Cardston County is a municipality that functions through delegated power from the Province of Alberta in the Municipal Government Act. The County provides a wide range of services aimed at addressing the needs of its residents and taxpayers in a safe, viable, and sustainable manner.
As a Council, the elected representatives from the County’s 7 Districts strive to make sound decisions, provide good direction, and respond to the concerns and wishes of our residents. Council also strives to create an environment where ideas, suggestions and differences may be freely expressed for the enhancement and common good of our rural community.
About Cardston County
Cardston County, extending from the U.S. boundary to a point south of Lethbridge, embodies western lifestyle. Open ranges and fertile valleys, wandering cattle and swaying wheat fields are tucked against the rugged timberland at the edge of the Rocky Mountains.
The County is an interesting blend of unique demographics: the 1420 sq. km. Kainai Blackfoot reserve (First Nations) is home to 10,000 people; a socially and economically influential Mormon community has its origin in settlement in the late 1800’s; and there are several Hutterite colonies that trace directly to the 16th-century Reformation.
Economic mainstays are agriculture (50% of the labour force) and tourism. The County is determined to maintain ranching and farming as the foundation for cultural and economic life. Opportunities exist to nurture local processing and packaging of agricultural output. Guest ranches, campgrounds (including the resort-size Great Canadian Barn Dance near Hill Spring), and accessibility to nearby Waterton National Park comprise the County's tourism sector.
Wind energy is an emerging economic influence. The county was not positioned for the first wave of wind farm development in southwest Alberta in the early 2000s due to distance away from transmission lines. New opportunity will be available when the new high-voltage line (currently being planned by AltaLink) is built through Cardston County. The County is interested in further leveraging the wind resource by encouraging development of related service businesses, manufacturing and knowledge-based labour force.
Investment opportunity in the County includes farm operation succession, given an aging farm demographic. Land prices range from $1,200 per acre in the north of the Country to roughly $5,000 per acre near Waterton Lakes National Park. In many cases, newcomers can acquire cattle or grain operations for less than they would pay in the prime farming regions of Europe or the United States.
Rural landowners close to town are more amenable to subdivision and development than are the big agriculture operators. Minimum parcel size in Cardston County is three acres, ruling out dense housing projects or business parks; however, these types of development are encouraged in urban communities within the County.
Economy and Business
The major economic base of Cardston County is agriculture, with more than 45,000 acres of irrigated farm land and gross farm receipts totaling close to $145,000 million. The vast expanse of irrigated land in Cardston County makes this area rich with potential in the agricultural industry.
Tourism in Cardston County has also become a strong and viable industry, with visitors drawn to the area’s natural landscape and proximity to Waterton National Park. The communities of Cardston County celebrate their pioneer heritage with unique historical and cultural centers, attracting visitors from far and wide.
Wind energy is an emerging economic influence. The County is interested in further leveraging the wind resource by encouraging development of related service businesses, manufacturing and knowledge‐based labour force.
Building and Construction are also on the rise in Cardston County, creating opportunities to prosper in this growing industry.
January: -6° Celsius (21° Fahrenheit)
April: 6° Celsius (43° Fahrenheit)
July: 18° Celsius (65° Fahrenheit)
October: 6° Celsius (43° Fahrenheit)
Total Hours of Sunshine:
2370 hours per year
32 cm of rain per year
229 cm of snow per year
Frost Free Days:
111 per year