Conserving the Waldron
Those who have driven along the Cowboy Trail know this landscape well, with its spectacular scenery and incredible diversity.
Established in 1883 by Duncan McNab McEachran of Montreal with financial backing predominantly from Sir John Walrond-Walrond, the Waldron Conservation Project (Waldron) is a ranch in Alberta’s southern foothills.
In April 2013, 72 ranchers of the Waldron Grazing Co-operative Ltd. voted in favour of an option for NCC to acquire a conservation agreement on the 30,535-acre (12,357-hectare) Waldron lands. This was the first opportunity since the late 1800s to conserve this landscape for all time. It was also a first for NCC in successfully negotiating a conservation agreement with a rancher-owned cooperative.
The conservation agreement means the ranchers will continue to graze and manage the lands as they have for more than 130 years, while the natural values of the landscape will be protected for all time.
It also protects the headwaters of critical streams and rivers for the entire Canadian Prairies, which provide water for millions of Canadians and countless wildlife species.
In September 2013, NCC’s Alberta Region made national headlines when we publicly announced the historic agreement and the urgency to raise the remaining $3 million to meet our fundraising goals.
A number of major donors helped make this project a reality, including:
- The Government of Alberta, which contributed $12.2 million through the Alberta Land Stewardship Grant Program;
- The Government of Canada, which contributed $4 million through the Natural Areas Conservation Program; and
- The Calgary Foundation, which provided the remaining $1 million to bring this project across the finish line.
- The Waldron Grazing Co-operative Ltd.