GFM Network News


Protect the unsung heroes of your grazing lands — riparian areas

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for riparian health, but there are some basic principles you can apply

Reading Time: 4 minutes They’re the green places amidst the brown in the heat of a dry August — those spaces between the land and water where life grows abundantly, where roots drive down deep, where animals graze and birds nest. Those small but mighty riparian areas don’t get the credit — or the care — that they deserve. […] Read more

Don Ruzicka, shown here in an eco-buffer, has planted 100,000 trees and shrubs on his farm.

‘Eco-buffer’ boosts pasture productivity for Alberta producer

Letting nature do its job got Don Ruzicka off a treadmill of 
clearing trees, draining wetlands, and poor returns

Reading Time: 4 minutes Some people look for signs — other people just find them. For producer Don Ruzicka of Killam, the motivation behind the past three decades of land management on his farm was quite literally a sign. Before he purchased his grandparents’ farm in 1983, Ruzicka worked in the logging industry. “The first day I flew into […] Read more


Himalayan balsam can launch seeds five metres from the parent plant.

Invader blasts its way into wet areas

Reading Time: < 1 minute Himalayan balsam can be spotted in a number of municipalities across Alberta, and is especially common in flower beds. Before it was listed as a prohibited noxious weed, Himalayan balsam was a very popular ornamental. It was even readily available in greenhouses. Himalayan balsam is incredibly invasive in wet areas — mature seed capsules explode […] Read more

This photo taken in 1990, shows eroded banks, channel width, and many areas of bare soil.

Study finds riparian areas can restore themselves

A study in Oregon wildlife refuge finds ‘passive restoration’ 
can have a dramatic impact after cattle removed

Reading Time: 2 minutes Simply removing cattle may be all that is required to restore many degraded riverside areas. An Oregon State University study found removal of cattle from Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in eastern Oregon helped to rehabilitate the natural environment. Riparian, or riverside, vegetation is particularly susceptible to the effects of grazing because cattle tend to […] Read more