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Bighorn Backcountry of Alberta: protecting Vulnerable Wildlife and Precious Waters

A new scientific analysis by Wildlife Conservation Society Canada has identified a conservation gem nestled beside the two crown jewels of the Rocky Mountain national park system. The area, known as the Bighorn Backcountry, lies just east of Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta and represents one of the most ecologically important areas in the province’s Eastern Slopes region. 

Based on findings about the importance of this region to wildlife, clean water and recreation, WCS Canada is calling on the Alberta Government to designate the area as a Provincial Wildland Park in keeping with its recent commitment to conserve at least 17 percent of the province’s land base.

A Wildland Park in the Bighorn Backcountry would protect spawning habitat critical to bull trout (Alberta’s provincial fish); cliffs and slopes used by bighorn sheep, especially during the tough winter period; secluded areas for grizzly bear females that can be killed or displaced from prime feeding sites near secondary roads; and denning habitat for wolverines, which may increasingly need to move to higher altitudes to find deep snow.  It would also protect the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River, a critical water source for much of Central Alberta. Read the full report and the news release

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