MAKING CONNECTIONS IN THE EAST KANANASKIS GHOSTCategory: 2018, Current, Grant, Land Use, Major Project
The Eastern Slopes of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains are the headwaters for southern Alberta, which supply the vast majority of the water we drink and use for agriculture. Ensuring this thin band of foothills and mountains is managed for ecosystem health is critical to ensuring the long-term ability of these lands to provide clean and abundant water supplies, flood mitigation, critical habitat for wildlife and fish, as well as quality recreation for all Albertans for generations to come. The East-Kananaskis-Ghost area is at the heart of these Eastern Slopes west of Calgary, and consists of a patchwork of land designations with differing management intents. The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is collaborating with community members and stakeholders, to call for better conservation and recreation management of these lands.
Kananaskis Country and the Ghost watershed host critical habitat for wildlife and fish including grizzly bears, bull trout and west-slope cutthroat trout, all three of which are listed as threatened species. These areas are favoured by a diversity of recreational users and much of the land base allows industrial activity such as clearcut logging and oil and gas exploration. The resulting cumulative impacts on these areas can have negative effects on habitat quality and long-term ecosystem health. As a result, improved conservation and recreation management is needed.
Local citizens, recreationists, landowners, business owners, conservation organizations, scientists and many others, all have common concerns over the current and future health of these lands. For this project, Y2Y will be collaborating with this diverse group of people to promote a shared goals for the future management of the region, and will work to engage with other locals as well as the Government of Alberta, to seek conservation and recreation management objectives that ensure long-term ecological health of the East-Kananaskis-Ghost region.
Thumbnail Photo Credit: Adam Linnard
Header Photo Credit: Adam Linnard