Species Habitat Assessments and Ranching Partnerships (SHARP)
The Species Habitat Assessments and Ranching Partnerships (SHARP) project is a voluntary collaborative project designed to aid in improving the quality and quantity of wildlife habitat available upon the landscape. The objective is to make wildlife conservation straightforward and cost-effective for producers through education and cost-sharing agreements for habitat enhancements. A Habitat Conservation Strategy (HCS) is a baseline assessment and voluntary plan that identifies Beneficial Management Practices and habitat improvement recommendations to encourage sustainable ranching operations. We develop these strategies after first completing in-depth range and riparian health assessments, along with baseline wildlife surveys. We evaluate range and riparian health and look for areas that need improvement, and balance these with the needs of targeted species (e.g., sharp-tailed grouse, ruffed grouse or species groups like amphibians and waterfowl) and balance the plan with the long-term objectives of the ranching operation. Mutually agreed solutions are adopted and integrated into these strategies with priorities listed along with a monitoring plan to assess progress. The first ranches participating in the project are located in the North Saskatchewan Watershed, with hopes to expand into portions of the Athabasca and Peace Regions in future years. In 2018/19, we secured funding for the SHARP project until spring 2022 and signed Letters of Intent to work with three landowners on properties, totaling ~16,000 acres. Long-term relationships built on mutual respect and trust between conservation groups and landowners are the key to effective on-the-ground conservation efforts.
Alberta Environment and Parks, Canadian Agricultural Partnerships, Landholders
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|Species Habitat Assessments and Ranching Partnerships (SHARP)||2018-2019||2|