W. Garfield Weston
Wealth is more than money. Alberta’s Advantage is more than tax policy! That may surprise some, given recent economic and environmental policy changes, in Alberta.
There’s a singular undeniable fact. Alberta’s wealth comes from the land, always has, likely always will. Always is a long time!
An Alberta Proverb
Take care of what we have today, we’ll have it tomorrow, and the day after that. That bedrock idea is the conservation foundation that supports Alberta’s Advantage. It’s a narrative that’s been missing in action for a bit.
Not anymore, conservation is back in vogue, in Alberta. ‘Embarrassing cousins’ aside, we don’t need to take a back seat to anyone, when it comes to land stewardship, optimization, and wise use. We tend to do it, well, and not say much. Now it’s time to do more of both!
The Collaborative Conservation Economy is Upon Us
Purposeful conservation is an art form. Like any painting the beauty, the outcome is in the eye of the beholder. When we use our minds eye to gaze upon our wealth, it’s the land we see, not numbers.
How we use and maintain it creates sustainable outcomes and community prosperity. Prosperity is granular. It’s variable and unique to the communities, where it’s created. The trick is to perpetuate it.
An eagle’s eye sees the forest and the trees, the mountains and rivers, and the critters, as related elements of the system that underwrites the wealth we create.
There’s more than a dollop of geographic serendipity, in Alberta’ Advantage. One of these special areas is the Crown of the Continent shared with Montana and BC.
It’s the triangulation point for western rivers flowing to the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson Bay.
Here, Alberta’s conservation economy trickles to life. The Waterton Park Front Project is a 15 year collaboration amongst the Southern Alberta ranching community, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the W Garfield Weston Foundation.
Thirty-two thousand acres set aside for specific use, in perpetuity is a big deal and large scale. The Waterton Park Front Project is part of a well established Alberta practice of conservation through land banking. Land owners, large and small, choose to legally limit the use of their land to protect its conservation value.
Alberta’s Advantage: New Narrative
Change is constant and hard.There are two options; accept and rise to the level of solution, or resist.
Alberta’s emerging conservation economy is focused on sustainability, practices and behaviour, which restore our natural resources rather than depleting them.
Alberta’s rivers, forests, grasslands are the fundamental elements of natural system of capital that enable the economy.
Conserving the system is the only way to continue to reap the benefits it provides.
Alberta’s real Advantage is our culture of conservation! Folks around here just call it common sense.