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Stewardship Credit Pilot Program

The Tall Grass Prairie Stewardship Credit Pilot Program is a five-year pilot program (2021-2026) to acknowledge the important role that locals have played in maintaining and protecting the rare habitats and species within the tall-grass prairie region and further support them in their efforts.

Delivered jointly by the RM of Stuartburn and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, this program is piloting an approach in which participants will receive annual payments that are directly tied to positive outcomes for the habitat on their property. By focusing on results, participants will be encouraged to use their expertise and experience, supported by a local advisor with the RM when needed, to create management plans which work best for both their own goals and the habitats and species on their property.

All residents in the outlined program area in the tall-grass prairie natural area will be eligible to participate in the program. This includes land in production, idle land, municipal land, conservation easements and industry lands.

If interested, please contact the Community Liaison for Species at Risk for the RM of Stuartburn at info@sharedlegacymb.ca for more information.

Here’s what participants have to say about the program:

“We and our land have really benefitted from the SCPP, and from Meg and Norm’s knowledgeable input. Their site visits are an education each time. Our flora recognition skills have improved significantly, with new appreciation for the diversity of species on our land. Meg and Norm are providing strategies for dealing with invasive species and encouraging native plants. Currently, we are targeting leafy spurge … which we didn’t even know was an issue! Highly recommend this program!” – Janet & Tim Kroeker

“It’s great to see a move toward valuing natural spaces. Natural habitats (prairie, woodlands and wetlands) continue to be converted to cash crops or manure spread acres and we really can’t afford to lose any more. Though we didn’t need the SCPP program to encourage us to preserve our natural spaces, the money provided by this program has allowed us to implement some much needed management of aspen and shrub encroachment in our prairie sites. We’ve tried using fire as a means of control, but burning large chunks of land has so many limitations – too wet, too dry, burn bans, nesting season, proper fire guards, manpower – that it’s impossible for us to do what needs to be done to maintain the open prairie. By putting the payment we received toward cost-shared management, we were able to hire a local landscaping company to open up our meadows – and it didn’t cost us a dime.” – Laura Reeves

“We have enjoyed participating in the SCPP program. Not only has it been fascinating to discover some really unique plant species on our land, sharing the learning experience with our whole family has been a great experience. It’s important for us to teach our kids to appreciate and value their natural surroundings and that’s part of the reason we decided to participate in the program.” – Leah Bouchard

If you’re interested in learning more about the Stewardship Credit Pilot Program, please contact the Community Liaison for Species at Risk for the RM of Stuartburn at info@sharedlegacymb.ca for more information.