Stewards of Lac La Biche Watershed is a community group made up of diverse sectors of the community who share an interest in maintaining a healthy lake for its environmental, economic, recreational and cultural values.
About Stewards of Lac La Biche Watershed
The purpose of Stewards of Lac La Biche Watershed is to represent all sectors of the community who share an interest in maintaining a healthy lake. Stewards of Lac La Biche Watershed plan to become a catalyst for community stewardship of the lake, with the vision that the lake is managed in a way that will:
- Maintain and/or restore the ecological integrity of the lake ecosystem,
- Support sustainable recreational and traditional uses,
- Ensure that the lake continues to contribute to the economic, social and cultural richness of the region.
The Stewards of Lac La Biche Watershed is a grassroots organization that directly meets the needs of local citizens. We provide an important complement to the County and Provincial watershed management planning efforts.
About the Lake
Lac La Biche is the 7th largest lake in Alberta, with a surface area of about 234 km2. It is located about 220 kilometers northeast of Edmonton, AB. It is a provincial tourist destination and a recognized biologically‐significant area for bird life.
Lac La Biche has a natural outlet into the La Biche River and is part of the Athabasca River watershed, which joins with the Peace River and flows to the Arctic Ocean via the Mackenzie River system.
The lake is divided into an east and west basin by a natural spit/island. Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park is located on Big Island and is connected to the south shore of the east basin by a causeway.
Lake Management Challenges
Lac La Biche is a source of water for agriculture, forestry, oil and gas, commercial fishing, recreation/tourism and domestic and municipal users. It is important both socially and culturally for the surrounding community.
As popularity for recreation on the lake increases, environmental impacts and user conflicts can arise. Although the extent of climate change impacts are unknown, it is likely that it will affect water quality, fish and wildlife habitats and populations, as well as human activities that rely on the lake.
These challenges are set against a complicated regulatory environment, where public agencies from every level of government have legal jurisdiction over some aspect of the lake. Focused agency mandates, combined with insufficient coordinating mechanisms between agencies, often make it difficult to balance economic, social and environmental interests. In addition, the need for long-term solutions often conflicts with short-term priority setting.
Wastewater management, protecting the drinking water source and human development issues within the Lac La Biche watershed have made watershed management planning a priority for Lac La Biche County (formerly known as Lakeland County and the Town of Lac La Biche). The County has partnered with Alberta Environment and several other stakeholders to develop and implement a watershed management plan for the Lac La Biche Watershed. This plan strives to balance environmental, community and economic issues with government legislation for the protection and management of water resources.
Our work is made possible thanks to financial support from / Ce projet a ete realise avec l’appui financier de: