Some desperately needed moisture for our lands and watersheds arrived in a big way, thanks to a “surprise” spring snow storm at the end of April that covered much of Central and Southern Alberta in the white stuff, the new moisture will replenish the dwindling snowpack in the mountains and keep the mountain streams flowing towards the end of summer.
Our outreach efforts have resulted in explosive growth of our membership, which was reflected in increased attendance at our second AGM in March. Several new board members were elected, with a focus on diversification and province-wide representation, and we look forward to continuing our momentum in the forthcoming years and growing across the province. In addition to pint nights in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton, Grande Prairie is the newest community to have started regular pint nights … thanks to our energetic members in that region!
Our collegiate chapters held their end-of-year events and have already begun planning their activities for the next school session. The University of Lethbridge crew had a successful potluck dinner, and those fortunate to be in attendance got to taste some fantastic dishes prepared by their peers. Not to be outdone, the University of Calgary group held a “what’s in your pack” night, accompanied by the introduction of their new BHA shirts!
The Foothills Stream Crossing Program that we were involved in last year has paid positive results. One of the crossings, located in the Ghost PLUZ, was selected for remediation by our partners, Trout Unlimited Canada and AEP. To help move the project forward, we committed financial support and provided hard-working volunteers for this important endeavor. The project consisted of harvesting willow poles, then planting them by hand after using an excavator to perform the “rough and loose” treatment in the remediation area. After this work is completed, obstructions were placed to protect these areas from illegal OHV activity. Although this was hard work, the volunteers gladly spent their day getting dirty, wet and a bit sunburned.
We have also sent a letter of support to the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, to support the proposal to list the bull trout and Athabasca rainbow trout on the Species at Risk registry. This proposal, if successful, will help protect these two endangered species, and turn the focus towards protecting and recovering the habitat that these species depend on for survival. There was an action alert sent to our Alberta and BC members, raising awareness for the national park management plans that have implications for hunting and angling within the Canadian national parks along the Alberta/BC provincial boundaries.
-Neil Keown, Alberta Chair