The Foothills Restoration Forum came together in 2006 as a collaborative research team comprised of experienced professionals from provincial agencies, the ranching community, conservation organizations, industry, and plant ecology and reclamation disciplines to meet a simple goal: to accomplish the restoration of the native grassland ecosystems of southwestern Alberta.
Native grasslands play a critical role in sustainable land use. Healthy grasslands perform key ecological functions such as capturing and retaining water, sequestering carbon, producing sustainable protein rich forage and supporting a wealth of plant and animal biodiversity. All elements of a functioning, healthy rangeland ecosystem are dependent on healthy native grasslands.
Current estimates suggest that only between 16 and 35 percent of the total area that supported these grasslands before settlement remain intact today. The Foothills Restoration Forum exists to foster research and fill critical gaps in our knowledge base to preserve our valuable grasslands for future generations.