Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 19, 2012 13:11 ET

Government of Canada to Transfer 11 Community Pastures in Saskatchewan and Alberta

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 19, 2012) - The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have agreed on the first 10 community pastures to be transitioned at the end of 2013 as part of the wind down of the federal Community Pasture Program. At the same time, a community pasture in Alberta on federal land will also wind down.

As previously announced, the federal government has extended grazing rights by one year in the first round of pastures to be divested to both Manitoba and Saskatchewan, ensuring all pastures remain open for grazing in 2013.

"Our objective is a smooth transfer of the land from federal to provincial management with current users helping to determine its future use," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This transfer is a great opportunity for those with a more direct stake in the usage of the land to take over the pasture management."

The following pastures will be returned to the Government of Saskatchewan after the end of the 2013 grazing season (November):

Pasture District
Park North Battleford
Fairview Rosetown
Newcombe Rosetown
Lone Tree Swift Current
Wolverine Watrous
McCraney Watrous
Ituna Bon Accord Foam Lake
Excel Weyburn
Keywest Weyburn
Estevan-Cambria Weyburn

The Community Pasture Program is a land-management service provided on 85 pastures in the Prairie provinces. It was created in the 1930s to reclaim land that was badly eroded during the Prairie drought. Today, the Program has achieved its original goal, having returned more than 145 000 hectares of poor-quality cultivated lands to grass cover, significantly improving the ecological value of these lands and helping to increase the productivity of the area.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue working with the governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which own over 90 per cent of the pasture land, to transition the land to users with a more direct interest and to phase out federal involvement in management.

This transition will occur over a six-year period to ensure that the process optimizes future economic and employment opportunities for the affected rural communities.

Interested parties who want more information about the future uses of these lands should contact the Province of Manitoba or the Province of Saskatchewan.

In Alberta, the community pasture on Canadian Forces Base Suffield will be closed in 2014. This land will revert back to the management of the Department of National Defence, which will determine its future usage.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Jeff English
    Press Secretary
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059