YOUR DONATIONS AT WORK
The following projects have all received funding from Pheasants Forever Calgary:
Bull Trail Conservation Site
The Bull Trail Conservation Site is a 529-acre site that was purchased in 2013 with funding from ACA, AFGA, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Government of Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, Pheasants Forever Chinook Chapter and the Wild Elk Federation. The site includes native grassland, wetland areas and a spring fed tributary to Ross Creek and is located 1.5 miles north of Cypress Hills Provincial Park. Wildlife on the site include sharp-tailed grouse, deer, elk, waterfowl, and potentially several species at risk. Management on the site will include activities to maintain or improve natural habitats and restore wetlands.
Chinook Property is located south of Irvine on Ross Creek. The property possesses excellent habitat for ring-necked pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse and grey partridge. The 464-acre site features deep coulee habitat, a hay flat bottomland, tall sage habitat and Ross creek meanders through the bottomland offering excellent riparian habitat. The property contains 90% native habitat including several diverse coulee systems, native grass uplands and riparian habitat. These habitats support numerous species ‘at risk’ including northern leopard frogs, ferruginous hawks, Sprague’s pipits and chestnut-collared longspurs. They are also home to game species like mule deer, white-tailed deer, gray partridge, ring-necked pheasant and sharp-tailed grouse. This site was purchased in partnership between Pheasants Forever Chinook Chapter, Wild Elk Federation, ACA, AFGA and the Federal Government. Visit ACA link.
East Hays Conservation Site
The East Hays Conservation Site management plan included the continued maintenance of 11,000 shrubs on 13 acres that were planted in 2010 and the 13 acres of wetlands constructed in 2009 and 2010. An additional 6500 trees and shrubs were planted in 2014 on 10 acres (including a two-acre food plot). Anecdotal reports of pheasant sightings on the property indicate that this site is responding as hoped.
Eastridge Uplands – Milk River
Eastridge Uplands is the last piece of the Milk River Ridge Reservoir Water Quality Stewardship Initiative (MRRRWQSI). The stewardship initiative is overseen and managed by a working group consisting of Alberta Environment and Parks, ACA and the County of Warner. The overall goal of this stewardship initiative is the improvement of water quality through the restoration of impacted shorelands and riparian areas. Water quality declines in Ridge Reservoir in previous years are attributed in part to a degradation of the provincial land corridor which surrounds the Reservoir and the inlet canal. This corridor was heavily impacted by trespass farming. By returning ecological function to compromised corridor lands they serve as environmental buffers to intercept and slow runoff from Milk River Ridge, and better anchor riparian areas and shorelands with desired vegetation communities. We are proud to be the largest donor to this 1,100-acre parcel featuring 550 acres of native prairie and 550 acres of perennial cover and shrubs. The Milk River Ridge Reservoir is a premier destination for upland hunters.
Legacy Conservation Site
The Legacy Conservation Site was purchased late in 2010 in collaboration with the ACA and the David and Leslie Bissett Foundation. The site is located near the Bow River east of Vauxhall and northwest of Hays. The goal of this purchase is to enhance habitat for upland game birds and to provide improved access to a large parcel of crown lease land that lies along the Bow River. The majority of the 100 acre site was previously a hay crop that was flood irrigated by the 62 acres of water rights attached to the site. The remaining 38 acres are comprised of a mixture of native and tame grasses and coulee draws that historically received the flood irrigation runoff. A five-cell wetland complex totaling approximately 12 acres was surveyed and constructed in 2011. That same year, 35 cultivated acres were re-seeded to a grass/forb mixture for upland bird nesting and brood cover.
Manyberries Conservation Site
Manyberries Conservation Site is located approximately 70 kilometers south of Medicine Hat in the County of Forty Mile. The 160-acre property is 28 kilometers north of the Silver Sage Conservation Site. 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. This site provides excellent recreational opportunities for upland game bird and big game hunting, trapping, hiking and wildlife viewing.
