Protecting the Prairies
Lorne Scott and the Politics of Conservation
Grasslands are among the richest, most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, and they are crucial in the fight against climate change. Unfortunately, since 1970 Canada has lost more than 40 percent of its grasslands, and less than 15 percent of Saskatchewan’s grasslands exist today. What remains are found alongside highways and ditches. The province has some of the highest CO2 and methane emissions per capita and virtually no environmental regulations. How did we allow the grasslands to become one of the most endangered ecosystems on Earth?
In some sense, the story of Saskatchewan fits rather neatly into the larger story of Western Canada, where politicians often care more about extraction and growing the economy while destroying the very things the economy depends on. But that isn’t the whole story.
Much like Canada’s universal health care, Saskatchewan is also the birthplace of some of the first provincial and national conservation laws, and home to an unsung and unlikely champion for the environment: a farmer with a twelfth-grade education and a really old van…
In Protecting the Prairies, Andrea Olive provides a history of wildlife and land conservation in Saskatchewan told through the life story of environmentalist, naturalist, farmer, and former Minister of Environment and Resource Management Lorne Scott. This is a book that challenges and inspires us to be stewards of the environment in our own backyards and communities, and above all, to never be complacent when it comes to protecting the natural world.