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>Farm residences are spread throughout the municipality, clusters of homes in country residential subdivisions (acreages) are typically found within a short drive from the City of Medicine Hat.

Small urban areas include Walsh, Schuler, Hilda and Veinerville.  Less than 100 people live in each of these communities.

Medium size urban areas of approximately 300 people include Seven Persons, Irvine, and Suffield. Another is Ralston, which is located on the Canadian Forces Base Suffield, therefore it is for military personnel.Elkwater, within Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, has a permanent population of less than 100 but significantly more on any given weekend.  There are over 300 homes or seasonal cabins in the townsite.

Larger urban areas, but still with a rural feel, include Dunmore and Desert Blume. Dunmore is known for its large lot size (up to half an acre) allowing larger homes and garages, or more room to play.  Desert Blume is part of a premier golf resort, with many homes adjacent to the fairways.

Service levels vary between communities, but they each have their own flavour and lifestyle.


The Evolution of Cypress County:
When the area of Cypress County was settled over a century ago, many settlements developed and parcels of native grassland were plowed up for planting cultivated crops.  Many small, self governing municipalities incorporated, but the drought and depression of the dirty ’30s caused great hardship.  Farmland was abandoned and with little or no tax revenue, the municipalities dissolved.  The provincial government took back much of the land under a tax recovery process.

The province assembled the land into Improvement Districts, where the Minister of Municipal Affairs was responsible for providing all services in the area, including the levy and collection of taxes.  Advisory councils were appointed to assist with administration of the district.

In 1941, 2,700 square kilometres northeast of Medicine Hat became Canadian Forces Base Suffield, an ideal army training and testing area due to its remoteness.

Eventually, as tax revenue increased and the area became sustainable, the Improvement Districts were amalgamated, with incorporation as a Municipal District occurring in 1985.

For a more personal look at agriculture, community life, native history, North West Mounted Police (NWMP), postal services, wildlife and plants, interesting regional facts and origin of names take a look at: Celebrating Our History
Cypress County strives to encourage a rural lifestyle and retain its agricultural character. However, there is the realization that development needs to occur to keep the area sustainable. A balanced mix of business and industry provides employment, which leads to healthy residential communities. To promote the County beyond the borders, a number of partnerships have been formed. 

Verge Economic Development
When it comes to moving forward, the County is proud to be a partner in Verge Economic Development.  Together with support from other nearby urban and rural municipalities, the alliance promotes opportunities where business and industry can expand.  Key focus areas are energy (oil and gas and alternative energy), information technology, machinery, food processing and agriculture. To visit their website click on their logo.

 Palliser Economic Partnership
Palliser Economic Partnership
The County is also a member of the Palliser Economic Partnership (PEP).  This is a regional alliance of communities and agencies in southeast Alberta that work together to enhance the area's economic well being.  Founded in 2000, Palliser Economic Partnership includes municipal representatives from the region's 19 communities, who in turn represent a combined population of over 112,000. To visit their website click on their logo.

 Ports-to-Plains Alliance
Ports-to-Plains Alliance
To ensure the County has a voice on issues of international trade, membership has been established with the Ports-to-Plains Alliance.  This is a grassroots alliance of communities and businesses whose mission is to advocate for a robust transportation infrastructure to promote economic security and prosperity throughout North America's energy and agricultural heartland.  The alliance is committed to working to improve transportation infrastructure and business networks, by ensuring appropriate funding levels, so business and industry can thrive.  The Wildhorse Border Crossing is a subcommittee of the alliance, working towards extended hours of this US/Canada border crossing. To visit their website click on their logo.

 Canadian Badlands Ltd
Canadian Badlands Ltd
The Canadian Badlands corporation wants the region to become a major iconic tourist destination for Alberta, to complement the role played by the Canadian Rockies in encouraging travel to and within the province.  This not-for-profit co-operative is the largest regional partnership of municipal governments in Alberta.  The shareholders are 62 municipal governments recognizing the power of co-operative efforts to develop and implement a strategic regional tourism development plan. To visit their website click on their logo.