1 year ago

NCC Magazine - Spring 2017


PROJECT UPDATES 1 Cows and conservation ACROSS CANADA 2 3 1 4 WANT TO LEARN MORE? Visit to learn more about these and other NCC projects. What do cows and conservation have in common? The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) membership in the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is just one example of the many ways that NCC has established tangible working relationships with farmers and ranchers. The CRSB, a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on advancing sustainability within the Canadian beef industry, has established five key guiding principles. Among them is the goal of ensuring that beef producers adopt practices that sustain and restore ecosystem health. CRSB’s other principles include respect for people and the community, animal health and welfare, food quality, efficiency and innovation. Since 2015, NCC has provided technical and financial support to the CRSB to develop indicators that help ensure that the health of the grasslands in which ranchers graze livestock is maintained and, wherever possible, enhanced. NCC has also supported the CRSB’s development of a set of important environmental goals, including the enhancement of ecological services (such as flood control), improvement of stream health and reduction of the industry’s water and greenhouse gas footprints. NCC believes that the achievement of these goals is vital to the conservation of biodiversity. NCC understands that our conservation work cannot operate in isolation, and that effective conservation needs partnerships. Our partnership with the CRSB will help positively influence biodiversity and ecosystem health within these working landscapes, on a very large and ecologically significant scale. NCC believes partnerships are essential to effective conservation, and works with farmers and ranchers to ensure the sustainable management of Canada’s grasslands. INSET: NCC. LANDSCAPE: NCC. 14 SPRING 2017

NCC and the Frolek family have worked together for close to a decade to protect this grassland habitat near Kamloops, B.C. 2 Conservation-minded ranchers KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA Each summer, Barb Pryce and Ray Frolek head out into the grasslands near Kamloops, British Columbia, to check up on NCC’s conservation projects there. NCC and the Frolek Cattle Company have been collaborating on grassland conservation since 2008, when the B.C. two joined forces to conserve 7,828 acres (3,168 hectares) of this rare and ecologically significant habitat. “As a third-generation rancher, Ray sees how the land has changed over time,” says Pryce. “His understanding of past conditions adds important context to what we are seeing now.” Ranchers own a lot of private land in B.C.’s rare grassland valleys. Partnering with conservation-minded ranchers is essential to conserving this important habitat. “Our relationships with ranchers enable truly amazing conservation in Canada’s grasslands,” says Pryce. “We couldn’t do this work without them!” Partner Spotlight In 2014, Imperial pledged $1 million over four years to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in support of the National Conservation Interns Program. The work of NCC’s conservation interns is diverse, ranging from forest and grassland restoration, to species inventories, trail maintenance and access. Interns can also participate in mapping with geographic information systems, data management, monitoring and relationship building with neighbours, stakeholders and communities. FROLEK FAMILY AND NCC STAFF: TESSA BUCHAN. CONSERVATION INTERN: NCC. 3 Home on the range TWIN BUTTE, ALBERTA This past summer, NCC’s Alberta Region teamed up with a group of rangeland experts to learn the tricks of the ranching trade. The Rancher’s Rangeland Management Workshop was held at the Twin Butte Community Hall. The two-day workshop was attended by NCC staff, and landowners and ranchers from the surrounding communities. Presenters included government experts, academics, private consultants and the landowners themselves. Participants discussed a wide range of topics, including principles of range management, grazing strategies, weed control and prevention, ecological services of grasslands and reducing wildlife-livestock conflicts. 4 A new lease on life WIDEVIEW, SASKATCHEWAN One of NCC’s newest properties in southwest Saskatchewan, Wideview, is now being grazed by a local rancher’s cattle. NCC creates these types of lease agreements on about 90 per cent of our properties in Saskatchewan, as a way of managing biodiversity while developing good relationships with our neighbours. Grazing by domestic cattle simulates the natural processes by which these grasslands would have historically been influenced by wildfire and herds of bison. This grazing, in turn, increases biodiversity and fertilizes the soil with manure. NCC monitors the grass to ensure that grazing is maintaining and improving the health of the prairie ecosystem.1 ALTA. SASK. “NCC’s Conservation Interns Program provides outstanding experiences for university and college students in areas such as conservation science, land management and wildlife research,” says Erica Thompson, NCC’s senior director for national conservation engagement and development. Imperial is an integrated energy company committed to developing our nation’s resources responsibly. Working with partners like NCC to invest in tomorrow’s conservation leaders delivers a valuable, longterm contribution to Canada. Kim Fox Vice President of Public and Government Affairs, Imperial SPRING 2017 15