AB Direct - Steers

Live: ---
Rail: 390.00 del

AB Direct - Heifers

Live: ---
Rail: 390.00 del

US Trade- Steers

Live: 183.00 (TX, KN) 184.00-185.00 (NE, IA)
Rail: 292.00-293.00 (NE, IA)

US Trade - Heifers

Live: 183.00 (TX, KN) 184.00-185.00 (NE, IA)
Rail: 292.00-293.00 (NE, IA)

Canadian Dollar

Photo Credit: Leta Pezderic
June 28, 2023 Trailblazers

Major conservation project announced for Alberta’s McIntyre Ranch

As grasslands continue to vanish across the Northern Great Plains, a historic conservation partnership aims to protect a vast swath of intact native prairie on a well-known Southern Alberta ranch.

The McIntyre Ranch, established 130 years ago south of Lethbridge, has entered into a conservation easement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). Covering a land base of more than 22,000 hectares, this is the largest private conservation agreement to date in Canada.

Stewardship has played a vital role in the running of the McIntyre Ranch since its establishment in 1894. (Leta Pezderic)

“We are grateful to be partnering with NCC and DUC as we work together and share the responsibility to conserve prairie grasslands,” said Ralph A. Thrall III, president and CEO of the McIntyre Ranching Co. Ltd.

“This relationship will help us achieve our sustainable ranching practices in conjunction with our ‘balance with nature’ philosophy. We are proud to play a role in conserving something that is the way that it used to be.”

McIntyre Ranch encompasses a special landscape of mixed and fescue grasslands, with an estimated 3.8 million tonnes of carbon held below the surface. The province has designated more than 80 per cent of the ranch as an Environmentally Significant Area, with 3,600 wetland basins and more than 150 plant and wildlife species. Thirteen species at risk call the McIntyre home, including Sprague’s pipit, ferruginous hawk, and chestnut-collared longspur.

“Grasslands are one of the most threatened and least protected ecosystems worldwide. Canada’s iconic grasslands continue to disappear due to land conversion, with nearly 60,000 hectares lost every year, including an estimated 10,000 hectares annually in Alberta,” as stated in a joint press release from NCC and DUC.

“Today, only about 26 per cent of native Prairie grasslands remain in Alberta. As a result of this massive alteration on the land, grassland species are some of the most imperiled in Canada and many are rapidly declining.”

The McIntyre is home to numerous plant and wildlife species, including the threatened ferruginous hawk. (Leta Pezderic)

The Thrall family worked with their conservation partners to create provisions that will ensure the ranch is conserved in perpetuity while still being owned by the Thralls and run as a working beef operation.

“The longtime stewardship of these ecosystems by the Thrall and McIntyre families is an inspiring example of the powerful role that can be played by landowners in making a difference for nature conservation,” said DUC CEO Michael Nadler.

“We are grateful to them for their stewardship and to all partners in wetland conservation in the Prairies and across Canada.”

Supporters of this project include the Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Government of Alberta’s Land Trust Grant Program, and many other groups and individuals, with matched funding provided by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act program.

In June, NCC launched a fundraising campaign to complete the project, which will require an additional $3 million.

To learn more about this historic project, visit the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada project webpages.

Share this on

About the Author

Piper Whelan
Piper grew up on a purebred cow-calf operation in Southern Alberta, and she studied English and history at the University of Alberta and journalism at the University of King's College. She has written for industry publications for more than a decade and is currently the Digital Content Specialist for Alberta Beef Producers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories

September 20, 2023 Checking in with ABP

Providing direction at upcoming Engagement Sessions

September 20, 2023 Current Markets & Forecasts

The Bovine: Ryan Copithorne's market outlook for Fall 2023

September 18, 2023 Checking in with ABP

Canfax Weekly Article | Report for the week of September 18, 2023

Cattle Report

Updated: 22/09/2023


Live: ---
Rail: 390.00 del


Live: ---
Rail: 390.00 del

Choice Steers

Live: 183.00 (TX, KN) 184.00-185.00 (NE, IA)
Rail: 292.00-293.00 (NE, IA)

Choice Heifers

Live: 183.00 (TX, KN) 184.00-185.00 (NE, IA)
Rail: 292.00-293.00 (NE, IA)

Boner Cows

Over 500 lbs: US $215.30

Canadian Dollar

$74.50   0.17

Livestock Price Insurance Index

Expiry Fed Feeder Calf
18-Dec-23 232 322 -
15-Jan-24 236 322 -
12-Feb-24 238 332 -
11-Mar-24 238 332 -
8-Apr-24 244 338 -
6-May-24 248 340 -
3-Jun-24 252 348 -
Last Updated on September 21, 2023