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Edmonton Urged to Love and Protect its Headwaters

CPAWS Northern Alberta Chapter and the Y2Y are encouraging Edmontonians today to learn more about the region where their water comes from.

August 10, 2016

Celebration of Capital Region's Headwaters calls on Province to Protect the Bighorn

Edmonton, AB - The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), Northern Alberta Chapter and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) are encouraging Edmontonians today to learn more about the region where their water comes from and join together to urge the province to protect that region from further harm.

“We are blessed in Edmonton to have clean, clear water that comes right out of the Rocky Mountains and into our taps thanks to the North Saskatchewan River,” says Alison Ronson, Executive Director of CPAWS Northern Alberta. “Nearly 90% of the water that we use here in Edmonton comes from the Bighorn Wildland, just three hours southwest of the city.”

The Bighorn includes over 5,000 square kilometers of wildlands. In addition to being the headwaters for the Capital Region, it’s also home to populations of Alberta’s provincial fish, the endangered bull trout, as well as grizzly bears, wolverine, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. It is a favourite location for Edmontonians to go hiking, fishing, hunting and camping.

“Right now the Bighorn is in pretty good shape,” says Dr. Hilary Young, Alberta Program Coordinator for Y2Y. “But there is pressure on the Bighorn from coal mining, off highway vehicle use, oil and gas activities, and logging. These threats could pose real trouble for Edmonton’s water supply.”

Together, Y2Y and CPAWS will launch a campaign today to help Edmontonians learn more about their headwaters. A celebration will be held at Winston Churchill Square from 4-8pm. 

In addition, the groups are promoting on FacebookTwitter and #loveyourheadwaters to create a conversation about the need to protect the Capital Region’s water.

“The Rocky Mountains, and the Bighorn region in particular, provide us with fresh water, and they do it for free,” says Stephen Legault, Program Director for Y2Y. “Albertans cherish this resource. Today we’re joining together to ask the provincial government to protect our headwaters and ensure that future generations can continue to count on them for clean, secure drinking water.”


For further comment, contact:

  • Alison Ronson, Executive Director, CPAWS Northern Alberta
    780-328-3780 | aronson@cpaws.org
  • Hilary Young, Alberta Program Coordinator, Y2Y
    403-714-5785 | hilary@y2y.net
  • Stephen Legault, Program Director - Alberta, Crown and NWT, Y2Y
     403-688-2964 | stephen@y2y.net