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Conservation and Grazing Management in the Prairie Provinces

May 9, 2022

Wild Lands Advocate article by: Ruiping Luo, AWA Conservation Specialist

Click here for a pdf version of the article.

Grazing is used in many of Canada’s parks and protected areas to support conservation. Alberta’s remaining grasslands, also known as prairies or rangelands, frequently sustain livestock grazing, and the historic management of grazing pastures has contributed positively to the health of many areas. Moderate grazing promotes grassland health when it increases biodiversity and improves ecosystem services. The continuing destruction of native grassland habitats in the Grassland Natural Region is a serious concern and is one of the reasons why temperate grasslands have been identified as a global priority for conservation and protection as one of the World Wildlife Fund’s Global 200 ecoregions. With this in mind, it is time to re-examine the role of Alberta’s grazing pastures in grasslands conservation, and to reorient grassland management practices in order to strengthen these ecological benefits of grazing.

We have spectacular wilderness in Alberta, much of it under some form of protection. Every square millimetre of it has had to be fought for - will always have to be fought for, forever and ever. The struggle to retain and repair wilderness is conducted not just by a few individuals, but by large numbers of committed people, from all walks of life, all working in various ways toward the same end. We need to be grateful to all of them.
- Dave Mayhood
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