March 7, 2005

Sask Environment, Wildlife Federation sign habitat securement accord

REGINA, SASK-Saskatchewan Environment and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) recently signed a five-year, $1.25-million habitat securement agreement, aimed at helping conserve Saskatchewan's biodiversity. The agreement's primary objective is to secure, through conservation easement or purchase, examples of natural ecosystems and native habitat that provide homes for Saskatchewan's wildlife and plants, many of which bring economic benefit to the province. "The agreement will help ensure that our biological resources are conserved," said Environment Minister David Forbes, pointing out that "buying this land or establishing conservation easements would not be possible without the co-operation of Saskatchewan's farmers and ranchers." The province has participated with the SWF in two other cost-shared habitat purchase agreements, which have secured more than 5,000 hectares and are now managed by the SWF. Lands secured through conservation easement or purchase will be paid for through the Fish and Wildlife Development (FWD) Fund and from contributions from the SWF. The FWD Fund receives 30% of the revenue generated from all fur, angling and hunting licences sold in the province. The money is used to secure, monitor and improve both fish and wildlife habitat throughout Saskatchewan and to operate the provincial fish hatchery. Saskatchewan Environment also has similar land purchase or conservation agreements in place with Ducks Unlimited Canada and Nature Conservancy Canada. More information is available from Conrad Olson at Saskatchewan Environment, 306/787-2385.

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