BirdWatch Canada cover and article about the PFRA pastures

Posted by on 29. October 2013 in Blog / Journal, Conservation, News & Events | Comments Off on BirdWatch Canada cover and article about the PFRA pastures

A few months ago Saskatchewan author Laura Stewart wrote an article about the plight of PFRA community pastures which was published in the Briarpatch magazine. A few of my images were selected to illustrate the story. Laura recently wrote a cover story for the fall issue of BirdWatch Canada magazine titled “Prairie Grasslands in Peril?

Front cover of the BirdWatch Canada magazine

Front cover of the BirdWatch Canada magazine – fall 2013

The magazine publishes feature articles about the world of birds. Laura Stewart eloquently discusses the threats to grassland birds through recent changes in the type of use and management of prairie grasslands, including changes to and dismantling of the PFRA community pasture system. She managed to present a complex issue in an easy-to-read article. Laura writes:

Ongoing loss of remnant prairie and wetland areas has been a concern for decades, but recent socio-economic changes in the Prairie provinces are driving a more drastic shift in the overall pattern of the habitat that remains. Agriculture still dominates the landscape, but much of it is scaled up to industrial operations…. As a whole the landscape is growing simpler: less of a mosaic.

It is not only the birds that are loosing, ranchers throughout the Prairie provinces will be negatively affected by the elimination of the grassland research program conducted on the PFRA pastres:

The end of the PFRA Community Pasture Program means a loss of resources and information sharing, not only for managing lands within the program, but also for research, innovation, and extension services that help improve grazing practices throughout the prairie region.

Several of my images appear with the story. A sunset image of prairie with crocuses at Fairview PFRA community pasture was chosen to grace the cover of the fall issue. I am particularly proud of the cover shot because pictures of birds usually grace the front page of BirdWatch Canada, and landscape images are rarely selected.

You can download a pdf of the article fom the Bird Studies Canada web site.

Crocus prairie at Fairview PFRA community pasture

Crocus prairie at Fairview PFRA community pasture

 

Horses at Auvergne-Wise Creek PFRA community pasture

Horses at Auvergne-Wise Creek PFRA community pasture

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