New report addresses riparian areas, wetlands and land use: Nov 19, 2012

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Red Deer - The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance is inviting public and stakeholders to provide input on a new report on riparian areas, wetlands and land use. The report is the second background technical report commissioned by the Alliance as part of the development of a watershed plan.

“We want to hear from the community on these important areas - wetlands, riparian areas and land use,” says Gerard Aldridge, Executive Director of the Alliance. “We also want to use the release of this report to have a conversation with stakeholders - what are you doing in the watershed and how might we work together in the future to implement the watershed plan when it is completed?”

There are two stakeholder workshops being held in Red Deer, one with local governments on November 26 and one with conservation and community groups on November 27. The Alliance is also making presentations to agriculture and industry organizations. There is an online response form that anyone can access at the Alliance’s website (www.rdrwa.ca) and provide comments on the report.

“Background Technical Report on Riparian Areas, Wetlands and Land Use,” which was researched and written by Calgary-based O2 Planning + Design, is available on the Alliance’s website.

“Parts of the report are very technical but there is a summary and we welcome both technical and non- technical comments,” said Aldridge. “The important thing is that people are starting to understand the relationship between the environmental, social and economic health of the community and a healthy watershed."

There will be four background technical reports produced in all. A report on surface water quality has already been published. In early 2013 the Alliance will embark on the third background report - groundwater and water quantity. The fourth background technical report will deal with terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity.

“The reports will form a foundation of background information that the Alliance will use to build the Integrated Watershed Management Plan,” says Aldridge. “We can’t do that without the participation of organizations and individuals in the watershed community. The plan will only be successful if stakeholders take ownership in its development and are prepared to implement it.”

The Alliance expects to have a draft integrated watershed management plan by March 2014.

More information is available on the Alliance’s website (www.rdrwa.ca), by emailing iwmp@rdrwa.ca, or calling 403-340-7379. The Alliance also has a Facebook page and is on Twitter.

The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance is a multi-sector, non-profit organization that promotes the good use and proper management of water in the Red Deer River watershed. The Alliance was created in September 2005 and is one of 11 Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils, which are part of Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy.

For more information on the report, go here.

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