The Chief Mountain Cumulative Effects Study 2008-2009

The Chief Mountain Study (CMS) is a grassroots driven study directed by a multistakeholder, consensus-based working group that includes government, industry, First Nations, landowners, NGOs and Parks Canada. The study arose from local concern about land-use trends and their associated long-term impacts on landscape level indicators such as groundwater stocks, surface water quality, grizzly bear, and native grasslands.

The study area is located in the southwestern portion of Alberta including: Cardston County, the Municipal District of Pincher Creek, the Kainai and Piikani First Nation reserves and Waterton National Park. The area covers roughly 925,000 hectares (2.28 million acres) and is predominantly cultivated agriculture (43% of study area), native origin grasslands (30% of study area) and forests (18% of study area). Human footprint currently covers about 2% of the study area.

The Silvatech Group ( was approached by regional stakeholders along Alberta's southern East Slopes to complete a comprehensive assessment of the cumulative effects of land use practices in this region. This project has lead to a broad societal conversation about the benefits and liabilities of co-occurring land uses and is intended to offer insight to the Province-lead Land Use Framework.