The Monet Community Pasture is located on the north end of the Missouri Coteau, just south of Elrose, SK. It is a large community pasture with approximately 47,000 acres of land that is grazed by 2,100 cow calf pairs from May to October every year. The pasture sits on the northern edge of a large tract of native prairie that extends south to both Beechy and Matador pastures. This incredibly diverse landscape is home to large herds of elk, deer populations and many birds at risk such as Ferruginous Hawks and burrowing owls.
Since 2017, they have been battling the invasion of Common Burdock. It is designated as a noxious weed, according to the Weed Control Act (Schedule II) and negatively impacts the welfare of cattle, species at risk and overall biodiversity of the native prairie. The extensive spread is due to many factors such as oil field disturbance, movement of cattle and wildlife, along with natural vectors such as run off.
They signed a Habitat Management Agreement with the SSGF to continue a weed management protocol, previously supported by the Prairie Transition Program.
Dallen Hamilton, Chairman of the Monet Pasture Ltd. board, says that his experience with the SSGF has been smooth and unproblematic. “They never told us how to run our pasture but they are willing to help restore the native grasslands our cattle and ranchers rely on. We knew what worked for our pasture and getting the shareholders on board was relatively simple since the SSGF was able to secure the majority of the funding to continue this project,” explains Dallen.
Even in the last couple years of drought, the Monet Pasture is able to support the same number of cattle without restrictions. They take great pride in their management techniques, welcoming pasture tours and educational opportunities to show off this diverse landscape.
Dallen recommends if anyone is on the fence about easements or agreements to reach out to the SSGF and get the conversation started. He says, “the foundation and Tom are easy to talk to and willing to find the agreement that works for each operation.”
Monet Pasture Ltd. has continued to actively demonstrate how critical the control of invasive weeds is for both animal welfare and the health of the native prairie. Managing the pasture appropriately benefits not only their pasture but the neighbouring community pastures and home pastures of each shareholder as well. Working towards successful outcomes for the shareholders, species at risk and native grasslands.
These photos are of Common Burdock being sprayed at the Monet Community Pasture
with Grazon and Tracer Dye in September before the plants are set to seed in the spring.
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