Environment

The beauty and ecological diversity, importance, and sensitivity of southwest Alberta has inspired a strong stewardship ethic in many residents and visitors to the area.  Many environmental groups undertake research, deliver education and outreach programs, and carry out conservation and restoration projects.  These include the Crowsnest Forest Stewardship Society, the Castle Crown Wilderness Coalition, the Oldman Watershed Council, the Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association, the Pincher Creek Watershed Group, the Bert Riggall Environmental Foundation, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (Southern Alberta Chapter), among others.  

There are also multi-stakeholder initiatives, involving industry, government, academia, landowners, and other interested stakeholders, addressing key environmental issues.  The Southwest Alberta Montane Research Program is aimed at sustaining viable elk herds in the region by maintaining elk habitat and reducing disturbance during critical seasons of their life cycle.  The Foothills Restoration Forum aims to accomplish the restoration of the native grassland ecosystems of southwestern Alberta.  SASCI is involved with both of these initiatives.

Key environmental issues in southwest Alberta include wildlife habitat fragmentation and degradation, grasslands restoration, soil conservation and post-disturbance reclamation, water quality, air quality, and cumulative environmental effects.