Ranching

Waldron Ranch, AB protected for future generations

Posted by on 28. December 2014 in Blog / Journal, Conservation, Ranching | Comments Off on Waldron Ranch, AB protected for future generations

Waldron Ranch, AB protected for future generations

Earlier this fall, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) secured the largest conservation easement in Canadian history. This outstanding agreement between the NCC and Waldron Grazing Co-operative Ltd. will protect over 12,357 hectares (30,535 acres) of native grasslands and forested foothills on Waldron Ranch in southwestern Alberta. This spectacular property is located northwest of Lethbridge, along the famed ‘Cowboy Trail’ (Highway 22) between Longview and Lundbreck. The ranch contains large tracts of native fescue prairie, rich history and spectacular scenery. Situated in a broad valley,...

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The Last Cowboy – a short documentary film about the human cost of PFRA pasture closures

Posted by on 5. December 2014 in Blog / Journal, Ranching | 4 comments

The Last Cowboy – a short documentary film about the human cost of PFRA pasture closures

A few days ago a friend alerted me to a marvelous and touching documentary film about Jim Commodore, a retired cowboy at the Val Marie PFRA Community Pasture. This 6-minute documentary conveys a message about the human cost of the Community Pasture System closure, told through the eyes of a long time cowboy Jim Commodore. The Last Cowboy was produced by Megan Lacelle and Kaitlyn Van de Woestyne, journalism students at the University of Regina. Jim Commodore was born at the Val Marie PFRA pasture in 1941 and spent his working career as a cowboy on the federally run community pasture. In a...

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Saskatchewan grasslands: a place like no other

Posted by on 12. September 2014 in Blog / Journal, News & Events, Ranching | Comments Off on Saskatchewan grasslands: a place like no other

I will be presenting an illustrated talk at the Lifelong Learning Centre, University of Regina on Friday, October 31, 2014 (1:30 p.m.): Saskatchewan grasslands: a place like no other Saskatchewan grasslands are magical, wide open spaces that support an incredible diversity of life; from the iconic plains bison and pronghorn antelope, to rare and endangered species such as Black-footed Ferrets and Greater Sage Grouse. Grasslands are also home to ranchers who depend on healthy grasslands to sustain their livelihoods. With less than a quarter of Saskatchewan’s original grasslands still...

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A tribute to the cowboys on PFRA community pastures

Posted by on 21. November 2013 in Blog / Journal, Conservation, Ranching | 3 comments

A tribute to the cowboys on PFRA community pastures

This photo essay is a tribute to the life of cowboys serving as managers and riders on the PFRA community pastures. A tribute to the hard-working people who have been looking after the federal community pastures in Prairie Provinces for over 75 years. Last October I visited the Wolverine Community Pasture north-east of Lanigan, one of the first five PFRA pastures to be transferred from federal control to the province of Saskatchewan. In turn, the pastures will be leased out to the current pasture users. The pasture patrons will pay a fee for the right to graze their herds on the public...

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Saskatchewan Community Pastures video

Posted by on 7. July 2013 in Blog / Journal, Conservation, Ranching | Comments Off on Saskatchewan Community Pastures video

Saskatchewan Community Pastures video

Here is a short video that I prepared for the Public Pastures – Public Interest group, a citizen-based organization devoted to maintaining Saskatchewan’s public grasslands as healthy prairie ecosystems and working landscapes. The idea was to raise awareness about the plight of former PFRA community pastures that will no longer be manged through the 70-year old Community Pasture Program, and transferred from federal control to the prairie provinces. The Saskatchewan government is not interested in managing these large  tracts of native prairie and plans to sell or lase the...

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