toad River Valley yield to untracked forests and pure lakes in northeastern British Columbia. Years of compromise and careful planning defined the enormous Muskwa-Kechika Management Area here, where competing interests—from miners to outfitters, preservationists, and native peoples—coexist in delicate balance.

See more photographs from the November 2008 feature story "Northern Giant."

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