A series of fortuitous accidents blew me up on the northwest Pacific coast of Canada and Alaska. Beginning with my first Alaskan king crab, wolfed down with ketchup on the old Homer Spit in 1963—a year before the tsunami took it out--this rugged coastline gradually drew me into its wild heart. Whether stumbling about as a boy paleontologist or on magazine assignment on the British Columbian coast, all jobs added up to an excuse to visit this magic, bountiful mix of sea and forest. About 25 years ago, I joined Canadian and American conservationists working with First Nations communities to preserve large chunks of homelands from clearcutting and mining activities. I especially thank the Round River Conservation Studies group for this opportunity. Collectively these Canadian and American organizations have helped indigenous people conserve nearly 20-million acres of intact wilderness in Heilstuk and Tlingit territory. During the last three decades, I was lucky enough to tag along on many an expedition watching these dedicated folk accomplish what I consider to be the major modern conservation success story in North America.