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Organizations are working to conserve this southern Alberta grassland area

Bob Creek Ranch. (Sean Feagan/Nature Conservancy of Canada) Bob Creek Ranch. (Sean Feagan/Nature Conservancy of Canada)
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A new partnership is aiming to conserve a stunning swath of grasslands in southern Alberta.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is asking for help conserving the Bob Creek Ranch, which spans over 1,000 hectares.

Bob Creek Ranch is located south of the Bob Creek Wildland Provincial Park, which is approximately 50 kilometres west of Claresholm, Alta. It borders the Oldman River and includes two creeks: Bob Creek and Coyote Creek.

The property was recently purchased by the Waldron Grazing Co-operative, which previously successfully launched projects to conserve the nearby Waldron Ranch in 2013 and King Ranch in 2015.

Bob Creek Ranch. (Sean Feagan/Nature Conservancy of Canada)

The NCC said Bob Creek Ranch is the final “critical area” in the network of publicly protected and privately conserved lands in the region and would bridge the gap between Bob Creek Wildland Park, the Black Creek Heritage Rangeland and The Waldron Ranch.

Bob Creek Ranch. (Sean Feagan/Nature Conservancy of Canada)

Those three conserved areas would form a contiguous block of more than 43,000 hectares.

The project would help maintain wildlife corridors for species such as grizzly bears and elk.

The area is dominated by rough fescue – Alberta’s provincial grass – which provides year-round forage for wildlife and livestock.

Bob Creek Ranch. (Sean Feagan/Nature Conservancy of Canada)

The NCC said the lands will continue to be sustainably grazed by cattle under the management of the co-operative.

“Cattle, other livestock and grazing wildlife are important for grassland health,” NCC said in a news release.

“When properly managed, cattle grazing behaviour can approximate the historic actions of bison, which were a significant factor in the evolution of a healthy Prairie grassland ecosystem.”

The NCC is aiming to raise $10 million for Bob Creek Ranch and other grassland conservation projects in Alberta this year.

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