Stewardship in Pine River Watershed

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Landowners and community and funding partners are making stewardship possible.

CATTLE EXCLUSION PROJECT IN HURON-KINLOSS HELPS PREVENT SEDIMENT FROM REACHING WATERCOURSES – The Pine River Watershed Initiative Network (PRWIN), working with a local landowner and community and funding partners, completed a cattle crossing project in spring of 2021 to fence livestock out of the banks of the river and to reduce erosion and the potential for nutrient loss that could end up in a stream or Lake Huron. The PRWIN Network also reforested the project site with seedlings. 

Pine River Watershed Initiative Network (PRWIN) and partners complete cattle exclusion fencing project in Township of Huron-Kinloss

Pine River is one of the six priority areas along Lake Huron’s southeast shore. The Pine River Watershed Initiative Network (PRWIN) has partnered successfully, for more than 15 years, with local landowners and funders to implement on-the-ground projects to improve habitat and water quality in the Pine River Watershed on the eastern shores of Lake Huron.

The Pine River Watershed Initiative Network completed a cattle exclusion fencing project, in the Township of Huron-Kinloss, in spring of 2021. 

A crossing now protects the riverbed and banks, as livestock pass through, and prevents sediment from being stirred up by animal activity. Livestock are fenced out of the banks of the river or stream and are only allowed access at the installed crossing. 

This helps to reduce nutrient inputs to the environment of the Lake Huron-Georgian Bay Watershed and advance monitoring of agricultural best management practices (BMPs). This project will help to address potential threats to water quality and to improve water quality and ecosystem health in the Pine River watershed. This project site was reforested with seedlings. To date, PRWIN has installed 11 kilometres of fencing along the Pine River Watershed.

The Network’s spring project was funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) through Great Lakes improvement programs. Also, this funding and local sponsorships supported tree planting sites in Huron-Kinloss.

The PRWIN Network’s recent tree planting projects provided more than 6,000 seedlings at its reforestation sites. The seedlings included Red Maple; White Cedar; White Spruce; Norway Spruce; White Oak; Black Walnut; and Black Cherry. 

The Pine River Watershed Initiative Network would like to thank its directors and volunteers for their time and efforts to complete the reforestation sites. They also send out a special thank you to Maitland Valley Conservation Authority for sourcing the seedlings.

Due to public health restrictions during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, PRWIN had to cancel its annual 4-H Volunteer Tree Planting Day, in 2021, for the second year in a row. “We miss our partnership and friendship with this group of children and their families, planting trees in our watershed,” said Julie Thompson, PRWIN Office Manager. “We also miss connecting with the For Our Youth Horticultural Group Members meeting at our McLarty Environmental Study Area.”

The Pine River Watershed Initiative Network has received a number of awards in recognition of their work protecting Pine River and Lake Huron. These awards include the Ontario Power Generation Environmental Award (2017); the CKNX 920 AM FAB Award (2013); and the Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence (2012).

“We are well-known for helping to take care of our watershed and we love our community,” said Thompson. “We welcome projects from local landowners and we have developed a close relationship with them.”

If you are in the Pine River Watershed and feel your land and community could benefit, please email or phone 519-395-5538 to find out more. Berms, tree planting, cattle crossing and wetlands are the majority of project requests.
Funding support helps make projects possible.
FUNDING SUPPORT HELPS MAKE PROJECTS POSSIBLE – The spring project, in 2021, to create a cattle crossing to keep livestock off the banks and to reduce erosion and nutrient loss was possible thanks to the participating Pine River landowner as well as funding from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.