Lacombe County releases State of the Environment report

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Lacombe County has released their annual State of the Environment (SOE) report following council endorsement at their recent meeting.

Highlighting current conditions of the environment – taking into account both scientific data and socio-economic factors – the report is aimed at providing insight on the various pressures affecting the environment in Lacombe County.

Planning to revise the report for 2018, the county decided instead to just rewrite the report for the year.

“Our original intent was to develop a full-scale revision of the State of the Environment Report,” said Lacombe County Environmental Coordinator Jennifer Berry.

“However, there wasn’t enough new data and research released over the past five years to warrant a fully revised SOE, so we focused the 2018 report on the ways Lacombe County has progressed with environmental stewardship and management since 2013.”

One of the key initiatives Lacombe County believes they’ve progressed with include their Climate Resiliency Action Plan.  A year ago, the county hosted a workshop on the plan, which provided them with past and future climate data and aided in the creation of a region-specific action plan.

Another initiative is the ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services) program, which compensates landowners and producers to make environmental improvements to their land. Eight projects have been underway, including the planting of perennial foliage instead of annual crops to combat soil erosion, and planting grass around wetlands to create a buffer for not just wildlife but to minimize sediment making its way into the wetland.

Lacombe County also transformed Crooker Pit into Crooker Wetland, a project which included land reclamation, topsoil placement, as well as vegetation planting. As well, the county updated their Municipal Development Plan (MDP) document in 2017, including changes that supported environmental stewardship.

Those looking to learn more about the conditions of the environment in Lacombe County, from water quality of recreational lakes, wildlife and biodiversity to waste generation and disposal, are asked to view the SOE report themselves on the Lacombe County website at www.lacombecounty.com or by contacting the county at (403)782-6601 to obtain a hardcopy.

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