Wildsight applauds Alberta plan for conservation

Castle wilderness is in the south-west corner of the province and borders the Flathead Valley in B.C.

  • Sep. 9, 2015 7:00 p.m.
A local conservation group is applauding a decision by the Alberta government to protect the Castle wilderness area by creating two new provincial parks.

A local conservation group is applauding a decision by the Alberta government to protect the Castle wilderness area by creating two new provincial parks.

Arne Petryshen

A local conservation group is applauding a decision by the Alberta government to protect the Castle wilderness area by creating two new provincial parks. The area is in the south-west corner of the province and borders the Flathead Valley in B.C.

Conservation group Wildsight celebrated the announcement.

“We applaud the Alberta government for giving the Castle the protection it deserves,” said John Bergenske, conservation director for Wildsight. “We’d like to see the BC government follow their lead by stepping up their commitment to the environment and creating a national park in the southeast one third of the Flathead River Valley and a Wildlife Management Area in the adjoining habitat.”

The area is just north of Waterton National Park,and will conserve over 1,000 square kilometres in one of the most biologically rich and diverse landscapes in the country. Along with providing critical habitat for grizzly bears, wolverine and west-slope cutthroat trout, the area also acts as a water tower for southern Alberta.

In a release, Wildsight noted the Flathead River Valley has been called the “missing piece” of Waterton-Glacier International Park, and said it is unmatched in North America for its variety and density of carnivore species, including grizzly bears.

A number of conservation groups including Wildsight, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Sierra Club BC and CPAWS BC are working to protect the Flathead permanently with a National Park in the southeastern one-third and a Wildlife Management Area in the rest of the valley and adjoining habitat.