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Sask. ranchers earn environmental award

Efforts to preserve land, water, wildlife and wetlands on their ranch have earned a national environmental award for a northwestern Saskatchewan family.

The Campbell family of Meadow Lake, Sask., was presented last week with “The Environmental Stewardship Award” (TESA) for 2008 by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

In a CCA release, the Campbells said they’ve never thought of themselves as “environmentalists”, but still implemented practices that best-served the operation’s domestic and wildlife inhabitants.

“What’s encouraging is that not only are we changing our perception of what it means to be an environmentalist, but the general public is beginning to see that farmers and ranchers could be the environment’s best hope,” said Bluesette Campbell in an acceptance statement.

The family’s B-C Ranch is a 4,500-acre operation along the Beaver River, established in 1948 by Bruce and Clare Campbell. Son Don and grandson Mark later joined the ranch with their families and built upon practices the family adopted. Their holistic approach to ranching ensures all decisions are socially, environmentally and financially sound, the CCA said.

The family’s work on the Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Woolard Project provided a system of water control gates along the Beaver River, to ensure the wetlands always contain water, which minimizes flooding. On-farm, the Campbells implemented practices to maintain and enrich grazing lands — key factors in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cattle and reducing fossil fuel use, CCA said.

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