Manitoba pastures benefit at $13 million annually
email@example.com or 888-241-5291 When the federal government turned over two million acres of PFRA community pastures to the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan four years ago, each province took a different approach.
The approaches were based purely on political philosophy. Saskatchewan chose to privatize the 60 plus community pastures within its borders.
Manitoba, then governed by the New Democrats, chose to continue 20 pastures with 350,000 acres as continued community pastures.
A recent study by the Association of Manitoba Community Pastures revealed the government-operated pastures provide $5.67 million annually in forage value with $4.7 million in carbon sequestration benefits.
Value of ecosystem benefits was pegged at $13.3 million a year by the study.
The Association of Manitoba Community Pastures operates 20 pastures with 350 pa- trons.
Saskatchewan had planned to sell, or lease, all of the PFRA pastures with patrons having first option.
None of the patron groups could afford to operate by paying the market price for the large parcels of land, so the province’s five-year plan involves leasing the pastures with conditions: no breaking land for cultivation and conservation easements.
Ron Walter can be reached at ronjoy@ sasktel.net