GFM Network News


Wayne and Maria McDonald are the 2021 
Conservation Award winners.

McDonald Farms honoured with conservation award

The Cartwright-area operation has been longtime advocate of grass-based production

McDonald Farms is the winner of the 2021 Conservation Award. The honour is presented every year by a Manitoba watershed district — in this case the Pembina Valley Watershed District (PVWD) — to recognize an individual, organization, family or business who actively promotes wise farm management and conservation practices. Wayne and Maria McDonald own and

Seymour named watersheds builder

Annual award from Manitoba Association of Watersheds recognizes outstanding contributions

Murray Seymour has been awarded the 2020 Watershed District Builder Award. The annual award “… recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals directly associated with the growth and success of watershed districts in Manitoba.” Seymour was named this year’s recipient during the Manitoba Association of Watershed Districts virtual conference, held Dec. 8. “My greatest reward was being chair of


The Whitewater Lake area has been a focus of Ducks Unlimited activity — and land ownership.

Conservation groups defend owning farmland in Manitoba

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) want to be good neighbours and support the rural communities they work in, officials from both organizations say. “I believe KAP and us share a desire to have rural areas that have a strong agriculture and a healthy environment and economically prosperous residents,” Cary Hamel, NCC’s director of conservation for

(Former) Editor’s Take: Our most important customer

It will take a couple of weeks until the final figures are out, but now that the 2019-20 crop year is over, it’s interesting to note how well grains and oilseeds have been moving, and to where. As of Week 50 with two weeks left to go, producer deliveries were a whopping 60.7 million tonnes,

From left, landowner Stephani McLean, Doyle Piwniuk, MLA for Turtle Mountain, landowner Don McLean, Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development Blaine Pedersen, Tim Sopuck, CEO Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation CEO, Premier Brian Pallister and Pembina Valley Watershed District chair Bill Howatt.

No such thing as “marginal” land

What’s important is putting it to its best use

There’s no such thing as “marginal” land, according to Tim Sopuck. “Some land might be marginal for annual crop production, but it doesn’t mean it’s marginal for cattle production or some other alternate use,” the chief executive officer of the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) said in an interview July 27. When it comes to


Premier Brian Pallister and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Minister Blaine Pedersen visited several GROW (Growing Outcomes in Watersheds) projects July 22, including this one near Souris. The pothole in the background usually floods, drowning the crop and wasting the farmer’s investment in inputs. Now the farmer is getting an annual payment not to seed those temporary wetlands and he will seed them to water-tolerant forages and harvest the hay. Yasmin Keeler (l), co-manager, Souris River Watershed District (SRWD), Doyle Piwniuk, MLA for Turtle Mountain, Premier Brian Pallister, Lloyd Atcheson, chair SRWD, Dean Brooker, co-manager SRWD, and Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba agriculture and resources minister.

Manitoba government-funded trust leverages millions for watershed projects

The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation has announced $5.6 million in funding for new conservation projects under the Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Trust and the Conservation Trust. The trusts, set up by the Manitoba government, will help fund watershed programs to improve the environment and assist farmers in perpetuity. And as hoped, when the trust

Construction of a dam and water retention project at Swan Lake First Nation.

Living Labs projects wrap up first year

Going into the second year of the project, impacts already being felt

Despite a slow start, the teams behind the Living Labs — Eastern Prairies are diving into field research, says a newsletter from Manitoba Watersheds. “There have been some recent challenges with the weather and COVID-19, which have slowed us from getting into the field,” wrote researcher John Fitzmaurice in Manitoba Watersheds’ spring newsletter. “I can assure you that we

Brian (left) and Andy Sterling say the native prairie restoration along the Jackson Creek was a longtime family dream.

Native prairie restoration becomes a family dream brought to life

Tilston-area farmers partner with watershed district to boost habitat and productivity

Elgar Sterling always wondered what a portion of his farm, along the Jackson Creek, must have looked like before it met the plow. The late Tilston-area farmer often wondered aloud about that prospect, son Brian Sterling recollects. “My dad would often say, “I wonder what this land looked like when it was raw prairie?” said


Students from Carman Collegiate present on how they taught elementary aged kids about watersheds and conservation at an MCDA conference in Winnipeg on Dec. 4.

Manitoba students turn conservation teachers

High school students developed lesson plans for elementary schoolchildren

Students from Pilot Mound, Swan Valley and Carman won recognition and cash for teaching kids about watershed conservation in the first Healthy Watersheds Student Project competition. “It’s a pleasure to watch these kids,” said Cliff Greenfield, manager of Pembina Valley Conservation District as he announced the first-place winners at a Manitoba Conservation Districts Association conference on Dec. 3. The assignment asked Grade 8 to

The understanding of how landscapes offer ecological goods and services has grown and matured since the earliest ALUS projects.

Province turns to ALUS for watershed conservation lessons

The provincially announced endowment fund will produce about $2.5 million every year to pay landowners for conservation projects on their land

It’s not quite door to door, but the province’s next watershed investments will still look more to the individual landowner. The province has promised a $52-million endowment fund for the Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) program, a program the province says will be based around the ALUS, or alternative land use services, model. Why it