While Teck is working hard to address the selenium issue in our watershed, there have been challenges that prove it is a difficult situation to solve. We should all monitor the progress on reducing the selenium levels in the Elk River Watershed, in our own backyards and our downstream neighbours. Check out these articles for some interesting updates and perspectives on water quality in our watershed:
Back in April, ERA joined forces with the College of the Rockies' Mountain Adventure Skills Training Program (MAST) students to continue in our efforts to steward Silver Springs. ERA has been and is continuing to care for Silver Springs, from the development of a proper parking lot to the ongoing work involved in building a backcountry toilet. The MAST students joined these effort on April 18, 2017 to help build a trail and install information and interpretive signs leading up to Silver Springs. You can read the full article here!
You might have thought you missed it, but you didn’t! Our 2016 AGM is coming up, and will be held upstairs at the Fernie Arts Station (601 1st Avenue) on Thursday, March 2nd 2017 from 6pm to 7pm. Come celebrate 5 years of valuable work in the Elk River Watershed!
Land use and climate change in the Columbia Basin are affecting the water quality and aquatic ecosystems, but little is known about to what extent this is currently affecting our water, or what we can expect in the future. That is why countless efforts have been made by water groups to help characterize these effects on our water. The Columbia Basin Trust commissioned a study on the water knowledge in the Columbia Basin, and you can read the full report here! If you don't have time to read the whole thing but still want to know what's going down with your water, you can read the highlights here!
Thank you to everyone who has helped out with the Community Based Water Monitoring program! It is because of people like you who take the time to collect data and work together to learn about the natural world we live in that information like this is available!
Teck commissioned a multi-year assessment on the current status and overall health of Westslope Cutthroat Trout in the Fording River watershed. This study was conducted by Westslope Fisheries Ltd. from 2012 to 2015, and the results provide an analytical look at how healthy, robust and sustainable the Westslope Cutthroat Trout population is. If you have concerns regarding resource development and recreational use in the area, you can read the report here!
If you've been curious as to what the future looks like for the Elko Dam, here's a glimpse at what is happening.
The ecological restoration work on Alexander Creek is well underway and looking good!
On Monday volunteers took cuttings from cottonwood, willow and dogwood plants, and yesterday staff and one extremely dedicated volunteer got up super early to finish the job. We planted two rows of brush layers containing the cuttings along the eroded slope, and in the spring time when the snow melts the cuttings will come out of dormancy and begin to grow roots and shoots.
Over time the roots will spread through the soil and stabilize the slope without the need for riprap. Footer logs and root wads where also placed at the base of the slope to deflect the energy of the stream away from the stream bank, with the added bonus of providing fish habitat.
A huge thank you to all the volunteers that helped out with this project! And also a big thanks to our funders that have made this possible: Lotic Environmental, Teck, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Sparwood and District Fish and Wildlife Association, Columbia Basin Trust, Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program and Cantor.
As part of Thomas Porter's final project for a University of Lethbridge geography course, this BSc student produced "Understanding our watershed: assessing flood risk in the Elk River watershed'. This video highlights a unique approach and partnership between community-based water group the Elk River Alliance and academics from the University of Lethbridge. Citizens, academics, professionals, and community leaders all contributed to the development of this grassroots initiated flood strategy following the 2013 flood and which was completed in May 2016.Read more