Wheatland County is committed to being a leaderin environmental accountability through balancing the environment with the social and economic needs of the community. We will do this by leading by example, and implementing environmentally responsible practices in our operations. We will also work closely with the residents of Wheatland County to better understand the needs and challenges associated with our environment, and to come up with solutions together.
We are also committed to sharing actions, plans, programs, and initiatives publically. For all environment-related news, we will include this image:
Environmental Awards...Apply by December 8, 2017!
In 2016, Wheatland County Council adopted an Environmental Policy that included a commitment to “engage and enable stakeholders to protect the value that our natural environment provides,” and, “encourage contributions to environmental sustainability by seeking opportunities to enable and support community members.” The Wheatland County Agricultural Service Board presents the Environmental Stewardship Award as a way to recognize and reward notable efforts within the community to practice and promote environmental stewardship and innovation.
Two Environmental Stewardship Awards are available per year in the following categories:
The community Stewardship Award
The Environmental Stewardship Award recognizes a Wheatland County community member or group that has made an outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability in the municipality.
J. Laslo Legacy Award
The J. Laslo Legacy Award will be awarded to an agricultural producer in Wheatland County that has shown exemplary leadership in the implementation of beneficial management practices on their farm.
In 2016, Wheatland County made a formal commitment to environmental stewardship through the adoption of an Environmental Policy; recognizing the importance of protecting the environment for the benefit and enjoyment of our residents, businesses, and visitors. Accepting responsibility for leadership in accountability, for actions that may impact the environment, Wheatland County committed to:
- Balancing the environment with the social and economic needs of the community;
- Leading by example;
- Understanding and responding to the specific environmental needs of our residents and natural environment; and
- Engaging and enabling stakeholders to protect the value that our natural environment provides.
A copy of General Policy 3.25, Environmental Policy, is available here.
The Environmental Program
Wheatland County is working to implement an environmental program that aligns with the commitments made in Wheatland County’s Environmental Policy. This document describes the planning process used to determine annual activities under the program, for appropriate allocation of environmental resources. It is based on principles of simplicity, flexibility, structure, efficiency, and continual improvement.
The Environmental Program will enable administration to focus attention towards projects that align with the Environmental Policy guidelines set, with a goal to continually improve the environmental responsibility of the services that we provide. Building on the successes of previous environmental projects and programming, the Environmental Program will allow Wheatland County to improve and showcase the environmental leadership of the municipality.
Wheatland County’s Environmental Program document is available here.
Annual Environmental Action Plan
Moving forward, environmental projects at the County will be compiled into an Annual Environmental Action Plan. This way, the Wheatland County community will be well-informed of the special projects that the municipality is pursuing each year towards environmental stewardship, and protection of environmental values for the benefit of our residents, visitors, and industry. Wheatland County staff will meet three times per year to review available information, discuss project ideas, budget, and finalize each Environmental Action Plan. Council will provide input during County budget decision-making. Community consultation and assessment of the needs of the community will become key components of the Environmental Action Plan development process as we progress.
To view Wheatland County’s 2017 Environmental Action Plan, click here.
Staff will report to Council on Environmental Action Plan projects on a quarterly basis. The first report will be available in July, 2017. Watch for reports to be added to this page.
Wheatland County has had a permanent employee dedicated to working on agricultural environmental extension for 15 years, and has had an agri-environmental program in place for 25 years. In that time, Wheatland County has made many advancements in environmental stewardship, as a participant in the Canada-Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture program, and strong supporter of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry programs like the Environmental Farm Plan, and Growing Forward funding. The focus in this time has been soil conservation, watershed protection, and range/riparian health, goals which resulted in many advancements such as riparian health inventories, producer-driven watershed stewardship groups, water quality monitoring programs, water resources surveys, agri-environmental workshops for producers, and partnerships with key stakeholders in environmental management in Alberta, to name a few. For more information, visit the “Conservation” page under the Agricultural Services tab.
Wheatland County’s new Environmental Program will build upon the strengths and successes of past projects, key in on issues that affect our ratepayers most, and guide the County towards environmental accountability for the benefit of its residents, industry, and visitors. The program provides a means of meeting increasing environmental challenges in a way that suits our ratepayers, and will broaden the scope of our efforts.
To read about some of the major environmental advancements made in 2015 and 2016, click here.
For the second quarter report, click here.
Watch for year-end summaries of successes on this page in the future.
Community consultation will be ongoing. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know at 403-934-3321 or email.
A summary of the 2017 Community Open Houses can be found here
To learn more about Agricultural Conservation, including Wheatland County's Wetland Inventory, see here
Alberta Environment Protection and Enhancement Act