Lundbreck, Alberta hosted a panel on local conservation on Sept. 23rd featuring the Oldman Watershed Council (OWC), which runs the Watershed Legacy Program (WLP).
The WLP aims to provide the necessary tools “for watershed stewardship groups and landowner cooperatives to take the next steps towards sustainable management of their land and operation.” The goal of the WLP is to coordinate efforts throughout the basin with an aim to conserve and enhance natural resources and rural life.
The aim of the “Who’s Who and What They Do” conference was to highlight the work of a wide-array of conversation efforts in the area that are focused on protecting the integrity of the Livingstone river area, a part of the Old Man Watershed, two hours south of Calgary and two hours west of Lethbridge, where the OWC is based.
The community is concerned about increasing industrial and tourist activity in southern Alberta.
Shannon Frank, executive director of the OWC, said of the WLP success: “We’ve supported 39 projects to the tune of $130,000, and that was 12 km of riparian fence, 12 off-stream watering systems, 10 invasive weed pulls, four stream bank engineering projects, and four field days.” On the impact of the WLP, Frank said: “We are really proud to work with landowners and we really encourage you to get involved with that program if you’re looking at doing a project on your land.”
The WLP focuses on seven categories through which stakeholders in the basin can apply for funding:
- Riparian and creek restoration;
- Invasive species management;
- Wetland restoration and development;
- Nutrient management projects;
- Land management e.g. salinity, wildlife issues, recreational, etc.;
- Water quality e.g. home water testing;
- Or outreach, communication, or education programming.
Also featured on the panel were the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), Cows and Fish, Miistakis Institute, and the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society (SALTS).