Beaver Hills conservation campaign
Brown property (Photo by Brent Calver)
A natural world worth protecting
Just east of Edmonton, near Elk Island National Park, natural forces converged over thousands of years to create an area covered with forests, lakes and wetlands. This area is now home to an incredible diversity of life. It is known as an important place for Indigenous peoples, who gave it its name Amiskwaciy — Beaver Hills, in Cree. Early fur traders also travelled through the area.
The Beaver Hills has a rich conservation history and features some of the oldest protected areas in Canada. In 1982, the forest reserve was established. The area gained its official designation as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2016.
The local community has played a large role in the area’s conservation. Historically, agricultural economics kept this rich mosaic of magnificent forests, lakes, wetlands and grasslands intact. Today, the Beaver Hills are being rapidly converted and modified for acreage development.
The Beaver Hills is really an incredible island of nature in a sea of modified land. The area is globally significant to migratory waterfowl and shorebirds that require safe flyways. It is also home to large mammals, such as moose and deer, which need to travel large distances to find forage, especially in the winter.
(story continues below)
A vision of conservation
The citizens of the Capital Region have the opportunity to create a conservation legacy that will be a place of pride for our great province and Canada, if we act now. We believe that by working together to raise awareness and support for conserving the Beaver Hills, we can protect this inspiring place for people to use and enjoy for the long term.
Gambling Lake property (Photo by Brent Calver)
With the support of the Beaver Hills Initiative, partner organizations and the local community, the focus of this effort will be to strengthen the conservation of lands surrounding federally, provincially and privately protected areas within the Beaver Hills. Together, we will work to improve the connections between the existing networks of conserved lands.
Similar to previous areas of focus by NCC, the Beaver Hills contains publicly protected lands, including Elk Island National Park, Cooking Lake - Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area, Ministik Lake Game Bird Sanctuary, Ministik Lake Game Bird Sanctuary, and Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. The biosphere is next to Beaverhill Lake, an internationally important area for resident and migratory waterfowl, and a centrepiece to national conservation. NCC, along with your support, will work with landowners and the local community to conserve a natural corridor between the lakes in the south and the parks in the north.
The conservation of additional lands is vital to ensuring that important linkages between protected areas and conserved private land remain intact and continue to improve landscape connectivity. Future conservation is important, not only for the species that share this habitat, but also for people to see and enjoy a healthy natural area located just a short distance from Edmonton.
(story continues below)
Local conservation, international impact
You have an opportunity to help the community protect the magnificent Beaver Hills area. It is our goal to raise $20 million, with your support, over the next five years (2017-2022). These funds will support efforts and investments needed to conserve and steward the Beaver Hills landscape, and to educate and engage those interested in protecting their own backyard.
Funds raised over the course of this campaign will go towards securement, stewardship, science and research and community engagement and support; reaching our goals of improved landscape connectivity and permeability for the area.
When UNESCO designated the Beaver Hills as a Biosphere Reserve, the world recognized this as a special place; a place where social and ecological systems work together. NCC wants to continue the traditions of the past and support the vision of the future to continue to protect this important part of Alberta’s landscape.
By making a donation, you will become a member of the Beaver Hills Conservation Campaign supporters. You will be recognized for your level of commitment to the campaign. You may also be eligible to receive considerable tax savings.
We invite all who have an interest in conserving this special landscape to support the campaign. Gifts can be made at any level and a charitable tax receipt will be provided.
To learn more about how you can become involved, contact Andi Romito at firstname.lastname@example.org.