The County of Stettler Agriculture Service Board (ASB) voiced approval of certain gravel pit reclamation work at the regular board meeting Sept. 28.
The ASB is comprised of members of county council and chaired by Coun. Dave Grover.
Board members heard a report from Manager of Agriculture Services Quentin Beaumont regarding the reclamation of a former gravel quarry located at NW-28-41-18-W4M. Beaumont noted further work was required after talks with the property owner.
“After not passing the first inspection on June 25. 2023, due to the landowner wanting rock piles removed, county staff commenced to remove over 70 loads (truck and pup) of unwanted rock off of the land that was meant to be reclaimed,” stated his memo to the board.
“The land under the rock piles was then seeded with gravel pit blend grass seed, and watered until new grass growth was evident. A second inspection took place on Sept. 5, at which point the inspector was happy with what she saw.
“I was informed that we will receive reclamation status, and we will see paperwork end of October for this pit. Mr. Clement also wanted a fence removed from around the two piles of gravel, this was completed.”
Beaumont further noted the County of Stettler is working on reclamation certificates for three other sites.
He also clarified that board members might remember that this reclamation site was the one where large rock and debris piles were located. He added that photos provided for board members were also given to the inspector who voiced satisfaction in county efforts.
Coun. James Nibourg asked where the water came from for the reclamation grass. Beaumont responded it depends on where the county staff start working from but water usually comes from various truck fill stations; the site in question was filled from the Red Willow station.
Coun. Grover stated he was impressed by the reclamation work and was happy to see it progressing.
Board members accepted the report as information.
Board members decided through a resolution to support a multi-stakeholder program to address Alberta’s wild boar problem. Wild boars are a feral, invasive pest that causes harm to agricultural operations across much of the province, including through the spreading of disease.
“Alberta Pork is partnering with Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation and the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) on a wild boar at large monitoring program,” stated a press release from Alberta Pork.
“The goal of the program is to support pork producers of all sizes in the detection of wild boar at large to help manage the threat they pose.”
Also included for board members to ponder was a letter from Alberta Agriculture Wild Boar and Pest Program Specialist Hannah Mckenzie which began, “Alberta Agriculture, Alberta Pork and the University of Calgary are collaborating to provide interested pork producers and pig owners with trail cameras to monitor their farms for wild boar.
We are hoping this will help us increase our wild boar monitoring efforts, particularly around domestic pigs, and also raise awareness about wild boar.” The letter noted one to two producers per municipality could be affected.
Beaumont stated he understands this program is coming fairly soon and asked if board members wanted to participate by making the camera packages available to certain producers.
Coun. Justin Stevens asked how many County of Stettler producers would be eligible for this program, to which Beaumont answered, “A dozen, maybe.” However, during discussion, several board members felt up to 20 producers may be affected.
The board unanimously approved the County of Stettler’s participation in this program.
Yet more wildlife problems
Board members heard during Beaumont’s regular report that Buffalo Lake boaters have some unwanted wildlife moving in.
“Nuisance control is ongoing as we have a pair of beavers trying to build a lodge under our docks at Rochon Sands Heights boat launch,” stated Beaumont in his report.
“This is our first beaver control issue of the year mainly due to the drought.”
Local Journalism Initiative reporter