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Thursday, 23 February 2017 08:00

SEAWA hosting rural stewardship education forum

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A second education forum hosted by the South East Alberta Watershed Alliance (SEAWA) will focus on rural stewardship March 10.

SEAWA officials hosted an educational forum late last year that took an urban focus. The intention was always to host a rural-focused day this year.
The Educational Forum Rural Stewardship on the Farm is set to take place March 10 at the Medicine Hat Lodge. Registration is now open online through Eventbrite (
The day’s theme is around the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, challenges faced by land owners and the future of the Environmental Farm Plan.
“We have a lot of speakers talking on the stuff that is in that plan,” explains Stuart Murray, SEAWA’s chair.
Geared more for farmers and ranchers, organizers wanted to hold the full-day event earlier in the year before these people get busy in the fields or with their herds.
“It is free, but we would like people to register,” says Murray.
The registration deadline is March 1.
After each speaker shares his or her information, there will be a question and answer period.
The end of the day will feature a panel session with producers and ranchers from southeast Alberta who will share their perspectives and experiences with various best management practices.
“They’re going to talk about what they’ve done and there will be a time to ask questions and get some more information,” adds Murray.
He feels it’s important for landowners to be made aware of what’s in the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan
It is likely that SEAWA officials will still hold one more all-day seminar, around a new topic such as tourism and the watershed as they want to try to target all kinds of watershed users. SEAWA’s next big event after March 10 will be its annual general meeting in June.
“We were very pleased,” says Murray, about the response to the first session held last fall. “We had a lot of comments. There was a lot of positive feedback and it gave us more topics to do next time we do it.”
Registration for the March 10 educational forum will start at 8 a.m. and lunch is provided for participants. The agenda is as follows:
• 9 a.m. — Welcome;
• 9:20 a.m. — SEAWA and WPACS, Marilou Montemayor, SEAWA executive director;
• 9:35 a.m. — Voluntary Market-Based Instruments for Ecosystem Services, Peter Boxall, University of Alberta;
• 10:10 a.m. — South Saskatchewan Regional Biodiversity Management Framework: Status Update and Next Steps, Nigel Ward, Alberta Environment and Parks;
• 11 a.m. — Invasive Species Prevention, Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR), and Management, Kelly Cooley, CoolPro Solutions;
• 11:35 a.m. — Perceptions of Water Quality in Rural Alberta Associated with Livestock, Abraham Munene, University of Calgary;
• 1:10 p.m. — Sustainable Sourcing and the Future of the Environmental Farm Plan, Paul Watson, Alberta Environmental Farm Plan;
• 1:45 p.m. — Panel: Four Perspectives of Implementing BMPs on Farms
• 2:50 p.m. — Closing and Thank You.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor