Nature Conservancy of Canada's Old Man on His Back Visitor Centre NOW Open!
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) welcomes visitors to its Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation area (OMB) this summer.
Visitors can experience the vast natural prairie and dark night skies, view genetically-pure plains bison, learn of Saskatchewan's early settlers here, and view many wildlife species that live on and love this land. OMB is a designated Nocturnal Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
OMB is near Frontier, Eastend and Shaunavon, and located about two hours by vehicle south of Swift Current in southwestern Saskatchewan.
It is also near the Grasslands National Park and the Cypress Hills Grasslands. NCC manages OMB as a working ranch, demonstrating the positive relationship between agricultural use and land conservation.
NCC also welcomes Lindsay Cherpin as the OMB interperter who will guide visitors through OMB's interpretive centre to discover or rediscover NCC's working ranch and help ensure their visits are memorable...and fun. Visitors can browse the interpretive displays, picnic at the farmsite and camp through a weekend.
"OMB holds fascination for both young and older," says Natalie Hassett, NCC's area manager for southwest Saskatchewan. "It's a rare opportunity for us to experience the vastness of this native grassland ranch, to understand and enjoy nature (here). The ranch extends from the Butala homestead to the horizon in most directions and serves as a haven of nature for both humans and wildlife."
"Saskatchewan prairie is precious in many ways," says Lindsay Cherpin, NCC's OMB interpreter. "The OMB ranch is the iconic grassland setting. I'm looking forward to welcoming travelers and neighbours alike to this great ranch, then chatting with them about its rich history."
The OMB interpretive centre is open Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays, 9AM to 5PM, from mid-May to early October. Weekday tours can be arranged with prior booking. Admission is free but donations to NCC are gratefully accepted. Tours may be booked by contacting Lindsay Cherpin at 306.296.7363.
Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation area (OMB) spans 13,095 acres (5,300 ha) of rich prairie grasslands in the Milk River Watershed of southwestern Saskatchewan.
Prairie grasslands are home to diverse species of wildlife, from golden eagles to swift fox, loggerhead shrike to white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope to greater sage-grouse, a host of grassland birds, and more. Natural grasslands conservation is crucial because grassland ecosystems are in peril.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada`s Saskatchewan's partnerships include grazing leases with landowners and community patrons, working together for long term conservation. Other ongoing partners include the Government of Saskatchewan, Government of Canada, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Lone Tree Community Pastures, and others.
NCC owns and manages properties in many southern and central Saskatchewan communities around the Quill Lakes, Shaunavon, Hafford, Prince Albert, Carlyle, Maple Creek, Wynyard, Edenwold, Maymont and more. NCC allows public, on-foot access on almost all of its properties. NCC Saskatchewan has now managed OMB for 20 years.
For six consecutive years, MoneySense Magazine has ranked the NCC as top Canadian environmental charity in its annual evaluation of the top 100 charities across Canada.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) conserves land in its natural state for the benefit of people and wildlife. NCC is the nation's leading private, charitable nonprofit land conservation organization, protecting vital natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped protect more than 2.8 million acres (1.1 million hectares), coast to coast, with over 150,000 acres (60,700 ha) of ecologically significant lands conserved through land donations, purchases and agreements in Saskatchewan.
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