Take Action!

Call to Action: Proposed Potash Mine Would Impact Thousands of Hectares of Habitat for Prairie Flora and Fauna Including Many Species at Risk

Public Pastures—Public Interest has just learned that the Province of Saskatchewan is preparing to give the go ahead to a new solution potash mine that would harm or destroy up to 6,000 hectares (14,800 acres) of increasingly rare grassland, wetland and riparian (creek valley slopes) habitat in the upper Wascana Creek watershed near the towns of Sedley and Francis. Saskatchewan has already lost approximately 86.7% of its native grasslands, placing dozens of prairie species in jeopardy. This project, if approved, would impact populations of several at-risk birds such as the Loggerhead Shrike, Long-billed Curlew, Short-eared Owl, and Ferruginous Hawk as well as the American Badger and Northern Leopard Frog, among nearly 150 species of wildlife using the lands. Five known dancing grounds for our provincial bird, the sharp-tailed grouse, as well as nesting sites and dens for other species, would be affected.

The details you need to know:

Long-billed curlew

  1. The proposed mine is called Project Albany, and it has been put forward by CanPacific Potash, a partnership between Russian fertilizer giant, JSC Acron and a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, a giant mining company, notorious for its lengthy environmental rap sheet.
  2. The project’s massive well field area would fragment, disturb and strip surface vegetation from ~4,394 ha of pasture/grassland, ~1,002 ha of wetland, and ~802 ha of riparian habitat to build roads, pipelines and well sites to pump the water they need to extract potash.
  3. This kind of habitat alteration, disturbance, and noise on the landscape would severely degrade the land’s capacity to host the  146 species of wildlife, including many federally-listed species at risk, currently using the land and detected during the mandatory wildlife assessment work conducted in 2017 and 2018.
  4. The mine could easily be shifted to nearby cultivated lands without displacing the endangered species that depend on the grasslands, wetlands and creek valleys.

What you can do to help:

  • Before April 15th, email a brief message to the Environmental Assessment branch of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment at environmental.assessment@gov.sk.ca. THIS DEADLINE WAS EXTENDED TO MAY 15, 2019

 See what PPPI and other organizations have said about the project.

  • On the subject line of your email reference “Project Albany 2017-010”. In the body of your message you may want to mention species or landscapes you are concerned about and why you care but at minimum please make two simple points:
  1. No construction of any kind should be permitted on pasture/grassland quarters. These quarters should be left untouched to ensure conservation.
  2. The mine project area should be shifted off native grassland onto cultivated land where the threat to species at risk will be greatly reduced.
  • Forward this information to friends and post widely on social media to encourage others to submit comments.

Further information:

 CanPacific’s Environmental Impact Statement, the Saskatchewan government’s Technical Review Comments, and the Public Notice of Review and Comment are available for download. http://publications.gov.sk.ca/deplist.cfm?d=66&c=5750

CanPacific also has a public engagement website http://www.projectalbany.ca

 


 

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7 Responses to “Take Action!”

  1. Sharon Elder October 21, 2018 at 5:28 pm #

    Is this a charitable group? If so, cannot find any information about making donations.

    • PPPI October 21, 2018 at 10:39 pm #

      PPPI is not a registered charity so cannot issue tax receipts for donations, but has accepted donations in the past. You can email public4pastures@gmail.com for more information.

  2. Lauren Kovarsky April 5, 2019 at 4:31 am #

    Species already at risk should not have their habitats compromised when this project can be completed without impacting their environment by moving the project only slightly. Conservation is vital, and these species, and land should continue to be protected. This project can be completed on cultivated land instead.

  3. Karen Whitney May 12, 2019 at 4:23 am #

    In a world where animals and vegetation are losing their habitats it is imperative that Saskatchewan not grant mining rights on grasslands Project Albany 2017-010. Shift the project to cultivated land. Make the environment a priority.

    • PFRA Pasture Poster May 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm #

      Yes, indeed! If you have not yet, I encourage you to write to the Ministry of the Environment expressing these thoughts.

  4. Glenda May 15, 2019 at 10:53 pm #

    I sent my email!
    Let’s try to save some habitat for the the wildlife that share Saskatchewan with us

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