The Nature Conservancy of Canada acquired three new pieces of land in Saskatchewan this year that will now be protected forever.
NCC Saskatchewan spokesperson, Cameron Wood, says all of their properties together equal almost 500,000 acres with the goal of protecting grasslands and the wildlife that live within it.
Wood says there is less than 20 per cent of grasslands left in Saskatchewan and he expects it’s more like 14 per cent.
One of the acquisitions is around Buffalo Pound Lake with 2,100 acres and seven kilometres of shoreline. The second is in the Consul area in the southwest, called Zen-Ridge, which has some of the most intact grasslands in the province. The third is north of Asquith, which is about 45 minutes from Saskatoon.
Wood describes the area as having native and tame grasslands as well as aspen forest. There are now four NCC conservation properties in the area.
With help from the Saskatoon Nature Society, the NCC will be developing a small, low impact trail network on site.
This area, known as the Saskatoon Prairie Natural Area, includes grasslands, forests, stabilized sand dunes and wetlands.
Wood says conserving the land helps avoid further habitat loss and provides habitat for species at risk like the American badger, bobolink, the barn swallow and the northern leopard frog.