Much of our remaining intact privately owned ranchland in Alberta’s foothills will become developed over the next 50 years.
Based on historic rates, “business as usual” will see much of the private land in our foothills developed over the next 50 years. This is occurring through a continual process of subdivision, road and residential development, and conversion to non-grazing land uses.
It will result in a further loss of iconic vistas, fresh water, wildlife, and the many working ranches that make up our foothills communities. This ever expanding human footprint in rural areas will have measurable impacts on resources that we rely on in neighbouring towns and cities, such as clean water.Conservation easements make sense because the ownership and management stays with the landowner but the land is protected into the future.
A conservation easement is a voluntary tool for landowners who want their land to stay undeveloped even after it is transferred or sold. It is often used by landowners who want to see the agricultural, watershed, and/or wildlife values preserved regardless of the land’s development potential.
A conservation easement agreement is negotiated between a landowner and a land trust like SALTS. It includes restrictions around future development on the land. In return for the landowner giving up some of their development rights, SALTS can provide them with financial incentives.You can share our story and support us financially, so that SALTS can primary focus on working to place conservation easements on Alberta’s most ecologically valuable private lands. At of the end of 2017 SALTS has 42 conservation easements protecting over 21,000 acres in areas located from west of Sundre to the border of Waterton Lakes National Park. This number continues to grow each year.
SALTS also works to facilitate stewardship projects with our landowners to improve riparian and range health. In addition, we do outreach and education work to help Albertan’s understand the broad benefits that come from healthy landscapes.
Although most of our easements so far are in Alberta’s foothills, SALTS is committed to the conservation of native grasslands and riparian areas anywhere south of the Red Deer River and we are open to projects in south central and southeastern Alberta.