Conservation Districts (Manitoba)

Conservation Districts (Manitoba)

The Manitoba Conservation District Program is a provincial-municipal partnership directed to the conservation and management of water and soil resources. There are 18 Conservation districts including more than 130 municipalities covering almost all of the agricultural areas of Manitoba, Canada. The Province provides substantial funding and general guidance but the programs are developed and administered locally. The conservation districts spend more than $8 million each year on a wide variety of conservation programs.


Whitemud Watershed Conservation District

The Whitemud Watershed Conservation District created in 1972 was the first district formed in Manitoba. The District covers about 2,450 square miles (6,350 km2) in south central Manitoba. The WWCD includes all or portions of 15 rural municipalities and three towns. It includes all the area that drains into the Whitemud River. The District’s goal is to promote soil and water stewardship and to facilitate agricultural land drainage on a watershed basis. The District is responsible for over 1,100 miles (1,800 km) of drainage infrastructure and 1,200 crossings. Major activities include maintenance and replacement of infrastructure, as well as proactive soil and water conservation projects such as forage assistance, shelterbelts, grassed runways, water retention, shale traps, habitat preservation, conservation corridors, stream bank stabilization and riparian management.

Turtle River Watershed Conservation District

The Turtle River Watershed Conservation District, created in 1975, covers about 900 square miles (2,300 km2) between the Riding Mountain Escarpment and Dauphin Lake. It includes the municipalitites of Ochre River, Ste. Rose du Lac and parts of the Municipalities of Dauphin, McCreary, Rosedale, Lawrence and Alonsa. The District emphasizes the maintenance of agricultural drainage channels and crossings. Soil, water, wildlife and fisheries programs involve numerous activities such as erosion control, alluvial fan stabilization, repairing or replacing crossings, wildlife and fisheries enhancement, recreation and public education.

Alonsa Conservation District

The Alonsa Conservation District was born in 1978 and covers about 1,718 square miles (4,450 km2). The ACD is on the west shore of Lake Manitoba and includes the municipalities of Alonsa and Lawrence. The beef cattle industry dominates the local economy as well as commercial fishing in the winter months. The District has been involved in soil and water management. Some of the major projects include channel construction, improvements and maintenance, water level and flood control, land drainage, forage seed assistance, waterfowl nesting grounds, waterfowl enhancement and school conservation education programs.

Turtle Mountain Conservation District

The Turtle Mountain Conservation District was incorporated in 1978. The District covers about 2,008 square miles (5,200 km2) and is located on and around Turtle Mountain in Southern Manitoba. The TMCD includes all or parts of the municipalities of Brenda, Morton, Winchester, Arthur, Turtle Mountain and Cameron and the Towns of Killarney, Boissevain, Waskada, Deloraine and Hartney. Sustainable soil and water management are most important to the District with the greatest focus on water. Key programs include creek stabilization, forage seed assistance, conservation tillage, shelterbelt planting, wildlife habitat and conservation education.

Cooks Creek Conservation District

The Cooks Creek Conservation District was started in 1979 and covers about 333 square miles (860 km2) east of Winnipeg and includes most of the Cooks Creek Watershed and parts of the Carrs Creek and lower Seine River basins. The municipalities include Springfield, Tache, Ste. Anne, Brokenhead and Reynolds. Water management is the most important issue in the District. The District places emphasis on the maintenance and upgrading of agricultural drainage channels. Other initiatives include sealing abandoned wells, crossing replacements and repairs and public education.

Pembina Valley Conservation District

The Pembina Valley Conservation District was formed in 1989. It covers an area of about 1,649 square miles (4,270 km2). The District includes potions of the Pembina Valley, Tiger Hills, Red River Valley and Pembina Escarpment. municipalities included in the District are Lorne, Thompson, Roblin, Louise, Stanley and Pembina. Towns included are Pilot Mound and Manitou, in addition to the Village of Crystal City. The District’s priorities are conservation farming and water management.

