With assistance from the Government of Saskatchewan and Government of Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has bought a stretch of land in the Qu’Appelle Valley.
The land, covering an area of around 335 acres, was purchased for $930,000. Ottawa pitched in half, while the provincial government has contributed an additional $300,000.
The area, said Jennifer McKillop, the Senior Director of Conservation for the Saskatchewan region of the NCC, who noted the land was not only targeted for purchase, but important for conservation efforts.
“The Qu’Appelle Valley is a very important wildlife corridor. with the Qu’Appelle River running through it,” she said. “We have viperian habitat, as well as tempered grasslands, which are on the world’s most endangered ecosystems.”
McKillop noted stats show here in Saskatchewan, only 20% of native grassland remains, which means there’s a lot of work still for the Conservancy to do.
“That work would entail to continue to do our prioritization of areas where we can secure property and where property is available,” she said. “But it also requires support from the Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan and private donors and businesses, as well.”
Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana and the Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale echoed those same statements, noting just how vital it is to protect native Prairie grassland.
“You also need to find properties that you can set aside from any commercial development to simply thrive in their natural state,” said Goodale. “And that is the purpose of this program.”