Deadline Extended – Have Your Say!

10 May

The deadline for commenting on the proposed Project Albany potash mine has been extended until May 15. Please consider submitting your concerns!

You can see sample letters here.


Call to Action

1 Apr

Proposed Potash Mine Would Impact Thousands of Hectares of Habitat for Prairie Flora and Fauna Including Many Species at Risk

Public Pastures—Public Interest has just learned that the Province of Saskatchewan is preparing to give the go ahead to a new solution potash mine that would harm or destroy up to 6,000 hectares (14,800 acres) of increasingly rare grassland, wetland and riparian (creek valley slopes) habitat in the upper Wascana Creek watershed near the towns of Sedley and Lajord.

Saskatchewan has already lost approximately 86.7% of its native grasslands, placing dozens of prairie species in jeopardy. This project, if approved, would impact populations of several at-risk birds such as the Loggerhead Shrike, Long-billed Curlew, Short-eared Owl, and Ferruginous Hawk as well as the American Badger and Northern Leopard Frog, among nearly 150 species of wildlife using the lands. Five known dancing grounds for our provincial bird, the sharp-tailed grouse, as well as nesting sites and dens for other species, would be affected.

Details of how you can take action can be found on our Take Action page.

There are two weeks to respond before the deadline of April 15!

Northern Leopard Frog: Shelley Banks
Brilliant green frog, half-submerged in brackish water with reeds,
at the old 76 Ranch in Grasslands National Park © SB

PPPI Annual General Meeting 2019

4 Mar
We are pleased to invite you to the Public Pastures – Public Interest annual general meeting.

Saturday March 30, 2019  
Regina Senior Citizens Centre, 2404 Elphinstone Street, Regina, Saskatchewan
Registration is at 12:45

The meeting will run from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, with speakers, brief AGM business meeting, updates from organizations and planning of future actions. It promises to be an informative and energizing meeting!

1:00 pm – Speakers (Andrew Miller, Katie Doke Sawatzky, Trevor Herriot)

1:45 pm – AGM (minutes, financial report, board election)

2:45 pm – Priorities for upcoming year (discussion on action and projects)

A more detailed meeting agenda can be found here, with contact information if you have questions.

RSVP if you can, Either way we hope to see you on March 30th – your support remains very important!
We presented at the Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference in February 2019! A handout based on our poster at PCESC highlighting the current status of publicly-owned pastures and grasslands and the work of PPPI can be found here.

PPPI 2018 Annual General Meeting

29 Mar

Annual General Meeting

Saturday April 7, 2018, 1:00 to 5:00 pm

 South Leisure Neighbourhood Centre

170 Sunset Drive, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4S 2S3


1:00     Annual General Meeting

  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Presentation and photos based on Islands of Grass by Branimir Gjetvaj and Trevor Herriot
  • Update on PPPI activities and achievements
  • Financial Report
  • Election of Board

2:30     PPPI Priorities for Upcoming Year

  • Interactive discussion with audience on current issues and future options
  • Actions & projects for the upcoming year


20 Sep



Wednesday September 20, 2017



Regina, Saskatchewan:  A petition tabled in Parliament today by MP Wayne Stetski calls on the federal government to work with livestock producers, First Nations and Métis organizations, local committees and conservation groups to restore conservation programming to the former federal Community Pastures. These pastures are recognized widely as being among the continent’s most ecologically important remnants of native prairie, which not only provide health and cultural benefits to Saskatchewan people, but are also home to more than 30 endangered species.

 According to the World Wildlife Fund’s “Living Planet Report” released last week, “natural prairie grassland is considered the most heavily degraded terrestrial habitat in the world.” The report goes on to state that “populations of grassland birds have seen their numbers plunge on average by 69 per cent since 1970 . . . .The most significant threat to the region’s wildlife is habitat loss, as the grasslands have been converted into agricultural fields or divided by other development.” Living Planet Report Canada

 When asked about the loss of conservation programming for these rare ecosystems, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Minister, Lawrence Macaulay, has repeated the position of Harper government Minister, Gerald Ritz, saying that the community pasture program is no longer needed because it has “achieved its objectives.”

Macaulay suggests that environmental legislation including Species at Risk Act will on its own replace the pre-existing grassland biodiversity and conservation programming, and compel private ranchers now leasing the lands to manage for ecological objectives and species at risk.

The WWF report underscores the deficiencies in the past and current federal government’s approach to conservation. “The rapid decline of grassland animals such as the greater sage-grouse and burrowing owl have shown that species at risk legislation on its own is not enough,” said Trevor Herriot, grassland advocate and co-chair of Public Pastures—Public Interest. “It is disingenuous to suggest that private livestock producers will have the capacity to protect biodiversity, species at risk and carbon sequestration without support from government.”

 “The federal government has an opportunity to utilize contributions from both the environment and agriculture ministries and play a positive leadership role in recognizing the shortcomings of previous federal government’s decision to eliminate the PFRA program and the supports it was providing for the ecological care of the pastures.”

 “The ranching businesses on their own cannot be expected to manage a mix of habitat for so many prairie species at risk. Without significant federal support for conservation initiatives, as outlined in the petition, the trends identified in the WWF Report will not improve.”

 Public Pastures – Public Interest is a network of local and international individuals and organizations working for the preservation and sustainable use of Crown pasturelands and grasslands.


