Though only 30km wide and 24% of the area of the Oldman watershed, the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains provides 90% of the water - they are our headwaters - the source of water that feeds our streams, lakes and groundwater.

The intensity of use in the headwaters has increased and this trend is expected to continue. The community is concerned about the cumulative impact of recreation, logging, oil and gas, grazing and other land uses. Concerns relate to water quality, fragmented fish and wildlife habitat and changes in water flow.

The Oldman Watershed Council has set a goal to “manage and protect the integrity of headwaters and source waters” and is currently creating an action plan to achieve it. This goal is 1 of 8 goals in a collaborative, community led Integrated Watershed Management Planning process.

To engage residents in protecting the headwaters, the Oldman Watershed Council and Water Matters have organized a series of 18 “Source to Tap” community meetings to discuss issues in the headwaters, hear what positive stewardship actions are already occurring and identify practical solutions. The speaker will highlight the major themes from these community meetings, will share the results from a new report on the health of the headwaters and explain how the Integrated Watershed Management Planning process can provide solutions.

Speaker: Shannon Frank

Shannon Frank is the Executive Director of the Oldman Watershed Council, a not-for-profit organization working to maintain and improve the Oldman watershed. The OWC has a broad range of members and supporters in order to represent all residents of the Oldman watershed for the long-term benefit of people, wildlife and habitat.

Shannon attended the University of Lethbridge for a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science. She previously worked for Alberta Fish and Wildlife on the multiple species at risk program, MultiSAR.

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