Agricultural News


Cochrane Ecological Institute Celebrates Six Decades of Wildlife Conservation

Located in Rocky View County, just west of Highway 22, the Cochrane Ecological Institute has been a beacon of hope for Alberta's wildlife and ecosystems since 1964. As it marks its 60th anniversary, the Smeeton family remains dedicated to their mission of ecosystem restoration, which includes captive breeding, public education, and the translocation of injured or orphaned wildlife. Their efforts focus on rescue, rehabilitation, release, and research—a true commitment to biodiversity. 

The Cochrane Ecological Institute (CEI) underscores the critical impact of species extinction on both natural and managed landscapes. It advocates for the essential balance between biodiversity restoration and economic interests, promoting partnerships and collaborative efforts as vital tools. While biodiversity losses have a global reach, CEI emphasizes that effective, local actions, such as wildlife rescue and reintroduction, are crucial and require community support. 

CEI serves our community! 

  • Operating as a non-government organization (NGO), and a charity organization CEI cares for, rehabilitates, and releases injured or orphaned wildlife.

  • It manages over 30,000 calls annually, offering guidance on coexisting peacefully with wildlife. 

  • The institute delivers educational programs to schools in Rocky View County and surrounding areas. 

  • It provides research opportunities and field station facilities for students from Canada and abroad. 

  • CEI also hosts annual educational symposia; this year’s event in Bragg Creek focused on "Wilderness, Wildlife, and Human Interaction," drawing significant attendance. 

Innovative in its approach, CEI has developed and refined non-intrusive methods for wildlife monitoring by air, land, and water. The Institute’s commitment extends to research, wildlife reintroduction, and establishing government-approved quarantine facilities for all indigenous species to ensure their successful return to the wild. 

The advisory team at CEI includes esteemed members such as Dr. Leroy Little Bear, Francis First Charger, Dan Fox, Mike Judd, Dr. Jake Vesey, Paul D Smith, Dr. Sian S. Waters, Dr. Gordon Stenhouse, Sergei Pazhetnov, Cody Creelman, DVM, Joe Duff, Dr. Kathreen Ruckstuhl, Dr. Barrie Gilbert, David Couper, DVM, and Dr. Max Foran who contribute their expertise to guide the institute's endeavours. 

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Cochrane Ecological Institute for its unwavering service to our community and the ecosystems that surround us. For more information about their work and how you can contribute, visit

Posted in: Agriculture