As manager of the newly minted Assiniboine West Watershed District, Ryan Canart continues to be Virden and Wallace-Woodworth’s go-to person for the many environmental programs that the conservation district completes for municipalities. And, the head office continues in Miniota.
AWWD represents an amalgamation of CDs: Upper Assiniboine, Lake of the Prairies and Little Saskatchewan, to form the larger district, based upon the Assiniboine watershed, as the name implies. Smaller watershed flows include: Integrated Watershed Management Plans (IWMP) for the Arrow – Oak River, Assiniboine Birdtail, Little Saskatchewan River and Shell River.
Miniota’s Darcy Oliver also continues to give leadership as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Canart’s mandate is much larger now as he will work alongside two other managers in the amalgamated districts. And, they have more money, to do more with.
“There’s a mountain of opportunities in front of us, says Canart. The Manitoba government seed-funded the Conservation Trust Fund a couple of years ago. We accessed it last year. Tihs past October they launched the Grow Program.”
He explained it was one of the Conservative platforms for election, to unveil a province-wide ecological goods and services program.
For this, some $50 million was put to trust of the Winnipeg Foundation. The interest off that fund will be administered through Manitoba habitat Heritage Corporation - one of the major recipients being the watershed districts. For example, from this initiative, in the spring of 2019 upgrades were announced for Kirkella community pasture.
“The Grow Program will allow us, to pay landowners, farmers, ranchers, recognizing the ecological goods and services they provide to society.
“There’s a laundry list of different benefits available,” says Canart.
Rather than work up ideas and ask farmers to go along with the CD, he is looking for innovative ideas. “We want producers to come to us with what they want to do.”
Water retention projects have been very successfully implemented by UARCD in the past, slowing down flood water and storing water in small dammed runways for dry times.
Water quality will continue to be a big component, a drum that Canart has consistently beaten over the couple of decades that he has been a CD manager. For more information about programs available, go to myawwd.ca