MULTISAR – West
While it is true that the majority of Species at Risk (SAR) are found in the Grasslands Natural Region of southern Alberta, the Foothills, Parkland and Rocky Mountain Natural Regions of southwest Alberta boast some of the province’s most ecologically diverse landscapes and provide habitat for many SAR including the little brown bat, bull trout, grizzly bear, limber pine, western wood pewee, and westslope cutthroat trout. Best management practices and habitat enhancements occurring on farmlands within this area have enabled many of these species to persist, but there are also many opportunities to further enhance habitat quality for these species while also benefiting agricultural operations.
In 2019, we collaborated with private landowners and leaseholders to complete three Habitat Conservation Strategies on ranches, totalling approximately 14,511 acres. We identified 140 different wildlife species on these three ranches, including 27 that are considered Endangered, Threatened, or Species of Special Concern. In total, we had 2,227 observations of wildlife species and conducted 250 habitat assessments. We partnered with two cattle producers to implement five habitat enhancements including the removal of an old horse corral where, for over 100 years, livestock had direct access to a creek (a tributary to the Oldman River supporting bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout).
Building off long-term landowner relationships that ACA has established on previous projects has enabled us to collaborate with producers and implement enhancements in 2019. Our goal is to continue building on this mutual trust and respect so we can collaborate on future projects that mutually benefit habitat for wildlife, SAR and ranching operations in southwest Alberta.
Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Environment and Parks, Altalink, Calgary Stampede OH Ranch, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Cows and Fish – Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society, Government of Canada, Landholders in Southwest Alberta Prairie, Conservation Forum, Shell Canada
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