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 www.saskatchewan.ca/pastures from March 27 to May 8.
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. http://www.conservation2020canada.ca/pathway/
Recently the future of community pastures was raised in the House of Commons, with a question by Wayne Stetski, NDP and a response by Hon. Catherine McKenna, Liberal, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. (See the post on this page from February 22)
If you want to send a message about conservation of the community pastures, you can consider the following:
‘In response to Wayne Stetski’s question during question period regarding the transfer of federal pastures to Saskatchewan, you said, “Mr. Speaker, I take very seriously the obligation to protect our natural environment. I am committed to working with the member on this issue to find a resolution.”
As a citizen of Canada concerned about our endangered native grasslands and their capacity for carbon storage, climate change adaptation, the numerous public benefits derived from these ecosystems, and the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples to access publicly-owned grasslands, I call on you as the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to commit resources that will help livestock producers and communities, conservationists and Indigenous peoples to work together to protect the old growth prairie on the former federal community pastures from market forces that drive cultivation, ranchette development, badly-managed resource exploitation, and privatization.’
Mail: Hon. Catherine McKenna, House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1A 0A6 (Mail may be sent postage-free to any Member of Parliament.)
And in addition you may post a response on Facebook at The Current CBC (February 21 at 4:48pm) https://www.facebook.com/cbcthecurrent/