Regina, SK - February 6, 2017
The Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan (SK PCAP) is looking forward to hosting the Native Prairie Restoration and Reclamation Workshop on February 8 and 9, 2017, in Regina, SK at the Ramada Hotel. This is the fifth time the anticipated event will be held, bringing together participants from diverse perspectives who have a stake in prairie and species habitat restoration and reclamation. A capacity crowd of scientists, academics, researchers, ranchers, communicators and naturalists will take part in sessions addressing range health, soil remediation, wildlife and species at risk restoration, partnerships, and case study exercises.
Native prairie habitat continues to be affected by development. This forum focuses on mitigating the effects of development on prairie, including restoring habitats and reclaiming land. The theme of the event is "Reclaiming Spaces, Restoring Species" and there will be many experts from across Canada and the northern United States attending and sharing their experiences.
"This workshop is enormously valuable to prairie conservation," says Kerry Hecker, a Protected Area Manager with Environment and Climate Change Canada. "We can't yet recreate an ecosystem, but we can restore proper function to a disturbed part of our natural environment," she adds. Renny Grilz, Resource Management Officer with Meewasin Valley Authority, says the workshop provides an opportunity to showcase projects that are occurring to restore habitat for endangered and rare species on the prairies. "Ideas are shared and joint initiatives are developed, allowing for partnership opportunities to form among conference participants," Grilz says. Grilz and Hecker are part of the team of skilled prairie practitioners that make up the workshop organizing committee. "This workshop is our technical get-together, a chance to compare notes about what works and what doesn't," Hecker says. The event also includes a poster session and trade show, where participants can find some of the specialized restoration equipment and plant seeds required for their projects. The workshop celebrates successes as well -- winners of the Prairie Stewardship Award and Prairie Restoration and Reclamation Award will be announced during the banquet on February 8.
"The interest in species at risk and prairie habitat restoration continues to grow in our province and beyond," says SK PCAP Manager Kayla Balderson Burak, adding that attendance at this event has increased each year. Hecker agrees that the momentum is building. "Once we have the habitat restored and the land reclaimed, the birds and animals and bugs and even the lichens and fungi will return. If we build it, they will come."