Government of Canada

Government of Canada

October 15, 2010 12:30 ET

Government of Canada Investing in Community Action to Preserve Local Habitat and Species at Risk in Saskatchewan

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2010) - The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification) and Member of Parliament for Blackstrap, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, today announced funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk for 9 projects. In total, $938,757 in federal funding will support environmental action focusing on conservation and protection of species at risk and their habitats, helping to preserve Canada's biodiversity.

"As part of the International Year of Biodiversity, our Government is pleased to be able to support the stewardship projects we are here to celebrate today," said Ms Yelich, "Saskatchewan's native prairie and other wild spaces are a treasure for all Canadians."

"These projects will help to protect Canada's rich biodiversity for generations to come, said Minister Prentice. "The Government of Canada is proud to support these stewardship organizations in Saskatchewan through the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

This funding supports the work of groups like the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority and The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards who are working together with landowners and the general public to protect critical habitat for species at risk such as burrowing owl, loggerhead shrike and Sprague's pipit. 

Through HSP support, ecologically significant areas that would otherwise be lost are now being secured for future generations. Organizations such Ducks Unlimited Canada and The Nature Conservancy of Canada are protecting thousands of acres of native prairie grasslands and wetlands in ecologically significant areas of Saskatchewan with support from the Habitat Stewardship Program.

"This funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program will allow Saskatchewan Watershed Authority to expand our work helping land managers improve and restore important habitat through management and stewardship agreements," said Dustin Duncan, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Watershed Authority and Minister of Environment. "These habitat improvements create healthier watersheds, which is an important part of the Watershed Authority's work to protect source water and ensure safe drinking water sources and reliable water supplies for Saskatchewan's people."

The goal of the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk is to contribute to the recovery and protection of species listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern under the Species at Risk Act

Projects that will receive funding this year include stewardship actions to conserve habitat for plant species at risk, negotiations with landowners to develop voluntary Land Care Agreements, targeted educational outreach to reduce species at risk entanglement in fishing gear, and enhancement of water quality and aquatic habitat on private lands to benefit aquatic species at risk. They will be undertaken with many partners such as agricultural producers, private landowners, and commercial fishers. These projects will benefit many species at risk, including the North Atlantic right whale, the burrowing owl, and the swift fox.

The Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk is administered by Environment Canada and managed cooperatively with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency.

As we celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity, we encourage Canadians to seek opportunities this year to take action on biodiversity. Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage.

More information on the Species at Risk Act and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk can be found on the Internet at: www.sararegistry.gc.ca or http://www.ec.gc.ca/hsp-pih/default.asp?lang=En&n=59BF488F-1.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

(Egalement offert en francais)

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