March 19th, 2018

Watershed conservationists earn high marks for efforts

By Kuhl, Nick on October 23, 2017.

Demi Knight

Southern Alberta Newspapers

Since joining the Southern Alberta Water Charter of 2017, two people in particular have been making their marks on the watershed and helping preserve wildlife within the area, and members of the charter and Oldman Watershed Council alike are taking notice.

William Singer III and Lori Brave Rock have taken extra measures this year to tackle issues within their watershed and actively change their cultivation practices.

By moving back their cultivation line to try and restore the health of the watershed, Executive Director of the Oldman Watershed Council, Shannon Frank says that by doing this these two individuals have helped tremendously.

“By restoring this buffer zone around the lake, William and Lori have proven they are true stewards of the watershed. A loss of cultivated land does have an impact on the pocket book but benefits people downstream and all the fish and wildlife who depend on these zones for food, water and shelter.”

William and wife Lori, reside on the Blood Reserve within the Bull Horn area and own a property on land that is situated close to a lake. In fact, William says the lake up takes up a third of the land that they live on.

With the natural wildlife that passes through the area such as badgers and weasels to swans, prairie chickens and everything in between, and after becoming signatories of the Southern Alberta Water charter, the two have become more aware than ever of what they could do to help protect this precious land that is home to so many creatures as well as a natural body of water.

“Restoring this buffer is really good for the watershed because riparian zones (the shores around water) are the most important part of a watershed. They are critical for filtering water, stabilizing banks to minimize erosion and providing habitat for fish and wildlife,” says Frank of the work that they are doing.

With most of their land being cultivated, this year the couple have made it their mission to pull back their cultivation line, losing some of their own property in the process to protect the watershed and keep it free from fertilizers and herbicides.

With parts of their land being cultivated as close as 25 feet to the lake, Singer III and Brave Rock made a bold decision to move back their line as far as 200 feet, causing them to lose an overall mass of four acres in land.

With many fish and migrating water fowl taking home in the water as well as nature that passes by to take refuge and drink from the water, moving back the cultivation land and allowing the water to be free of chemicals is something that will benefit the full ecosystem that the area caters to.

William Singer III also spoke at the Water Project Showcase that occurred earlier this year in Lethbridge in June before officially signing to be a signatory for the 2017 Southern Alberta Water Charter.

Here, Singer III took to the podium to give an overview of the work that he and his wife are doing this year to protect the watershed and spread better awareness throughout the Blood Reserve.

“We want to put Indigenous plant species back along the cultivation line that belong there, and we want to make farms aware that have cultivation lines close to water or cattle and horses that add waste to the water. We want to get others to follow suit and be more mindful because we need our water.”

Singer III had said at the event of their future plans for their land that are now in action.

Singer III and Brave Rock are also members of the Kainai Ecosystem Protection Association (KEPA) as well as Lori being a board member at the Oldman Watershed Council.

The two are no strangers to working towards better environments and encouraging others to do so, and their generous actions and love of the land is valued greatly not only by members of the Southern Alberta Water Charter but also communities that take note of their efforts.

movements and feel inspiration to take-action themselves.

“They’ve also gone a step further and are also regularly picking up trash from shorelines. Trash is not only unsightly, it can also be dangerous to animals who can swallow or get trapped by it. Most human trash does not break down easily and so can be dangerous for a long time,” added Frank about the extra work the two have been doing.

Because of these continued conscious efforts, Frank ended by expressing the OWC’s gratitude to the two and how it will be shown later this year by presenting them with an award at the Charter’s closing ceremony.

“We will be honoured to give William and Lori an award for their project on Nov. 17 as part of the Southern Alberta Water Charter closing ceremony. It is at the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association (421 6 Avenue S) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registration begins at 9:45 a.m.

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One Response to “Watershed conservationists earn high marks for efforts”

  1. biff says:

    refreshing approach – seeing value in something that is not all about bottom line profits!
    that is true leadership – so unlike the false “profits” too many in our society are conditioned to view as our prophets. i hope this watershed moment spills over into the market economy and floods us all with the nurture of common sense – so much more valuable than dirty dollars.

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