[MEDIUM] Onefour Heritage Rangeland Natural Area


Uniquely named NA is split into 3, non-adjoined sites. Located on the US Border and east of Writing on Stone PP.

Onefour Heritage Rangeland NA 3 sites and its neighbours Kennedy Coulee ER, Milk River NA, and Pinhorn,(CNT),
Onefour Heritage Rangeland NA 3 sites and its neighbours Kennedy Coulee ER, Milk River NA, and Pinhorn,(CNT),

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.

Other Information

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 [1].

Bio-Geo Description

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.

Other Notes

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 [2].

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 [3]. 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 [4].

Site Statistics

Site NameOnefour Heritage Rangeland
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeOrder-in-council (OC)
Natural Region(s)Dry Mixedgrass
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)498/00
PASite ID (Map Ref #)591
Site # (Parks Website)506
Total Area11165.19 ha. (27588.81 ac.)
Recreation Activitiesnone noted
Operated ByParks Division
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Onefour Heritage Rangeland Natural Area
OneFour HR Site Map (Government of Alberta, map 1 of 2)
OneFour HR Site Map (Government of Alberta, map 1 of 2)
OneFour HR Site Map (Government of Alberta, map 2 of 2)
OneFour HR Site Map (Government of Alberta, map 2 of 2)


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).

  1. GoA News Release, December 20, 2000: Record number of parks and protected areas added through Special Places program
  2. “Heritage Rangeland” natural areas – Open Government (alberta.ca).
  3. Onefour, Alberta – Wikipedia
  4. Historic research ranches won’t be riding off into the sunset – Alberta Farmer Express (albertafarmexpress.ca)

Further Reading

Editing, Review and Silence Procedure

  1. FRANK: Publish page
  2. HUBERT/PATSY: Assign page for editing by update tbd in the Title (4-
  3. Review for readability and alignment to SAPAA organizational reputation.
  4. Best available image
  5. Review for accuracy including:
    1. Correct map and site statistics
    2. Area size is correct
    3. Standards (e.g. use of hyphens, spelling, etc.)
    4. References are accessible and and notes match
  6. Review for formatting, e.g.: Centered captions, No empty blocks
  7. TEAM: Last walk through
    1. Any final discussion or notes
    2. Remove [name] from title
    3. Add to log book for silence procedure
    4. Delete these notes.

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