Government of Canada Takes Action to Protect Important Land in Southern Alberta
LETHBRIDGE, AB -- June 18, 2008 -- Rick Casson, Member of Parliament for Lethbridge today joined representatives from the Nature Conservancy of Canada and local ranchers of the Milk River Ridge in announcing the conservation of globally significant habitat in the foothills fescue grasslands of Alberta.
“Our Government is taking real action to conserve Canada ’s natural treasures,” said Minister Baird. “The Sandstone Ranch project is an excellent example of federal funds creating a strong stewardship partnership that will not only conserve species at risk and their habitats but will also complement and support existing ranching operations.”
The land, totaling1,700 hectares (4,200 acres), is home to a number of Canada’s species at risk, including the Sprague’s Pipit songbird, Western Silvery Minnows and the Western Blue Flag iris. In addition, nearby Ross and Reed Lakes and their associated uplands, including Sandstone Ranch, provide critical nesting habitat for waterfowl, especially Northern Pintail ducks. The preservation of this land takes Canada one step closer to delivering on the trilateral North American Waterfowl Management Plan.”
“This is the kind of natural legacy that makes Canada so unique and I’m proud to be part of a government making it happen,” said Mr. Casson. ”It is important that we preserve unique places such as the Sandstone Ranch for future generations so that they too can understand and appreciate our natural environment.”
The Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada’s environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. Already, 70 properties totaling more than 9,000 hectares have been acquired coast to coast, resulting in the protection of over 50 species at risk, such as rare turtles, the Ram’s Head Lady-Slipper (a globally threatened orchid), the Monarch Butterfly, and the Blue Racer Snake. The program is expected to result in the long-term protection of up to half a million acres of ecologically sensitive land across southern Canada.
For more information see Backgrounder.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Minister of the Environment
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