Prairie Conservation Award - 2016 Recipients
Luc Delanoy was awarded the Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Award and was nominated by Renny Grilz of the Meewasin Valley Authority, an organization that Luc had recently retired from after a 32 year career. Mr. Delanoy served as Meewasin't Resource Management Officer, where he managed over 60 km of the South Saskatchewan River, and 8400 ha of native prairie, riparian forests, wetlands and other conservation priority sites. Throughout his tenure, Meewasin expanded its portfolio to include Beaver Creek Conservation Area, Cranberry Flats Conservation Area, Saskatoon Natural Grasslands and the Meewasin North East Swale, to name a few. Mr. Delanoy actively sought and encouraged conservation partnerships with other management organizations and landowners, including the University of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon. Mr. Delanoy employed grazing management using multi-species cattle and goat grazing and was skilled at using prescribed burns to manage areas. Mr. Delanoy was also a skilled "weed warrior," using his red shovel to remove any and all invasive species he would find. He provided the "alarm bell" regarding movement of invasive alien and invasive agronomic species into the Saskatoon area and across Saskatchewan. He also volunteered on numerous boards including the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan as well as Nature Saskatchewan. Mr. Delanoy worked tirelessly to protect the South Saskatchewan River Bank and shared his passion for conservation with hundreds of students and volunteers. Mr. Luc Delanoy's passion, skill and experience made him the winner for the Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Award.
The Ross Ranch was awarded the Alberta Prairie Conservation Award. The Ross Ranch is operated by John and his wife Kathy, along with their son Darren and his wife and two kids. The cow/calf operation is located in the Dry-Mixed Grasslands within the County of Forty Mile near the town of Foremost, Alberta. The Ross family has been managing the native grass community on their 62,000 acre ranch for over 100 years, with John being the fourth generation of Ross and his son Darren the fifth. Managing the land means a lot to John, "it means just about everything---your family, your livelihood, your future. If you screw up the environment, you screw up your future." Their ranch consists of a mixture of private and public leased land dominated by native grasslands. The first thing someone new to the ranch will note is the vastness of the open prairie. This ranch is one of the few properties in southern Alberta that one can experience the true meaning of being out in the open prairies with very little human disturbance. The Ross family is very proactive when it comes to stewardship activity as John believes "small changes can make a big difference in how the land is managed" and "being open to new opportunities" is crucial.