Trevor Herriot Cell: 306-585-1674




Wayne Stetski Office: 613-995-7246


E-Petition e-927 (Land use) to Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, presented in the Canadian Parliament by Wayne Stetski, MP on September 20, 2017


·       Canada’s old growth prairie is representative of the most endangered and least protected ecosystems on the planet (The Hohhot Declaration, July 2008; Dan Kraus, October 24, 2016) and provides a vast array of ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, species-at-risk habitat, soil and water conservation;

·       Retaining the public ownership and ecological integrity of the former Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) Pastures answers Canada’s obligations to our international commitments including the UN Convention on Biodiversity and Aichi Accord, Paris Accord, the Migratory Bird Convention as well as our national biodiversity strategy, Pathway to Canada Target 1; and

·       Retaining public ownership and ecological integrity of the former PFRA Pastures aligns with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, contributes to Canada’s commitment to Indigenous peoples under the numbered Treaties and responds to Reconciliation efforts.

We, the undersigned, Citizens and Residents of Canada, call upon the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to work with livestock producers, First Nations and Métis organizations, local committees and conservation organizations to create a multi-use prairie conservation network on all former PFRA Community Pastures that meets ranchers’ needs for grazing and protects Canada’s 75-year investment in the ecological wellbeing of this important ecosystem and its biodiversity, treaty, climate change, and heritage values.

New Factsheets!

23 May

Two new factsheets are now available. One addresses the link between being in nature and increased cognitive, physical and emotional health. The other explains the many national and international conservation agreements, declarations, and conventions that Canada is party to regarding biodiversity, climate change, indigenous peoples, and grasslands.

These factsheets can be shared widely, and used when writing letters or speaking to elected representatives and other concerned citizens.

Saskatchewan Pastures Program

5 May

PPPI has issued a media release highlighting the Saskatchewan Pastures Program’s proposed closure and the government’s consultation process.…/pppi-release…

PPPI sees the closure of the provincial pasture program as another step in privatizing Saskatchewan’s grassland commons. By removing public involvement and management of these lands, the Province is first giving up the infrastructure that could be used to do a better job of managing public grasslands for climate change mitigation and species recovery. But it is also exposing their carbon storage capacity, biodiversity, and species at risk to the market forces and private interests that inevitably drive land use decisions and lead to habitat erosion and fragmentation over time as good private stewards retire and are eventually superseded by managers who push the land harder for short term gain. A community pasture management system gives government at least the capacity to protect the commons for the long term public good.

PPPI met with Saskatchewan government representatives on April 27 and highlights of the points presented as well as the full brief to the government are here:…/pppi-recc-hi…

Sask Government Survey on Provincial Pastures

10 Apr
In its March 22, 2017 budget the Saskatchewan government announced they would end the provincial pastures program and sell the land. Please write the Premier and fill out Sask Agriculture’s survey.
Sask Agriculture Pasture Land Consultation
They are doing a consultation with invitational meetings and an online survey. The survey is located here
You will notice that the survey is biased and doesn’t ask the basic question – Do you want the pastures sold? People need to make it clear they are in favour of retaining the pastures as public lands.
There are three spots in the survey where you can fill in your thoughts. This could include these points:
– Keep the provincial pastures as public lands – this is a top priority
– Express strong opposition to subdividing the pastures whether publicly or privately owned.
There is no urgency or economic advantage to dispose of the provincial pastures program. Delay the decision for an additional year to give more time for a proper inquiry into options.
– Sponsor a fully independent review of the ecological, agro-economic, and cultural effects of changes to the PFRA and provincial pastures systems.
Let them know 
Write, e-mail, fax  or phone the Premier and cc the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Agriculture
In addition to the points above  say why the pastures are valuable to you and society as a whole, such as: habitat for conserving native flora and fauna especially Species at Risk, soil and water conservation, carbon sequestration, public access for recreation and research, accommodating sustainable livestock grazing while conserving habitat.
Premier Brad Wall
Telephone 306-787-9433
FAX 306-787-0885
Mailing Address: Room 226, 2405 Legislative Drive, Regina, SK, Canada, S4S 0B3
Email Address:


Hon. Scott Moe, Minister of the Environment
Telephone: 306-787-0393
FAX: 306-787-1669
Mailing Address: Room 345, Legislative Building, 2405 Legislative Drive, Regina, SK, Canada, S4S 0B3
Email Address:


Hon. Lyle Stewart, Minister of Agriculture
FAX: 306-787-0630
Mailing Address: Room 334, Legislative Building, 2405 Legislative Drive, Regina, SK, Canada, S4S 0B3
Email Address:

Saskatchewan Community Pastures Program to End

27 Mar

The Leader-Post covers the issue here.

The plan, announced in the provincial budget, is to phase the provincial pasture program out over three years, with 2017 being the last year it fully operates. The program includes 51 pastures operating on 780,000 acres of land.

PPPI Co-Chair Trevor Herriot was interviewed by the CBC on the potential impacts on prairie conservation.

When you privatize public conservation land, you’re severely weakening your ability to create and enforce laws, policies, regulations, if you want to meet prairie for sustainable grassland management. There’s a lot of public interest in these lands

There will be consultations made for the future management of the land with the public, stakeholders, First Nations and Metis communities. An online survey will be available online at from March 27 to May 8.

Official Parliamentary Petition – Take Action!

12 Mar

As a result of recent developments in Ottawa and in the national media, PPPI has launched an official parliamentary petition to Hon. Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, calling on her to work with livestock producers, First Nations and Métis organizations, local committees and conservation organizations to create a multi-use prairie conservation network on all former PFRA Community Pastures.

Please fill out and share this petition with others before July 6th when it closes. Already it is garnering support across Canada  – we need 500 signatures in order for final certification. 

Grasslands are the most endangered, the most altered and yet the least protected ecosystem on the planet. The Community Pastures in Saskatchewan contain some of the largest, best managed and biodiverse rich blocks of remaining native grasslands in North America.  A conservation network will not only protect our grasslands but support Canada’s biodiversity Target 1 to protect 17% of all terrestrial areas and inland water.