Landowners sought for Manitoba wetland restoration project
By Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation
Mar. 8, 2016 - With flooding across the province in recent years, there is a lot of discussion at provincial, municipal and federal levels on how to manage the flow of water to minimize the destruction of land and infrastructure during high water events.
As a landowner, there's a role you can play in this plan as well, especially with the help of the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC).
The Corporation is in the middle of a significant wetland restoration project and they are looking for landowners to help them meet the project objectives.
There are a number of advantages to restoring wetlands, but the main benefit that landowners are often most interested in is the actual retention of water. Deloraine landowner, Gord Weidenhamer, recently added a 10-year wetland restoration agreement to enhance a wetland already under an existing conservation agreement with MHHC.
"Nature took a lifetime to create it and to try to get it back takes a lot of steps and a lot of work. These conservation projects help to restore the natural lands and I think people should take advantage of them and really look at the big picture. The land was drained by previous owners, but it didn't provide any benefit as far as the grazing goes, the wetlands were still there especially during high water years," said Weidenhamer.
The 32 acre wetland restoration on Gord Weidenhamer's and Glen Scott's properties is just one example of the many projects, big and small, that have been funded through MHHC with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and its Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund.
Research and land surveys are always completed in cooperation with the landowners to determine what the water level should be at and to provide direction on the best means of restoring the natural landscape.
Since Weidenhamer's land is in the headwaters, he's hoping the reclamation of this wetland will help to alleviate some problems downstream.
"If every municipality could look at these programs and utilize them, I think there would be real benefits to storing some water and slowing down water that's heading downstream," said Weidenhamer.
The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation is a non-profit, Crown corporation with a mandate to conserve, restore and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in Manitoba through conservation initiatives that promote healthy ecosystems and biodiversity.
If you're interested in participating in the Wetland Restoration project, contact Tom Moran (204-305-0276) or Scott Beaton (204-471-9663).
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