The Transboundary Grasslands Partnership (TGP) is inviting individuals and organizations interested in conserving prairie landscapes to join them on December 6-7th for their annual workshop, this year to be held in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Focusing on the theme ‘Native Grasslands: Culture, Carbon, and Conservation’, this event brings together ranchers, landholders, organizations, and agencies that have a special interest in conserving, protecting, and discussing emerging issues that impact our native grasslands.
Initiated in 2016, the TGP works to conserve and enhance grassland landscapes across contrived human boundaries in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana. The partnership, comprised of organizations and individuals working towards healthy grassland ecosystems and communities, aims to share information and encourage collaborative work across jurisdictions and sectors to conserve the vanishing prairie landscape.
Grasslands are one of the most endangered ecosystems globally, with most of the native ecosystem already lost to agriculture, industry, or expanding roads and cities. The Northern Great Plains, a region covering more than 180 million acres across Canada and the United States, is one of the more intact temperate grasslands remaining in the world; however, the region is under threat. As native prairie is lost, many of the benefits these lands provide also disappears. “Grasslands are essential for biodiversity, providing unique habitats that many plants and animals rely on to survive” says Sasha Harriott, Coordinator for the Alberta Prairie Conservation Forum, “they also help to filter air and water, store carbon, improve soil, and mitigate against damage caused by drought, flooding, and fire.”
By working together across a broader landscape, the TGP and its members help to preserve and restore the diminishing Northern Great Plains. Members of the TGP benefit from connecting with others, providing opportunities for collaboration, information sharing and innovation, and gaining visibility and recognition in the conservation community. Participation in the TGP is community-driven, connecting and engaging local communities and stakeholders, building on local knowledge, and providing additional opportunities for education and training.
The TGP workshop rotates annually between Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan, presenting case studies, and traditional or local knowledge from different sectors and jurisdictions. Successes and victories in grassland conservation and restoration are celebrated, as well as sharing new research and engaging projects. The TGP invites ranchers, producers, Indigenous peoples, and anyone interested, to attend, discuss, and share knowledge about grasslands.
The TGP Workshop Planning Committee gratefully acknowledges financial support for this workshop from Nature United, the Government of Canada, and the Weston Foundation.