Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 1999


Published in Great Plains Research 9 (Fall 1999): 371-95 Copyright © 1999 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Grasslands are integral to the economic health of Canada's rural prairies, making up 30% of the agricultural land base in Canada's three prairie provinces. These grasslands support agriculture, through grazing of livestock, and recreation, such as hunting and ecotourism. These grasslands are also environmentally significant, providing habitat for native plants and animals. The economic and environmental significance of these grasslands should not be undervalued. Economic opportunities and environmental policies and regulations affect the management of these lands. Current issues that may affect how the prairie is used include the: potential species-at-risk legislation, other initiatives for biodiversity enhancement, greenhouse gas regulations or incentives, carbon sequestration opportunities, and economic diversification to support economic growth. Decisions on these issues will affect the way prairie grasslands contribute to the region's economic and environmental sustainability.