(North Bay, February 6, 2020)  Commercial farmers, hobby farmers, equine operators and land owners who lease land for farming are invited to meet industry experts on Feb 13 for a discussion on climate change, farm operations, stream banks and water quality as part of Changing Rural Landscapes – a Conversation with Agriculture.

'As part of our stewardship and outreach initiatives, we have gathered industry experts with hands-on experience and technical know-how to share ideas on agricultural climate challenges and protecting water quality', said Sue Buckle, Manager of Communications and Outreach for the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority which is hosting the event Feb 13 at 6 pm at the Corbeil Park Hall.

The speakers include Christoph Wand, a livestock sustainability specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Charlie Lalonde, Project Manager for the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative, Hassan Rouhani, Climate Change Specialist with the Township of Bonfield and April James, Canada Research Chair at Nipissing University and Jane White, Masters of Environmental Studies candidate at Nipissing University who is presenting her research on the relationship between phosphorus and turbidity in the Callander-Wasi subwatershed.

The presentation is funded in part by Environment and Climate Change Canada with support from the Municipality of East Ferris, the Townships of Bonfield and Chisholm. 

Christoph Wand, who was raised on a farm in Powassan, has been part of OMAFRA`s efforts toward environmental sustainability.  He teaches at the University of Guelph and has written on Renting Your Land Sustainably, Low Carbon Livestock Farms, and understands the importance of supporting groundwater and streams on rural lands.

Charlie Lalonde, Project Manager for the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative has led the implementation of a series of farm projects along the Thames River to address phosphorus reduction from agricultural runoff waters. Charlie will share lessons learned from working through a Collaborative that brings together farm organizations, the drainage sector, cities, environmental groups, a First Nation, Conservation Authorities and government agencies together to dialogue and work on issues related to phosphorus removal from agricultural runoff.

Hassan Rouhani Hassan is a skilled water resources engineer with interests in the local effects of climate change. He has experience in climate change adaptation planning, and believes that the key to successful planning is proper communication.   Currently, he is a climate change specialist working in the public sector to offer pragmatic approaches to policymaker to prepare for the future. This inter-institutional project intends to suggest solutions to mitigate and control climate change effects on the risks related to local water resources and municipal assets.

April James is an Associate Professor at Nipissing University with over 22 years of experience conducting research in watershed hydrology and hydrogeology. Her research group in the Department of Geography at Nipissing University investigates scientific questions related to how water moves into stream, rivers

and lakes, where water is stored and for how long, and how natural processes and human activities affect water quality.  She is currently an associate editor of the Canadian Water Resources Journal, holds a research partnership at the Dorset Environmental Science Centre and is an adjunct professor at Laurentian University.

Jane White is a Master of Science in Environmental Science candidate at Nipissing University and researcher on the Wasi Watershed Project, which monitors sediment and nutrient transport from the watershed into Lake Nipissing. She has been studying water quality and erosion issues in cold-temperate and subarctic landscapes since her time as an undergraduate at Bemidji State University in northwestern Minnesota.

The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) was founded in 1972 by the Province of Ontario and the NBMCA’s 10 member municipalities. A non-profit organization, the NBMCA works closely with the public to balance human needs with the environmental needs of the region’s watershed. The NBMCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities who are members of Conservation Ontario.


For more information, contact: 

Sue Buckle, Manager, Communications & Outreach                        (705) 474-5420   ext. 2010