Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor

Protecting an internationally significant wildlife corridor

 Jim Prentice donate button

You have an opportunity to contribute to a project of international significance. Located in the Crowsnest Pass, the Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor is a legacy project that honours Alberta’s late Premier, Jim Prentice, and his commitment to conservation. The corridor is roughly five kilometres wide, from east to west, and will connect Crown forest reserve lands in the north to the Castle Parks network, as well as to Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park to the south.

The pass naturally funnels wildlife, like grizzly bear, cougar and elk, north and south through the Rocky Mountains and across Highway 3. Conserving a wildlife corridor through the Crowsnest Pass will benefit wildlife that travel through the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the United States. This natural link between protected spaces has been a priority of environmental organizations for decades.

We now have the opportunity to complete the corridor. With your help, we will raise an additional $5 million to secure and conserve the remaining private lands in the corridor. Please donate now.  

Honouring the late Jim Prentice

 
Jim Prentice (Photo courtesy of the Prentice family)

Jim Prentice (Photo courtesy of the Prentice family)

 

We, the Prentice family, are pleased that the Nature Conservancy of Canada is honouring Jim in this special way. It is a fitting tribute to his connection to the Crowsnest Pass and passion for nature. The creation of the corridor in Jim’s name will be a meaningful legacy for Canada that I hope his friends and colleagues will help support this project.

-Karen Prentice, wife of the late Jim Prentice

In recognition of Jim Prentice's public service and to create a legacy that honours his personal and professional passion toward conservation across Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is proposing to complete the Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor Legacy Project in the Crowsnest Pass region of southwestern Alberta.

Jim was an active supporter of conservation during his time as Premier of Alberta and Minister of the Environment with the Government of Canada.

The Crowsnest Pass was a special place for Jim and his family. It was one of the places he felt a close connection to and where he developed a deep appreciation for nature. This corridor will be fitting tribute to his legacy.

With the support of the Prentice Family, NCC will conserve the lands located within the corridor. Eventually, we hope to reduce collisions between animals and vehicles by having a wildlife crossing structure installed on the corridor lands, making this corridor a safer place for people and animals. NCC will continue to work with the Government of Alberta and partner organizations to make this vision a reality.

To be able to name it after Jim Prentice is a fitting tribute for a great man; we believe that he would have been proud to have this wildlife corridor named after him.

A vision of conservation and connectivity

Today, NCC has the opportunity to secure several key properties that would form the Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor. With the corridor completed, NCC will enter into discussions with the Government of Alberta to consider the construction of a wildlife crossing structure across Highway 3 and the railway line — similar to those completed within Banff National Park.

The Crowsnest Pass is considered by scientific experts to be the most important wildlife corridor that requires protection in North America. It naturally funnels wildlife movement across Highway 3 from the broader landscape, where years of effort and hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in private and Crown land protection both in Canada and the United States.

Leading conservation experts agree that this corridor site is the most viable option for creating this critical north-to-south crossing point, which will connect millions of acres of protected areas in Canada and the United States. NCC is best positioned to secure these sites by building on the existing footprint that NCC has created in the corridor over the last four decades.

During NCC’s long history in the Canadian Rockies, we have conserved over 700,000 acres (280,000 hectares) of priority conservation lands, making NCC the leading land trust organization working to protect this globally significant landscape. From the East Slopes in Alberta to the South Selkirks in BC, we work toward creative conservation solutions that ensure Canadians can continue to enjoy the incredible richness of this area now and forever. Our results are significant: from protecting the Flathead Valley along the Montana border, or the 136,000-acre (55,000-hectare) Darkwoods Property in BC, to the 35,000-acre (14,000-hectare) Waldron Ranch easement.

NCC’s approach to the Canadian Rockies focuses on connectivity between protected areas and collaboration with partner organizations and communities as we engage a network of supporters behind a shared vision for conservation.

 Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor map

(Click to expand map)

The total cost to conserve the Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor is $15.2 million. NCC has already raised and secured $10.2 million worth of charitable donations and land value in the corridor over the past decade. With the investment of $5 million, NCC can secure the remaining private and Crown lands required to maintain the internationally significant wildlife corridor in honour of the late Premier. With the financial support of his friends, colleagues and former business associates, this important and fitting conservation project will be completed in a place Jim was deeply connected to.

NCC believes that it can acquire all of the remaining lands in the corridor over the next two to three years, and prepare the site for future consideration of an overpass structure. Thanks to a lead $1-million donation, the Oelke property (highlighted yellow) was secured in October 2018. With your support today, NCC will secure the remaining properties and complete the corridor.

A significant portion of the corridor is the seven quarter-sections of Crown land that run down the centre of the corridor. NCC is currently in discussions with the Government of Alberta to request special designation of these sites to ensure their conservation values are protected and remain a core portion of the corridor in the future.

The south side of the corridor contains a former industrial site that is being evaluated for reclamation efforts to form the cross-highway wildlife movement corridor. NCC has also advanced conversations with all other landowners in the corridor to assess the timing of their securement. Over the next six to eight months, NCC will work to put in place first rights of refusal on the sale of each property, with the intention of securing them by 2021.

 Moose (Photo from Pixabay)  Grizzly bear (Photo from Pixabay)  Wolverine (Photo from Pixabay)

Animals like these will benefit from a protected wildlife corridor in the Crowsnest Pass (Photos from Pixabay)

A landmark conservation opportunity

Join other Albertans in creating a conservation legacy, ensuring this special place is conserved and Jim Prentice's legacy is memorialized by supporting this worthy campaign.

By making a donation you will become a member of the Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor supporters and will be recognized for your level of commitment to the project. You will also receive considerable tax savings by supporting the legacy project.

We invite all who have an interest in recognizing Jim’s commitment to conservation in Alberta and his passion for the Crowsnest Pass to support the legacy project. Gifts can be made at any level, and a charitable tax receipt will be provided.

Join the campaign to conserve the Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor today. The NCC Alberta team is prepared to work with you to advise how your charitable donation can have a lasting conservation impact and help to create a fitting legacy for Jim Prentice.

For more information, please contact:

Steven Ross
steven.ross@natureconservancy.ca
403-444-2850