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Protected Areas Information


     Overview
    
We need your help!
Ecological Reserves
Heritage Rangelands
Wilderness Areas
Natural Areas


A Quick Overview

This page focuses on Protected Areas under the  Areas under Alberta's Wilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act. The numbers and total area of Protected Areas of these types is summarized in the following table.

Type

Status # of Sites Total Ha. # of Sites With Stewards 2010 Ha. With Stewards # of Sites Without Stewards 2010 Ha. Without Stewards

Ecological Reserve

OC 15 26,843 6 9,845 9 16,998

Heritage Rangeland

OC 2 12,010 0 0 2 12,010

Natural Area

OC 143 130,877 91 39,739 52 91,138

Natural Area

CNT 5 2,310 1 65 4 2,245

Natural Area

PNT 104 51,476 35 21,186 69 30,290

Wilderness Area

OC 3 100,989 0 0 3 100,989

TOTAL


272 324,505 133 70,835 139 253,670


Protected Areas Map
Click here to download a 2011 map that shows the location of these sites, and of Alberta's Provincial Parks, National Parks, Provincial Recreation Areas, Wilderness Parks, Wildland Parks.

Zoom in to your area to see if there are any protected areas in your neigbourhood. You may be surprised by what you discover. Many Albertan's are unfamiliar with some of the wonderful protected areas right in their own back yard.

SAPAA is in the process of gathering information about some of our less well-known Protected Areas - the areas originally designated under the
Wilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act.  The inventory process has just begun, and the entry of information may take some time, so bear with us.

We need your help!

If you have information to share about any of these sites, we want to hear from you.  If you see errors or omissions, please let us know. Send information in MS Word  or Excel files to webmaster@SAPPAStewards.com.  A photo or two would also be very welcome. Please send images as jpeg files of about 150 Kb.


Perhaps you'd like to share a list of species that have been observed at your site. Download our Alberta Species Lists (modified from the ANHIC/ACIMS list, March 2010) mark and 'x' in the site column beside each species from your Protected Area, then save the file using the site name (e.g. HastingsLkNA SppList).  Once you've marked your Xs, you can highlight all rows, sort by the first column and bring all of your species together at the first of the list.  Please note that this file contains 9 sheets of species lists. Their tabs should appear at the bottom of the window. The first list is Mammals, then Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, Invertebrates, Vascular Plants, Bryophytes and Lichens.  Most of the lists are sorted alphabetically by common name, but in groups with few common names (Invertebrates, Bryophytes, Lichens) species are organized by scientific name. Of course, once you have your own copy, you can rearrange them as you like.

**Please note that this section is under construction. We will add basic information, as shown for the sample sites, over the next few months, and hope to have this first step completed by spring. After that, we are hoping to include more detailed information from stewards or other people who are familiar with individual sites (e.g. you?).

Ecological Reserves

Ecological Reserves have been established to protect and preserve representative, rare and/or fragile landscapes, plants, animals and geological features in an undisturbed state.  These ecosystems, habitats and features can then serve as outdoor laboratories and classrooms for research and education.  Public access to ecological reserves is generally restricted to foot traffic only; roads and other facilities will not be developed.  Most ecological reserves are open to the public for low-impact activities such as photography and wildlife viewing.

There are currently 15 Ecological Reserves in Alberta, ranging from 0.36 to 3,770 ha in size, with an average area of 1,790 ha.


Athabasca Dunes Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Crow Lake Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Egg Island Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Goose Mountain Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Hand Hills Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Holmes Crossing Sandhills Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Kennedy Coulee Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Marshybank Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Plateau Mountain Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Rumsey Ecological Reserve - Legal land description 1 and 2

Silver Valley Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Wainwright Dunes Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

West Castle Wetlands Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Whitemud Falls Ecological Reserve - Legal land description

Heritage Rangelands

Heritage Rangelands
 have been established to preserve and protect tracts of prairie grassland in Alberta. Carefully managed, traditional cattle-grazing is used to maintain grassland ecosystems. Recreational use of heritage rangelands is limited. Access is permitted only with permission from the grazing leaseholder, and activities must be compatible with both preservation of natural values and grazing management.

There are currently 
2 Heritage Rangelands in Alberta. Together, they cover 12,010 ha. of Alberta prairie.

Black Creek Heritage Rangeland - Legal Land Description

OH Ranch Heritage Rangeland - Legal Land Description


Wilderness Areas

Wilderness Areas have been established to preserve and protect ecosystems and geological features in an undisturbed state. Travel is by foot only. Collection, destruction and/or removal of plant and animal material, fossils and other objects of geological, ethnological, historical and scientific interest, is prohibited.  Alberta's three wilderness areas are among the most strictly protected areas in Canada; no developments of any kind are permitted. There are limited opportunities for visitors to participate in non-consumptive activities such as backcountry hiking, wildlife viewing and mountain climbing. Hunting, fishing and the use of horses are not permitted in wilderness areas.

There are currently 3 Wilderness Areas in Alberta, ranging from 15,317 to 44,457 ha in size, with an average area of 33,663 ha.


Ghost River Wilderness Area - Legal Land Description

Siffleur Wilderness Area - Legal Land Description

White Goat Wilderness Area - Legal Land Description



Natural Areas

Natural Areas have been established preserve and protect natural and near-natural landscapes of regional and local importance, and to provide opportunities for low-impact recreation activities based on nature and heritage appreciation. Most natural areas have no facilities, but some have minimal development, such as parking areas and trails.


