Grasslands Beneficial Management Practices > Beneficial Management Practices > Grazing Management > Appropriate stocking rates > Biodiversity Conservation Guide for Farmers and Ranchers in Alberta

Biodiversity Conservation Guide for Farmers and Ranchers in Alberta

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta

Type Government Publication
Organization Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Region Alberta
Country Canada
Grass Type Northern Mixed Prairie
Date modified May 2013

This guide, published by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, describes six basic principles of biodiversity conservation, listing supporting management strategies for each principle.

From an economic standpoint the guide suggests seeking payment for ecosystem goods and services. Because biodiversity buffers against extreme events such as drought (a high-cost event), the guide proposes biodiversity enhancing management strategies to ultimately save costs. To enhance grassland ecosystems the guide recommends implementing soil management, pest control, habitat restoration and carbon sequestration practices. Additionally, water resource management strategies including water retention, water filtration, riparian restoration and protection of main water sources from livestock are recommended to ensure the longevity of water supplies. The guide advises grazing, burning and bio-control methods as preventative and reactionary measures to address invasive species. To improve grass production the guide recommends grazing systems that begin in late spring to allow grasses to develop sufficiently. It also proposes the use of native grass restoration, native grass conservation, prescribed burning and either reduced or elimination of pesticide or herbicide use. The guide strongly supports rancher and farmer partnerships with conservation organizations to increase stewardship participation.