Watershed resiliency money available for landowners

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

There is money available to help M.D. of Lesser Slave River farmers improve their environmental impact, says Meghan Payne, Lesser Slave Watershed Council executive director.

Payne recently met with the M.D. Ag Service Board (ASB), about offering watershed resiliency projects.

The meeting went well, she said. At the moment, LSWC is working with two farmers on the west end of Lesser Slave Lake. To date, all resiliency work has been in Big Lakes County or the Town of High Prairie, but the goal also work with landowners on the Slave Lake side.

Resilient watersheds “bounce back from a flood or a drought,” says Payne. This is good for fish, habitat, water quality, etc.

Riparian or wetland enhancements, and floodplain/river improvements are eligible for the grant money, says Payne’s presentation to the ASB.

Since 2015, the LSWC has done watershed resiliency projects, says ‘Resiliency and Restoration in the Lesser Slave Watershed’ (‘Resiliency and Restoration’). “LSWC strives to promote best management practices that will protect and conserve streams, riparian areas, and wetlands in our watershed.”

Past projects include installing riparian fence, off-stream water systems and work in High Prairie to protect a portion of the West Prairie River from OHV use and erosion. Another project included battling with beavers using a pond leveler.

“The intent of a pond leveler is to let water flow out of the dammed area while still maintaining enough water behind the dam to keep beaver happy,” says ‘Resiliency and Restoration’.

A map of the area covered by the Lesser Slave Watershed Council. Courtesy of LSWC.

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