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Nature Conservancy of Canada purchases land for protection in southern Alberta


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Twin Butte – A property that includes fescue grasslands, forests and wetlands near Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta has been purchased by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

The organization said Tuesday that the 2.5-square-kilometre property between the national park and Twin Butte, Alta., is its newest conservation site.

“Waterton Lakes National Park is renowned for its incredible wildlife, but these species rely on an area much larger than the park itself throughout the year,” Tom Lynch-Staunton, regional vice-president for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, said in a statement.

“By conserving this property, we are ensuring it will continue to offer habitat and safe movement routes for these incredible animals.”

The Nature Conservancy of Canada said the property will become part of the 130-square kilometres of private conservation lands known as the Waterton Park Front, which is now about 75 per cent conserved.

“This property is just another piece of that larger puzzle,” said Sean Feagan, an Alberta spokesman for Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“It’s a victory for nature.”

Land conservation in the area, he said, is important because it features a unique and relatively intact ecosystem that provides a corridor for wildlife such as grizzly bears and elk.

“It’s where the grasslands butt up right against the mountains,” said Feagan. “There’s not a ton of foothills, so it’s a unique part of the province geographically and geologically.

“So, you get a mixture of grasslands species and montane species living together.”

He said mammals such as elk, deer and moose congregate in the areas outside of the national park in the winter to forage grasses such as fescue, which has high nutritional value.

“It’s a really important winter foodstuff for these animals,” he said.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada said the protected area will continue to be used for cattle grazing while being managed in a way that allows nature to thrive.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2023.

— By Colette Derworiz in Calgary.

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Police investigating how shooter got firearm after autopsy and balistic analysis

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News release from the Edmonton Police Service

Autopsy on shooter, ballistic analysis complete in line of duty deaths

An autopsy on the shooter and ballistic analysis of the firearm have been completed in the Mar. 16, 2023 EPS line of duty deaths.

The Edmonton Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on Mar. 22, 2023, and confirmed that the 16-year-old male shooter’s cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head consistent with being self-inflicted.

“We recognize that there is intense public interest in this investigation,” says EPS Deputy Chief Devin Laforce. “At this time, our priorities need to be the integrity of ongoing investigations, including the origin of the firearm, as well as the safety and privacy of all the families affected by this tragedy. For these reasons, we are not releasing or confirming the name of the deceased.”

A bullet casing recovered from the scene of a Mar. 12, 2023 shooting at a nearby restaurant in the area of 133 Street and 114 Avenue has been forensically matched to the firearm that was recovered at the 132 Street and 114 Avenue apartment, where Constable Brett Ryan and Constable Travis Jordan were fatally shot on Mar. 16, 2023.

Investigators believe the suspect in the Mar. 12 shooting to be the same 16-year-old male responsible for the deaths of the two EPS members, although this has yet to be confirmed. Detectives are also working to trace the origins of the firearm and how it came to be in the youth’s possession.

At this time, investigators continue to believe that the youth’s parents, police dispatch and Constables Ryan and Jordan had no information to suggest there was a firearm in the home when the family dispute call for service was made on Mar. 16.

“Both events have been served by robust investigations that have followed all lines of inquiry,” says Deputy Chief Devin Laforce. “All tips and other investigative avenues were pursued exhaustively by the investigating teams.”

The male shot on Mar. 12 in the restaurant remains in hospital in critical but stable condition, and the youth’s mother who was shot on Mar. 16 remains in hospital in serious but stable condition.

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#ALERT #LawEnforcementResponseTeam

Search of four Edmonton homes results in Cocaine and Meth bust

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News release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)

Cocaine seized after four Edmonton homes searched

More than two kilograms of cocaine, cash, and four vehicles have been seized following an ALERT Edmonton investigation into cocaine trafficking.

The investigation began in October 2022. Police were able to identify four homes and four vehicles linked to the drug trafficking operation.

“Through the course of this five-month investigation, officers were able to identify several suspects, and seized several pieces of equipment which were being used to produce large, commercial-sized quantities of product. This tells us that this was a much bigger, sophisticated operation,” said Sgt. Jeff Woodliffe, ALERT Edmonton.

On February 23, 2023, police searched four homes and seized the following items as evidence:

  • 2.6 kgs of cocaine;
  • 28 grams of methamphetamine;
  • 10 kgs of a cocaine buffing agent; and
  • $11,000 in cash.

The investigation remains ongoing as investigators prepare reports and disclosure for Crown Counsel.

The Edmonton Police Service assisted throughout the investigation.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

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