[FP, MED DUE TO NUMBER OF REFERENCES AND PROXIMITY TO OTHER SITES]
Uniquely named NA is split into 3, non-adjoined sites. Located on the US Border and east of Writing on Stone PP.
Map of the Area
Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.
The heritage rangeland natural area includes three separate sites near the Milk River and the Alberta-Montana border. The first parcel is west of the Kennedy Coulee Ecological Reserve and within the Pinhorn Grazing Reserve. The second parcel is within the southern part of the Onefour Research Station and overlaps the Lost River Valley and the third parcel is in the eastern part of the Sage Creek Grazing Reserve, adjacent to Highway 41 .
This site contains extensive grasslands, ephemeral wetlands, minor badlands and riparian shrublands. Landscape features include ground and hummocky moraine, exposed slope, protected slope, floor/stream, wet meadow, alkali wetlands, shallow marsh and springs. The site contains two igneous dykes, which are uncommon in Alberta.
Many rare animals have been observed here, including ferruginous hawk, Baird’s sparrow, mountain plover, burrowing owl, loggerhead shrike, plains hognose snake, leopard frog, great plains toad, western painted turtle, short-horned lizard, stonecat minnow, brassy minnow and silvery minnow. Nesting birds of prey include golden eagle and prairie falcon. This natural area also contains key habitat for pronghorn antelope, mule deer, white-tailed deer and swift fox.
The heritage rangeland is found within the Sage Creek and Milk River Canyon Environmentally Significant Areas, which are of national importance. The site includes alkaline springs, extensive bedrock exposures along coulees, and remote wilderness settings surrounding the spectacular valley of the Lost River.
Grazing Lease Considerations
Some parts of this natural area are under grazing lease and have hunting and access restrictions. Check Recreation on Agricultural Public Land. Visitors must leave all gates as found. Do not harass cattle. Slow down/drive with caution when livestock are near (or crossing) roads.
Kennedy, Milk, and Onefour. While the three parcels of land that make up Onefour are not contiguous, the western most portion is adjoined to Kennedy Coulee ER and Milk River NA complex. To avoid repetition, the history and notes from these sites is not included here but is complementary to this site’s history and bio/ geological heritage.
HR or NA or Both? Protected Areas have specific classifications two of which are ‘Heritage Rangeland’ and ‘Natural Area’. So which of these two is Onefour? The answer appears to be both and in limbo. It along with six other sites were given the NA designation in the late 1990’s during the Special Places 2000 program. The rationale was this was the ‘best fit’ for interim management until the legislation for the Heritage Rangeland class was pro- claimed. Management of these sites is a hybrid between a NA and HR until legislation is in place .
Township 1, Range 4. Onefour was a research substation of federal government. It has since moved from its original location which was located at (SW15 T1 R4) Township 1, Range 4. Thus, the original ranch was given the name “Onefour”. Onefour once had a store, school and assembly hall and residences for staff. Today only a few staff homes, two duplexes, a cookhouse and offices remain of the locality . The future of the ranch was uncertain and the station threatened with closure in 2017. The province and University of Alberta have since taken over operations .
|Site Name||Onefour Heritage Rangeland|
|Site Type||Natural Area|
|Natural Region(s)||Dry Mixedgrass|
|O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)||498/00|
|PASite ID (Map Ref #)||591|
|Site # (Parks Website)||506|
|Total Area||11165.19 ha. (27588.81 ac.)|
|Recreation Activities||none noted|
|Operated By||Parks Division|
|Notes and Comments|
The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is: Information & Facilities – Onefour Heritage Rangeland Natural Area | Alberta Parks (All links accessed on 2023-02-08).
- GoA News Release, December 20, 2000: Record number of parks and protected areas added through Special Places program
- “Heritage Rangeland” natural areas – Open Government (alberta.ca).
- Onefour, Alberta – Wikipedia
- Historic research ranches won’t be riding off into the sunset – Alberta Farmer Express (albertafarmexpress.ca)
- McCown’s longspur (Calcarius mccownii) COSEWIC assessment and status report: chapter 5 – Canada.ca
- Eastern yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor faviventris): residence descrition – Canada.ca
- Onefour Continues To Evolve After More Than 80 Years – Alberta Farmer Express (albertafarmexpress.ca)
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