South Nation Conservation: It all began with farmers threatening to dynamite the Chesterville dam

The SNC board of directors and incoming General Manager Angela Coleman posed after the 70th annual general meeting, Feb. 17. Front, from left, Vice-Chair Fernand Dicaire, Chair François St. Amour and Past Chair Doug Thompson. Back, from left, Coleman, George Darouze, François Landry, Archie Mellan, Glenn Mackey, Peggy Taylor, Stephen Blais and Bill Smirle. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

FINCH — Ontario’s first watershed authority came into being 70 years ago because fed-up, flooded farmers threatened to dynamite the Chesterville dam.

Mollifying agricultural concerns upstream of Chesterville led to the founding meeting of the South Nation River Conservation Authority at Gilson Hall in Brinston, as recounted by today’s SNC staffers at the organization’s 70th annual general meeting, Feb. 17.

See the overview of the history of the local watershed authority and its accomplishments through the decades, below.


The occasion witnessed the changeover of chairmanship, from Doug Thompson to François St. Amour of Prescott Russell, while Fernand Dicaire of Prescott Russell was bestowed with the role of vice-chair.

The session saw friends of the watershed authority recognized for their contributions over the years, including the late Ian Mitchell, a geocacher in whose name SNC has established a memorial fund. Donations received will help pay for memorial benches at a couple of the deceased’s favourite places — the Reveler and Two Creeks Forest Conservation areas. Also recognized were former long-time board members Lawrence Levere and Alan Perks.


From left, SNC Communications Acting Team Lead John Mesman, Frances Burton (accepting Friends of SNC recognition on behalf of the late Ian Mitchell), outgoing SNC Chair Doug Thompson and General Manager Dennis O’Grady. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


From left, SNC Chair Doug Thompson, Friend of SNC Lawrence Levere and his wife, Lynda Levere, and SNC General Manager Dennis O’Grady. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


SNC Chair Doug Thompson (left), Friend of SNC Al Perks (second from right) and his wife, and SNC General Manager Dennis O’Grady (right). Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News




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