Awakening to the spirit and beauty of the northern Great Plains
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Using easements to conserve grassland and wetlands south of the 49th
Redhead ducks coming in to land at a prairie wetland, Trevor Herriot
Good news this week from U.S. Fish & Wildlife, who released a document announcing that they have “developed a conservation strategy for wetland and grassland habitat in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. Under this strategy, the proposed Dakota Grass-land project identifies 240,000 acres of wetland and 1.7 million acres of grass-land for conservation.”
They are calling it the “Dakota Grassland Conservation Area” and the map they have in the document shows the proposed area running all along the International border where it meets Saskatchewan and eastern Montana and then down along the eastern flank of both North and South Dakota.
The strategy that US Fish & Wildlife say they will follow is to work with private landowners by using “conservation easements across the project area landscape to protect wet-land and grassland habitat from being converted to other uses.” They predict that without these measures the rate of plowing native grassland and wetlands will continue, and they will lose one-half of the remaining native prairie in the region within 34 years.
Take a good look at the map at the end of this document and imagine how much greater this program could be if it extended across the border into south-western Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan. There is no good reason why it shouldn’t.
How about it, Environment Canada? Can we meet the Americans at the border?
waterfowl in November on Cherry Lake, Trevor Herriot