The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance is in the final stages of the project “Targeting the Conservation and Restoration of Riparian Areas in the Lower Headwaters and Central Agricultural Zones of the Red Deer River Watershed”. With funding support through the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP) the objectives of the projects were to identify priority riparian areas to focus conservation and restoration activities in the Little Red Deer, Kneehills, Threehills, and Buffalo sub -watersheds and engage and partner with local municipalities.
The first objective of the project was to identify riparian areas to focus conservation and restoration activities. The RDRWA engaged Fiera Biological to lead the mapping of the four sub-watersheds using high resolution SPOT-6 imagery, LiDAR 15 data, and a GIS desktop quality assurance and quality control approach. The results of this work provided an aerial snap shot in time of riparian intactness, which will be used to assess and establish riparian health and planning targets in the RDRWA’s forthcoming State of the Watershed and subsequent Integrated Watershed Management plan. Through the current and ongoing engagement with municipalities, results will be used to guide efforts led by local municipalities related to conservation and restoration, land-use planning, and outreach. As a longer-term vision for the initiative, the RDRWA through partnering with municipalities and other stakeholders are working together to achieve the benefits of these importance of natural assets for ecosystem services: such as flood and drought resiliency.
The technical riparian intactness data for this project can be found on the government of Alberta site: https://open.alberta.ca/opendata/gda-f0931661-3c35-4149-ae0b-94058938ad6f
The final riparian intactness report and full list of municipalities involved can be found here
To learn more about riparian intactness results within select Counties included in the project, please see the links below:
Many thanks and appreciation to the following individuals for providing input into this project; Peggy Johnson, Lorelee Grattidge, MJ Vergara, Fallon Sherlock, Ken Lewis and Matt Chilakos.