November 19, 2007

Alta government provides additional $340K for study of fire impacts on water flows, supplies

CALGARY, ALTA-A grant of $340,000 from Alberta's Sustainable Resource Development Department will enable the University of Alberta to continue a forest hydrology study in the foothills of southern Alberta. The research, begun in 2004, has been investigating the effects of the 2003 Lost Creek fire on local water flows and water supplies. That fire, approximately 150 kilometres southwest of Calgary, burned nearly 19,000 hectares of forest near Crowsnest Pass, an area equivalent to about one-quarter the size of the city of Red Deer. The new funding increases the government's contribution to the project to $522,000 and will extend the study by two years. Its findings will help managers determine how best to reduce impacts on watersheds from large-scale forest disturbances. "The research helps us understand how water and forests interact in the Foothills region," said Sustainable Resource Development Minister Ted Morton. "This work will tell us how watersheds may be affected by forest disturbances from wildfires or mountain pine beetle infestations."

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