North of Montana, along the spectacular upper boundaries of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, is a very special place called the Castle Special Place. This wild alpine corner of Alberta, Canada, once was part of Waterton Lakes National Park, but was carved out to make way for industry. Most recently, timber interests have been active in the Castle, with multi-year plans to log Alberta’s stunning Front Range.
NPCA joined many partners – both in the U.S. and Canada – to protect this northernmost reach of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem, where Glacier National Park’s grizzly bears roam onto Alberta’s lush prairie. In particular, we worked closely with the transboundary Crown of the Continent Conservation Initiative to deliver some 70,000 protest comments to the desks of Alberta’s top officials, asking that the logging be halted.
And in October 2012 – after 40 years of discord – those officials finally listened. They agreed to put a hold on future logging, pending completion of a regionwide land-use plan. This represents a watershed victory for transboundary conservation, within a major wildlife corridor linking Glacier with the Canadian Rockies, and provides proof of the power of working together across borders.
NPCA and our partners continue to advocate for creation of a wildland provincial park in the Castle, which will provide long-term protection for many mountain species struggling to adapt to a changing climate. Meanwhile, we have joined our Canadian neighbors to ensure that the land-use plan currently underway includes new protections for the Castle. The CCCI has retained a local contractor to help spearhead these efforts, and is partnering with the region’s business leaders and ranchers to envision a wild future for this very special Special Place.
- Learn more about NPCA's Northern Rockies Regional Office
- Learn more about NPCA's work to protect national park landscapes