A Pine Creek Homecoming
The Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA) are reintroducing beavers to the Pine Creek watershed. Reintroducing beavers to the landscape will play a significant role in maintaining and rehabilitating watershed health. Benefits include the storage of surface water, reduced stream sedimentation, water temperature moderation, increased dissolved oxygen, modification of flow regimes and increased ground water recharge. This increases water supply and releases water more steadily throughout the year – especially vital during droughts and in the face of climate change. Beavers also create ponds and wetlands that provide unique habitats for many species. The reintroduction of beavers may improve environmental conditions to Alberta’s riverine ecosystems to an extent that tighter regulations over water users may not be required and may also serve to lessen the need to build expensive and controversial publicly funded engineering projects.
The Calgary Science School, Cows and Fish and Miistakis are working with the ASCCA to document changes to the watershed over time, and to involve Calgary Science School students and other interested individuals in monitoring these changes. Miistakis will be developing the citizen science component of this project including mobile apps to facilitate data collection and entry.