Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



Proceedings of the 23rd North American Prairie Conference, August 2012, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg

The Prairie Naturalist 46: 2-3. August 2014


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society, 2014. Used by permission.


Building upon the tradition started in Illinois by Peter Schramm in 1970, with the first conference on prairies and prairie restoration, the North American Prairie Conference (NAPC) has developed a tradition of excellence in native prairie research, conservation, education and restoration of one of the worlds’ most productive, yet most endangered, ecosystems. It has spawned great interest, enthusiasm and efforts to better understand, appreciate, manage and conserve this vital part of North America’s natural and cultural history.

In early August 2012, the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg hosted the 23rd NAPC. The theme of the 2012 conference was “Celebrating Our Prairie Heritage.” It explored where we have been and where we should be heading. Over 230 people from 12 U.S. states and 5 Canadian provinces helped celebrate in outstanding style. This was only the second time this major international conference had been hosted in Canada. Manitoba is Canada’s easternmost prairie province, and traditionally has been the gateway to the vast Canadian prairies further west. Historically, aboriginal peoples and European settlers alike marveled at the open country revealed by lush shoulder-high grasses and wildflowers of the Red River Valley. The tall-grass prairie gradually gave way to the mixed grass and rough fescue prairies that stretched from western Manitoba right through to the Rockies.