ENGAGING RECREATIONISTS IN THE OLDMAN HEADWATERS THROUGH EDUCATION & RESTORATIONCategory: 2017, Current, Grant, Major Project, Water
Oldman Watershed Council
This project is part of a multi-year pilot that is contributing to a major restoration and education effort in the Oldman headwaters — the source of about 90% of the water for 230,000 people in the Oldman watershed. It is home to two fish species at risk (westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, both ‘threatened’ provincially) as well as wildlife species at risk (grizzly bear, threatened provincially). There are multiple uses of this area, including logging, cattle grazing, and a high volume of off-highway vehicle use and random camping. Analysis for the 2013 Oldman Headwaters Indicators Project showed a moderate to high density of linear features, which contribute to ecological degradation and habitat fragmentation, and a high risk of erosion and runoff. The OWC’s Integrated Watershed Management Plan identified the need to reduce threats to the headwaters using a collaborative approach of stewardship, education, and engagement.
Through community-based social marketing, stakeholder engagement, education, streambank restoration, and stewardship activities, the Oldman Watershed Council is encouraging motorized recreationists to keep wheels out of water and thereby protect our headwaters, water quality, and critical habitat for endangered species.