The Lesser Slave Watershed Council celebrates 10 years

Meghan Payne and volunteer Brooke Monteith collecting water samples from the West Prairie River.

On Friday June 16th people from all over the Lesser Slave Lake area met in Faust, Alberta for the Lesser Slave Watershed Council’s (LSWC) 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The meeting consisted of a review of the year’s activities, presented by Executive Director Meghan Payne and Watershed Coordinator Kaylyn Jackson; a financial report by Bobby from Bobby & Associates, a presentation on Alberta’s Lake Management plan by keynote Speaker Anuja Ramgoolam, the project manager from Alberta Watersmart and the election of 2 new board members.

The LSWC has a board of 15 members made up of stakeholders throughout the watershed.

The new members include Brianne Brault who will be the new Agriculture Alternate and Wendy Freeman who will be the new Member at Large.

Over the past 10 years the LSWC has grown and developed a lot; officially becoming a Watershed Planning and Advisory Council (WPAC) in 2007, hiring an executive director in 2008 and bringing on a watershed coordinator to help with education and outreach in 2013.

In conjunction with their board and stakeholders throughout the watershed the LSWC works to achieve the provinces Water for Life Goals of clean and secure drinking water, healthy aquatic environment and reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy.

To farther these goals and insure our watershed stays healthy and productive into the future the LSWC has also been working with a consultant from Palliser Environmental, a municipal working group and technical steering committee to finish off an Integrated Watershed Management Plan.

The plan strives to address local issues and act as a guiding document for the region.

More information and a copy of the final draft of the plan is now available for review here:

In addition to watershed planning the LSWC has been busy with education, outreach and much more.

Recently the Watershed Council, backed by many community supporters such as West Fraser, began a water quality sampling program on the 5 major tributaries of Lesser Slave Lake.

This program will help to bridge data gaps and allow informed decision making going into the future.

The LSWC has also partnered with Peace Country Beef and Forage Association to work with local farmers and ranchers on riparian, or stream bank, restoration projects and installation off-stream watering systems. They have also partnered with organizations such as RBC (Slave Lake and High Prairie branches) to host RBC Blue Water Days celebrations and beach/community clean ups.

The Watershed Council also partners with The Lesser Slave Forest Education Society for outdoor curriculum based fieldtrips, with the High Prairie Public Library for summer programs and with the High Prairie Children’s Resource Council for afterschool programs.

A lot has been accomplished in the last 10 years and everyone is excited to see what the next 10 years will bring. To learn more about the Lesser Slave Watershed Council you can find them on Facebook and Twitter, at their website or contact them directly by email or phone 780-523-9800.

Michelle MacMillan with the Lesser Slave Forestry Education Society helping lead a field trip.
Marvin Jackson from Sun Dog Solar explaining solar powered off steam watering systems during the 2017 watering systems tour with Peace Country Beef and Forage Association.
LSWC board members present at the 2017 AGM; back, left to right: Wendy Freeman, Kaylyn Jackson, Charmaine Larsen Willier, Todd Bailey, Linda Cox, Meghan Payne, Bob Popick and Claude Smith. Front left to right: Robert Nygaard, Jules Asterisk, Joy McGregor and Tammy Kaleta.
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