A local bird biologist is pleased to hear the Alberta Utilities Commission has denied a proposal for a huge solar farm near Frank Lake, east of High River.

Greg Wagner gave evidence at hearings into the project proposed by Elemental Energy Renewable's opposing their plan for 435,000 ground-mounted solar panels over 1,500 acres.

"It's nice to know the birds at Frank Lake are important here and we're going to protect them and that whole Frank Lake area was set up as a conservation area to preserve and conserve the bird population there so it's nice that we're doing that," he says.

"There's been a number of studies over the last half-century, land use, environmental studies, they all come back and say Frank Lake is a very important wetland, it's probably the most important wetland in southwestern Alberta, migration right now we're starting to see stuff moving in numbers, but it's also bringing in lots of bird watchers and photographers. I'm still astonished by the number of people out there you can see on a nice warm day on a spring weekend."

Bird watchers out on a weekendBird watchers out on a weekend

He says last fall the area was also recognized as a key bio-diversity area housing ground squirrels, jack rabbits and frogs.