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Supporting critical land and water conservation

The province is helping conserve 13,000 acres of private land containing vital watersheds, grasslands and wildlife habitats across the province.

Supporting critical land and water conservation

WineGlass Ranch owner Edith Wearmouth, Minister Phillips, Justin Thompson and the Eklund family appreciate the landscape where an easement will protect the Jumpingpound Creek, a source of Calgary’s drinking water.

The Alberta Land Trust Grant Program approved more than $7 million to support 24 different projects for the 2017-18 grant cycle. The grants protect watersheds and wildlife habitats on private land and help keep ranchlands intact.

“I’m proud of our government’s work to conserve Alberta’s incredible landscapes. We are preserving critical habitat and safeguarding these areas for future generations. I would like to thank the generous Alberta landowners who are working with these land trusts to support conservation efforts on their property.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks

Grants will support projects by the Alberta Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), the Legacy Land Trust Society, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society (SALTS) and Western Sky Land Trust.

SALTS received approximately $2.6 million for five different projects, including one that will protect 1,247 acres of ecologically valuable land at the WineGlass Ranch near Cochrane and Calgary. Home to many elk, deer and large carnivores, the area is under pressure from encroaching residential development. The land has been in the same family for more than 131 years.

“This project is a perfect example of how private land conservation benefits all Albertans. The Wineglass Ranch surrounds Jumpingpound Creek, a source of Calgary’s drinking water, so keeping the property as healthy grasslands instead of roads and houses will help maintain water quality for hundreds of thousands of people.”

Justin Thompson, executive director, Southern Alberta Land Trust Society

Ducks Unlimited Canada will receive nearly $450,000 in grant funding to enhance protection of six parcels of land in central and southern Alberta. These land parcels are made up of key prairie landscapes, including native grassland, wetland and parkland habitats.

“Conserved wetlands and their associated uplands do so much to enhance the lives of Albertans. Yet every day, these remarkable natural areas continue to be threatened and lost. Ducks Unlimited Canada works tirelessly to prevent these losses, especially on private land, but we know we can’t do it alone. We are very appreciative of the support provided by the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Land Trust Grant program which help us to work even more closely with landowners so that together we can protect these important ecological assets for generations to come.”

Ron Maher, manager, provincial operations, Alberta, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Two large parcels of land in southern Alberta will be conserved for future generations with a grant of more than $1.7 million for Nature Conservancy of Canada. Both of these parcels are made up of vital native grasslands, which are under increasing pressure from development. These lands support diverse species that call southern Alberta home, including large carnivores, shorebirds and fish.

“The Land Trust Grant Program is a critically important part of the effort being made by private citizens and land trusts in Alberta to conserve the magnificent open spaces located in the settled area of Alberta. The ranch economy - which has so ably kept these big open natural spaces of Alberta intact over the past century - can no longer compete with land prices being paid for subdivision, acreage development and crop production, making initiatives like the Alberta Land Stewardship Grant Program all the more important to ensuring Albertans can see and enjoy nature near where they live.”

Larry Simpson, associate regional vice president, Nature Conservancy of Canada

Quick Facts

  • The Alberta Land Trust Grant Program supports projects that conserve ecologically important areas to prevent habitat fragmentation, maintain biodiversity and preserve native landscapes.
  • This is accomplished through legally binding conservation easements that ensure good stewardship of private land and safeguard against most types of development.
  • The program was established in 2011, and, to date, more than $55.7 million worth of grants have helped support the conservation of almost 111,000 acres of land in Alberta - the equivalent of approximately 55,500 football fields.
  • For 2017-18, nearly 13,000 acres of land across the province will be conserved.

Media inquiries

Government of Alberta