Protest the Sale and Development of Protected Prairie Lands

Target:  Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan

Goal: Stop proposed sale of native prairie lands, and focus efforts on protecting this grassland ecosystem.

The Great Plains of North America have dwindled in the past 150 years to about 20 percent of their original size. Homesteading in the nineteenth century and modern-day cultivation have degraded the once expansive grasslands. In Saskatchewan, only a measly 4 percent of an original 24 million hectares (over 59 million acres) of native, ecologically sound prairie remain. Even this has not stopped the Saskatchewan government from proposing to sell nearly 1.8 million acres of community pasture to ranchers and other private entities.

Saskatchewan’s prairies are home to a vast number of native species – many of them threatened by encroaching human development. Among these are countless species of native grasses, trees, shrubs and wildflowers, as well as antelopes, foxes, prairie dogs and hawks. The government’s plan to put grasslands under the jurisdiction of private ownership threatens the ecosystem these species depend on for survival. Cattle grazing alone could destroy hundreds of thousands of acres of native prairie grasslands. Furthermore, tilling and cultivating soil will demolish huge expanses of wild land in the name of human production.

Another major concern regarding this proposed sale is that it would potentially allow oil and gas development in these areas. These types of industries, along with farming, have already expanded into previously pristine prairie lands. Their continued development would not only mean the loss of native grasslands and threats to indigenous wildlife, but could result in further sales of land, leading to a cyclically destructive effect.

Ask the government of Saskatchewan to stop the sale of some of the last remaining native grasslands in order to preserve these valuable and beautiful ecosystems.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield,

The Great Plains have already suffered the loss of nearly 80 percent of their original area. This has historically been due mainly to human development and farmland cultivation. Now, Saskatchewan’s plan to sell about 1.8 million acres of grassland further threatens this vital ecosystem.

Many species of flora and fauna that depend on the prairie for survival have already been labeled as endangered. The increased development of their habitat as a result of selling native prairie lands to private buyers could lead to their possible extinction.

These grasslands, a small remnant of the once-expansive Great Plains, deserve to be protected, not threatened. I ask that you reconsider the sale of 1.8 million acres of prairie land, at least until certain guidelines regarding land use can be implemented. In this way, you can help to ensure the survival of a native and important ecosystem and preserve biodiversity in our world.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Wing-Chi Poon via Wikimedia

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