Yarrow Ranch (Photo by Brent Calver)
Along the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta lies a narrow band of key habitat where you can still encounter a wide range of wildlife roaming freely and watch waves of native grass ripple across the prairie.
This area, where Alberta grasslands meet the spine of the Rocky Mountains, represents the remnants of Canada’s northern great plains.
Until the mid-1990s, a thriving ranching economy shielded this landscape from fragmentation and acreage development. Today, the traditional ranching industry is under threat, as economic challenges and pressures for new development continue to grow. But some wild spaces remain.
Nature needs you
The Fischer-Cutherbertson family is looking for a new owner willing to work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to preserve the magnificent Yarrow property, an extraordinary 1,745 hectares (4,312 acres) of magnificent natural beauty and ecological diversity. The ideal buyer will be a visionary for conservation and willing to conserve this extraordinary natural landscape for the long term. This is an urgent and rare opportunity to ensure the Yarrow is not lost forever.
The Yarrow embodies the rich wildness of western Canada and gives hope to its conservation for the next generation. One of the most biologically diverse properties around, this magnificent ranch ranges from sweeping plains into climbing foothills. Hundreds of animals, many of them species at risk, call this property home.
“For our family, we feel we can honour Charlie’s legacy knowing that this beautiful location can continue on with a new owner who shares his love and wish to conserve this spectacular landscape.“
Traversed by Yarrow Creek and dotted with vibrant wetlands, this ranch is a haven for wildlife. An established great blue heron rookery overlooks the winding creek banks, while sharp-tailed grouse dance on the prairie. Larger species, such as grizzly bear, cougar, wolf, moose and elk, all thrive in this incredible place.
The property’s waterways are also a haven to endangered bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Sensitive sharp-tailed grouse breed here in a specialized and place-dependent lek system; and walking through these enchanted spaces you will discover rare plants like blue camas, striped coral-root and mariposa lily.
Trumpeter swan (Photo by NCC)
Grizzly bear (Photo by Jenel Bode)
Western (boreal) toad (Photo by NCC)
What is at risk
All the conserved lands around the Yarrow offer a buffer to the larger national and provincial parks. They provide wildlife with lowland habitat and an opportunity for safe movement across the landscape.
Throughout the last 30 years, NCC, working with landowners and donors on projects like this one, has protected over 46,500 hectares (115,000 acres) of land in the greater Waterton Park Front area — one of the largest private land conservation efforts in Canada.
Your purchase of the Yarrow, with intent to place a conservation easement or donate the land, will directly build on these efforts, adding to the larger community of conservation in this highly threatened area.
A conservation legacy
Yarrow Ranch (Photo by Brent Calver)
NCC is the only national organization dedicated to conserving Canadian biodiversity through the conservation of land. Much of our success can be attributed to the visionary landowners we work with and their knowledge and commitment to the land. An option for landowners is to donate land or a conservation agreement. A conservation agreement is a voluntary, legal agreement that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. This is a good option for landowners who are invested in the long-term conservation of their property and want to retain ownership.
Each conservation agreement is unique and is created to fit the specific property to protect the conservation values and support the wishes of the landowner. Some of the most common agreement restrictions include removing the ability to subdivide, build additional structures, alter water bodies or cultivate native grassland.
The landowner continues to use the property, subject to the restrictions of the conservation agreement. They may elect to sell or donate the land, and future landowners are then subject to the same restrictions, ensuring the conservation values of the property are protected in perpetuity.
If you do not wish to own and manage the ranch yourself, you can still make a lasting contribution to its conservation either by donating the land to NCC after purchase or donating the funds to NCC for purchase. You will receive a tax receipt for the full value of the land, and NCC will ensure a stewardship endowment of $600,000 is in place to secure its long term management and care.
Time is running short, but it is not to late to conserve the Yarrow before it is lost forever. If you would like to learn more about NCC and the options for conserving this exceptional property, please contact us today.
Conservation and Strategic Philanthropy Advisor
Nature Conservancy of Canada Alberta Region