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Save the Date! PPPI AGM

27 Feb

The PPPI Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday March 25 from 1 to 5 pm.

The meeting will be held at Lakeview United Church, 3200 McCallum Ave, Regina. There is parking on the street and in behind the church. Use the west entrance off of McCallum Avenue. http://www.lakeviewchurch.ca/  (Click the Contact & Map button in the upper right hand corner to see a map of the location.)

We will be having updates on the many recent developments concerning grasslands at the provincial and national levels and discussions on the next steps to be taken in preserving the heritage of the community pastures and other grasslands. A more detailed agenda will be posted closer to the meeting date.

Hope to see you there!

Pastures featured on The Current

22 Feb

If you missed the interview with PPPI Co-chair Trevor Herriot and retired PFRA cowboy Mert Taylor talking grasslands with CBC Radio’s Anna Maria Tremonti on Tuesday, February 21, you can find it here. A partial transcript is also available on the site.

The issue came to the attention of the CBC because this past Wednesday, the Federal NDP’s Wayne Stetski (Kootenay-Columbia) rose during Question Period with the following question about the transfer of pastures to Saskatchewan:

“Mr. Speaker, both Conservative and Liberal governments have downloaded responsibility for Saskatchewan’s environmentally critical grasslands without any concern for their future. These grasslands are unique ecological heritage sites. They act as important carbon sinks and are home to rare and threatened species. Now the government is considering giving away the last of these grasslands in southwestern Saskatchewan and ending the environmental protection they receive.

Will the Minister of Environment and Climate Change commit today to create a new national wildlife area to preserve these ecosystems for future generations?”

Response from Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):

“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.”

42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION, EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 141
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=42&Ses=1&DocId=8769411

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”.

FAPavingParadise02_16

PPPI AGM – March 19

7 Mar

We hope you can come out to the Public Pastures-Public Interest Annual General Meeting on March 19!

If you cannot attend in person, your ideas and suggestions are always appreciated via phone or e-mail.

Like any organization, we are always happy to have people come forward who are willing to assist with the individual tasks needed to carry out our work or to participate on the PPPI Board.

The agenda follows and can also be seen here: PPPI AGM 2016 agenda

PPPI Annual General Meeting

Saturday March 19, 2016, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

United Way Building, 1440 Scarth St., Regina, Saskatchewan

9:30     Coffee and registration

10:00   Annual General Meeting

  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Report on past year – Highlights of PPPI activities and achievements  – Trevor Herriot
  • Financial Report
  • Election of Board

11:00   PPPI Roles & Projects

12:00   Lunch

12:45   Grassland photographs, an audio-visual presentation by Branimir Gjetvaj

1:00    “Nature connection and place attachment: Roles of personal attachment and motivation in conservation” – Katherine Arbuthnott

1:30     Where do we go from here?  Current situation concerning the pastures and objectives for the future – Lorne Scott

  • Interactive discussion with audience on current issues and future options

3:15     Next Steps

4:00     Adjournment

An RSVP is helpful but not required for attendance. If possible, to assist with planning for lunch and space, please RSVP to public4pastures@gmail.com or call (306)-515-0460.

A donation will be requested to cover the cost of lunch.

Parking is available in the parking lot North of the United Way building and the entrance to the Community Room is on the North side of the building.

The building is wheelchair accessible.

Making a Difference for the Community Pastures and our Grasslands

16 Feb

We have received word that there is a possibility that the new federal government may consider reviewing the Harper decision to dump the PFRA pastures system. However, we are told that, for that to happen, our elected MPs, and the Minister of Agriculture Canada in particular, must hear about it from concerned citizens.

So we are asking everyone to send letters to the Minister of Agriculture, and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, as well as the Hon. Ralph Goodale and the Prime Minister as soon as possible (see addresses below).

We have a brief window of opportunity to convey our deep concerns over the demise of the PFRA Pastures in Saskatchewan and to ask for the federal government to halt the transfer of the pasture lands and conduct a full review of the Harper government’s decision.

Your letters need not be long and detailed. A simple approach is to ask the federal government to halt the transfer of these pastures to the province of Saskatchewan which is not recognizing, managing or investing in the value of public goods on these vanishing grasslands.

We have heard from government sources that it important to emphasize the climate change benefits of native grassland but you should use your own words and choose any of the points listed below stating why these grasslands are important to you (e.g. climate change mitigation, conservation, Species at Risk, hunting, etc.) Tell them you want to live in a Canada that protects endangered landscapes and sustainable agriculture initiatives like the PFRA system always did.

We would also like people to request a full Strategic Environmental Assessment of the risks to the natural and human heritage in the PFRA Pastures, in accordance with The Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals.

It is very important that you include your full name and address, even if you are sending an email. Politicians always note the location where correspondence comes from. Be sure to request a reply to your letter.

Below are some points you may wish to reference in your letter. We suggest you select two or three and use your own words.

–    The Community Pasture lands are not “just agricultural lands.”

–   These pastures contain the largest and best managed grasslands in Saskatchewan.

–   Some 80% of our natural landscape in southern Saskatchewan has been lost to development.

–   These pastures are part of Canada’s commitment to its 2020 Biodiversity Goals, in accordance with the Global Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

–   Prairie grasslands are vital elements of the public trust every bit as precious as our northern forests and lakes

–   The prairies have more Species at Risk than any other region of Canada.

–   Over 30 Species At Risk are found on the pastures.

