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Drumheller Sagebrush to be Harvested by Calgary Zoo

Posted on Sep. 15 2022

Crews will be on-site at both the Newcastle and Willow Estates berm areas.

DRUMHELLER, AB – (September 15, 2022) – Next week, Calgary Zoo staff and volunteers will be harvesting sagebrush from the Newcastle and Willow Estates berm areas in Drumheller. The sagebrush will be used as feed for the Zoo’s greater sage-grouse population in the coming year.

With the largest sage grouse breeding program in Canada, this isn’t the first time the Calgary Zoo has visited Drumheller to harvest sage, and it isn’t anticipated to be the last.

“The silver sagebrush found in the Drumheller valley is an optimal winter food source for the greater sage-grouse. From frost until spring, this is one of only a few plants that the birds eat, and Drumheller is the only location in Alberta with enough for us to harvest,” explains Calgary Zoo’s Habitat Supervisor, Ryan Neilson. “The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo's greater sage-grouse breeding program benefits greatly from having access to this essential food source. Logistically, having it right next door makes the harvesting process painless, and it is hard to imagine that our program would be as successful as it is without the continued generosity of citizens of Drumheller.”

While construction for the Newcastle and Willow Estates berm areas will be underway, the Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office recognizes the importance of this ongoing partnership and will be working closely with the Calgary Zoo to ensure a safe and successful harvest.

The harvest will begin on Tuesday, September 20 and is expected to be complete by Wednesday, September 21.

For more information, please contact the Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office at:
(403) 823-4878

About the Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office

The purpose of this office is to protect the people and property in Drumheller from loss due to flooding through a sensible model for a small community to adapt to the perils of changing climate. The Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office will manage the Flood Mitigation and Climate Adaptation System through to its completion in 2024. To learn more, visit

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