Press Release Sep 4, 2015

US Groups Applaud Alberta Decision to Protect Crown of the Continent

Conservation groups commend decision by Alberta government to protect Castle Wildland just north of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

Whitefish, MT: Conservation groups working in the internationally celebrated Crown of the Continent Ecosystem are commending a decision by the Alberta government to protect the Castle Wildland just north of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The Province announced today that they will expand the existing Castle Wildland Park and create a new Provincial Park, protecting over 250,000 acres on the Alberta front range.

“Alberta has made a significant contribution to conserving the Crown of the Continent, which will have far-reaching benefits throughout the region, including Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park,” says Michael Jamison, Glacier Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). “The Castle Wildland is a 250,000-acre landscape of rich valleys and stunning mountains that is home to a transboundary population of grizzly bears, wolverines and cutthroat trout that will be better protected, thanks to today’s decision.”

“Coming on the heels of two monumental conservation and recreation designations in Montana, this announcement means Alberta is making a valuable commitment to international conservation,” says Peter Aengst, Northern Rockies Regional Director for The Wilderness Society. “The United States, with vital leadership from the Montana delegation, recognized the importance of the Crown of the Continent region in passing last December the North Fork Watershed Protection Act and the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act. Today, Alberta is joining that effort to protect the land, water and wildlife that constitute the Crown region.”

The Crown of the Continent is a 17 million acre region of northwestern Montana, southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta. The Crown is the source of three of the Continent’s major river systems, home to a wide range of wildlife such as grizzly bears, Canadian lynx and wolverines with Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park at its centre. Conservation groups have been working on protecting the Castle Wildland for decades.

“Alberta is showing real leadership with this decision,” says Michael Jamison. “It’s not unlike the fantastic work done in neighboring British Columbia, where mining and drilling plans were shelved to protect the transboundary Peace Park. But we still have work to be done in the Crown. British Columbia’s leaders must finish the job of protecting the Flathead River, completing Waterton-Glacier’s westward expansion to ensure wildlife are protected and headwaters in the Crown remain intact.”

###

About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.