For decades, NCC has worked with private landowners to protect more than 100 square kilometres surrounding Waterton National Park, creating a natural buffer for the species that live in this area, which include grizzly and black bears, cougars, wolves, moose, elks, white-tailed and mule deer. Fortunately for these species, the ranchers who for generations have cared for the area surrounding the park, are careful stewards of their land. Their sustainable use of the ranchlands has meant that many species continue to thrive here. The area came to the attention of the NCC in 1997, when a crucial half section of land on the boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park came up for sale. The property, containing a lake that was home to trumpeter swans, was just what developers were looking for. NCC recognized this as an urgent and critical priority for conservation.
With the support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, NCC has continued to work with landowners to negotiate deals that will help them to protect their land for the long term, either through direct purchase or by placing conservation agreements on their properties.