Saskatchewan organizations piloting new conservation agreements

Environment: News Roundup from the June 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Greater sage grouse.

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and South of the Divide Conservation Action Program have secured funding to pilot new results-based conservation agreements with beef producers.

“The whole idea behind these agreements is that we’re not being prescriptive in our management. We’re letting the producers do the decision-making that supports species-at-risk habitat,” said Tom Harrison, executive director of South of the Divide Conservation Action Program.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a U.S.-based conservation organization, has granted US$250,000 to the project. That money will be combined with matching funds from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program, awarded in 2018, bringing the total value of the project to US$500,000.

Cattle producers who own or manage critical habitat in southwestern Saskatchewan are eligible to sign three-year conservation agreements. Producers who sign up will be expected to meet annual habitat targets through the term of the agreement. The Val Marie Grazing Corp. and Beaver Valley Grazing Corp. will also receive $262,500 to protect 25,000 acres of greater sage grouse habitat.

For more information on the results-based conservation agreements, visit the ‘South of the Divide’ website.

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