Grassland Restoration Forum Grassland Restoration Forum

WHAT IS THE GRASSLAND RESTORATION FORUM?

The Grassland Restoration Forum (GRF) promotes the conservation and restoration of native grasslands in Alberta through education, outreach and research to improve reclamation practice and foster stewardship. The GRF began in 2006 as a collaboration between members of provincial agencies, the ranching community, conservation organizations, industry, plant ecologists and reclamation practitioners.

 

Current GRF Vision: Native grasslands and their ecological functions are conserved and successfully restored by informed stakeholders and practitioners within a multiple-use landscape.

 

Current GRF Mission: To provide a forum for information sharing, tool development, research and education to promote and support conservation and effective restoration of native grassland ecosystems in Alberta.

WHERE DO WE WORK?

Alberta Grasslands

The focus of the GRF is Alberta’s Grassland Natural Region and grasslands of the neighbouring Parkland and Montane Natural Subregions.

WHY ARE NATIVE GRASSLANDS IMPORTANT?

Grasslands are a rich landscape that provides important ecosystem functions, such as cleansing our air, storing and filtering our water, capturing carbon and supplying sustainable grazing. Native grasslands, from flat, dry prairie to montane meadows, provide a diversity of habitats that support a suite of wildlife from sage grouse to grizzly bears. Alberta’s native grasslands provide environmental, economic and social benefits to the residents of Alberta and beyond. Conservation of intact native grassland landscapes and successful restoration practices are critical to maintaining habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem function in a multiple use landscape.

DECLINING NATIVE GRASSLAND

Native grasslands are one of the most developed and threatened landscapes in Canada. Industrial, urban and recreational development, intensification of agriculture and non-native species invasion are rapidly changing prairie landscapes. Loss and fragmentation of this ecosystem is reflected in the number of Endangered and At Risk grassland species.

To reverse this trend, we need to improve management of cumulative effects, reduce fragmentation, and maintain native grassland integrity, including connecting corridors for wildlife and other species.  Lastly, to reclaim disturbances with the goal of restoring sustainable native grassland landscapes.

RESTORATION CHALLENGES

    • Our ability to restore native grassland plant communities is uncertain, especially in moister environments like fescue grasslands.
    • Recovery can take decades and require on-going adaptive management.
    • Establishment and spread of invasive species are a significant threat to native grassland habitats.
    • Reclamation requirements vary widely among industries operating on grasslands.

News & Events

Check out our upcoming events

GRASSLAND ASSESSMENT TRAINING

Designed for students, agrologists, ecologists, land stewards, regulators, planners and reclamation practitioners and anyone interested in learning more about native grassland ecosystems.

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HOW TO USE RANGE PLANT COMMUNITY GUIDES AND RECOVERY STRATEGIES MANUALS FOR PROJECT AND RECLAMATION PLANNING IN GRASSLANDS

This one day, classroom-based course teaches participants how to use the Range Plant Community Guides and introduces the Recovery Strategies for Development in Native Grassland Manuals planning process.

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FALL INFORMATION SESSION

The one day Fall Information Session gathers a variety of industry and grassland stakeholders to exchange current information on grassland restoration and conservation through a variety of presentations and mini updates.

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GRASSLAND CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION ON A MULTIPLE USE LANDSCAPE FOR FOOTHILLS FESCUE NATIVE GRASSLANDS

Foothills Fescue native grasslands SW Alberta are declining and becoming increasingly fragmented with new industrial development and recreation pressures in the region.

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Featured Information

Recovery Strategies for Disturbance in Native Grasslands

These guidance documents are designed for industry and others to improve reclamation outcomes in native grassland ecosystems with the goal of restoration after disturbance. Guidance is based on long-term monitoring, literature review, peer review and stakeholder workshops.

Featured Information

PROSPECTUS FOR A SHARED APPROACH TO RESEARCH: CONSERVING AND RESTORING ROUGH FESCUE GRASSLANDS

To help address the issue of conserving and restoring the remaining native grasslands, the GRF has developed five key themes and associated research questions to describe critical gaps in our knowledge base. Identifying these gaps helps to document and focus on what research is necessary.

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To hear about upcoming GRF Events, Training, and Publications of Interest. Please ‘contact us’ to be removed from our mailing list at any time.

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Contact us here about volunteering and more!

(403) 563-8925

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