Land use change on the Assiniboine River, resource management issues for riparian ecosystems in southern Manitoba, Canada
Hamilton, William Douglas
The reduction in the amount of arable land is one of the negative impacts produced by the continuous growth of our society. Of greater importance is that the natural environment is also impacted by the activities related to this continuous growth. Developers are able to acquire agricultural lands for new housing divisions, as well as build within ecologically sensitive areas (i.e. riparian ecosystems) due to tax regulations at all three levels of governme t (municipal, provincial and federal). By allowing construction within riparian ecosystems we are negatively impacting the ecology of these systems, the stability of river banks and the quality of water in streams. Furthermore, in removing arable land, society is effectively reducing the quantity of food a region is capable of producing. This activity is counterintuitive when considering the fact that society is faced with supporting an ever increasing population. This thesis will show that unregulated rural-residential development, west of The City of Winnipeg, has caused a significant reduction in the amount of riparian and agricultural lands. Construction within this riparian ecosystem has produced an increase in river-bank loading while reducing bank stability with the removal of trees. This is a tremendous abuse of a valuable natural resource.