Foothills restoration forum Foothills restoration forum

WHAT IS THE FOOTHILLS RESTORATION FORUM?

The Foothills Restoration Forum (FRF) promotes the conservation and restoration of native grasslands in Alberta through education, outreach and research to improve reclamation practice and foster stewardship. The FRF began in 2006 as a collaboration between members of provincial agencies, the ranching community, conservation organizations, industry, plant ecologists and reclamation practitioners.

WHERE DO WE WORK?

Alberta Grasslands

The focus of the FRF is Alberta’s Grassland Natural Region and grasslands of the neighbouring Parkland and Montane Natural Subregions.

WHY ARE NATIVE GRASSLANDS IMPORTANT?

Grasslands are a rich landscape that provides important ecosystem functions, such as cleansing our air, storing and filtering our water, capturing carbon and supplying sustainable grazing. Native grasslands, from flat, dry prairie to montane meadows, provide a diversity of habitats that support a suite of wildlife from sage grouse to grizzly bears. Alberta’s native grasslands provide environmental, economic and social benefits to the residents of Alberta and beyond. Conservation of intact native grassland landscapes and successful restoration practices are critical to maintaining habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem function in a multiple use landscape.

DECLINING NATIVE GRASSLAND

Native grasslands are one of the most developed and threatened landscapes in Canada. Industrial, urban and recreational development, intensification of agriculture and non-native species invasion are rapidly changing prairie landscapes. Loss and fragmentation of this ecosystem is reflected in the number of Endangered and At Risk grassland species.

To reverse this trend, we need to improve management of cumulative effects, reduce fragmentation, and maintain native grassland integrity, including connecting corridors for wildlife and other species.  Lastly, to reclaim disturbances with the goal of restoring sustainable native grassland landscapes.

RESTORATION CHALLENGES

  • Our ability to restore native grassland plant communities in uncertain, especially in moister environments like fescue grasslands.
  • Recovery can take decades and require on-going adaptive management.
  • Establishment and spread of invasive species are a significant threat to native grasslands habitats.
  • Reclamation requirements vary widely among industries operating on grasslands.

News & Events

Check out our upcoming events

Fall Information Session 2017

November 16th, 2017

The Foothills Restoration Forum is pleased to present the 11th annual fall information session on Thursday, November 16th, 2017 at the Claresholm Community Hall in Claresholm, Alberta.

The theme of this year’s session is Renewable Energy and Climate Change

Learn more

Fall Information Session 2017

November 16th, 2017

The Foothills Restoration Forum is pleased to present the 11th annual fall information session on Thursday, November 16th, 2017 at the Claresholm Community Hall in Claresholm, Alberta.

The theme of the 2017 Information Session is “Evolving Energy and Climate on the Grasslands”

Learn more

Looking to get involved?

Featured Information

Recovery Strategies for Disturbance in Native Grasslands

These guidance documents are designed for industry and others to improve reclamation outcomes in native grassland ecosystems with the goal of restoration after disturbance. Guidance is based on long-term monitoring, literature review, peer review and stakeholder workshops.

Featured Information

PROSPECTUS FOR A SHARED APPROACH TO RESEARCH: CONSERVING AND RESTORING ROUGH FESCUE GRASSLANDS

To help address the issue of conserving and restoring the remaining native grasslands, the FRF has developed five key themes and associated research questions to describe critical gaps in our knowledge base. Identifying these gaps helps to document and focus on what research is necessary.

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Contact Us

(403) 563-8925

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