Environmental rancher dies

Francis Gardner, an Alberta rancher who spent a lifetime protecting the land, died June 26 at the age of 74.

Gardner owned and operated the century old Mt Sentinel Ranch near Chain Lakes in the eastern slopes, which received the first environmental stewardship award from the Alberta Cattle Commission in 1992.

He was active in preserving the native grasslands of the province and was a founding member of the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society, which has protected thousands of acres of grassland and montane forest.

He was also involved with the Cows and Fish program to protect riparian areas and restore watersheds to their natural forms.

He was a member of the Pekisko Group, which helped local ranchers fight against oil and gas development on native range in the area.

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