This site compiles news, views, and events regarding the PFRA community pastures in Saskatchewan. If you would like to submit information, pictures, or links, please contact us.
This site is the work of Public Pastures – Public Interest.
The PFRA pastures, more than one and a half million acres of public land, are some of the largest remnants of native prairie and sustainably grazed pasture in Canada. They’re valued for environmental, agricultural, recreational, and spiritual reasons.
In spring 2012, the federal government transferred these pastures to provincial control. The Saskatchewan government is putting them up for sale or lease to patron groups.
The pasture program, managing 62 pastures as a group, achieved efficiencies of scale and afforded expert range biologists, pasture managers and riders, and others. These government employees’ livelihoods and homes are threatened.
A pasture patron comments, “These are not the cowboys you might see on T.V., they are the people with children in our communities, coaches, volunteers, board members, and employees who support local businesses. As are the people who acquire their services.
Will the livestock industry in our Province suffer when all this is gone? It will definately cull the smaller producers and the PFRA employees, which in turn will affect our businesses, our communities, change the contour of the Province and its livestock industry.”
The issue, however, affects far more than pasture patrons or employees.
This public land belongs to all of us. Anyone who cares about the environment – biodiversity, species at risk, carbon sequestration, erosion, water management, invasive species management – should care about the pastures. Anyone who hunts on the pastures, watches birds, takes photographs, hikes – should be concerned. First Nations also have a particular interest in the land.
The PFRA community pasture program is a globally recognized, well formed, long run, outstanding program. It has preserved prairie land for more than 80 years and generated a wealth of knowledge about land management, for all of us.