Ghost River State of the Watershed report - April 2018:
After 3 years of hard work, the Ghost River SOW Report is now complete!
We would like to thank the ALCES Group, especially Ryan MacDonald, the Steering Commitee, all the volunteers and our funders for all their work and support. You can download the full report by visiting the Research & Data page.
News & Events
PAST NEWS & EVENTS:
Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) Science Forum - May 2, 2018:
8:30am to 4pm at the University of Calgary Mac Hall.
Ryan MacDonald of the ALCES Group delivered a successful presentation on the topic of "Data limitations in state of the watershed reporting - Learnings from the Ghost River State of the Watershed report".
Saturday, November 18th, 2017:
GWAS Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Membership Forum.
Thank you to everyone who attended! We had a full house at the AGM! In case you did not make it to the AGM, you can download the presentation on GWAS work in 2017 (pdf-file: 9.3MB): GWAS AGM presentation 2017.
A presentation on the financial statements can be downloaded here: Finance report 2017
Tuesday September 26th, 2017:
Campsite clean-up event in the Ghost PLUZ with the BP Retirees.
A big Thank You to all our volunteers for the event. We collected 330kg of garbage in 3 hours this year, which was less than in previous years. Due to a fire ban and OHV closure due to the extreme fire risk over this past summer, the number of campers was a lot less than in other years.
Friday, September 15th & Saturday, September 16th, 2017:
2-day workshop with bio-engineering specialist Dave Polster from BC.
Dave Polster, one of the best bio-engineering specialists in Canada, led this free 2-day workshop for over 30 participants. GWAS would like to thank everyone, who joined us for the workshop and helping us to restore some of the critical fish habitat in the Ghost Watershed. Please visit our photo gallery to see photos taken at the event.
Sunday, August 13th, 2017: Hike in the Watershed to Bastion Ridge
Despite some smoke from the BC forest fires and a little bit of rain, this hike was enjoyed by a group of 12 people.
Saturday, July 8th, 2017: Hike in the Watershed to Hidden Canyon
A group of 10 enjoyed a full-day hike to Hidden Pass in Banff National Park accessed from the Ghost River valley on a beautiful summer day.
Sunday, June 25th, 2017: 2nd Walk in the Watershed
For the 10th year we had another successful Plant ID walk with guide Gus Yaki at the Butters Ranch with Beef BBQ lunch. Thank you to everyone who attended, a big Thank You to our guide Gus Yaki and our hosts Erik Butters and Laura Procunier!
May 26th, 2017: GWAS Benefit Concert with The Wardens at Beaupre Hall:
The event was a great success! We had a full house, great raffle prizes and wonderful music
by The Wardens. Thank you to everyone who joined us that evening to celebrate our beautiful
outdoors. Big thanks to all the volunteers who made the event run so smoothly, to our caterer
Mona Kadri of the Cookie Queen for the wonderful food and to The Wardens for their great
May 20th, 2017: 1st Walk in the Watershed
60 people enjoyed Butters Ranch history & walk along the historic Tote Road.
Saturday, November 12th 2016: Annual General Meeting and Membership Forum
We had another great turn-out for our AGM and Membership Forum this year. Thank you to everyone who attended!
In case you did not make it to the AGM, you can download the presentation on GWAS work in 2016 here (pdf-file, 2.6MB): AGM2016s.pdf
A presentation on the financial statements can be downloaded here:
Annual campsite clean-up with the BP Retirees group: Tuesday, September 27th 2016
Sunday, September 18th 2016: Hike in the Watershed to the Sand Hills
Saturday, September 17th 2016: GWAS Bio-engineering project
On Saturday, September 17th we undertook a bioengineering
project in collaboration with the Alberta Government's Backcountry Trails Flood
Rehabilitation Team (BTFR) at the location of a new bridge on Meadow Creek.
Meadow Creek is home to some of the few remaining Westslope Cutthroat Trout populations in Alberta. These fish thrive in cold and clean water and are sensitive to sediment being washed
into streams. A big Thank You to all the volunteers who came out on a beautiful Saturday to plant the willows
and to the BTFR Team for all their work and support! We got so much done that day and are looking forward to seeing the willows grow next year. Thank you also to the Land Stewardship Centre, who generously funded this project to help to improve water quality and fish habitat in the Ghost.
Photos of the project can be seen in our photo gallery
Sunday, August 21st 2016: Hussey's Hill: Full day hike into Don Getty Wildland Park.
Sunday, August 7, 2016: Black Rock Mountain - Full day hike
Sunday July 10, 2016: Hidden Pass - Day hike to new destination in the Black Rock Mountain area.
Sunday June 26, 2016: Butters Ranch Walk with Gus Yaki
We had a great turn-out for both the historic Walk in the Watershed on June 18th and
the Plant & Bird ID Walk on June 26th with a fabulous BBQ courtesy of Butters Ranching.
