Community Pasture Patrons Association of Saskatchewan welcomes the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture decision to allow patrons the use of fixed assets at no cost in community pastures. The government of Saskatchewan held a conference call with pasture chairs last Thursday to make it clear that pasture patron committees who chose to lease pastures have the option of using the fixed assets. Previously patrons had been told that they would be required to purchase these assets to use the pastures.
CPPAS has attended 34 meetings of pasture patrons and held two conference calls with the first ten pastures. In all of these meetings, purchasing fixed assets was seen as a major concern. Making these assets available at no charge is a very important step towards making these pastures viable for patrons.
Ian McCreary, chair of CPPAS noted, “ This announcement underlines the minister’s commitment to work with patrons. The decision on the assets removes an important cost.
“However, patrons are still being asked to pay more for the land than community pasture patrons in either Manitoba or Alberta. The Federal government received this land at no cost. We need to review the numbers further. In order to provide services to patrons and sustain the environmental value of the pastures, professional management must be maintained. There are many costs we are still discovering.”
“This program has been around for 75 years and therefore it is of utmost importance that we take our time in this transition process and make sure we are covering all the issues,” said Joanne Brochu of Colonsay. “Our group continues to feel that a delay of the first ten pastures needs serious consideration.”
The Community Pasture Patrons Association is made up of approximately 1100 patrons from 36 member pastures. CPPAS will continue to work with the province to find viable sustainable solutions for the community pastures.