Bringing bison back to the landscape

Bison at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (Photo by Jason Bantle)

Bison at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (Photo by Jason Bantle)

When thinking about the Prairies, images of the iconic plains bison often comes to mind. These massive animals, also called buffalo, influence grassland ecosystems by a magnitude proportional to their size. Bison grazing patterns shape the...

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When tiny things make your heart sing

Selfie of Logan and Breanna hiking in Waterton National Park, AB (Photo courtesy of Breanna Silversides)

Selfie of Logan and Breanna hiking in Waterton National Park, AB (Photo courtesy of Breanna Silversides)

In the winter of 2017, I saw an advertisement for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Conservation Internship Program. I was in the middle of law school and had planned to return to the summer job that I had worked at and loved...

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Appreciating hibernation

Richardson's ground squirrel (Photo by Charles Thomas Hash, Jr. CC-BY-NC)

Richardson's ground squirrel (Photo by Charles Thomas Hash, Jr. CC-BY-NC)

January 21 marks Squirrel Appreciation Day, an occasion meant to recognize squirrels’ importance in nature. It also happens to be the middle of winter, a time when many animals, including some squirrel species, are hibernating. To me, one of...

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Not to be outfoxed

Swift fox (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Swift fox (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Back in 2017, I wrote a blog detailing my ongoing quest to find a swift fox in the wild. A little over two years later, I thought I would provide an update. Since December 2017, I have continued to spend a substantial amount of time wandering the...

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Wallowing: More than scratching an itch for plains bison

Bison at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (Photo by Jason Bantle)

Bison at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (Photo by Jason Bantle)

Have you ever had an itch that you just couldn’t scratch? Needed to cool down on a hot summer day in the Prairies? Want a new way to show off to the ladies? If you answered yes to any of these questions, have you tried simply rolling around...

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The ants that herd aphids

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

On July 21, 2021, I was carrying out annual conservation monitoring at the Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB), when I came across an unusual sight: much of the silver sagebrush that covers the property was covered...

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Three takeaways from a communications internship in conservation

Big Valley planting site (Photo by NCC)

Big Valley planting site (Photo by NCC)

It’s hard to believe that the summer of 2021 went by so quickly. I was hired as a communications and engagement intern with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the spring, working alongside Saskatchewan staff, to tell stories of...

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Going paperless: Introducing a new data collection tool

NCC intern and volunteers conducting a tree survey at Upper North Saskatchewan River Basin (Photo by NCC)

NCC intern and volunteers conducting a tree survey at Upper North Saskatchewan River Basin (Photo by NCC)

Over the past few years, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Saskatchewan Region has used pen and paper to complete their rangeland health assessments. Rangeland health assessments are score-based sheets that are used to monitor...

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Grasslands, close-up

Western bergamot (Photo by NCC)

Western bergamot (Photo by NCC)

As a conservation intern with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) this past summer, I have had the wonderful opportunity to explore the land that we help conserve here in Saskatchewan. Growing up in this province, I developed a love for the...

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A case of mistaken identity: Goldenrod and ragweed

Monarch butterfly on Canada goldenrod (Photo by Peter Jessen, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Monarch butterfly on Canada goldenrod (Photo by Peter Jessen, CC BY-NC 4.0)

I count myself fortunate when the change of seasons doesn’t bring about a runny nose, itchy eyes, headache and coughing, among other symptoms brought about by pollen (a fine powder produced by plants for sexual reproduction). Some pollen is...

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