The Edmonton Capital Region, one of the fastest growing metropolitan region of Canada, is immediately adjacent to the Beaver Hills. The Beaver Hills area serves as a critical source of surface and ground water, supports a high diversity of rare species, including large numbers of migratory birds, and plays a key role in ecological linkages. In the past, land use in the Beaver Hills has mainly been restricted to cattle grazing, as cultivating the ‘knob and kettle’ landscape has never been an easy prospect for farmers. Today, there is an increasing demand for recreational opportunities and urban and country residential development. This is placing increased pressure on the area.
The unique qualities and extensive natural areas of the Beaver Hills are valued by both area residents and Albertans. The area offers a multitude of shared resources such as clean and abundant drinking water, clean air and biological diversity that are integral to a viable ecosystem. The Beaver Hills Initiative developed from a collective recognition among government agencies and locally-active environmental groups that, future growth and development must always take these resources into consideration.
Conservation and Stewardship
The Beaver Hills, like all ecological landscapes, function as a unit. The interactions between hydrology, soils, terrain and climate have produced the mosaic of boreal forest and wetlands that in turn support the biodiversity and greenspace we value. In order to conserve these values, land use management must consider both these ecological components and how they interact.
For details of land use planning and conservation in the Beaver Hills, see the Land Management Framework