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Local producers can learn about riparian health managment

Posted on October 19, 2021 by 40 Mile Commentator
Commentator/courier PHOTO submitted Pictured is an example of a sage brush area for riparian health management.

EDITORS NOTE: There was some incorrect information in the story but now has been fixed to its updated version.

By Justin Seward


Cow and Fish-Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society are looking for producers in the southern parts of County of Forty Mile and Cypress County to partner with various riparian health management strategies with a focus on Greater Sage Grouse habitat.

“We work a lot with ranchers and we specialize in riparian areas and riparian health,” said

Emily Purvis, southeast region riparian range specialist for the Society.

The riparian habitat is a flood plain which is an intermediate zone between an aquatic habitat and the dry uplands.

“In terms of riparian health, there are (a) few different parameters to kind of estimate it—but basically you want to have lots of plant cover for one—hopefully native plants,” said Purvis.

Woody species with deep binding roots to prevent erosion [are preferred] and, in general, you don’t want to see excessive impacts to the physical features of riparian areas, like lots of erosion or large plots of bare ground.

Cows and Fish discuss topics like social erosion, water retention, wildlife because of their reliability on riparian areas, portable and electric and permanent fencing and hands-on field days.

“It really varies (from) producer to producer,” she said.

“One of the key messages we like to get across is the fact that it’s totally a voluntary thing and that we’re not some experts coming in and telling people what to do. We’re really just there to try and discuss any concerns or interests or questions that they might have and kind of offer some ideas from our perspective and give them some things to think about.”

Producers can learn more by calling Purvis at (403) 635-9013 or emailing her at

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