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Nature Conservancy of Canada acquires land for conservation near Waterton Lakes National Park

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The Nature Conservancy of Canada has purchased two parcels of land equalling 2.5 square kilometres near Waterton Lakes National Park.

The site sits between the national park and the hamlet of Twin Butte.

The newly acquired land will act as a wildlife corridor, allowing wildlife such as elk, bears and deer to move more safely around the region.

“It's a corridor so far as wildlife moving north and south as well as out from the Rockies during times of difficult periods of the year during harsh weather, when they need lower elevation, better shelter and habitat to be able to survive,” said Larry Simpson, senior advisor for NCC Alberta region.

The parcels of land will become part of the 130-square-kilometre private conservation lands outside of the national park, called the Waterton Park Front.

Parks Canada is pleased to see more of the land around Waterton National Park being conserved.

“Landscape-scale conservation is a priority for Waterton Lakes National Park, as protecting the land around the park itself plays a vital role in helping to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and contributes to the recovery of species at risk,” Parks Canada said in a statement.

The acquisition took months to complete and was purchased from a private land owner.

The biodiversity of the area has Simpson particularly excited.

“When I talk to biologists about the area, they continue to tell me it's one of the richest places for biodiversity and diversity of plant life in the province,” said Simpson.

The purchase took support from multiple groups including the federal government, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Cenovus Energy.

“One term that's thrown around is the whole of society approach. So that means governments, corporations, individuals, private foundations all working together to try to get a good result for nature,” said Sean Feagan, NCC Alberta region media and communications co-ordinator.

The NCC says it hopes to purchase more parcels of land in the area to conserve over the coming years. 

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