Plenty of local resources are available to farmers and landowners to enhance riparian areas and other components related to the watershed.
Lesser Slave Watershed Council and Peace Country Beef and Forage Association can offer funding support and other resources to improve land, farm operations and the watershed.
“We want to help landowners learn about and implement best management practices that benefit the long-term sustainability of their operations and our watershed,’ watershed council executive director Meghan Payne says during a riparian seminar in High Prairie on Feb. 3.
“Another one of our overall goals is to improve riparian areas and wetland health so the watershed can benefit from all the great natural functions they perform,” Payne says.
Currently, the council is seeking to do projects in:
-Riparian areas along creeks, rivers, lake, wetlands, pond or groundwater artesian wells.
-Areas where cattle are currently impacting the site.
-Sites with degraded vegetation or invasive weed issues.
-Sites with erosion issues that can be solved without use of heavy equipment.
The beef and forage association works on many projects with the watershed council and offers services and tools specific to that industry, such as environmental farm plans and long-term water management plans.
An environmental farm plan is a valued resource.
“It’s a really good check-up to see if you’re doing good things for the environment,” says Kaitlin McLachlan, crop program co-ordinator for the beef and forage association based in Fairview.
She advises farmers to consider applying for funding from the provincial Growing Forward 2 program for various parts of the farming management, noting that grants for some agricultural segments have narrow timelines and deadlines.
“Hopefully we can get some funding support,” McLachlan says.
Both the beef and forage association and the watershed council are available to help people complete an application.
The watershed council states that its goals can be reached by taking steps to increase native vegetation cover, decrease bare ground and erosion, promote off-stream watering systems, timed and controlled grazing of riparian areas and permanent or temporary fencing and cross fencing.
Many resources are available from the watershed council or landowners and other partners to proceed with projects to protect and build the watershed.
Besides water systems, fencing materials and vegetation, the council also offers time, expertise, and information.
“Our staff is committed to ensure projects get done,” Payne says.
“We will help fence, plant vegetation, install watering systems and make site visits.”
For more information about Lesser Slave Watershed Council, phone 780-523-9800 or email to .
The watershed council also has an office in High Prairie on the upper floor, about High Prairie Municipal Library.
For more information about Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, contact McLachlan by phone at 780-523-0443.
For more information on projects, services, and research, phone the High Prairie office at 780-523-4033.