The bog in the middle of the 100-acre Tantramar Community Pasture is easy to spot even from the far edges of the field. Miniature larch trees stand on a mound that rises oh-so-slightly out of the prairie-flat grassland. For farmers, the wetland is wasted space: cattle grazing in the area steer clear of the bog or sink deep in the wet soil.
So when DUC conservation specialist Adam Campbell approached the Community Pasture Association about restoring and fencing off the bog, the decision to partner was easy. In exchange for the bog, DUC would help the association improve productive agricultural land, and create small wetlands to give grazing cattle access to fresh drinking water.
Seven farmers graze their cattle on the pasture, located just outside of Sackville, N.B. “Lots of farmers have a limited amount of land available for use,” says Association member Matt Beale. “Having a community pasture where they can graze their cattle 150 days a year, it’s a huge benefit to them.”
The unique partnership between the Association and DUC will ensure that important natural habitat is conserved for wildlife, and that high-quality grassland stays productive for farmers and their cattle. “It’s definitely good for everybody,” says Beale. “Cattle do the best on freshwater. Improving habitat is good for wildlife and it’s good for farmers.”