This book offers a series of interviews with Canadian ranchers that highlight the innovative and effective ways that they manage vast swaths of grassland for two complementary goals: commercial viability and sustainable habitats. The book’s author is an academic who grew up among ranchers in the grasslands of Canada, and the expertise and viewpoints she has distilled from these interviews complement the academic literature in accessible and surprising ways . As these productive landscapes face increasingly perilous threats such as development, economic pressures, and extreme weather events, it is the ranchers who live on and manage these native grasslands who are passionate about conserving them.
This book is about them, their experiences and the realities of their lives, their view of the world, sharing their knowledge to assist younger ranchers, and their contributions to Canada’s species at risk conservation goals, food security and economy. The book offers practical advice for ranchers, but also reveals the depth of attachment and dedication these ranchers have for the grasslands. They are conservationists at heart, as they not only understand that their livelihood is dependent on the health of the ecosystem they manage, but they also have a deep connection to the land, nurtured oftentimes for many generations. Academics and ranchers have much to learn here, but the book – most of which is the words of the ranchers themselves - is written to give the general public an understanding of this vocation and its role in the conservation of our last remaining grasslands.