MULTISAR – Milk River 

We focus on multi-species conservation at the landscape level that promotes stewardship through voluntary participation of landholders on both Crown and private lands. In 2022, we worked collaboratively with multiple partners to maintain, increase, and improve habitat for species at risk within the greater sage-grouse range of Alberta. This partnership involves habitat assessments, development of voluntary habitat conservation plans, and subsequent implementation and monitoring of on-the-ground enhancements. We completed a Habitat Conservation Strategy (HCS) for 1,890 acres of lease land on an existing MULTISAR participant’s ranch and one newly acquired Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) property of 158 acres along the Milk River Natural Area. The HCS included 30 detailed range transects, eight range health assessments, three visual plots, five riparian assessments, and recorded 461 wildlife observations. We also conducted wildlife surveys and made an additional 328 wildlife observations on one new landowner’s property, which is scheduled to have range surveys and an HCS completed in 2023/24. Twenty-nine different species at risk were recorded, including five listed as Endangered/At Risk, seven listed as Threatened/May Be At Risk, and 17 listed as Special Concern/Sensitive. We also collaborated with three landowners to install four portable watering units and two solar pumps for existing wells and refurbished 23 dugouts. These water developments are designed to improve grazing distribution and habitat management by alleviating cattle pressure in sensitive riparian areas. On a separate property, we replaced one mile of fenceline with wildlife-friendly fence and installed half a mile of new wildlife-friendly fence with Clipex® posts so a site previously reseeded with native grasses can now be grazed separate from an adjoining hay field. We will monitor this Clipex fenceline to assess if these small diameter posts eliminate raptors from perching in the area, decreasing risk to sage-grouse. We worked with a contractor to collect 150 pounds of silver sagebrush seed in late November and will use this to reseed future sites. Our interaction with the ranching community in this drainage continues to grow and, moving forward, we anticipate taking on additional operators as well as seeking additional enhancements on the dozens of existing ranches that we are currently engaged with.


Alberta Beef Producers, Canadian Cattle Association, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Cows and Fish – Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Government of Alberta, landholders, Milk River Watershed Council Canada, Prairie Conservation Forum

Annual Summaries

Title Year Category
MULTISAR – Milk River 2016-2017 2
MULTISAR – Milk River 2017-2018 2
MULTISAR – Milk River 2018-2019 2
MULTISAR – Milk River 2019-2020 2
MULTISAR – Milk River 2020-2021 2
MULTISAR – Milk River 2021-2022 2
MULTISAR – Milk River 2022-2023 2