Our Successes

Wilderness in Canada is healthier and more robust because of a half-century of work by staff and volunteers with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Since 1963, CPAWS has been instrumental in the creation of more than two-thirds of Canada’s protected areas.

Founded in 1967, the CPAWS Southern Alberta Chapter has worked with other non-profits, First Nations, government, industry and individuals throughout this region to safeguard our lands and waters. Here is a sampling of some of the shared successes over the years:


Regional Chapter Established In Calgary

The Calgary chapter of the National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada (NPPAC), now CPAWS, was established.


Defeated the Prairie River Improvement Plan

Helped defeat the Prairie River Improvement Plan, which would have diverted water from northern Alberta watersheds to the southern part of the province.


Helped defeat large-scale development and Olympic bid in Banff National Park


Fish Creek Park Established

Fish Creek Park was established, with the support of the NPPAC.


Nose Hill Park Designated As Protected Area

Nose Hill Park, initially proposed by Harvey Buckmaster of NPPAC, was designated as a protected area.


NPPAC renamed Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

The Calgary chapter of the National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada (NPPAC), now CPAWS, was established.


Influenced an amendment to the National Parks Act

Influenced an amendment to the National Parks Act, which included wording to prioritize ecological integrity first in park management.


Helped protect the Wind Valley from development


Hired the first staff position.


Wildlife Crossing Structures in Banff National Park

Supported the creation of the now world-famous wildlife crossing structures in Banff National Park.


Caps on Commercial Development in Banff National Park

Encouraged the Banff Bow Valley study on ecological integrity resulting in caps on commercial development in Banff National Park.


Environmental Education Program Began

Environmental education program began – the only chapter with this unique program.


Advocated for the creation of the Elbow-Sheep Wildland and Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Parks


Defeated flawed Alberta Natural Heritage Act

Defeated the proposed and flawed Alberta Natural Heritage Act; Pressed for the Kananaskis Country Recreational Development Policy, which defined the region and its land-use policy.

Prevented Exploratory Well Drilling in the Whaleback

Intervened to prevent exploratory well drilling in the Whaleback; Bob Creek Wildland Provincial Park and the Black Creek Heritage Rangeland were established.


Spray Valley Provincial Park Established

Protected the Spray Valley from a major resort development; Spray Valley Provincial Park was established.


Influenced Twinning Plans of the TransCanada

Influenced twinning plans for the 12.5-kilometre section of the TransCanada east of Lake Louise.

Advised Federal Officials for G8 summit

Advised federal officials on environmental mitigation for G8 summit legacy wildlife crossing structures in the Bow Valley.


Spray Valley and Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Parks Expanded.


Grizzly Bear Hunt Suspended


Won the Alberta Emerald Award for education program


CPAWS Calgary/Banff renamed CPAWS Southern Alberta Chapter


Grizzly Bears Listed As Threatened Species

Grizzly bears listed as threatened species under the Alberta Wildlife Act.


Stopped Bill 29

Stopped Bill 29, which would have undermined Alberta’s parks and protected areas.


Logging in the Castle wilderness suspended


Sunshine Village's Required To Meet Water Quality Standards

Pressured Parks Canada to ensure Sunshine Village’s proposed Goat’s Eye Mountain day lodge development required to meet national park water quality standards.


Mandatory Travel Restrictions implemented on the Bow Valley Parkway

Seasonal mandatory travel restrictions were implemented on the Bow Valley Parkway.

Defeated The Proposed Maligne Lake Hotel

Influenced the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP)

Influenced the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP), which increased protection and improved management of the eastern slopes.


Environmental Education Program Reached The 100,000-Student Milestone


Won Award Of Excellence For Outstanding Non-Profit Organization

Won the award of excellence for outstanding non-Profit organization for environmental education from the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM).


Castle Provincial Park Created

Castle Provincial Park was created, and the Castle Wildland Provincial Park was expanded.


Castle Wildland and Provincial Parks Management Plan Released

Castle Wildland and Provincial Parks management plan released, prioritizing nature and with a commitment to phase-out off-highway vehicle use by 2021.

Management Plans Released For Porcupine Hills-Livingstone Regions

Management plans released for Porcupine Hills-Livingstone regions, with broad stakeholder support and placing limits on roads and trails to protect wildlife.

Helped Create A Vision For The Southern Eastern Slopes

Worked with a coalition of 15 conservation groups to create a comprehensive and collaborative vision for the Southern Eastern Slopes.

Helped Release Recommendations on Reudicng Human-Wildlife Conflict

Worked with the multi-jurisdictional Bow Valley Human Wildlife Co-existence Round-table Technical Advisory Group to release a series of recommendations on reducing human-wildlife conflict.


Protected 175 provincial parks and recreation areas from being removed from Alberta’s provincial park system


Helped to reverse the cancellation of the 1976 Coal Policy

Ensured that the Grassy Mountain coal mine project in Alberta’s southern Eastern Slopes was rejected


Our conservation education work won the Inclusion Award from the Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre as part of their Everybody Belongs initiative

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