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an aerial photo of Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta featuring a body of water surrounded by a gorgeous mountain and forests
Glacier Park Collection

Animals Applaud Alberta’s Latest Conservation Site

NCC secures 2.5 square kilometres near Waterton Lakes National Park

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has purchased a 2.5 square kilometre property between Waterton Lakes National Park and Twin Butte. This is a big win for the animals that call Waterton home.

The Waterton Lakes National Park is a safe haven for animals. But these animals also roam outside of the park. For example, elk, deer, and moose tend to leave the park to forage grasses during the winter.

“Waterton Lakes National Park is renowned for its incredible wildlife, but these species rely on an area much larger than the park itself throughout the year,” Tom Lynch-Staunton, regional vice-president for the NCC, said in a statement.

The area around Waterton National Park is prime real estate for condominiums and residential properties. Thankfully, the NCC has fought tooth and nail to preserve this area.

The NCC has worked with local ranchers to establish conservation agreements for years. By signing a conservation agreement, a rancher promises to protect an area of land or species.

In return, ranchers are usually paid for placing a conservation agreement on their land. In the case of Kathy Flundra of the Shoderee Ranch, she sold part of her family ranch to the NCC and now leases back from them.

“It was a way to free up some cash so my parents could retire. It was a financial opportunity that would keep the land the way it was, in its natural state,” Kathy Flundra told the Lethbridge Herald.

In addition to conservation agreements, the NCC isn’t afraid to open its wallet if landowners are willing to sell their land for the right price.

NCC’s latest purchase is a big one. This property will become part of the NCC’s 130 square kilometre Waterton Park Front, which is almost 80% conserved.

The area purchased by the NCC features grasslands, forests, and wetlands adjacent to the park. Plenty of animals call this area home, including grizzly bears and elks.

“This property is just another piece of that larger puzzle…it’s a victory for nature,” said Sean Feagan, an Alberta spokesman for the NCC.

Alberta isn’t defined by its condominiums or housing. It’s defined by its beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife.

Let’s keep it that way.

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