- About us
- What We Do
The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Foundation has been awarded $2M to move ahead with hosting a Reverse Auction to restore once cultivated land back to native grassland.
The primary land of interest is in the short and mixed grass regions of Saskatchewan and priority would be given to land close to existing grasslands or critical habitat for species at risk. One of the top focuses for this project is monitoring native grasslands ability to store and sequester soil organic carbon so land with an increased potential to do so will be given special consideration.
Producers agree to convert cultivated lands to perennial cover using native plant species. Lands of interest will be close to existing native grasslands and or critical habitat for species at risk. Native seed will be sourced and purchased by the SSGF. The producer will be responsible for weed control, land preparation, seeding and establishment. Financial incentive will be based on all activities above plus an estimate of lost opportunities through conversion back to perennial cover.
Seeded areas will be rested for up to two years to allow for establishment and then we will work with SODCAP to implement an appropriate grazing strategy. These are then maintained in perennial cover for 30 years where cooperating producers will have no land use restrictions following the term of the agreement.
Click here for Information on Our Reverse Auction
These agreements lay out a management strategy or conservation measure to address a specific issue. An example of this would be to control invasive plant species on native grasslands like leafy spurge. Strategies can include biological control, chemical control and targeted grazing. Grazing management can be another example where the rancher is able to utilize rotational grazing or deferring grazing to manage nesting habitats. The rancher is then paid based on the economic value of the management activities or conservation measures taken.
All habitat management agreements are multi species focused and will hold significant ecological value for the grasslands. Due to this, the SSGF will negotiate longer term agreements to ensure desired environmental outcomes.
They will include two sections, one identifying conservation measures to implement or retain and the other listing destructive activities the rancher agrees to avoid. All agreements will be unique to each rancher’s operation based on many factors including objectives, resources and circumstances present.
Click Here For More Information
These are non-prescriptive agreements whereby a producer receives a financial payment once they achieve an environmental target or outcome. For example, under a RBCA, a rancher commits to achieving habitat targets for Greater Sage Grouse. If the targets are achieved then the rancher receives financial payment.
RBCA’s can be renewed to receive additional financial payments. Failure to meet desired results does not constitute destruction of habitat but means financial compensation was not triggered.
Click Here for More Information
Grass Banking programs have been a successful conservation tool implemented by ranchers in the U.S. over the last 15 years. Grass Banking allows cooperating producers to use Grasslands National Park land at a reduced grazing fee if they are able to achieve habitat targets and environmental outcomes on both park land and private land. This program is in partnership with Grasslands National Park, SOCAP and SSGA. It is looking to expand to include larger areas of the park with additional local ranchers.
Local ranchers will get access to park land at a reduced rate if they can demonstrate they are achieving habitat targets for species at risk like the Greater Sage Grouse, Sprague’s Pipit and the Chestnut Collared Longspur. SODCAP is responsible for monitoring the habitat for this type of agreement.
The impact of these agreements will result in the achievement of real environmental outcomes.
Click Here for More Information
Our success will be measured in many ways! From environmental, social and economic metrics to sharing the stories of ranchers working in the grasslands everyday. We cannot let this precious resource disappear from our landscape.