Wetland at the Parklands Area, SK (Photo by NCC)
The West Parklands Natural Area, located south and west of Prince Albert National Park in west central Saskatchewan, extends along the North Saskatchewan River to the Alberta border and serves to transition from open grasslands and wetlands to the more closed, forested areas of northern Saskatchewan.
Natural habitat in this area is typically diverse, attracting over 30 COSEWIC-listed species, including the endangered whooping crane. The area also supports three Important Bird Areas and the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, making this area a haven for diverse plant and animal species and attracting migratory songbirds and numerous waterfowl as well as diverse plant and animal species. This area also supports one of only two herds of free-roaming plains bison that remain in Saskatchewan.
Almost one-half of the area’s 5.2 million acres (2.1 million hectares) accommodates agricultural production. Almost 2,000 acres (763 hectares) are now conserved by NCC and over 10 percent of the natural area is under some level of conservation protection.
In the West Parklands Natural Area of Saskatchewan, NCC is:
- Conserving patches and corridors that include aspen fescue parkland, aspen mixed forest, wetlands and river as habitat of wildlife, plant, fish and amphibians;
- Protecting native species habitat, including species at risk, through land purchase and ongoing land stewardship;
- Promoting stewardship action by monitoring lands under conservation agreement with landowners and lands owned by or donated to NCC in Saskatchewan; and
- Forging partnerships with conservation agencies and conservation-minded landowners in the area.