Expanding Our Conservation Footprint
It is a rare opportunity to be able to purchase a quarter section of land in southern Alberta ranch country, let alone the ability to then expand that purchase by eight more quarters!
There is no greater tool in the conservation toolbox that is as powerful as purchase.
It’s simple, land securement lasts in perpetuity for all to enjoy. Thanks in large part to the co-operation of two southern Alberta Pheasants Forever Chapters who pooled their resources to contribute to the securement of eight additional quarter-sections next to the original quarter.
Thanks to the support of our members, donors and sponsors, the Calgary and Chinook chapters contributed $100,000 each towards the purchase. This contribution allowed access to a matching grant from Environment Canada and Climate Change for a total of $400,000.
The federal grant is in support of species at risk which this project will excel at protecting. 75% of Alberta’s species at risk live on native grasses of which 75% has been lost. The property contains native habitat including grassland, shrubland and riparian habitat which is important to a variety of wildlife species. The area supports seventeen “at risk” species including sage grouse, Sprague’s pipit, chestnut-collared longspur, burrowing owl and is located in the critical sage grouse habitat area. The area is home to game species like mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, moose, ring-necked pheasant and sharp-tailed grouse.
The expansion will add 1280 acres to the 160 acres secured in 2021 for a grand total of 1440 acres of rolling prairie.
“We have long-recognized the benefits of working collaboratively with the Alberta Conservation Association, other organizations and fellow PF chapters,” says Pheasants Forever Calgary managing director, Perry McCormick. “It can be easy to get distracted by our differences, but when we focus on the values we share, pheasants and other wildlife in Alberta are the beneficiaries.”
The expansion will happen in 2023 with the purchase of the two sections.
“The Manyberries Creek Conservation Site is a mixed farming property that is situated in the critical sage grouse habitat area of Southeastern Alberta,” said Leonard Hanson, Habitat Chair for Chinook Pheasants Forever. “It is also home to a multitude of species, some threatened, that rely on the short grass prairie for their survival.”
The expansion site will allow public foot access. This addition north of the Silver Sage Site (see more at Pheasants Forever Conservation Sites), gives southern Albertans two large natural spaces for hunting and other outdoor recreation.
Fish & Game Clubs from Sherwood Park and Medicine Hat, as well as Enbridge Inc. also supported the purchase which will be under title of the Alberta Conservation Association, who led the project.
Most often, if land comes up for sale, it’s the whole ranch, which can challenge any and all collective budgets, or it’s sold to a neighbour without a sign ever hitting the corner post.
Manyberries Creek Conservation Site is located approximately 70 kilometres south of Medicine Hat in the County of Forty Mile. This securement will provide excellent recreational opportunities for upland game bird and big game hunting, trapping, hiking and wildlife viewing.
Manyberries Creek Conservation Site supports seventeen “at risk” species including sage grouse, Sprague’s pipit, chestnut-collared longspur, burrowing owl and is located in the critical sage grouse habitat area. The area is home to game species like mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, moose, ring-necked pheasant and sharp-tailed grouse.