The Messenger: Film Screening and Fundraiser

12 Oct

The Messenger: Birds Have Something to Tell Us

 Award-Winning Eco-Documentary presented by PPPI at the

 Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina

Thursday, November 3rd at 7:00


An essential film for anyone who cares about the environment and nature, The Messenger explores mankind’s deep-seated connection to songbirds and the devastating impact humans have had on bird species, from urbanization, climate change and pesticides.

Since its world premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival, The Messenger has wowed audiences the world over at more than 30 international film festivals, played in over 100 US Cinemas, and is available on US Netflix.   A Hot Docs 2015 ‘Top Ten Audience Favourite’, it has received several awards, including Best Theatrical Feature, International Wildlife Film Festival.

Shot in Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, France, The Netherlands and the USA, The Messenger is an international story with high-stakes global consequences. The film argues that the decline of songbirds is due to human activity, signaling an uncertain shift in an already fragile ecosystem while warning that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own.

“According to Su Rynard’s provocative and beautiful documentary The Messenger, today’s songbirds are delivering us a message of global proportion: Modernity is killing them, and if we don’t do something soon, it might destroy us, too.” LA Weekly

The Messenger is directed by Su Rynard and produced by Joanne Jackson. Both grew up listening to bird song in the forest: Su at her family cottage in the Kawartha’s and Joanne in her hometown of New Liskeard, Ontario.

This event is a fundraiser for Public Pastures – Public Interest. We welcome your donations at the door.

A full description of the film can be found here.

To watch the trailer and for more information please visit the film website at



Facebook —

Twitter — @themessengerdoc

Take Action on the Chaplin Lake wind turbine project

7 Jun

Two actions can help influence the Chaplin Lake wind turbine project decision and future wind turbine projects.

1. Contact the Saskatchewan Environment Minister.

Saskatchewan’s Minister of the Environment, Herb Cox, is currently considering options for approving the controversial wind energy project by Chaplin Lake  Chaplin Lake is an internationally important shorebird staging wetland, used by thousands of birds as they migrate seasonally, including many endangered species. The proposed project of 79 turbines would include 25 to 34 turbines on native grasslands, affecting 62 hectares (153 acres) that support several species at risk in breeding season. The project area would also be cut by roads, transmissions lines and other vertical structures such as buildings.

PPPI and many other groups interested in grassland conservation, including Nature Saskatchewan and Nature Canada, believe that the project should be moved off the native grassland and onto alternative/cultivated land.

Last November people wrote in their concerns and analysis to the environmental assessment process and this caused additional consultation and reflection on the project. We are encouraging people to review the material in the NEWS items below, and send letters or emails to Minister Cox strongly urging him to insist that the wind project be moved off native grassland.

Hon. Herb Cox, Minister of Environment
Mailing Address Room 38, Legislative Building, 2405 Legislative Drive, Regina, SK, Canada, S4S 0B3
Phone (306) 787-0393
Fax (306) 787-1669

2. Provide input concerning draft guidelines being developed for wind energy projects in Saskatchewan,
A meeting was held May 31 with Saskatchewan Environment officials and representatives of conservation groups and comments on the draft guidelines were invited. The turn around is tight – the deadline for comments is June 15, but the document is not too long. Contact PPPI if you are interested in contributing to this effort.

PFRA pastures in Sask make National Trust endangered places list

1 Jun

Two articles this week highlighted the placement of the former PFRA pastures in Saskatchewan on the National Trust’s list of endangered places. CBC ran this article and the Leader-Post ran this article, from which the following quote is taken:

The Public Pastures – Public Interest group is quite pleased to see the pastures on the list. The group has been campaigning for years for the conservation of the pastures.

“We’re trying to end up with some form of assistance, some form of guarantee that the pastures will remain publicly owned and managed for livestock producing as well for species at risk, biodiversity and basically continue on the same track that the PFRA system had developed,” said Lorne Scott, co-chair of Public Pastures – Public Interest.

