To mitigate the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation, well-coordinated partnerships with many stakeholders are needed to re-establish habitat and connectivity across the land base. We meet with municipalities, irrigations districts, and grazing reserve board of directors to better understand their operations and discuss habitat needs of various wildlife. We work together to identify and map habitat enhancements that can be dovetailed into their operations that will benefit not only wildlife but also improve other parameters such as water quality, vegetative stands for grazing, access to water for grazing, social licensing, and recreational access. In 2018, we assessed the health of the riparian zones on three reservoirs within the Taber Irrigation District and developed a plan to enhance areas needing improvement. An early first step was the design and the contribution of materials toward 2.5 km of fencing to protect a sensitive riparian zone on Fincastle Reservoir. We also signed a memorandum of understanding with St. Mary River Irrigation with the overarching goal of improving water quality and the habitat important for wildlife within their system.
The first phase will include the development of a comprehensive habitat conservation strategy that will assess the health of the vegetation community around 18 reservoirs over the next three years. This will include range, riparian, and wildlife assessments on 10,000 acres of land that together spans more than 360 km of shoreline habitat.
St. Mary River Irrigation District (SMRID), Taber Irrigation District (TID)
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