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SaskEnergy supports conservation and volunteerism in Qu'Appelle Valley

June 20, 2008

SaskEnergy supports conservation and volunteerism in Qu'Appelle Valley

SaskEnergy employees, W. F. Ready Elementary School students and community volunteers joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to help clean-up and protect newly acquired conservation land located in the Qu'Appelle Valley today.

SaskEnergy is making a four year, $132,000 commitment to help Nature Conservancy establish a corridor of conservation land through the Qu'Appelle Valley. The corridor will protect native habitat and species at risk.

"SaskEnergy is committed to protecting prairie landscape to benefit the environment and create environmental learning opportunities for youth," says Leslie Gosselin, SaskEnergy's Advertising and Community Relations Manager. "Having students participate today by installing Mountain Bluebird boxes is an excellent opportunity to promote environmental protection to future leaders."

The Valeport property is located at the south end of Last Mountain Lake, adjacent to the Valeport Wildlife Management Unit where large numbers of ducks, geese, swans, pelicans and gulls can be found in large numbers when migrating in both spring and fall. Formerly grazing land, this vibrant and productive property has numerous species of migratory and resident birds, mammals and insects. The land is home to several species at risk, including the Northern Leopard Frog, Loggerhead Shrike and Sprague's Pipit. The Western Meadowlark, Vesper Sparrow, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, Tree Swallow, Yellow Warbler and Baltimore Oriole can also be found on the site.

The Conservation Volunteers event, hosted by NCC, was an opportunity for SaskEnergy employees and other volunteers to perform critical restoration work to return the property to its natural state. In addition to enhancing habitat on-site, volunteers enjoyed learning about the property's rich wildlife and native plants during a nature walk with NCC staff.

"This is the first conservation volunteer event held in the Upper Qu'Appelle," says Jennipher Karst, NCC's Conservation Volunteer Coordinator. "We're excited to share the importance of this property with the local community while accomplishing critical restoration work."

NCC's Conservation Volunteers program engages people in the protection of Canada's biodiversity while providing a meaningful, hands-on educational experience in ecologically significant natural areas. Carefully designed projects ensure that volunteers' time is dedicated to critical conservation action. The Nature Conservancy of Canada gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the lead sponsor of the Conservation Volunteers program.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is a non-profit, non-confrontational organization that takes a business-like approach to land conservation and the protection of biological diversity. Its plan of action involves partnership-building and entering into creative conservation solutions with any individual, corporation, community group, conservation organization or government body that shares its passion. Since 1962, NCC and its supporters have protected more than 2 million acres of ecologically significant land nationwide.

For more information, contact:

Jennipher Karst
Conservation Volunteers Coordinator
NCC Saskatchewan Region
Phone: 1-888-622-7275
Jennipher.Karst@natureconservancy.ca

Leanna Korevaar
Communications Officer
SaskEnergy
Phone: 306-777-9724 or 306-535-6368
lkorevaar@saskenergy.ca