McVinnie Reservoir is a 152-acre site providing grassland habitat for songbirds, shorebirds and upland gamebirds. ACA annually stocks this pond with trout, typically before the May long weekend. The site has a parking area, floating docks, garbage bins and outhouse. Travel N from West Lethbridge on Highway 25 for approximately 20.4 km to RR 214, and then N on RR 214 for 17.9 km. Look for the access road and site sign on the E side of the road.
Peigan Creek Conservation Site
The Peigan Creek Conservation Site, 25 miles southwest of Medicine Hat is comprised of 630 acres of the dry mixedgrass region of southern Alberta. There is a significant amount of riparian habitat associated with the property. Peigan Creek and a tributary branch flow through the property. The purchase was a joint venture between the Alberta Fish and Game Wildlife Trust Fund, a number of southern Alberta chapters of the AFGA, Pheasant Forever Chinook Chapter, ACA and NCC.
Prouty Lake is 25 miles southwest of Medicine Hat. It is comprised of 630 acres of dry mixedgrass. There is a significant amount of riparian habitat associated with the property. Peigan Creek and a tributary branch flow through the property. The purchase was a joint venture between the Alberta Fish and Game Wildlife Trust Fund, a number of southern Alberta chapters of the AFGA, Pheasant Forever Chinook Chapter, ACA and NCC.
Ross Creek Conservation Site
The Ross Creek Conservation Site is a 937-acre site that was purchased in 2012 by funding from ACA, AFGA (Wildlife Trust Fund and Medicine Hat Fish and Game), Government of Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, La Terra Ventures and Pheasants Forever Chinook Chapter (Medicine Hat). The site is located approximately 15 km east of Medicine Hat along the Trans-Canada Highway. This parcel represents an opportunity for native prairie conservation as well as enhancement activities for upland birds, ungulates, and species at risk.
Silver Sage Conservation Site
The Silver Sage Conservation Site was secured through a combination of two land purchases in partnership with ACA, AFGA (Wildlife Trust Fund and Medicine Hat Fish and Game), Government of Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, Pheasants Forever Chinook Chapter and a private donor. The site is located in the heart of Greater Sage Grouse range south of the village of Manyberries. The 1,583 acre site is also part of the County of Forty Mile within an hour’s drive of Medicine Hat. The parcel represents an opportunity for native prairie restoration and enhancement activities as it is dominated by cultivated croplands, but surrounded by a larger patch of contiguous native prairie. The majority of the 1,583 acre site was previously seeded to annual crops. The remaining 623 acres are made up of a mix of native and tame grasses and ephemeral wetlands. The intent of this purchase is to restore habitat for grassland birds, particularly Greater Sage Grouse and Sprague’s Pipit and to provide benefits to other grassland species such as Ferruginous Hawk, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Swift Fox, and Pronghorn. This project will also enable sustainable recreation opportunities.
Partners in Habitat Development Program
The largest and most successful habitat initiative of the Pheasants Forever Calgary chapter was the Partners in Habitat Development program (PHD). Founded in 1998 by Pheasants Forever Calgary and the Eastern Irrigation District (EID) located in Brooks, the program helped to redevelop and enhance wildlife habitat throughout the cultivated regions of southern Alberta, primarily on private land. Six of the largest irrigation districts in southern Alberta participated in the program representing over 1.1 million acres of land. Over 300 landowners (on over 500 different project sites) have invited the PHD program to implement planting, fencing and irrigation canal rehabilitation projects on their land to help increase the quality and quantity of wildlife habitat. Between 1998 and 2009, the PHD program had positively influenced over 35,000 acres of upland wildlife habitat by planting over 735,000 trees and shrubs, seeded 800 acres to permanent grass cover, installed over 147 kilometers of fencing on 140 projects, installed 43 water deliveries to enhance or create 15 wetland basins.