The following habitat projects have received funding from Pheasants Forever Calgary:

What is a Conservation Site? Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) Conservation Sites are a result of many individuals, hunters and anglers, organizations, and corporate partners who believe in the value of habitat conservation and the benefits of securing that habitat for wildlife. Each purchase, partnership or donation of property establishes a network of habitat for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts. PF Calgary collaborates with ACA on conservation sites beneficial to upland game birds. To see a full listing of conservation sites in Alberta visit the Alberta Discover Guide

Bull Trail Conservation Site

The Bull Trail Conservation Site is a 529-acre site that was purchased in 2013. 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 Conservation Site

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. Conservation Site link.

Circle E Project

Circle E is located approximately 35 km southwest of Brooks. It consists of over 30,000 acres of native public grassland. It is an island of grass surrounded by a sea of cultivated land, most of which is in irrigation. The complex was originally developed in 1941 and has since expanded to 49 wetlands, totaling 2,092 acres. Of these wetlands, 33 are gravity fed through various Bow River Irrigation District spillways, while the remaining basins are fed through a pump located on Lonesome Lake. Most of the water controls in the complex are outlet structures located on the various wetlands. Although a $2 million upgrade was performed by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) in the late 90s, not all water control structures were replaced. Pheasants Forever Calgary stepped up in 2014 to help replace some of the remaining old structures and to repair some of the dams.  

Connectivity Project

The Connectivity Project will address habitat fragmentation, improve water quality and re-establish and enhance wildlife habitat around irrigation features in southern Alberta between Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. This work will benefit agriculture, hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Pheasants Forever Calgary is a partner in this initiative.

Delacour Lease

Another project under the Partners in Habitat Development (PHD) was the Delacour Lease, a 320-acre parcel with abundant cattails just north and east of Chestermere. PF Calgary had a long-term lease there with the Western Irrigation District that is currently being renegotiated. This project was a 15-year lease and largely made up of pasture with a complex of irrigation fed wetlands and canals.

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.

Hopewell Project

The Hopewell Project  is a 640-acre site 3 kilometres south of Langdon, Alberta and consists of wetland and upland habitat. Wildlife in the area includes grouse, grey partridge and waterfowl. PF Calgary supported DUC on the construction of a winter watering facility at the site which is the busiest pheasant release site in Alberta. This project facilitates winter grazing for cattle, allowing the vegetation to grow throughout spring and summer. Due to the close distance to Calgary, the Hopewell site is popular with hunters and receives heavy use throughout the fall. With winter grazing, DUC can maintain a healthy grass stand, ideal for waterfowl and upland birds, while keeping livestock off the site during hunting season.

Langdon Habitat Demonstration Site

This project was one of PF Calgary’s first projects under the Partners in Habitat Development (PHD) banner. The  demonstration property on Glenmore Trail is located between Calgary and Langdon. Although hunting is not allowed on the parcel, it serves to this day as an outreach platform that demonstrates what good habitat can look like and, of course, it provides habitat for upland birds and other wildlife.

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 Creek Conservation Site

Manyberries Creek Conservation Site is located approximately 70 kilometres south of Medicine Hat in the County of Forty Mile. The property is 28 kilometres 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. Conservation Site link.

Milk River Ridge Reservoir Water Stewardship Initiative

MRRRWSI is part of the Habitat Legacy Program and is a multi-year collaborative initiative with a current focus in the County of Warner. The MRRRWQSI is overseen and managed by a working group consisting of Alberta Conservation Association (ACA), Alberta Environment and Protected Areas (EPA), and the County of Warner. The initiative consists of nine segments around the Waterton–St. Mary headworks inlet canal and along the shorelands of the Milk River Ridge Reservoir. These segments are predominantly focused on provincial Crown land—known as the “provincial land corridor”— surrounding the reservoir.

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.

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.

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 is located in the heart of the 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.