Guelph, ON—The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and Environment and Climate Change Canada are pleased to announce the return of the Grassland Stewardship Program (GSP) for 2017, with the first application submission window open from January 9 to February 1, 2017. GSP provides funding to implement forage and pasture management Best Management Practices that support the conservation of bobolink and other grassland birds.

“Farmers are in a unique position to support the health of vulnerable grassland bird populations through the actions they take on their farms,” said Andréa Dubé-Goss, Interim Environmental Programs Manager at OSCIA. “The Grassland Stewardship Program provides funding that supports farmers in creating, enhancing, or protecting valuable on-farm grassland bird habitat.”

Five Best Management Practices are funded through GSP: Control of Encroaching Trees and Shrubs through Mowing; Pasture Rejuvenation; Incorporating Delayed Grazing in Rotational Grazing Systems; Native Grassland Restoration; and Forage Harvest Management (Delayed Haying). Single and multi-year projects are eligible under the Forage Harvest Management (Delayed Haying) category.

As a pilot program under the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands initiative, GSP projects require signed Conservation Agreements between participating producers and Environment and Climate Change Canada. “These agreements help to ensure that the time and effort that participating producers put into GSP projects will have a lasting impact on the landscape and a positive benefit to grassland birds,” said Andrea Kettle, Head of Stewardship at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Applications for Intake 1 of GSP 2017 can be submitted until February 1, 2017 using the digital application form available from the OSCIA website: www.ontariosoilcrop.org/oscia-programs/sarpal/gsp. Intake 2 of GSP 2017 is scheduled to open on April 10, 2017 and close May 1, 2017.

GSP is part of the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands program in Ontario, an Environment and Climate Change Canada initiative. Funding is provided by the Government of Canada.

Media Contact:
Andréa Dubé-Goss, Interim Environmental Programs Manager
(519) 826-6062

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