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Community and Producer Stories

The cornerstone of successful riparian and watershed management is the involvement and ownership of the issues by local individuals and communities. Cows and Fish has provided assistance, technical support and information on the value and benefits of riparian areas and riparian management, while these communities and individuals are proactively addressing riparian issues and sharing what they have learned about what works for riparian management in their area.

Some of the groups and individuals Cows and Fish have worked with are highlighted below. We invite you to read on and find out what other groups and individuals are doing for local riparian management.

To learn what producers from Alberta farm and ranches are doing read below.

To learn what community & watershed groups are doing click here or just read on!

To find out more about what we have learned working with communities click here or just read on!

Producer Stories


Glen & Kelly Hall - Stavely, Alberta  NEW!

The Halls have been using a time-controlled grazing strategy to provide carefully managed grazing of their riparian pasture since 1994. They want to maintain the pastures along Mosquito Creek to continue to provide pasture during the breeding season and also to produce high quality native grass seed for market.


Tongue Creek Ranch - Hartell, Alberta  NEW!

Recognising that cattle numbers and stocking rates need to be adjusted to meet pasture and range conditions has enabled Merv Page, ranch manager, to keep the native range in good condition. Use of short periods of grazing during the spring plus access to off-site water maintains the riparian area and streambank, allowing for fall-winter grazing to also fit into the management strategy.


OH Ranch - Longview, Alberta  NEW!

Using a combination of rest-rotation and time-controlled grazing, Bud Maynard, ranch manager, has been working to improve pasture condition since 1989. In combination with these grazing strategies and off-stream water development, riparian health and grass production have improved, along with an increase in herd size.

Community Stories


Beaver Creek Watershed Group  NEW!

Composed of farmers, ranchers and recreational landowners, the Beaver Creek Watershed Group is striving to improve riparian health and water quality in Beaver Creek through the collective efforts of landowners along this stream which flows from the Porcupine Hills. The group has taken action to build a strong group of committed individuals with the support of a working group of agency resource people. They continue to focus on awareness, implementing management changes and monitoring.


City of Camrose:  A Forward and Upstream View  NEW!

The City of Camrose, located in central Alberta, has been working with the County of Camrose since 1998 to protect the Battle River watershed. The City realizes that by working on watershed issues together with the County, they are not only helping to create a healthy watershed for agricultural and recreational users but they are also protecting the water supply for 15,000 urban individuals.


Upper Little Bow Basin Water Users Association

We are a group of landowners who live and farm along the Little Bow River, from near the town of High River to the Little Bow Reservoir - a distance spanning almost 55 km. Our Riparian Initiative Program has made our community more aware of their impacts as well as helps us look for some of the potential benefits that come from better riparian and rangeland management practices.


Lower Mosquito Creek Water Users Association

Our group consists of several dozen agricultural families, forming a community-based association of landowners along the lower section of Mosquito Creek. Our approach has been a take-charge, proactive one. We feel that it is in the best interest of our community to become involved in the proactive restoration of water quality in the creek.


Municipal District of Ranchland

The Municipal District of Ranchland is located in the foothills of south-western Alberta. This area includes numerous creeks that form the headwaters of part of the Oldman River drainage. We are a community group made up of ranchers, municipal representatives, agricultural service board members, and agricultural fieldmen that represent the 103 people living in the M.D. After a severe flood in 1995, we saw the need to work together more, and also saw our community as part of the bigger area. The flood helped us recognise that neighbours could work together to manage our riparian areas.

Working with Communities - Sharing our experiences
What have we learned through our work with local communities and agricultural producers?


Lesson 1
Producers, local communities and/or watershed groups must drive riparian management planning decisions.

Agencies, conservation organizations and others need to let the local group determine the timing and needs of riparian management decisions.


Lesson 2
Create a team effort.

Recognizing that everyone has different skills, resources and innovative ideas helps build a stronger team to address the issues.


Lesson 3
Ownership of riparian grazing issues lies with the landowners.

Cattle producers and others have acknowledged and taken ownership of riparian issues, for their benefit and others who use and value riparian areas.


Lesson 4
Get out and talk to producers and their communities.

Understanding what landowners and communities needs and concerns are will help you collectively work together to address riparian issues.


Lesson 5
Learn from landowners!

Landowners that are currently managing healthy riparian areas are excellent sources of information and innovative solutions. We have found that evolving management through trial and error tells you not only "What works?" but also "What doesn't work?"


Lesson 6
Send a positive message to the general public.

Local community and watershed groups that are proactively addressing riparian issues demonstrates the willingness to face the issues, find solutions, and create a healthier, more sustainable environment for everyone.

To find out more, we invite you to read Getting Past the Talk - Working with Communities and Cows and Fish Process.

To obtain printed copies of these publications, please use our Online Order Form.

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