Res #: 9-14A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
WHEREAS in recent years large tracts of lands have been purchased for the purpose of raising buffalo; and
WHEREAS in some situations, due to the lack of fencing guidelines, 75 inch high game fences enclose all of a property; and
WHEREAS this severely restricts the movement of wildlife, in some cases trapping them in fields and in other instances documented deaths at the fences were the result; and
WHEREAS Alberta has implemented guidelines for bison fence that restricts the height to 60 inches high and at least 16 inches clearance under; and
WHEREAS the Alberta model does allow for mitigation for existing game fence where three rail wildlife passes are installed every quarter mile and appear to be working well;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Province to consider adopting the equivalent of the Fencing Guidelines for Bison on Alberta Public Lands for public and private lands in Saskatchewan.
RESPONSE FROM HONORABLE LYLE STEWART, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
Fences are essential for controlling livestock, defining property boundaries and preventing livestock from straying onto highways and other properties. The Ministry of Agriculture recognizes they can also act as barriers by restricting the movement of wildlife across the landscape. Young, pregnant, or winter-stressed wildlife may have a particularly difficult time clearing fences. As noted in the resolution, other jurisdictions have developed fencing guidelines for public lands which balance producers' needs to keep livestock contained while providing passage for wildlife.
Some fencing techniques have the potential to reduce the need to repair fences damaged by wildlife and may be economical over the long term. The Ministry of Agriculture is willing to meet with SARM and Ministry of Environment officials to discuss wildlife friendly fencing options that may be appropriate for Saskatchewan.