The permanence of land is at the heart of a touching family legacy for Adam Herold, the Montmartre, Saskatchewan Humboldt Bronco who lost his life in the 2018 tragedy. Now, in a tribute to Adam’s love of the land he grew up on, the Herold family has designated a pair of land parcels as conservation areas and an everlasting memorial.
The land is set aside, with the cooperation of Ducks Unlimited, as a conservation easement. Much of the surrounding land has been cleared for farming, but Adam’s father, Russell Herold, says the quarter section and a smaller tract are both unbroken stretches of transitional aspen parkland.
“It’s basically the way it was hundreds of years ago,” says Russell, “It’s never been broken. It has wetlands in it with a creek rolling through it with rolling hills. There’s not a lot of that kind of native grass ground around anymore. Since Adam had such a love of nature, we thought this would be a fitting tribute to him – something to honour his memory and something he would be in favour of.”
Adam’s affinity for the outdoors led him to hunt with his dad. Even before he could carry a gun, Adam accompanied his dad and family on local hunting expeditions for deer and waterfowl. More than just the hunting aspect, Adam had a deep-seated reverence for the land he grew up on. The area was perfect for recreation activities like quadding and snowmobiling. Beyond that, for the younger Herold, just exploring the region, and other favourite spots like the Cypress Hills, brought delight when mule deer, whitetails or moose would emerge.
“It was nice to be out and even just working the land with our farming and seeing a moose or deer. He just enjoyed seeing the wildlife.”
Both Adam and Russell understood the precious nature of this type of land as it started to disappear, increasingly consumed by agricultural interests. The result is lost habitat for the wildlife and plants that Adam appreciated as part of his childhood experience. The area can now remain home to native plants like brown-eyed susans, crocus and conflowers. The areas are designated as the Adam Herold Project with the guidance of Ducks Unlimited Canada.
“We put a caveat on the land with Ducks Unlimited that it can never be broken,” Russell Herold explains. “It can be grazed; it could be hayed even though we don’t do that. Ducks Unlimited will oversee the condition that it doesn’t get broken up in the future.”
Land stewardship is important to the Herold family. The Adam Herald Project ensures that the two land parcels, about 10 miles south of Montmartre, will remain intact and in a natural state long into the future. More importantly, the decision honours a young man whose special connection with the land marked his childhood and youth. Now generations from the Montmartre area and visitors to the site can revel in its unchanged beauty.
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