Reno and Corine Welsch have ensured their 3,034-acre ranch in the Porcupine Hills won’t be turned into a subdivision or see its native cropland put to the plow.
The couple recently finalized a conservation agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
“This conservation agreement gives me the freedom to run the ranch the way I always wanted it run, and to protect it for future generations — and not necessarily just my future generations,” Reno Welsch said in a news release. “It also protects the land for agricultural use at a time where agricultural land, especially good ranchland, is getting harder and harder to find.”
Welsch Ranch is just 20 kilometres north of Pincher Creek and its scenic location means it is under “significant pressure for residential development,” said the Nature Conservancy. It is located in a wildlife corridor and is home to the endangered limber pine, a five-needled pine that can live up to 1,000 years, and ferruginous hawks, a threatened species and one of only two birds of prey that use grasslands as their main habitat.
The Welschs established the ranch in 1988 and are currently in the process of handing the property over to their daughter.