COWS AND FISHCategory: Environment, Partners
Cows and Fish is a voluntary stewardship program, established in 1992. As a non-profit society, we work in partnership with landowners, farmers, ranchers, lakefront residents, communities, agencies and groups on riparian awareness and management. Riparian areas, the vital green zones next to streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands, are the focus of our program. We deliver our program on riparian education and management, with numerous collaborating agencies and organisations, including landowners, municipalities and our members: Alberta Beef Producers, Trout Unlimited Canada, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Alberta Environment and Parks, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and Alberta Conservation Association.
Working at the invitation of landowners, local groups, and natural resource conservation organisations, we provide information to increase knowledge about how riparian areas work, why they are important, and how we can link management choices to improving or maintaining these areas. We help build knowledge, reduce conflicts, increase cooperative efforts and arrange technical advice and tools for management.
Our role is to help communities identify and then tackle the myriad of issues facing them. The first step, awareness, is the foundation that leads to a cumulative body of knowledge, not only about the landscape, but also who to work with, what tools are available and how to monitor changes, so that over time, we build a cumulative body of knowledge and skills that create the capacity to make better or more appropriate decisions. Embodied in our program delivery are elements that support a voluntary, proactive approach with local communities and landowners driving the process.