Rediscovering the Forest Reserve as the Oldman Basin''s Water Tower

May 10, 2007 :: Dianne Pachal
Moderated by James Moore

With population growth and climate impacts poised to create a water crisis in water-scarce southern Alberta, people are working diligently on the downstream allocation and conservation of water. But, what about the primary source of our water – the headwaters of the Oldman River Basin?

This presentation will touch on the cultural amnesia that has occurred regarding the water source and its management for water supply. It will address the current status and issues, such as the C5 Forest Management Plan and the need for citizen engagement.

The majority of the flowing water for the Prairie Provinces comes from the Rocky Mountains – the Eastern Slopes of Alberta – with the largest proportion of that coming from the Forest Reserves or Green Zone. The headwaters of the Oldman River Basin are the only part of the Green Zone where forest management decisions haven’t been allocated to the logging industry. Instead, all the forest management decisions still rest with our provincial elected officials and civil service, affording citizen engagement an unsurpassed and timely opportunity to determine the protection of our premier water source.

Speaker: Dianne Pachal

An environmental biologist by training, Dianne Pachal has worked the past 28 years for public interest groups in Alberta as a conservation advocate and activist. Conservation in the headwaters of the Oldman River Basin has been an on ongoing passion of hers for those 28 years. She is a recipient of World Wildlife Fund Canada’s Prairie Conservation Award and the Government of Canada’s 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal “in recognition of significant contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada.” She is presently the Sierra Club of Canada’s Alberta Wilderness Director.

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