–   Carbon sequestration is an important benefit of native grasslands.

–   Soil and water conservation is provided by the pastures.

–   Pastures contain many heritage sites from indigenous people and homesteaders.

–   Pastures provide important hunting opportunities, generating $70 million annually.

–   Keeping the pastures publicly owned is the best way to protect the many benefits they provide.

–   Indigenous rights to access the land based on international declarations would be harmed by privatization of the land.

–   Producers should not be expected to pay for managing the land for public benefits.

–  The many public benefits should be maintained and enhanced with public dollars.

–  The Canadian people’s 75 year investment in the Community Pastures could be lost by eliminating the federal support for Community Pastures.

Address your letters to:

The Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

lawrence.macaulay@parl.gc.ca

Send copies to the PM and Ministers listed:

The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca

The Hon. Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and MP for Regina-Wascana

ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca

The Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

carolyn.bennett@parl.gc.ca

The Right  Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

If you send your letter by regular mail, all mailing addresses are: House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0A6

No postage is required on any mail addressed to the House of Commons.

Many thanks, for your support. We believe we have a chance to make a difference with this letter campaign. Your letters are very important and could help turn the tide.

PPPI screening a new documentary on grassland birds

23 Oct
Plight of the Grassland Birds
Plus: Panel discussion with bird biologists Kayla Balderson Burak, Jason Unruh, Ryan Fisher, and Stephen Davis.
Thursday November 19th at 7:00 p.m.
Royal Saskatchewan Museum, 2445 Albert St, Regina
 Free admission (suggested $10 donation), Refreshments will be served.

At 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 19 at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Auditorium in Regina, Public Pastures – Public Interest is hosting a public screening of Plight of the Grassland Birds, a new Public Broadcasting Service documentary released this fall.
From the fields of New England and Canada to the vast plains of Montana to the deserts of Mexico, grassland birds are losing their habitats at an alarming rate. This new film from New Hampshire Public Television explores efforts to protect the birds and their habitats.

After the one hour documentary PPPI will hold a panel discussion on the status of Saskatchewan’s grassland birds with bird biologists Kayla Balderson Burak, Ryan Fisher, Jason Unruh, and Stephen Davis.

PPPI film night poster Final

Caledonia-Elmsthorpe Community Pasture Ride

26 Jun

PPPI is proud to support a public ride through the Caledonia-Elmsthorpe Community Pasture on Aug. 15 and/or 16, 2015. Ride, hike or walk the beautiful trail – enjoy vistas, rolling hills, wildlife & birds while enjoying virgin prairie that may not be available to the public very soon.

The pasture is located between Avonlea and Milestone and is home to species at risk, fossils and archeological sites.

Rider meetings are at 9 a.m. both days, and rides run between 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Riders can enjoy a 30-mile ride and take in the vistas, rolling hills, wildlife and birds, and the beauty of the prairies

The ride costs $10 per person and $30 for families. For more information, email pastureride@gmail.com.

Links to registration form, waivers, poster, and more:

Registration Form | Waiver for minors | Waiver over 18 | Poster | Species at Risk | Protecting Public Pastures

“Grasslands” Showing in Saskatoon

6 Apr

Thursday / Apr 16 / 7–9p.m.
Frances Morrison Central Library – Theatre
311-23rd St E, Saskatoon

Ian Toews’ documentary Grasslands is a love letter to the natural grasslands of Saskatchewan. Author Trevor Herriot will provide an update on the state of the province’s grassland ecosystems and the work of Public Pastures – Public Interest. Author Candace Savage will lead the discussion that follows. Refreshments are provided.

Presented by PPPI in partnership with Saskatoon Public Library.

PPPI 2015 AGM

26 Mar

PPPI 2015 AGM and Speakers

Saturday March 28, 2015
1:00 – 5:00 pm
United Way Building, 1440 Scarth St., Regina, Saskatchewan

AGENDA

1:00 Welcome & Introductions

1:15 Report on past year and upcoming focus

1:30 Speakers – What Are Pastures For?

− Philip Brass, Artist and traditional foods harvester: Indigenous peoples’ uses of pastures

− Chris Nykoluk, Retired (former Range Management Specialist, AESB-AAFC): Management of pastures for cattle production and conservation

− Pat Rediger, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Trails Association: Recreational use of pastures

2:15 Highlights of PFRA Pastures Transition Study

2:30 Fred Baran, Councillor, RM of Dundurn: Rural Municipalities and pastures

2:45 AGM business (closed to media)

Grasslands – Documentary Premiere!

10 Nov

Big screen premiere of Grasslands, a documentary by Gemini Award-winning filmaker Ian Toews

This stunning new documentary shot with an Arri Alexa, the state-of-the-art 4k camera, brings the sights and sounds of the wild prairie to the screen. Greater Sage-Grouse on the lek, bison moving in every season through miles of native grass, the full-length documentary was filmed primarily in Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park, but includes footage from other grasslands locations in Alberta, Montana, and North Dakota.

7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Royal Saskatchewan Museum Auditorium, Regina

Trevor Herriot, one of many grassland advocates featured in the documentary, will introduce the film.

This event is co-sponsored by Public Pastures-Public Interest and Friends of the Museum

Admission: $10 and there will also be a collection to raise funds for the grassland conservation work of Public Pastures-Public Interest

Website for the film www.grasslandsdocumentary.com

Trailer http://vimeo.com/102805861.

Grasslands Poster