For Immediate Release
PARKLAND COUNTY AND EDMONTON, AB | September 21, 2018 – The Edmonton and Area Land Trust (EALT) is proud to announce it has secured 100 acres of old growth forest just west of Edmonton, in Parkland County.
This is the 11th conservation area secured by EALT in this, their 10th Anniversary Year.
This natural area is located a few kilometres west of Edmonton and a short distance from the North Saskatchewan River, and is adjacent to many other conserved natural areas. It is almost entirely undisturbed old growth forest and native understory shrubs, with patches of conifers nestled inside the mixed woods, and some of the spruce trees are around 100 years old, according to the Northern Forestry Centre of Resources Canada.
The land is within one of Parkland County’s Ecologically Significant Areas, and is adjacent to other protected areas with contiguous habitat, so it forms part of an important conservation corridor. There are several dugouts on the property, which have enriched the habitat even further. It provides excellent habitat for wetland and upland birds, mammals and other wildlife. Such wildlife include: moose, deer, great blue heron, great horned owl, Cooper’s hawks, ruffed grouse, yellow bellied sapsucker, muskrat, and several songbirds including red-eyed vireos, purple martins and black-capped chickadees.
The land is part of a geologically significant post-glacial dune field, and has permeable sandy surface soils, so is part of a sensitive groundwater recharge area, which is important to Parkland County.
The landowner wanted to preserve the land’s conservation values. So they did this by working with EALT to place a protective notation (a Conservation Easement) on Provincial Title. This restricts future activities which they knew would damage the native habitat, such as subdivision, development, logging, or drainage.
The EALT will now be monitoring the land in perpetuity, to uphold the conservation values, and to ensure that future owners don’t engage in prohibited activities. Thus the Conservation Easement helps conserve and sustain Alberta’s important biodiversity.
“Conserving this land is important, as Edmonton’s region is one of the fastest-growing areas in Canada, and our natural areas are disappearing far faster than we can conserve them. EALT is proud to contribute to the conservation of some of the last unspoiled forest in the Edmonton Region. This special landscape is part of the half percent of Alberta left in native aspen parkland. And besides being important in its own right, with trees over 100 years old and habitat for a large variety of wildlife, it’s also part of a series of protected areas which form an important conservation corridor”.
- Pam Wight, Executive Director, Edmonton and Area Land Trust
The Edmonton and Area Land Trust is the only non-profit conservancy to focus entirely on conserving natural areas in and around the City of Edmonton. EALT has conserved 2,170 acres in 11 conservation lands over the last decade, and is working to secure more.
The Government of Alberta created the Alberta Land Trust Grant program which assisted with this securement.
Conservation Easement photos available upon request.
Social media: @EdAreaLandTrust
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Conservation Outreach Coordinator
Edmonton and Area Land Trust