Tag Archives: grasslands

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.

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.

“Grasslands” video now available!

6 Jan

If you missed the Grasslands video screening on November 6, you can now order a DVD online! Don’t miss this film by award-winning filmmaker Ian Toews.

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



Illustrated Lecture on Saskatchewan Grasslands

19 Sep

Saskatchewan grasslands are magical, wide open spaces that support an incredible diversity of life; from the iconic plains bison and pronghorn antelope, to rare and endangered species such as Black-footed Ferrets and Greater Sage Grouse. Grasslands are also home to ranchers who depend on healthy grasslands to sustain their livelihoods. With less than a quarter of Saskatchewan’s original grasslands still remaining, there is a growing sense of appreciation for the beauty and benefits that grasslands provide to rural communities. In this beautifully illustrated presentation, biologist and environmental photographer Branimir Gjetvaj will take us on a journey of discovery through our unique prairie landscapes.

Friday, October 31, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.

Gallery Building Room 106, Centre for Continuing Education – Lifelong Learning Centre, 2155 College Avenue beside Darke Hall, University of Regina, Saskatchewan

For more information and to register, visit www.branimirphoto.ca/blog/saskatchewan-grasslands-illustrated-talk

Regina Event on Protecting Native Prairie

27 Feb





Saskatchewan’s grasslands are among the most endangered and human altered ecosystems in the world. Join us on March 13th to discuss and ask questions on:

  • Preservation of Saskatchewan’s community pastures and grasslands
  • How modern agriculture and oil and gas activity affects grasslands
  • Our complicity in habitat erosion and species extinction
  • The choices we all face

Much of what is left of Saskatchewan grasslands is found in community pastures. The federal government recently moved to shut down these pastures. Farmers, conservationists, ranchers and communities are demanding the government act to save key pastures. On Thursday March 13th, we invite you to learn why preserving our remaining grasslands is essential, and how to do it, as well as to discuss broader topics of sustainability, human choice, and the path forward.

Saskatchewan needs own species at risk law

4 Feb

Argued by Andrea Olive, in the Star-Phoenix:

“In a mail survey I conducted of residents in Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current and Moose Jaw, I learned that 95 per cent of respondents felt that it is important for human beings to protect other species. More importantly, 70 per cent of respondents thought it is not OK to let other species go extinct because of human activities.

I infer from this that the majority of people in Saskatchewan feel that the greater sage grouse should not be allowed to go extinct in Canada for the sake of the oil and gas industry. If Premier Brad Wall does not want to listen to experts or environmentalists, he should at least listen to the people of Saskatchewan.”


What are Native Prairie Grasslands Worth?

11 Oct

Native Prairie Speaker Series: What are Native Grasslands Worth?

Oct 23, 12:10pm

Join Nature Regina at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Auditorium for their next installment of the Native Prairie Speaker Series “What are Native Grasslands Worth?” Presented by Chris Nykoluk, on behalf of Ranchers Stewardship Alliance Inc., SK


Time running out for native prairie

5 Sep

The pasture transition deadline for the first 10 pastures is looming, and the issue of species at risk has not been adequately addressed. The Southwest Booster ran this excellent piece by Trevor Herriot.

“Yesterday (Aug. 30) I received news that an Alberta farmer who purchased a large block of Crown land in the far Southwest has a hired man running a 24 foot breaking plough through the sod, destroying the habitat once and for all. The land in question adjoins the west flank of the Govenlock PFRA pasture and therefore supports its ecological integrity as a single block of intact native grass. As I write this, the destruction continues and there is nothing any of us can do to stop it.

This is why Public Pastures–Public Interest and prairie conservationists in general believe that the best way to protect our largest pieces of Crown grassland is to keep them under the Crown. Easements or no easements, once they are sold to a rancher the land can be re-sold to someone who wants to plough it and plant crops or destroy it in other ways for profit.

…This province is long overdue for a thorough public review of all of our Crown native grasslands–co-op pastures, Provincial and Federal community pastures, and the seven million acres of Crown grassland leased to private cattlemen. First, to find out what we have remaining, and then to determine its ecological value (biodiversity, carbon sequestration, soil and water conservation), its heritage resources (Metis and First Nations’ ancestral sites), and its food security values, and then to decide in a full consultation with all stakeholders, how we want these incredibly valuable and endangered landscapes to be managed for the good of all and generations to come.”