Leave it to Beavers
The beaver reintroduction project at the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA) is a multi-year collaborative partnership project with the goal of re-establishing healthy beaver populations in the Pine Creek watershed. This project will demonstrate how beavers play an important role in ecosystem health through the provision of healthy wetlands which also serve to hold high quality water in upper watershed areas for groundwater recharge and surface run-off- a role that is critical in water-stressed regions like southern Alberta. The ASCCA has been busy preparing the area for beaver reintroduction. Calgary Science School students are involved as citizen scientists through monitoring the changes that happen on the landscape and to water quantity & quality. They made their first monitoring visits in June of this year. These same students will return to do more monitoring work this fall, while another new cohort of students will make their first visit to the ASCCA. The Miistakis Institute will soon be creating a number of citizen science tools and mobile apps for this project, and Cows and Fish carried out a baseline riparian health inventories in July of this year.