The Alberta Land Trust Grant Program is supporting projects to protect watersheds and wildlife habitats on private land as well as keep ranchlands in tact. WineGlass Ranch owner Edith Wearmouth, Minister Shannon Phillips, Justin Thompson, executive director, Southern Alberta Land Trust Society and the Eklund family pictured in an area where an easement will protect the Jumpingpound Creek. Alberta government photo.
Alberta Land Trust Grant Program approved over $7 million for 24 projects
The Alberta Land Trust Grant Program approved more than $7 million to support 24 different projects to protect watersheds and wildlife habitats on private land and help keep ranchlands intact in the 2017-18 grant cycle.
Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks says she is proud of her government’s work to conserve Alberta’s landscapes.
“We are preserving critical habitat and safeguarding these areas for future generations,” said Phillips. She added “I would like to thank the generous Alberta landowners who are working with these land trusts to support conservation efforts on their property.”
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,” said Larry Simpson, associate regional vice president, Nature Conservancy of Canada.
“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.”
The Alberta Land Trust Grant Program was established in 2011 and has offered over $55.7 million in grants in support of the conservation of almost 111,000 acres of land in Alberta.
In the 2017-18 period, the program will help preserve nearly 13,000 acres of land across Alberta through legally binding conservation easements that ensure good stewardship of private land. As well, the easements maintain biodiversity and preserve native landscapes.