Where We Work
EALT operates in a diverse part of Canada, in the centre of Alberta. Our mandate area centres around the City of Edmonton and includes the surrounding region. This is a special part of Canada, being a transition zone between the boreal forest and prairie grasslands. The natural features of the area include aspen-dominated tree stands, wetlands and grasslands, and as a transition zone, it is home to high diversity of both boreal and prairie species. Some of the special wildlife includes mammals (e.g., deer, coyotes, porcupines) and hundreds of bird species (e.g., owls, pilated woodpeckers, trumpeter swans).
The North Saskatchewan River drains from the Rocky Mountains across Alberta and eastward. The river valley represents the Region’s major biodiversity core area and wildlife corridor, and also represents a regional biological corridor across the province. Other important locations for regional biodiversity include many of the lakes in the region. In addition, the area around Elk Island National Park and the nearby Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Wildlife and Recreation Area form a biodiversity core area.
As a transition zone, the region has a high diversity of species, making its conservation critical to adjacent ecoregions. However, some of these ecosystems and species are at risk or endangered.
The Edmonton Region is growing and developing at an extremely rapid pace. The fertile soils of the region have made it highly productive for cattle grazing and harvesting grain; there has been historical development of the underlying petroleum and coal deposits; and industrial and residential development places ever-increasing pressure on our disappearing habitats. In addition, regional residents have increasing demands for recreational lands, and every year we also host many visitors. As an example of the enormous pressures in the region, in the decade between 1995 and 2005, Edmonton lost 16% of its natural areas, its population has increased 16% (>100,000 people) over the last decade, and the rate of development is increasing!
Albertans are more willing than those in other provinces to pay more in taxes to support natural park spaces in their communities – 60% are very willing, and 24% more are somewhat willing (Environics International)