Advertisement

Canadian Pacific gives $500K to Alberta wildlife corridor named for late premier Jim Prentice

The Nature Conservancy of Canada's Fleming Ranch property in the Crowsnest Pass on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada's Fleming Ranch property in the Crowsnest Pass on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Courtesy: Brent Calver/Nature Conservancy of Canada

Canadian Pacific has donated $500,000 to the Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor in Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass, officials said Wednesday.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada said it has acquired more than 80 per cent of the required lands within the corridor area between Crowsnest Lake and Coleman.

The corridor will create a protected network of space across Highway 3, in an area that naturally funnels wildlife — including elk, moose, deer, wolves and bears — north and south through the Rockies.

READ MORE: Southwest Alberta wildlife corridor named after former premier Jim Prentice

“This stretch of land is very important because a lot of the larger ungulates and carnivores that exist both north and south of that — north up towards Banff and Jasper, south towards Waterton-Glacier [International Peace Park] and into the U.S. — use this piece of land to connect their populations and keep the genetic diversity so that the animals stay viable,” said Bob Demulder, regional vice-president of the conservancy.
Story continues below advertisement

“They use this piece of property as that connection point.”

Looking south from the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Kerr property in the Crowsnest Pass on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Looking south from the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Kerr property in the Crowsnest Pass on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Courtesy: Brent Calver/Nature Conservancy of Canada

This year, the organization will use cameras to track and research wildlife in the zone, to understand which species are moving through the area.

READ MORE: Former premier Jim Prentice honoured with official portrait at Alberta legislature

“These additional cameras that we plan to set up are helping us refine our knowledge around what species are using the corridor, where they’re using the corridor and when they’re using the corridor,” Demulder said.

“All that information will then become helpful in where we actually ultimately place overpasses and crossings.”

CP is helping fund the research project and future land acquisitions, which will hopefully be completed within the next six to nine months.

Story continues below advertisement

Plans for the corridor were first unveiled in October 2018.

Southwest Alberta wildlife corridor named after former premier Jim Prentice
Southwest Alberta wildlife corridor named after former premier Jim Prentice

It is named after Prentice, who the conservancy said was an “active supporter of conservation” in his public service roles.

“This was something that the former premier would have loved because he was actually instrumental in the past and doing this kind of support work when he was the federal environment minister, as well as he was very supportive of this when he was the premier,” Demulder said.