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Sasquatch Enlisted to Support Stewardship Efforts

Posted May 16, 2019 by LSC

Clear Water Landcare has been around for a while; since the late 1990’s in fact. Over the years, their vision of people living in and enjoying a healthy watershed, and their commitment to raising awareness with people about sustainable land and water use has never wavered. While they’ve been steadfast in vision and commitment, they’ve embraced creativity when it comes to their approach. Learn how Clear Water Landcare enlisted the support of a ‘unique partner’ to help them with their watershed stewardship efforts.

A Fresh Approach

A dedicated stewardship group, Clear Water Landcare has delivered numerous information sessions and assisted many landowners with various projects such as restoring habitats, off-site watering demonstrations and enhancing riparian habitat. They’ve accomplished much on private land in collaboration with landowners through their Caring for My Land and other successful programs. However, to encourage even greater respect for and stewardship of public land, Clear Water Landcare used a fresh approach, enlisting the help of Sasquatch to help spread the word.

Naturally, the real Sasquatch was too busy to make personal appearances, so the initiative is supported by a lively and imaginative caricature appearing prominently on signage and other communications throughout Sasquatch’s “backyard”. On these signs and communiques, Sasquatch “welcomes visitors to his backyard” and reminds them to enjoy nature and its bounty with respect.

“Sasquatch and the Welcome to Our Backyard initiative is a positive and fun way to remind people – both visitors and locals alike – that it is a privilege to live, work and play in one of the most amazing places in Canada,” explains Gary Lewis, the Clear Water Landcare Supervisor. “And with any privilege comes great responsibility.”

Stewardship That Goes Beyond Borders

Sasquatch’s “backyard” has grown beyond Clearwater County to include the eastern slopes municipalities of Yellowhead, Brazeau, Greenview and Mountain View. The area is rich with natural history, biodiversity and landscapes that include waterfalls, rare plants and diverse wildlife.

Sasquatch’s messages to visitors to “his backyard” include being sensitive to and respectful of the important landscapes, wildlife and ecosystems while enjoying nature and recreating in the area. Sasquatch is also quick to point out that how we use our land affects water supply and quality throughout the watershed and encourages everyone to treat all natural areas with care and respect.

Support for Multiple Initiatives

Sasquatch also appears in support of the Clearwater Trails Initiative (CTI), a collaborative effort between Clearwater County, industry partners, landowners, and provincial government, focuses on sustainable trail development, encouraging trail users to steer clear of sensitive upland and riparian areas.

CTI sounds like many other stewardship initiatives, right? Not so, because CTI enlisted the help of Sasquatch to capture people’s attention and help deliver these important messages by welcoming visitors to the area and encourages all to enjoy nature and its bounty with respect.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a nature photographer or a hiker, a horseback rider or quad rider, a picnicker or overnight camper, a hunter or angler,” adds Gary. “We all have an important part to play in caring for the wonderful, wild place that Sasquatch calls home.”

Learn more about the Clearwater Trails Initiative and other Clearwater County efforts, including Clear Water Landcare programs and watch for Sasquatch the next time you find yourself in his backyard.

Making Headway With Wetland Education

Posted May 16, 2019 by LSC

This past March, Land Stewardship Centre (LSC) attended the Wetland Education Network (WEN) Workshop at the lovely Nisku Recreation Centre in Leduc County. Hosted by Alberta NAWMP Partnership, this second annual WEN workshop brought together individuals and organizations representing four key sectors: agriculture, municipalities, education/public and industry to discuss and share ideas for how to advance wetland education, knowledge and action in Alberta.

Motivated and Action Oriented

The workshop was attended by approximately 60 individuals from across the province and representing the various sector stakeholder groups. During this full day workshop, participants contributed fresh ideas and came away with new knowledge and motivation to support wetland education in Alberta.

The WEN sector action groups, which have been working together for the past year to discuss and develop various tools, resources and approaches to supporting sector-specific wetland education in Alberta, provide workshop participants with an update of each action group accomplished. For example:

The Agriculture Action Group created five media stories that were published in community newspapers and which highlighted producers who have integrated wetland conservation in their operations. The Education Action Group created a guide for engaging communities in local wetland conservation.

The Municipal Action Group developed and informative resource titled Your Guide to Making Wetlands Work in Your Municipality to guide and inform municipalities in the many facets of wetland conservation. They will be releasing an updated version in the coming months. The engaged participants in and tangible outputs of the WEN speaks to the value of a collaborative of partners coming together with passion, knowledge and a shared goal.

More Wetland Work on the Horizon

This year, with support from Alberta Innovates and the Alberta NAWMP Science Fund, LSC will be implementing a wetland conservation and stewardship pilot project to create a case study for wetland markets in the Beaver Hills Biosphere (BHB). LSC looks forward to working closely with Alberta NAWMP, the BHB and other important partners to advance wetland protection in the designated UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere.

Learn more about the Alberta NAWMP Partnership and their efforts to conserve and protect Alberta’s wetlands. And stay tuned for more information about the innovative wetland conservation project in the Beaver Hills Biosphere.

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