Lands Act Review – Opportunity to Comment

30 May

The provincial government has given people until June 3 to comment on new proposals concerning the Provincial Lands Act. There are implications for community pastures.

The government held consultations in the 2013, then put the issue on the backburner. Now they plan to introduce legislation and are giving people until June 3 to to comment on the highlights of their proposal.

Click here to read the notice of the final stage of consultation and, following, the Provincial Lands Act Amendment Proposal.

Weighing in on Species at Risk protection in southwest Saskatchewan

27 May

The proposed Action Plan for Multiple Species at Risk in Southwestern Saskatchewan: South of the Divide has now been posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry for a 60-day public comment period beginning May 24, 2016 and ending July 23, 2016.

You can follow the above link to read the plan and submit a comment by email. The plan is also available here and this form can be used when commenting.

News about the Wind Energy Project endangering bird populations at Chaplin Lake

26 May

A couple of recent Leader-Post articles by Ashley Robinson and Natascia Lypny are good reminders of the decline of migratory grassland bird populations and a conservation issue that will further endanger these birds.   The Wind Energy Project at Chaplin Lake calls for the installation of wind turbines on native prairie in an extremely critical area for migratory birds such as Sprague’s pipit and piping plover.

PPPI supports alternate energy sources, but this location is very concerning.  Along with conservationists from groups like Nature Conservancy of Canada, Nature Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, we want to ensure that the turbines are not located in the sensitive globally significant habitat around Chaplin Lake.

Recent articles by Ashley Robinson by Natascia Lypny

And there are also articles from last year: by Kerry Benjoe by Natascia Lypny

As well as Trevor Herriot’s “Grass Notes” blog:

New Resources!

2 May

Please check our Resources Page and our Factsheets – new material has been posted. Also remember that you can find us on Facebook!

Saskatoon Event – Northeast Swale and Conservation

23 Mar

“Paving Paradise”

April 18, 7-9 pm at the Frances Morrison Central Library Theatre

Join speakers Candace Savage and Larry Beasley after a viewing of the film “Division Street”.


Saskatchewan Election: Protecting our Grasslands

22 Mar
With the Saskatchewan provincial election in full swing, and an election date of April 4, 2016, we have created some material for bringing forward the concerns about the PFRA Community Pastures and publicly-owned grasslands.
A handout to give candidates, with recommendations for things they can do. It is a thumbnail sketch of the complexities of the Community Pastures and grasslands issues, but we hope it conveys the essentials.
There are many ways to influence direction at at the time of an election.
  • Talk to the candidates that knock on your door or that you meet at events.Take courage – you have the right to present your views and even a short conversation has an effect.
  • Attend all-candidate forums and ask about the environment, agriculture, public pastures and grasslands, even though other issues seem to be dominating the airwaves.
  • Write a letter or email or make a phone call to your local candidates. Drop by their constituency office and have a chat about  your views.
  • Write a letter to the editor to the newspaper, or local community paper.
  • Put forward your views on social media.
  • Talk to your neighbours.
  • Do a creative video, or just a short simple interview on your camera or smartphone, and post it on You-Tube.
  • Send a message via Twitter
Grasslands could become an election issue!

Protected Areas: Saskatchewan’s “Geography of Hope” at risk

14 Mar

Is conservation an issue in the provincial election? Trevor Herriot argues, in the Leader-Post, that it should be:

In 2012, the federal government cut the PFRA community pasture program, placing the lion’s share of our protected grasslands in limbo. The Saskatchewan government chose to pass on management responsibility for these ecologically rich lands to private grazing corporations, offering to lease or sell them. By any application of the IUCN criteria for protection, you can no longer count conservation land stripped of its biodiversity programming, then leased or sold primarily for cattle grazing.

So where is Saskatchewan at then, once we remove the WHPA lands for sale and PFRA pastures from the tally of protected areas? Our protected area percentage drops from 8.7 to 6.34 per cent — nowhere near the 17-per-cent commitment under Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Targets and Goals and half our original RAN commitment.