Tag Archives: prairie grasslands

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.

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“Grasslands” Film in Indian Head

19 Feb

If you’re in the Regina area and missed Ian Toews’ film the first time around – or want to see it again! – it will be showing in Indian Head on March 1. More information can be found at the Facebook event.

“I wanted to convey that prairie was an expansive, flowing mass of grasslands. And then show people what it is today and what is being done to preserve it,” said filmmaker Toews. “I want people to know that visiting and filming these beautiful places, seeing these animals, was for the most part very easy. Our Grasslands, even as reduced as they are, are still quite accessible to all.”

Saskatoon Event: “Saskatchewan Grasslands – a Vanishing Landscape?

15 Jan

Illustrated talk “Saskatchewan Grasslands – a Vanishing Landscape?”

Friday, January 24, 2014 at 2 pmMT-3804-1277

Frances Morrison Public Library in Saskatoon, 311 – 23rd Street East

Temperate grasslands are one of the most altered and modified landscapes in the world. Recent economic and social changes in the Prairie Provinces are driving a rapid shift in the type of land use, with industrial agriculture and development negatively impacting the remaining prairie habitat. Join Saskatoon photographer Dr. Branimir Gjetvaj on a journey of discovery of our diminishing prairie landscapes.

For more information visit: http://branimirphoto.ca/public-presentations-and-shows

PPPI – A Year in Review

25 Nov

People often ask how things are going with the effort to secure a good future for the PFRA pastures. We started on this journey on November 23 last year so it is time to look back on what has happened during those twelve months. With all that has happened, PPPI believes that the CPPAS approach of an overall provincial management plan for all the pastures will ensure the best outcomes for all stakeholders, including the public. Producers should not be expected to cover the costs associated with enhancing and protecting public goods. That said, we have much to celebrate!

1.       Virtually all of the land will remain publicly owned for the time being.

2.       The pastures will not be subdivided.

3.       If any is sold it will be to pasture patron groups and only with a conservation easement

4.       The penalties and enforcement system for Crown land sold with an easement has been markedly improved

5.       Access for hunting and naturalists/scientists will not be changed

6.       More Saskatchewan people and Canadians know what a PFRA pasture is and why they matter.

7.       Groups with an interest in the pastures from various angles are now sharing ideas about the future of the pastures. To date, 46 Saskatchewan, Canadian and international organizations have endorsed the PPPI principles.

8.       The Province has repeatedly given assurances that species at risk and biodiversity will be protected.

We intend to stick with this journey, because the investment Canadians have made in the PFRA pastures is too important to be lost. The work of PPPI in the coming months will focus on:

–          Continuing our discussions and communications with First Nations, cattle producers and others concerned about the pastures

–          Encouraging the Province to maintain the same stocking rates and public access to the pastures

–          Research on carbon sequestration

–          Looking at issues of controlling invasive species

–          Ensuring methods for monitoring species at risk

–          Monitoring the talks between the Province and the first five pasture committees to transition

 

Bird Watch Canada article

17 Oct

Bird Watch Canada magazine contains topical feature articles about the world of birds. Prairie Grasslands in Peril? by Laura Stewart is the cover story for the Fall issue, and discusses the threat to birds under regulatory changes in Saskatchewan, including changes to the PFRA pasture system.

 

Carbon Sequestration and Grazing

30 Apr

In talk around climate change, you often hear that forest preservation and reforestation is important because trees take large amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere. But grasses do as well. What is the connection between grazing and carbon sequestration? Dr. Diego Steinaker from the University of Regina has put together a presentation based on his research on prairie grasslands, that you can view here. His conclusion:

“Better invest in range management research and extension.” Well-managed, grazed rangelands have the ability to capture and store more carbon than expensive carbon capture and storage technologies.