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
In May 2016, Mrs. Purdy’s grade 4 class and Mrs. Kroeker’s grade 8 class joined forces with the Elk River Alliance, Elk Valley Wildsight, and the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council to help restore the Beaver Wetland in Sparwood. The students helped with wetland mapping, identification and removal of invasive plant species, planting native vegetation, examining the benthic invertebrate population of the wetland as well as contributing to the excellent signage posted at the Beaver Wetland, see signs below!
A big thanks to the students, and also to our funders: BC Wildlife Federation, Environment Canada, District of Sparwood, Sparwood Community Futures, Elk Valley Thrift Store Society
We have some amazing bioengineering projects coming up, and they need some volunteers just like you!
On Lizard Creek we are have previously worked to stabilize an eroded bank, and are going back on October 17 & 19 for some further enhancement. If you're interested in learning about bioengineering methods, we're looking at you! Message email@example.com for details!
We are also working on a bank stabilization project on Alexander Creek and will be conducting the first step in this process on October 22: a site cleanup and planting party! We'll also start taking cuttings to be used for the rest of the project on November 7. Again, message firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in learning something new and unique!
Join us for this year's 6th annual Elk River Shoreline Cleanup! We meet in Fernie at the Annex Park, Sparwood at the Leisure Centre and Elkford at the Aquatic Centre to adopt sites along the river and clean them up at 1pm on September 25th! Join us for the clean up and then celebrate in a volunteer appreciation event afterwards! Get involved and show your love for the Elk River!