Thank you to everyone who attended the events, the generous donations made towards our Education & Outreach program and a big thank you to our hosts and guides, Jennifer Fraser, Gus Yaki, Erik Butters and Laura Procunier as well as all the volunteers who helped to make the events such a success.
Saturday June 18, 2016: Historic Walk - Long-time resident Jenny Fraser shares stories about First Nations, fur traders and ranchers in the Ghost Valley. 1-hour easy walk ideal for families.
Please bring your own lunch for a picnic enjoying the beautiful view over the Ghost River valley after the walk.
Sunday May 29, 2016: Walk in the Watershed: Meadow Creek/Brewster's Meadow - Easy, level walk to a large wetland area.
News April 2016: Benefit event was a big success!
A big THANK YOU to everyone who attended our benefit event on April 15th! The event was sold out and it was a big success. We have not only received lots of positive feedback on the event, but also met our funding goal.
Funds raised will support GWAS Education & Outreach program and liability insurance costs to run our popular Walks in the Watershed program and school field trips, connecting people with the natural environment of the Ghost Watershed in Alberta's Eastern Slopes.
GWAS Spring 2016 Newsletter: Please click on image to the left to download the Spring 2016 Newsletter as pdf version (File size: 1.5MB).
- Upcoming event: An evening of music, storie, humour and images featuring The Wardens & local author Kathy Calvert.
- State of the Watershed report - update
- Collaborative projects - report
- GWAS - Who we are & where we stand
Friday, April 15th 2016: An evening of music, stories humour & images featuring The Wardens & local author Kathy Calvert.
The sold out event brought June Mickle’s story back to life with stage readings from Kathy Calvert’s book about June’s life in the Eastern Slopes of Southern Alberta. Musical performances by
The Wardens, a popular Banff National Park-based Trio known for their storytelling, great music and humour, rounded out the evening.
A big thank you to everyone who attended, all the volunteers and The Wardens!
Proceeds will support GWAS Education & Outreach program and liability insurance costs to run our popular Walks in the Watershed program and school field trips, connecting people with the natural environment of the Ghost Watershed in Alberta's Eastern Slopes.
Pinned post: AB governement amends Forest and Prairie Protection Act:
Earlier this year the Alberta government made changes to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act and associated regulations to improve public safety as they relate to preventing human-caused wildfires and protecting Albertans, their communities, natural resources, and infrastructure from wildfire damage. The Act’s regulations have been updated to reflect the legislation and are now in force (as of March 29, 2017). The Act came into force on December 9, 2016. Under the new legislation, target shooting involving incendiary targets is now prohibited year-round in forested areas such as the Ghost Watershed. For more inforamtion, please visit: http://wildfire.alberta.ca/enforcement/fppa.aspx
Walks in the Watershed program for 2018:
Thanks to the Walks in the Watershed Committee, we have been able to put
together another exciting program for this year:
- Saturday, April 28 (afternoon): Walk in the Back 40 area
- Saturday, May 12 (afternoon): Walk to Mockingbird Lookout
- Sunday, June 3: Plant ID Walk at Butters Ranch with guide Gus Yaki
- Saturday, July 29 (full-day): Orient Point full day hike
- Sunday, August 19: Lake Minnewanka hike (app. 35km)
- Sunday, September 16: Meadow Creek Loop
We are looking forward to seeing you at these events this year!
This coming Monday, August 13th: Electro-fishing with Trout Unlimited Canada:
Trout Unlimited Canada will be electro-fishing on two tributaries to Waiparous Creek on Monday, August 13th to assess fish populations in these two streams.
All GWAS Members are invited to join the team from TU to learn more about the fish in the watershed!
There is no cost to joining this exciting opportunity to see fish up close and personal.
The TU team will meet at the parking lot at the Historic Cochrane Ranche Site in Cochrane (https://goo.gl/maps/kvxP3R1j1j52) at 8:30am. You can meet up with the team there or you can come to the Waiparous Creek campground day-use parking lot (https://goo.gl/maps/WZQQqhcTDQr) at 9:30am to meet up with them close to the electrofishing sites.
The event will run until the early afternoon. Please bring food and water for yourselves.
Please RSVP by email. Thank you!
5th Walk in the Watershed - Sunday, August 19, 2018: Lake Minnewanka hike (app. 35km)
Annual ‘swap-the-keys’ hike along Lake Minnewanka. We need two groups of at least four people each. It is a fantastic, though long hike.
One group proceeds to the end of the TransAlta Road, crossing the Ghost River on foot, entering the National Park and on towards Banff; the other group drives to the Lake Minnewanka parking lot via Banff and walks the other way.
Lunch is enjoyed beside the lake when the groups meet.
This is a long hike, about 35km, finishing in the mid-evening but not to be missed if you are up to it.
The gradients are moderate and not rising much above lake level.
Meeting time is 8:00am
Please RSVP for this event by email to:
We will send directions to the meeting location to you when you RSVP.