Southern Alberta Conservationist Highlights the Importance of Protecting Private Lands

The Executive Director of the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society says there needs to be more awareness about just how important it is to protect private land from future development.

A southern Alberta conservationist is highlighting the important role private landowners play in protecting wildlife and watersheds. Justin Thompson is the Executive Director of the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society. He says people often talk about the importance of protecting Alberta's parks and public lands but adds there are key pieces of private land that must be protected as well. He told a Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs audience last week that an enormous amount of key wildlife habitat and watersheds are on private land. With a continuing trend of subdivision, road and residential development and industrial activity, Thompson says it's important to reach out to owners who want the land preserved. He says the most common tool his organization uses is a conservation easement which is an agreement that limits future development on the property, even if it ends up being sold. Thompson says protecting private lands in the Oldman River Watershed is crucial to the health and economic well-being of everyone downstream, including Lethbridge. -Tina Giesbrecht

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