Working Beyond Boundaries
The park collaborates on many initiatives with Glacier National Park, the Kainai and Piikani, provincial agencies and with many university departments in both Canada and the USA.
Waterton Lakes National Park also participates in several forums and networks:
A key ongoing network for the park is the Crown Managers Partnership. This group demonstrates leadership in addressing environmental management challenges in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem by adopting transboundary, collaborative approaches to those challenges. The voluntary partnership builds common awareness of Crown interests and issues, shapes relationships, and identifies collaborative tasks that participating jurisdictions can pursue.
The Alberta Prairie Conservation Forum is a voluntary coalition of groups whose members are interested in the conservation of native prairie and parkland in Alberta. In existence for over 16 years, the Forum includes about 50 organisations representing: agricultural groups, conservation groups, land and resource management organizations, federal and provincial agencies, local/regional authorities and service agencies, industry and academia.
The South West Alberta Cooperative Weed Management Area cooperates to manage the effects of noxious invasive weeds for the purpose of landscape protection and enhancement. The cooperative includes representatives from Cardston County and Municipal District of Pincher Creek, Blood Tribe Land Management, Parks Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. The initiative is also supported by the Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association, Glacier National Park, Castle Crown Wilderness Coalition and local ranchers and other landowners.
In 1994, more than 20 education providers came together to form a collaborative organization known as the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem Education Consortium (COCEEC). This group supports coordination and cooperation of individuals and organisations that inform people about the human and natural resources of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. COCEEC also encourages the development and dissemination of information and educational materials on the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem for presentation to diverse audiences in a variety of formal and informal settings.
The Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association is a non-profit organization focused on linking biodiversity conservation to sustainable human use of resources in the region of the Waterton Biosphere Reserve. Established in the early 1980s, the association has worked closely with local people for over 30 years to integrate conservation values with traditional livelihoods. The Waterton Biosphere Reserve is one of 16 biosphere reserves in Canada. Designated in 1979 by UNESCO, it was created to foster and encourage a sustainable, community-based regional economy, with quality biodiversity, landscape and social values.
Waterton also has an important ongoing relationship with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Waterton Lakes National Park alone is not large enough to protect all its wildlife. Many species depend on neighbouring ranchlands. In 2004, the NCC and its partners announced the conservation of over 100 sq km (28,000 acres) of land along the eastern boundary of the park, known as The Waterton Park Front Project. As neighbours, Parks Canada and the NCC continue to work together on a variety of initiatives.
The Waterton Natural History Association (WNHA) was formed in 1983, and was the first western Canadian Parks Canada cooperating association. It is a charitable organization whose mission is to promote the preservation, understanding and appropriate use of Waterton Lakes National Park. As a cooperating association, the WNHA works closely with Parks Canada to inform the public about the natural wonders of Waterton Lakes National Park. In addition to running the Heritage Centre in the Waterton community, the WNHA has many activities and services including displays, presentations, publications, special events and volunteerism.