Headwaters Action Plan looks to keep Oldman healthy

By Kuhl, Nick on November 22, 2013.

Nick Kuhl

Lethbridge Herald

[email protected]

Keeping the water upstream in the Oldman River in good health is the primary goal for the Headwaters Action Plan.

The Oldman Watershed Council (OWC) held four public consultation meetings in the past several weeks in Cardston, Pincher Creek, Nanton and Cowley, before hosting one Thursday night at Country Kitchen Catering in Lethbridge.

The draft plan focuses on three indicators of headwaters health: native fish, linear features density and aquatic invasive species.

Shannon Frank, executive director for the OWC, says it also lays out a series of targets that the community wants to achieve in relation to those indicators, as well as actions needed to achieve the targets and recommendations to the Alberta Government.

She said the goal is to finalize the plan and have a steering committee ready for around April 2014.

“We’ll be reporting back to the community on what’s been accomplished, as well as evaluating the plan and making changes when necessary,” Frank said ahead of Thursday’s gathering.

The OWC has spent the past year and a half working on the Headwaters Action Plan as part of a larger Integrated Watershed Management Plan.

They hope to address key issues along the eastern slopes of the Oldman watershed by developing a plan from the best available science through the Headwaters Indicators Project, by working with a partner advisory network of willing stakeholders and by holding 17 “Source to Tap” community meetings with Water Matters.

The OWC was also accepting feedback on the draft Headwaters Action Plan, either at the meetings or online, up until today.