A new full-time land conservation officer who will work with Alberta landowners to identify and secure properties of ecological importance along the Rocky Mountains has been funded by a contribution from Shell Canada Ltd.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has hired consulting biologist Rick Rowell for the three-year position, made possible by a $250,000 pledge from Shell.
“Our work in the Rocky Mountain Front is a great example of the way in which NCC does business – working together with individuals, communities, government and corporations to achieve innovative, win-win solutions for the benefit of nature,” said John Lounds, president of the non-profit Nature Conservancy of Canada.
The area along the eastern slopes of the Rockies from Rocky Mountain House south to the U.S. border is rich in wildlife diversity and its watersheds are critical to the water quality throughout much of Alberta.
The NCC estimates that the conservation gains from hiring a full-time representative for the area could be the equivalent of up to $3 million, more than 12 times Shell Canada’s initial investment.
“Conservation is a vital part of our commitment to sustainable development, integrating economic progress with environmental care and social responsibility,” said Ray Woods, resources senior operating officer for Shell Canada Limited, and also a regional board member for NCC.
Shell Canada has donated more than $3 million towards conservation in financial resources, land and mineral rights over the past 20 years.
Since 1962, NCC and its supporters have conserved more than 1.7 million acres across Canada, an area the size of Prince Edward Island.
The organization has raised more than $43 million in the past year to support its work and has secured a total of 100 ecologically sensitive properties.