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The first Prairie Conservation Action Plan (PCAP) was released by the World Wildlife Fund – Canada and the provincial governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta late in 1988. It was a five-year blueprint (which concluded in 1994), aimed at prairie-wide efforts to conserve and manage native prairie species, communities, and habitats.

The Prairie Conservation Forum (originally named the Prairie Conservation Coordinating Committee), was established in 1988 by the Government of Alberta in response to the original PCAP. The PCF has grown over the last 36 years, and today is comprised of some fifty member organizations. These organizations represent all three levels of government, non-government organizations, industry, academia, and agricultural and environmental interest groups.

Following the conclusion of the first prairie-wide PCAP in 1994, provincial successor PCAPs were developed in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Alberta and Saskatchewan PCAP groups continue to remain active today. The 2021-25 PCAP is the seventh generation offspring of the original PCAP. The roots of commitment to prairie conservation go deep and are enduring in Alberta, sustained by the ongoing work of the PCF and other like-minded organizations and individuals. The Prairie Conservation Forum continues to exist to promote the conservation of native biodiversity in prairie and parkland environments in Alberta and to provide an ongoing profile for prairie and parkland conservation initiatives.

Photo By Katheryn Taylor

Three PCF meetings are held yearly (January, May or June, September). Meetings are held in different locations in the Grasslands and Parkland Natural Regions to give members an exposure to communities and landscapes. Interesting agendas are developed for each meeting. Meetings are open to the public. Field trips are held in conjunction with the spring and fall meetings. Field trips allow members to view and discuss issues on-site, to see the effects of management actions, to observe the diversity that is present in Alberta’s prairie and parkland landscapes, to meet and interact with resource managers, etc.

PCF Board of Directors:

  • The BOD is responsible for overseeing and facilitating the implementation of the PCAP and in setting out a process for achieving defined plan outcomes. The BOD meets 3 times per year.

PCF Coordinators:

  • Two part-time Coordinators conduct the day-to-day business of the PCF, focus members on the PCAP and take a lead role in ensuring that the goals of the PCF are met.

PCF Committees:

  • Committees may be established whenever there is a clear and ongoing need to focus PCF efforts around a specific strategy or activity.

The PCF operates by consensus and is not an advocacy organization. It is recognized that if the Forum were to assume an advocacy role, it would jeopardize the unity among members, even the existence of the Forum.

The Forum operates under an Annual Work Plan that is adopted by the PCF. The Work Plan sets out achievable activities for the calendar year.

The Forum is open to new members. New member organizations need only subscribe to the PCAP and the PCF’s Terms of Reference.

The PCF’s Terms of Reference (which are periodically reviewed) provide direction on the Forum’s mandate and procedures. They provide clarity when questions and issues emerge that affect the functioning of the PCF.