Killing the Golden Goose in Our Headwaters

The ecological goods and services provided by the southwest Alberta foothills are assets that contribute significantly to our economy and our quality of life. These headwaters of southern Alberta rivers comprise an exceptionally beautiful landscape and provide us clean water, clean air, biodiversity and carbon capture, as well as being the basis for a regenerative economy. If we protect the golden goose we can have its eggs forever.

Increasingly, however, land use pressures including oil and gas development, mining, residential subdivision, timber harvest and off-road vehicle use threaten the watershed and sustainable livelihoods. So why are we so unsatisfied with the steady stream of golden eggs? Why are we so eager to trade assets for immediate cash flow? What does a sustainable society really mean?

In their struggle to answer these questions, the people who live in our headwaters initiated the Southern Foothills Study. The study quantifies the slow and declining health of the goose. Do we really want to kill the golden goose?

Speakers: Gordon Cartwright and Alan Gardner

Gordon Cartwright is a successful third generation rancher in the Pekisko watershed living near where his grandfather settled in 1889. He has served on the Board of the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society (SALTS) and on the Citizens Advisory Committee for Public Lands. He is highly knowledgeable on energy flows within the biological systems of the native grassland. As a conservation easement donor he has made a significant personal contribution to sustaining the watershed.

Alan Gardner is the executive director of SALTS. Alan has a long business background in Architecture and the Computer Industry. Most recently he was Consulting Director for Computer Associates, running their pre-sales, post-sales and web design organizations for Western Canada. Previous to entering the computer field he spent a dozen years as a practicing Architect in Calgary and Edmonton. His family has lived in the Pekisko country for over 100 years.

Moderator: Cheryl Bradley

Location: Sven Ericksen’s Family Restaurant (lower level) 1715 Mayor Magrath Drive S., Lethbridge, Alberta

Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m. / Cost: $8.00 includes lunch

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