Developed in 1989, Operation Grassland Community (OGC) is a stewardship program that works directly with landholders in Alberta to secure and enhance prairie wildlife habitats for species at risk. OGC believes that prairie habitats can be wisely used, ensuring the sustainability of both wildlife habitats and agricultural livelihoods. Over the last 22 years, OGC has established voluntary stewardship agreements with over 300 landholders who are voluntarily protecting over 340,000 ha (850,000 acres) of native prairie habitat in Southern Alberta. Since 2003, OGC has partnered with 19 dedicated members to implement 35 various habitat enhancement projects and with 103 members to implement management plans for one or more of OGC’s priority species. Furthermore, nearly 300 OGC members participate on the OGC Burrowing Owl and Loggerhead Shrike censuses each year. Visit www.ogcpsp.com for more information.
The grassland region of Alberta is among the most intensively developed landscapes in the world. Over the past century, human land uses have caused the loss and degradation of more than 60% of native mixed grass prairie. Not surprisingly, about 80% of species at risk in Alberta rely on grassland habitats. More than 90% of the prairie landscape is either owned or managed for agricultural use (farming and ranching). OGC recognizes both the socio-economic and environmental issues must be considered in order for long-term grassland conservation. OGC has successfully created “win-win” outcomes, delivering habitat enhancement projects to benefit many wildlife species while realizing economic benefits to the landholder.
1. Long-term protection of wildlife habitat in the grassland region.
Through voluntary stewardship agreements, facilitating conservation easements, and beneficial management plans (i.e., SARC Plans).
2. Increased awareness of prairie wildlife habitat needs, habitat conservation, and sustainable agricultural practices.
Though Education and outreach (newsletters, media, presentations, factsheets, on-farm visits).
3. Improved and enhanced grassland quality.
Assist landholders with implementation of sustainable land management techniques for habitats on their lands.
4. Maintain and increase prairie conservation partnerships.
Cash and in-kind support of OGC generously provided by:
- Alberta Fish and Game Association
- Environment Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk
- Alberta Conservation Association
- Alberta Sports, Recreation, Parks, and Wildlife Foundation
- TD Friends of the Environment Fund
- US Fish and Wildlife Service
- Atco Electric
- Baillie Fund
- Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
- Nature Conservancy of Canada
- Ducks Unlimited Canada