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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 3, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, October 3, 1974 Edgar Me Hugh The man who saved antelope Pronghorn The critter that nearly vanished. Here's how they saved old telescope-eyes By GEOFF TAGG Were it not for the ef- forts of one of Alberta's earliest conservationists, Edgar McHugh of Nemiskam, one of the prairies best loved animals the pronghorn antelope might now be extinct. Few people have ever heard of this native Texan who came to Canada in 1901 Edgar McHugh ranched near the hamlet of Nemiskam, 76 miles south east of Lethbridge, and took up the cause on behalf of the antelope during the severe winter of 1906 -1907. The pronghorns once numbered as many as the buffalo with whom they shared the plains in com- plete harmony, however, towards the end of the last century they shared the same fate as their better known partners. Antelope feed by sight, and the severe storms of the 1906 -1907 winter began to take its toll as they were unable to find food. It is es- GOOD LUCK HUNTERS While in the 'Pass make the "Stop Inn Motel" your stomping grounds Your Hosts Bob and Bonnie Riddoll Coleman, Alberta Phone 563-3492 Phone 563-3888 tt GOOD LUCK HUNTERS visit and stay with us at the GRAND UNION HOTEL" Coleman Southern gateway to the Kananaskis Highway and good hunting. Your Host Manager Norman Livingston Phone 563-3777 Coleman, Alberta 600D SHOOTIN6 HUNTERS AND Welcome to tho Crowsnesf Pass "You don't have to exert all your efforts hunting the forests for a square meal just visit us at the Satellite and our staff will make you feel at home." SATELLITE RESTAURANT Phone 563-3652 Coleman, Alberta timated that the Alberta antelope population could have been as low as only 250 animals Edgar McHugh was almost alone in the area of Nemiskam at this time. The major settlement' of this region took place in the next decade Mr. McHugh fed the herd near his ranch throughout the winter, and began petitioning the Dominion government to do something to save the speedy and graceful animals from extinction. Mr. McHugh's pleas eventually fell on the sym- pathetic ear of the Hon. Frank Oliver, minister of the interior in the Laurier government who did everything in his power to bring the antelopes' plight to official attention. Mr. Oliver was later to become active in the preservation movement himself, purchasing the Pablo herd of about 500 pronghorns from western Montana which was also facing extinction. They were corralled, shipped to Canada and formed the nucleus of an antelope park at Wainright, Alberta. Meanwhile, in the winter of 1914 1915, Maxwell Graham, chief of the animal division of the department of the interior, came to Foremost, 8 miles west of Nemiskam, and spent the winter months studying the feeding habits of the antelope. Welcome Hunters While in the Crowsnesl Pass make the BELLEVUEINN at BELLEVUE Your Headquarters Prop. Bob Eva Blacklock Phone 564-4676 Bellevue A sizeable herd of about 80 were feeding in nearby Chin Coulee that winter. They were fed alfalfa by Mr. Maxwell. On returning to Ottawa, Mr. Maxwell recommended to his superiors precisely what Mr. McHugh had ad- vocated for several years, the establishment of an antelope park to preserve the few hundred remaining animals, "lest they become extinct altogether with the encroachment of civilization, the depradations of wolves, and hard Five sections of land were fenced with a Y shaped funnel leading into the enclosure. Posts were erected, and as wiring was about to begin, along came a Chinook wind taking away all traces of the winter snow. Along with them, to Mr. Maxwell's dismay, went the antelope to their summer pastures near the Cypress Hills to the south east. The project was even- tually completed the following winter with a total of around acres enclosed in an area known as Antelope National Park. Mr. McHugh was ap- THE GREENHILL HOTEL WISHES All hunters a good, safe hunting trip in the 'Pass area. Make the "Greenhill" where sleep is safest, your headquarters. Large free parking lot for customers. For Reservations Phone 562-2232 Blairmore BLAIRMORE MOTEL Invites ill hinttrs to niki thtir htid- qiirtirs in OM of tMr nodtrn units. Reasonable rates kitchen units centrally located in Blairmore In the heart of the best hunting ground m Southern Alberta Hosts Betty and Matt Linderman Phone 562-2279 Blairmore pointed as warden of the park, and Mr. Maxwell received most of the credit. The park provided a safe refuge for about 300 pronghorns in the early years. Each fall, under the careful eye of Mr. McHugh and his assistants, old bucks would be turned out, and wild, young bucks introduced into the herd to keep the stock pure and strong. Mr. McHugh remained as warden until his death in 1938, and by that time tfie future of the antelope was virtually assured. In June, 1947 an amend- ment to the Dominion Parks Act brought about the official end of the Nemiskam Antelope Park after 32 years of operation. The land had been used for community pasture pur- poses from .about 1943 onwards. The pronghorn antelope was not longer an en- dangered species, number- ing upwards of animals in Alberta at that time, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Edgar McHugh, one of Alberta's first conservationists. FAT'S CHOP SUEY AT BLAIRMORE Extends a Hearty WELCOME and GOOD LUCK To all Hunters visiting the Crowsnest Pass We invite you to visit us for a tasty Chinese style dinner or regular dinner. Good Hunting and Good Eating on Your stay in the 'Pass. Prop. Tong Mah Phone 562-2284 Blairmore GOOD HUNTING iN STRAIGHT SHOOTING on your Trip i> UN Cnwssjsi Piss BLAIRMORE, ALBERTA PHONE 562-2887 THE SLEEPEE TEEPEE MOTEL (OwiMr Operated Motel) DENNIS A DIANE CLARK (Props.) Crowsnest Pass Most Unique Motel" 18 ULTRA MODERN ROOMS ONE. TWO AND THREE BEDROOM UNITS TELEPHONES TV KITCHENETTES ;