Theme 1: Rangeland/Grassland Ecology--Oral Sessions

Description

Special Areas, Alberta, Canada, is a rural municipality of 2.1 million hectares (about 5 million acres) in south-eastern Alberta. It is home to almost 5000 residents, with a unique governance arrangement in Alberta. Most of the farms and ranches utilize a mix of crop and livestock primarily annual cereal and oil seed cultivation and beef cattle. These production units are usually a mosaic of privately-owned land and Crown land leased from the government.

It provides an interesting case study for the local, and national challenges facing western Canadian agriculture. It also provides an opportunity to contrast with different bioclimatic and socioeconomic cases in other areas of the world.

This case study will analyse the main changes in the area over the past 100 years according to the following four drivers: technical/technological changes, market and supply chains, socio-demographic trends, and public policies.

These drivers include a discussion of rangeland and forage management that has increased value to the resource, including branding organic and natural and sustainable products, and development of systems for payment for ecosystem services. A variety of technical and technological changes have provided opportunities to manage for long term economic and environmental sustainability. The socio-demographic challenges and opportunities facing the area will be considered.

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Livestock Policy in Special Areas, Alberta, Canada

Special Areas, Alberta, Canada, is a rural municipality of 2.1 million hectares (about 5 million acres) in south-eastern Alberta. It is home to almost 5000 residents, with a unique governance arrangement in Alberta. Most of the farms and ranches utilize a mix of crop and livestock primarily annual cereal and oil seed cultivation and beef cattle. These production units are usually a mosaic of privately-owned land and Crown land leased from the government.

It provides an interesting case study for the local, and national challenges facing western Canadian agriculture. It also provides an opportunity to contrast with different bioclimatic and socioeconomic cases in other areas of the world.

This case study will analyse the main changes in the area over the past 100 years according to the following four drivers: technical/technological changes, market and supply chains, socio-demographic trends, and public policies.

These drivers include a discussion of rangeland and forage management that has increased value to the resource, including branding organic and natural and sustainable products, and development of systems for payment for ecosystem services. A variety of technical and technological changes have provided opportunities to manage for long term economic and environmental sustainability. The socio-demographic challenges and opportunities facing the area will be considered.