We believe that the Ghost Watershed can provide a variety of goods and services while ecological integrity is being maintained, such as recreational opportunities, providing clean drinking water, critical wildlife habitat and a sustainable supply of timber to name a few.
In order to provide critical baseline data and scientific background to support proper planning and management of this important watershed, GWAS has taken on the task to gather data and initiate research projects.
2017: Ghost River State of the Watershed report (in progress):
In 2014 GWAS initiated the Ghost River State of the Watershed (SOW) project that will compile existing watershed knowledge, information and data into a comprehensive report.
GWAS received four high quality proposals from qualified Consultants to complete the report and after diligent consideration and review, GWAS awarded the contract to complete the Ghost River SOW report to ALCES Landscape & Land-use Ltd..
The Ghost River State of the Watershed (SOW) Report will be a useful tool to:
- Improve understanding of the current state of the Ghost River watershed;
- Improve understanding of how natural features and processes influence watershed conditions;
- Provide insight into the linkages among watershed health and past and current land and water resource management;
- Identify sensitive or at‐risk areas;
- Provide basis for future watershed planning; and
- Provide direction to GWAS regarding future priorities and activities.
The draft report will be reviewed by the Steering Committee for the project, which is comprised of local stakeholders and technical experts. The report and will form the basis for developing a Watershed Management Plan.
The State of the Watershed report will contain everything we know to date about this watershed, including some of the social history and early settlement of the area, information about the geology and hydrology, wildlife habitat and much more.
The full report will be made available on GWAS website once complete.
To download the Terms of Reference for the Ghost River SOW project, please click here.
2012/13: Cumulative Effects Study of the Ghost Watershed prepared by Dr. Brad Stelfox of the ALCES Group - Phase II: Beneficial Management Practices
This project was funded by Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, the Calgary Foundation and the City of Calgary as well as Y2Y and CPAWS.
The complete report of the Ghost Cumulative Effects Study Phase II can be downloaded here (please note: file size is 7.5MB).
You may also watch a narrated version of the presentation of the modeling results of the Phase II report by clicking here.
In April and May 2012 GWAS held 3 workshops and one open house on the theme
"The Future of the Ghost Watershed - Exploring Solutions" as part of the Ghost
Cumulative Effects Study. You may download a summary on the output of the sessions
prepared by the Facilitator and containing the unedited notes taken by participants by clicking here.
2010/11: Cumulative Effects Study of the Ghost Watershed prepared by Cornel Yarmoloy and Dr. Brad Stelfox of the ALCES Group - Phase I:
Since the Ghost is under increasing pressure from cumulative effects, GWAS hired the ALCES Group to undertake a cumulative effects study in the Ghost Watershed in 2010.
The project was funded by Aberta Ecotrust Foundation, the City of Calgary and Y2Y.
Full Phase I report, released August 8th 2011:
You may download the full report here. (Please note: File is 6.5MB)
You may also watch a narrated version of the modeling results of the Phase I report by clicking here.
You may also view the press release by GWAS for the report.
2010-2012: Results of the Riparian Health Inventory of the Ghost Watershed undertaken
by Cows & Fish - Phase I & II:
In 2010 GWAS was able to engage Cows & Fish in a riparian and wetlands health assessment inventory due to the generous funding provided by the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA), the Land Stewardship Centre (LSC) and partner funding by Cows & Fish. The study was also supported by the City of Calgary.
Phase I: The first Phase of the project focussed on the Waiparous Creek sub-basin area of the Ghost Watershed.
You can download the full report of Phase I by clicking here:
Waiparous CR_GWAS_2010_FINAL.pdf (Please note: File is very large with 9.5MB)
Phase II: The second Phase of the Riparian Health Inventory project focussed on the remaining part of the Ghost Watershed and its tributaries. Phase II was generously funded by Alberta Conservation Association and Cows & Fish.
You can download the presentation on the project here: GWAS Wrap Up Presentation March 2012
Complete Phase II report (Please note: File is 6MB in is size).
2010/11: Ecosystem-based Conservation Plan, Phase I:
Prepared by Herb Hammond of Silva Ecosystem Consultants
In 2009 GWAS hired Forester and Ecologist Herb Hammond from B.C. to undertake an ecosystem analysis of the Ghost Watershed. In 2010 Herb Hammond and his team completed a Phase I assessment of the Waiparous Creek sub-basin including a comprehensive map set describing the character of the region. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the composition, structure and function of the Ghost Watershed’s Ecosystem and to identify thresholds.
The project was undertaken in collaboration with the Alberta Wilderness Association and funded by the Calgary Foundation, RBC Blue Water and the Bow River Basin Council.
There are two versions of the Final Report presentation on Phase I - a short one and a detailed one.
Downloaded the short version here (File size is 5.5MB).
Downloaded the detailed version here (File size is 15.5MB).
Water Quality Study:
In 2005/06 a water quality study was performed for Alberta Environment looking at sediment loads in the major watercourses of the Ghost Watershed. You can download the following documants here:
- Executive Summary (475KB)
- Full report (Large file! 12.2MB)
Forest Reserve Multi-Use Dialogue:
A one-year information gathering process to identify issues of multi-use within the Ghost River Forest Reserve:
In 1999 the MD of Bighorn submitted the Forest Reserve Multi-Use Dialogue (FRMUD) report to the Minister of Environment.
“The purpose of this project is to draw attention to the widespread ecosystem degradation that is being caused by random camping and off-highway vehicle use in the Ghost River Forest Reserve. Over a 12-month period the M.D. of Bighorn through a steering committee has worked hard to increase our understanding of this critical issue.
The main focus of this study has been to initiate dialogue.”
You can download a copy of the FRMUD report (pdf-format) by clicking here.
Please contact us by e-mail for any further information.
the Board of Directors
Ghost Watershed Alliance Society
P.O. Box 1461
Cochrane, AB T4C 1B4
Research & Data