Prairie Grasslands Conservation Region
Foothills fescue grasslands, AB (Photo by Leta Pezderic)
Grasslands are fragile but ecologically important. Birds such as burrowing owl, ferruginous hawk and peregrine falcon are iconic grasslands creatures that are under increasing threat from habitat loss.
More than 75 per cent of Alberta's original mixed grassland has been converted to tame forage and annual cropping. Only 17 per cent of the original fescue grassland remains.
From Pakowki Lake and the Milk River Basin to the Cypress Uplands and Forty Mile Natural Areas, southeastern Alberta is a grassland landscape. Here you can find a mix of species found nowhere else in the province.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has identified strategic areas for conservation that have the best potential to support these natural features into the future, including some of the largest intact tracts of native grass in the province. The Pakowki Lake region supports bird migration in the land surrounding the Pakowki Lake Important Bird Area.
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In addition to being one of the most diverse ecosystems in Alberta, grasslands are also the most delicate. Human development has created a variety of challenges for resident animals, and historical agricultural practices have decimated much of the area's essential native grasses while allowing for the spread of invasive alien plants.
Our conservation efforts are aided by partnerships with landowners and organizations that have helped maintain the ecological integrity of the prairie grasslands and other areas through responsible land management practices.
Come visit us
Many of the properties protected by NCC welcome visitors. These areas provide excellent hiking, birdwatching, nature photography and other compatible recreation opportunities.
Sandstone Ranch, AB (Photo by NCC)
Allowable activities on NCC properties and access
Allowable activities on NCC properties are defined by each property's management plan. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to what kinds of recreation activities visitors can engage in on our conservation lands. Some properties remain completely closed to the public to protect the sensitive ecology that made the land so important to conserve. Other conservation areas can withstand a wide range of recreational pursuits without any harm to the natural habitat.
If you have any questions about what activities are permissible on any of our properties, please contact us.
For information on accessing properties owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Alberta, please send us an email.
Find an NCC representative in this area:
South-central Alberta: Leta Pezderic
Southeast Alberta: Megan Jensen