The Nature Conservancy of Canada, along with the Federal Government, have announced acquisition of just over a hundred hectares of land on the edge of the Waterton Park Front, in the Foothills region.
Nature Conservancy of Canada has purchased of 106 acres along the Belly River, adjacent to Waterton Lakes National Park.
This natural area provides habitat and connectivity for some iconic Canadian wildlife populations: including wolf, cougar, wolverine, Canada lynx and their prey.
It also supports grizzly bears, listed as a species of special concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.
“The Nature Conservancy of Canada is proud to announce the conservation of the Belly River property. This ranch, located outside of Waterton Lake National Park, adds to a significant conservation network of protected lands that has been built up over decades. This project is an example of how working landscapes and conservation go hand in hand.” said Tom Lynch-Staunton, Regional Vice-President, Nature Conservancy of Canada.
“By working with partners like the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we are protecting our natural environment in Alberta and across the country. Protecting and conserving more of Canada’s natural beauty is an important part of our plan to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Through programs like the Canada Nature Fund’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program, we are making progress toward conserving a quarter of Canada’s land and a quarter of its oceans by 2025.” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
The area was purchased from a ranching family in the area and will continue to be used for cattle grazing.
Beyond birds, amphibians and fish, the site is also home to the endangered limber pine tree, which can live for more than 1,000 years under ideal conditions.
Since 1998, NCC has been working in the community with the goal of creating a buffer zone (presently over 44,000 acres) as large as the Waterton Lakes National Park itself to double this protected area for wildlife.
As a charitable organization Nature Conservancy of Canada raises money from individuals, foundations along with funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program.
(Video courtesy Brent Calver via Nature Conservancy of Canada)
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