Wawaskesy National Park

Last updated
Wawaskesy National Park
Location Alberta, Canada
Nearest city Medicine Hat
Coordinates 50°28′34″N110°27′18″W / 50.476021°N 110.455021°W / 50.476021; -110.455021 Coordinates: 50°28′34″N110°27′18″W / 50.476021°N 110.455021°W / 50.476021; -110.455021
Established1922 (1922), Delisted 1947 (1947)

Wawaskesy National Park was created north and west of the South Saskatchewan River, [1] north of the city of Medicine Hat in southeastern Alberta, Canada, on May 31, 1922. [2] It was closed in June 24, 1938, and delisted in 1947. [3]

South Saskatchewan River river in Alberta and Saskatchewan

The South Saskatchewan River is a major river in Canada that flows through the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Alberta Province of Canada

Alberta is a western province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census, it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces. Its area is about 660,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi). Alberta and its neighbour Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905. The premier has been Rachel Notley since 2015.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.


Beginning in 1915 the 65 km2 (25 sq mi) of land [4] that formed Wawaskesy National Park had been designated the Canyon Antelope Reserve, [5] to protect pronghorn (sometimes referred to as antelope). The area was one of many pronghorn reserves created in Alberta and Saskatchewan at that time. [2]

Pronghorn species of mammal

The pronghorn is a species of artiodactyl mammal indigenous to interior western and central North America. Though not an antelope, it is often known colloquially in North America as the American antelope, prong buck, pronghorn antelope, prairie antelope, or simply antelope because it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World and fills a similar ecological niche due to parallel evolution.

Wawaskesy National Park was one of several national parks created in the Canadian Prairies expressly to protect and regenerate dangerously low populations of bison and pronghorn. Other 'regeneration' parks, also delisted on July 17, 1947, included Buffalo National Park and Nemiskam National Park (both in Alberta) and Menissawok National Park in Saskatchewan. [6]

Canadian Prairies geographical region of Canada

The Canadian Prairies is a region geographically located in Western Canada. The area includes the Canadian portion of the Great Plains and the Prairie provinces, namely Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. These provinces are partially covered by grasslands, plains, and lowlands, mostly in the southern regions. Known to a lesser extent, is the northern-most section of the Canadian prairies which is marked by forests and more variable topology. To define the region in a physiographic sense, to strictly include areas only covered by prairie land, the corresponding region is known as the Interior Plains. Geographically, the Canadian prairies extend to northeastern British Columbia, however this province is not included in a political manner.

Bison genus of mammals

Bison are large, even-toed ungulates in the genus Bison within the subfamily Bovinae.

Buffalo National Park

Buffalo National Park was created near the town of Wainwright in east central Alberta on June 5, 1909. It was closed in 1940 and delisted in 1947 when the land was transferred to the Department of National Defence. The 583 km2 (225 sq mi) park land now comprises the majority of Canadian Forces Base Wainwright. The first Park Warden was Bud Cotton, who served from 1912 through 1940.

Wawaskesy is a Cree word for antelope. [2]

With the rebound of pronghorn herds in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, Wawaskesy was closed in 1938 and title to lands in Wawaskesy National Park automatically reverted to Alberta, in accordance with provisions of the Alberta Natural Resources Act of 1930 and the land was used by area farmers. In 1941 the land was transferred to Canada and included in the Suffield Block for military use. On the 19 June 2003, a portion of the Suffield Block, including areas formerly within Wawaskesy National Park, were designated the Suffield National Wildlife Area.

The Suffield Block is an area located within Cypress County, southern Alberta, Canada approximately bounded by Highway 884 on the west, Highway 555 on the north, the South Saskatchewan River on the east and the Trans-Canada Highway on the south. The Suffield Block is managed by CFB Suffield.

Suffield National Wildlife Area national wildlife area in Alberta, Canada

Suffield National Wildlife Area (SNWA) is a National Wildlife Area located within the boundaries of CFB Suffield in Alberta, Canada.

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  1. Wyatt et al., p. 3.
  2. 1 2 3 Lothian 1987, subsection Antelope Parks Established.
  3. Lothian 1987, subsection Nemiskam Park Abolished.
  4. Trottier & February 18, 2008.
  5. Jardine & March 7, 2008.
  6. Lothian 1987, subsection Abolition of Park Proposed.


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