Archive | February, 2013

CBC Radio Interview

28 Feb

This morning, Stefani Langenegger interviewed Trevor Herriot from PPPI. He makes a strong case for the importance of the pasture lands to the public, and the unfairness of placing all of the responsibilities of care on patrons’ shoulders. You can listen here.

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New Writing on the Pastures

26 Feb

Paul Hanley, in the February 26 Star-Phoenix:

“…While saving money seems the whole point of cutting what everyone agrees is an excellent program, the irony is that by eliminating it, we ultimately stand to lose at least a portion of the $33 million in net benefits currently generated by the program…”

And Trevor Herriot’s latest blog post, a report from the tenth Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference in Red Deer, where the community pastures issue was represented during a session.

Public Interest in the Land: An Eloquent Defense

22 Feb

Laura Stewart on Prairie Pastures, guest blogging for the Justice & Right Relations Committee, Sask Conference, United Church

…To those of us who know and love the pastures, it was a stunning announcement. We began to realize that we are few; that we have not spoken of what we know; we have assumed that others know and understand. As we began to talk and question, we discovered that we are now even fewer: any federal or provincial employees with any connection to the issue have been ordered not to talk. This is a profound injustice, when the issue is already rooted in disconnection, ignorance, and silence. The public does not know its own interest in these lands….

Letter Writing Campaign Launched!

19 Feb

With decisions concerning the potential sale of pasture lands coming up quickly, PPPI sees an urgent need for letters to the provincial government to stop this sale and continue public preservation of these lands.

We need people to write a short, courteous letter to the Premier, telling why you think the PFRA pastures are important to you and the people of Saskatchewan. Ask the Premier to retain ownership of these very important lands not only for producers but all the people of Saskatchewan, and tell the Premier that you look forward to his reply.

For details, and suggestions of points to bring up in your letter, go to our Take Action page.

Saskatoon Forum Speakers Detailed

14 Feb

Author and naturalist Trevor Herriot (Public Pastures – Public Interest), Ian McCreary (Community Pasture Patrons  Association of Saskatchewan), Dr. Suren Kulshreshtha  (Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, U of Sask), former FSIN Chief Roland Crowe (Piapot First Nation) and Carl Neggers (SM Solutions Inc.) will be speaking at the Saskatoon forum on March 1. Check out our events page for their bios.

Updated parking information:

There are 4 hour parking meters across Campus Drive from the Edwards School of   Business.  Lot 1 (south of Place Riel), Lot 4 (NE of Education Building) and Parkade (in basement of Agriculture Building) have pay parking at $2 /hr.  Lot 4 tends to be least busy. View the campus map with venue and parking lot location or on-line campus maps at http://www.usask.ca/maps/

Saskatoon Forum Details Released

12 Feb

OPEN PUBLIC FORUM – SASKATOON, FEBRUARY 28 – MARCH 1

 THE FUTURE OF PFRA COMMUNITY PASTURES IN SASKATCHEWAN

Over one million acres of Canada’s most important grasslands

are up for sale! Have you been consulted?

 This facilitated, open forum brings together key stakeholders and the public to discuss the future of our publicly owned community pastures

Keynote:  Thursday, February 28th – 7 p.m. 

Frances Morrison Library, 311-23rd Street E

Candace Savage, the best-selling author of Prairie: A Natural History and A Geography in Blood, will highlight the heritage of the PFRA pastures and their critical importance for grassland conservation.

Panel Forum: Friday, March 1st – 1-4 p.m.

Edwards School of Business – Georgia Goodspeed Theatre (Rm. 18), University of Saskatchewan

A panel discussion on the history and context of the community pastures, ecological and economic benefits, importance for species at risk, and First Nations interests in the land. Open microphone session to follow.

  • Author and naturalist Trevor Herriot (Public Pastures – Public Interest)
  • Prof. Suren Kulshreshtha (Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, U of Sask.)
  • Ian McCreary (Community Pasture Patrons Association of Saskatchewan)
  • Former FSIN Chief Roland Crowe (Piapot First Nation) and Carl Neggers (SM Solutions Inc.)

Edwards School of Business is located at 25 Campus Drive (enter the University grounds at intersection of College and Wiggins Ave).

Please call 306-382-2642 if you need more information.

 Both events are free of charge – contributions to defray costs are welcome

We’re on Facebook!

8 Feb

Now you can keep up with Public Pastures – Public Interest on Facebook! It will keep up with the news on this site, as well as providing a place for people to connect and chat with each other, indicate attendance at events, and post as well.

The Importance of Rangeland Research

6 Feb

Grasslands are one of the least protected types of ecosystem in the world. Because of that, managed blocks of rangelend such as the PFRA community pastures offer unparalleled research opportunities. D.V. Gayton has this to say:

“Many observers of Saskatchewan rangelands consider the resource to be in deteriorating condition.  The gradual loss of native rangeland base and the increased grazing pressure may provide an explanation for this perceived deterioration.”

“All components of this simple grain-beef system model are all flexible and reversible, except the native rangeland category.  John Dormaar and Silver Smoliak, scientists at Agriculture Canada’s Lethbridge (Alberta) Research Station, determined the time lag between grainland abandonment and full return to original prairie vegetation to be in excess of 55 ears.  (Dormer and Smoliak 1985).”

“Governments are the major landlords of range in western North America, and Saskatchewan is no exception.  Many of these same government agencies do not collect sufficient data to determine land use, grazing and range vegetation trends.  Databases that eliminate inaccuracies and track the key parameter (native and cultivated grazing area, cow numbers, cow weights and grazing duration) should be created and maintained, for both local and regional jurisdictions.  These databases should be linked directly to a program of routine range condition analysis (generic term intended) so the connection between grazing manipulation and vegetation impact can be empirically derived. ”

“In an era of increasing public scrutiny, government range managers must find the means to acquire land use, grazing and vegetation data, link it together in empirical monitoring systems, and begin to set a publicly defensible standard of resource management excellence.”

Gayton, D. V. (1991). “Grazing pressure on Saskatchewan Rangelands.” Rangelands 13(3):107-108.