West Souris River Conservation District

The West Souris River Conservation District was incorporated in 1995. The District is 1,625 square miles (4,210 km2) and is located in southwest corner of Manitoba. The municipalities included are Albert, Edward, Pipestone, Sifton, Cameron and Wallace. Water and soil management programs are priorities of the District. Programs include water storage, sealing abandoned wells, well development, shelterbelt planting, riparian management, forage rotation, zero tillage and habitat conservation initiatives.
The district recognizes the important links between human health and watershed health. WSRCD through education, innovative leadership, community input and partnerships will strive to manage the watershed as a complex sustainable system emphasizing prevention and protection programs. The District places a particular focus on public education.
Major streams found in the district include Gopher, Pipestone, Stoney, Jackson, Graham, Gainsborough, Antler and the Souris River. Major water bodies include Oak and Plum Lakes.

Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District

The UARCD established in 1996 included the municipalities of Birtle, Ellice, Hamiota, Miniota and Rossburn and were later joined by Shoal Lake in 1998, Woodworth in 2000, Archie in 2001 and part of Wallace in 2002. It’s area is over 2,200 square miles (5,700 km2), larger than Prince Edward Island. The UARCD can be divided into three distinct landscapes: uplands, plains and river valleys. From the Newdale Plain to the border of Riding Mountain National Park the undulating topography can vary over 200 meters. The dominant feature is the Assiniboine River meandering through the area. In places the valley is more than 1 mile (2 km) wide and over 75 meters deep with steep slopes. The Assiniboine River Valley is one of the most scenic aspects of the CD but also presents a major resource management issue.

Inter Mountain Conservation District

The Inter Mountain Conservation District was formed in 1997. It covers approximately 2,780 square miles (7,200 km2), the largest CD in Manitoba. Riding Mountain National Park, Duck Mountain Provincial Forest, Crown Territory and Lakes Dauphin and Winnipegosis surround the District. The municipalities included in this District are Dauphin, Ethelbert, Gilbert Plains, Grandview, Mossey River and Mountain South. The Villages of Winnipegosis and Ethelbert, the towns of Grandview and Gilbert Plains and the City of Dauphin are also included. Water management is the highest priority. Soil conservation and public education are priorities as well.

Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District

The Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District was formed in 1999 as the 11th conservation district in Manitoba. The District covers about 1,633 square miles (4,230 km2). The District includes all or parts of the municipalities of Daly, Blanshard, Saskatchewan, Harrison, Strathclair, Park South, Minto, Odanah, Rosedale and Clanwilliam. The Towns of Minnedosa, Rivers, Rapid City and Erickson are also included. The district includes most of the Little Saskatchewan River watershed and part of the Oak River watershed. Lake Wahtopanah (Rivers Reservoir) and Minnedosa Lake are two man made lakes in the district. Some of the key features of the district include the prairie pothole landscape, significant slope, steep valley walls and an abundance of wildlife. Six Sub-District committees work as resource planning advisors to the Board. Holistic resource management is the overall objective of the District with the primary focus being soil and water conservation.

Kelsey Conservation District

The Kelsey Conservation District was born in 1999 and is about 348 square miles (900 km2). It is located in the west-central Manitoba. The CD includes the Pasquia hills and Carrot River drainage basins. The District is most interested in developing programs that educate the public about prudent resource management, soil and water conservation practices and local decision-making as a means to maintain a healthy rural landscape. Some projects include off-site watering, exclusion fencing, forage assistance, abandoned well capping, well disinfecting, tree planting and wildlife habitat enhancement.

Lake of the Prairies Conservation District

The Lake of the Prairies Conservation District was established in 2001 and includes about 1,316 square miles (3,410 km2) from the Saskatchewan border on the west to Riding Mountain National Park and from the Lake of the Prairies south to the Village of Binscarth. The area includes the municipalities of Russell, Shellmouth-Boulton, Silver Creek, Shell River and Park North, the towns of Russell and Roblin and the village of Binscarth. Public education and soil conservation are District priorities.

Assiniboine Hills Conservation District

The Assiniboine Hills Conservation District was incorporated in 2008. It is the result of the combining of the Tiger Hills and the Mid Assiniboine River CD’s. It covers 1,759 square miles (4,560 km2). It includes the municipalities of Elton, Argyle, Whitehead, Glenwood, Cornwallis, Strathcona and South Cypress and the Village of Glenboro and Wawanesa and the town of Souris. The board has stressed soil conservation, water management and conservation education programs.