There are currently 141 Natural Areas in Alberta, ranging from 0.65 to 19,028 ha in size, with an average area of 928 ha.

Alexo Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Alsike Bat Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Anderson Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Antler Lake Island Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Anton Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Armstrong Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Aurora Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Battle Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Battle Lake South Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Battle River Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Bear Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Bear River (Wapiti Sand Dunes) Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Bearberry Prairie Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Bearberry Prairie Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Beaver Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Beaver Lake #2 Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Beaverhill Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Beaverhill Lake Heritage Rangeland Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Beehive Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Bellis Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Bellis Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Bellis North Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Bentz Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Big Sagebrush Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Bigoray Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Bilby Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Black Fox Island Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Bleak Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Boyer Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Bragg Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Brazeau Tufa Natural Area CNT - Legal Land Description not available

Bridge Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Bridge Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Buck Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Buck Lake Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Burning Sulphur Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Burtonsville Island Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Butcher Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Camp Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Caribou River Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Caribou River Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Carnwood Modeste Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Caroline Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available; Observed Species

Carseland Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Caslan Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Centre of Alberta Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Chedderville Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Chedderville Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Child Lake Meadows Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Clear Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Clearwater Ricinus Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Clifford E. Lee Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Clyde Fen Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Coleman Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Cossack Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Cow Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Coyote Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Coyote Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Crippsdale Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Crowsnest Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Crowsnest Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Douglas Fir Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Dunvegan Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Dussault Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Eagle Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Eagle Hill Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Eagle Nest Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

East Porcupine Natural Area CNT - Legal Land Description not available

Easyford Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Easyford Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Edgar T. Jones Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Edgerton Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Emerson Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Frog Lake Heronry Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Gadsby Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Garner Orchid Fen Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Genesee Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

George Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

George Lake Area Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Gooseberry Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Gregoire Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Halfmoon Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Halfway Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Harper Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Hastings Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available; Observed Species

Hastings Lake Islands Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Heatburg Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Helina Area Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

High Island Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Highland Park Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Highway Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Highwood River Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Hoadley Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Hollow Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Hondo Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Horseshoe Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Hot Pot Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Innisfail Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Island Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Isle Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

J.J. Collett Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Jackpines Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

James Junction Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Kakina Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Kilini Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Killarney-Reflex Lakes Heritage Rangeland Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Kimiwan Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Kleskun Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Kleskun Hill Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

La Saline Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

La Saline Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Lac La Biche Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Lac La Biche Islands Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Lac La Nonne Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Lac Tremble Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Lake of the Falls Natural Area CNT - Legal Land Description not available

Landslide Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Lily Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Lloyd Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Lorraine Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Macabee Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Magee Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Majeau Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Majeau Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Manly Corner Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Markerville Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Matthews Crossing Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Medicine Lodge Hills Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Milk River Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Mill Island Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Modeste Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Modeste Saskatchewan Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Monitor Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Moose Lake Islands Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Moose Mountain Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Mount Butte Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Mount Butte Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available; Observed Species

Mt. Livingstone Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Mt. Tecumseh Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Mystery Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Nestow Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Newton Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Noel Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Noel Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

North Bruderheim Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

North Bruderheim Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

North Buck Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

North Cooking Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

North Ram-Nice Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Northwest of Bruderheim Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

O'Chiese Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Old Canoe Island Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Ole Buck Mountain Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Ole Buck Mountain Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Onefour Heritage Rangeland Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Opal Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Opal Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Open Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Otauwau Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Outpost Wetlands Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Oxville Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Paddle River Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Paintearth Coulee Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Park Court Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Parkland Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Pembina Bigoray Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Pembina River Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Pembina River Moon Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Perch Lake Lac Canard Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Perryvale Natural Area CNT - Legal Land Description not available

Pigeon Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Pine Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Pinhorn Natural Area CNT - Legal Land Description not available

Pinto Creek Canyon Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Police Point Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Ponton River Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Ponton River South Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Poplar Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Poplar Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Prairie Coulees Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Prairie Creek Clearwater Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Prefontaine Brock Lakes Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Pringle Mountain Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Red Rock Coulee Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Redwater Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Redwater Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Redwater River Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Ribstone Creek Heritage Rangeland Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Riverlot 56 Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Rocky Mountain House Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Rocky Rapids Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Roselea Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Ross Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Ross Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Round Valley Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Rumsey Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Sand Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Saskatoon Mountain Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Saskatoon Mountain Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Saulteaux Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Scalp Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Schrader Creek - Red Deer River Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Schrader Creek - Red Deer River Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Sheep Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Sherwood Park Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Smithfield Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Snakes Head Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Snakes Head Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Sounding Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Spruce Island Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

St. Francis Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

St. Francis Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Strawberry Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Sturgeon Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Sundance Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Sundre Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Sundre Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Sundre North Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Sundre Red Deer Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Sylvan Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Tawatinaw Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Tawatinaw River Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Taylor Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Telfordville Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Thorsby Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Threepoint Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Tolman Badlands Heritage Rangeland Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Torlea Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Town Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Twin River Heritage Rangeland Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Ukalta Dunes Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Upper Mann Lake Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Vega Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Verdigris Coulee Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Victoria Settlement Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Wabamun Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Wagner Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Wanisan Lake Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Washout Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Watt Mountain Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Welch Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

West Stony Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

White Earth Valley Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

White Earth Valley Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Whitecourt Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Whitecourt Mountain Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Wildcat Island Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Wildhay Glacial Cascades Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description; Observed Species

Wilson Creek Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description

Wilson Creek Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Winfield Natural Area PNT - Legal Land Description not available

Yates Natural Area OC - Legal Land Description