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President's message

We just returned from Nature Saskatchewan's Fall Meet in Swift Current, hosted by the Southwest Naturalists. Conservation of the native grasslands was the overall theme. Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada, gave a brief talk on Friday evening about Nature Canada. On Saturday we toured the Matador Community Pasture, the Beechy Hutterite colony, and viewed the beautiful sand castle formations along Lake Diefenbaker. At the Matador Community Pasture we learned about the history of the pasture, how it is managed, and the challenges as it transitions from provincial control to patron (user) control. The land will continue to be crown-owned as it is considered land of high ecological value. The evening concluded with a presentation by Trevor Herriot and Branimir Gjetvaj on their recent book, "Islands of Grass".

At each Fall Meet, Nature Saskatchewan recognizes Society members and/or affiliate and partner organizations in several categories of awards. The conservation award this year was given to Stuart Houston, Frank Roy and Alan Smith for their monumental efforts on the book, "Birds of Saskatchewan", targeted for publication in late February or March, 2019. Greg Fenty and Joan Feather were named Fellows of Nature Saskatchewan. Congratulations to SNS members; Stuart, Frank, Joan and Greg.

Around the middle of October expect to see some information for pre-orders of "Birds of Saskatchewan". Information about the pre-orders will be available online at Nature Saskatchewan's website. SNS will receive some marketing material for distribution and we will facilitate distribution of the pre-ordered copies. Those ordering in advance will receive a discount on the purchase price. At the request of Nature Saskatchewan SNS will take on the caretaking responsibilities for two Important Bird Areas (IBAs); Porter Lake and Ponass Lake. Ponass Lake is part of the Quill Lakes watershed and is designated as a Heritage Marsh. The field trip committee will be taking on this role, so expect to see regular field trips to both of these areas.

Another fall bird count has been completed and the results are being tabulated. Thank you to the more than thirty participants and the field trip committee who organized the count.

Valerie Martz
SNS President

Last updated: 26 September, 2018