Saturday, August 10, 2013

Article on the PFRA pastures in "Country Guide"

Auvergne--Wise Creek PFRA Pasture south of Swift Current

When we did the tour in June hosting BirdLife International dignitaries Margaret Atwood, Graeme Gibson, Ian Davidson and Alberto Yanosky (of Paraguay), a writer from Country Guide magazine came along and took notes. Anne Lazurko, a farmer and writer from southeastern Saskatchewan, finished the article and had it published last week in Country Guide. She and her editor were kind enough to give me permission to provide a link to the piece. Here is a quote from the middle of the article:

The Community Pasture Patrons Association of Saskatchewan, chaired by rancher Ian McCreary, joined forces with PPPI to bring attention to the issue. It’s a smart strategy. If Canadians care about saving burrowing owls, swainson’s hawks and prairie dog colonies, and they understand that managed grazing ensures habitat for these species, it might go a long way in convincing the federal government to slow down the process and listen to patron concerns over the business end of things.

CPPAS Chair Ian McCreary talking to Graeme Gibson on the tour (image courtesy of Branimir Gjetvaj--see
McCreary is convinced a solution can be found if government is willing to back off on its timeline. Patron groups are to have business plans for ownership in place by this fall in order to keep the pastures out of the hands of third parties. But McCreary says the government has failed to provide those groups with the information they require to go forward.
Meanwhile, Sheri Monk, a journalist from southwestern Saskatchewan, has written a powerful editorial on the PFRA community pastures and posted it on her site. She called it "How the Cookie Crumbles." Here is a quote:

Everybody benefits from the PFRA projects, and to suddenly expect a handful of people to completely finance them is akin to asking the village of Piapot to take over all costs associated with the TransCanada Highway between Maple Creek and Tompkins. It’s utterly reprehensible, and this attack on rural Saskatchewan cannot be tolerated and make no mistake – dismantling the PFRA is precisely what this is – an attack.

Common Nighthawk, one of 31 species at risk on the pastures that the Federal government is washing its hands of by cutting the PFRA Community Pastures and its endangered species programming

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