The Crane Lake Restoration and Preservation program is an educational program with a restoration/preservation component for lake front property owners. The purpose of the program is to restore and preserve the ecology of the riparian zone. A large majority of Crane Lake’s lots contain an environmental reserve owned and maintained by the Municipal District of Bonnyville.
These reserves are located between the independently owned lot and the water. This area is critical to the health of the lake as it keeps unwanted contaminants from entering, helps maintain bank stabilization, avoids erosion, and keeps the aquatic ecosystem intact.
The program is proposed to start spring 2016 with an aerial heath assessment. A drone will be used to capture the conditions of the riparian zone, which will then be used to create a report determining the status of each fragment. This report would be similar to one completed by the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance in 2015 on Lake Wabamun.
This report will help to provide direct visual comparative data, a data comparison for shoreline development since the last aerial assessment completed by Walker Environmental in 2006 (pictured above), and a starting point for comparative data to the restoration activates associated with the third phase of the program. The second and third phases will include individual lot assessments, an educational package, and a restoration plan designed with the help of each lot owner.
The second phase includes the education portion. This will be used to help lot owners identify the property boundaries, better ways to maintain their lots and their interactions with the environmental reserves, and how they can make a difference.
If we all do our part on our own properties, we can help to create a sustainably relationship for many years to come, and provide future generations the same experiences at the lake we had.
This is a pilot project and may be introduced to other lakes within the municipality. At this time we are focusing on Crane Lake as the pilot project.
Crane Lake was chosen for many reasons, including; residents around the lake asking for something to be done, the number of lake front lots is manageable for a pilot program, a large portion of the lake is categorized as relatively low impact which allows us to focus on moderately to highly impacted sites, previous studies will provide us with comparable data, and the presence of the Crane Lake Advisory and Stewardship Society.
“I would highly encourage any residents both summer and permanent to check out their local lake society and get involved with what’s going on,” said M.D. Environmental Coordinator, Katlyn Macdonald. “These groups work throughout the year to set up shoreline clean-ups, community fun days, identify needs of the community, and bring all the residents together.”
If you are interested in getting involved, check out your local lake societies and help make a difference; Crane Lake Advisory and Stewardship Society (CLASS) – Chad Doucet – 780-645-9736, Moose Lake Watershed Society (MLWS) – Katlyn Macdonald – 780-826-3171 ext. 9253, and Muriel Lake Basin Management Society (MLBMS) on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Savemuriellake/.
*Press Release from the MD of Bonnyville