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Long Term Gain: Investing in the Protection of Saskatchewan Wildlife in Today’s Political Environment

May 31, 2021
Nicole Doll
Prairie at Battle Creek PFRA community pasture

By Lauryn Andrew

Our Saskatchewan species are suffering as a result of instability. This instability isn’t just caused by factors related to the environment or the human footprint; a lack of consistent engagement in wildlife protection initiatives significantly impacts progress.

Woodland Caribou
An image of a Woodland Caribou, whose populations are suffering across the country. They are yet to be listed as an at risk species provincially within Saskatchewan.

The resistance to fully invest in our shared backyard is taking away vital time to implement solutions. Some of the biggest challenges environmental organizations currently face are that government goals keep changing, timelines are being extended, and money is being diverted or withheld from environmental projects. We must hold ourselves and our governments – our leaders – accountable for advocating and implementing effective strategies so conservation progress can endure. Sustainable resources sustain our resources.

Sustainable resources sustain our resources.

2020 has highlighted challenges caused by uncertainty and instability. The Government of Saskatchewan 2020-21 budget outlines over $900 million in new expenditure for COVID-19 relief. Nobody could have anticipated the need for such large sums of money for emergency funding; however, I am incredibly grateful that it became available. In terms of wildlife protection, the response to this virus is a learning opportunity: prevention is key to avoiding a crisis. There is equally an environmental crisis at hand that will continue to worsen unless consistent support is established.

Supporting conservation initiatives – whether through funding, advocacy, or time – is like a long-term investment. There won’t be immediate gain, but the assets will consistently grow – both literally and figuratively. Long-term investing is low-risk and provides security. This is not only true for the campaigns they support financially, but also for the wildlife they protect. A little money now saves a little money – and makes a little money – later.

Many advisors would suggest diversifying your investment portfolio. For our governments, this would mean providing additional funding for environmental projects. In return, these new projects would enable greater job opportunity and alternative resources that would improve our quality of life, as well as the other species that call Saskatchewan home.

There’s always a risk when you invest, but long-term strategies have the potential to have rich impacts on the Saskatchewan community and economy. The success of a company or an initiative is linked to how well supported they are. The return on long-term investment in Sask. wildlife protection is diverse, mature, and lively places and critters to observe and appreciate with future generations. Protected land becomes a sanctuary of both past and present interconnected.

Prairie at Battle Creek PFRA community pasture
Saskatchewan’s remaining grasslands are one of the most endangered biomes on earth. Prairie at Battle Creek PFRA community pasture, Consul, Saskatchewan.

Why is wildlife important to you?

The answers to this question may be as diverse as the ecosystems that also call our province home. What does remain consistent, however, is that we all have a reason. This reason is why Saskatchewan parks and wildlife are worth protecting. As those who enjoy its gifts today, it is our responsibility to engage with conservation initiatives that improve its livelihood for years to come.

“Ecosystem diversity, the variety and relative abundance of ecosystems and their plant and animal communities, is necessary for species preservation. Many ecosystems found throughout Saskatchewan support their own unique range of species. Protecting unique ecosystems, along with those representatives of the landscape, helps to maintain biological diversity.”

The Government of Saskatchewan

Just like Saskatchewan ecosystems, our people and perspectives are diverse. Diversity is the key to a healthy and lively community. It is also the key to effective wildlife protection strategies. These initiatives require varying ideas, research, skills, and resources to be successful. The first step to support these initiatives is to find a way you can help. As a team, we all need to set goals and ensure they are met on time.

It’s time to take charge; let’s provide some certainty and security as we prepare for the future. Investing in the well-being of the land we call home will never be regretted.

Let’s stay ahead of the curve; invest in Saskatchewan people and wildlife in a sustainable way.