Seine Rat River Conservation District

The Seine Rat River Conservation District or SRRCD, was formed 2002. The SRRCD is composed of two main watersheds, the Seine River Watershed and the Rat River Watershed. The five sub-watersheds that all drain into the Seine River Watershed are the Upper Seine River, the Lower Seine River, the Seine River Diversion, the Tourond Creek and the Manning Canal. The two sub-watersheds that contribute to the Rat River Watershed are the Upper Rat River and the Lower Rat River/Joubert Creek watersheds.

The SRRCD includes the municipalities of La Broquerie, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, Ritchot, Stuartburn, Reynolds, Montcalm, City of Steinbach, Town of Ste. Anne, the Village of t. Pierre-Jolys and as of April 2010 Franklin and the Town of Niverville joined the SRRCD. To complete the watershed-based Conservation District, only the RM's of Piney and Morris are left to join. The SRRCD operates under the board of directors, made up of municipal appointed rate-payers and councilors who are all working together for the overall health of the watershed. The SRRCD decision-making process is based totally on watershed boundaries. All recommendations are made by the local sub-watersheds and are brought before the main SRRCD board for approval.

The SRRCD is located southeast of Winnipeg and is home to over 50,000 people. The CD offers a full line of water management programs with a particular focus on surface and groundwater management initiatives. One of the main objectives lies in creating water retention projects to hold back water durning spring run-off to alleviate flooding downstream and provide greater aquifer recharge areas upstream. Both objectives increase water quality on the surface and sub-surface overall. The SRRCD also provides funding to seal old and abandoned wells that present a point of contamination to groundwater; to purchase alternative watering systems & riparian fencing to keep livestock out of creeks and rivers; and to monitor well water in rural homes throughout the district are among the most popular programs.

La Salle Redboine Conservation District

The La Salle Redboine Conservation District was established in 2002 and covers 2,703 square miles (7,000 km2). It includes all or parts of the municipalities of Dufferin, Grey, Macdonald, Portage la Prairie, Ritchot, South Norfolk, Cartier and Victoria. It also includes the City of Portage la Prairie, Carman, St. Claude and Treherne. Their programs include grassed waterways, off channel watering systems, cover programs, rotational grazing systems and pasture pipelines.

East Interlake Conservation District

The East Interlake Conservation District was incorporated in 2005. The EICD covers about 3,900 square miles (10,000 km2) and is home to 55,000 residents. The District includes all or parts of the municipalities of Armstrong, Bifrost, Fisher, Gimli, St. Andrews, West St. Paul, Rockwood, Rosser, Woodlands, City of Selkirk, Towns of Arborg, Stonewall, Teulon and Winnipeg Beach, Villages of Riverton and Dunnottar. The EICD offers a wide range of programs, such as riparian management, well inventory, sealing abandoned wells, benthic invertebrate monitoring, culvert assessment and inventory, and water quality monitoring.

West Interlake Watershed Conservation District

The West Interlake Watershed Conservation District started in 2008. The District covers 1,761 square miles (4,560 km2) and is home to more than 6,500 people. The District is located along the eastern shores of Lake Manitoba. Municipalities include Armstrong, Coldwell, Eriksdale, Siglunes, St. Laurent, and Woodlands. The WIWCD will develop and deliver programs to address priority land and water management issues and public education.

Swan Lake Watershed Conservation District

The Swan Lake Watershed Conservation District is the 17th CD in Manitoba dedicated to regional land and water issues in a co-operative, long-term planning. The conservation district formed in 2006 is about 1,630 square miles (4,220 km2). The District is located in western Manitoba between the Duck Mountain Provincial Park and forest and Porcupine Provincial Forest. Municipal partners include the rural municipalities of Minitonas, Mountain and Swan River, the towns of Birch River, Minitonas and Swan River and the villages of Benito and Bowsman.


Manitoba's Conservation Districts, Manitoba Rural Development 1998

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