The provincial government and the University of Alberta are getting together to continue agricultural research at two southern Alberta substations.

The province has been implementing a new management model since 2013 to ensure the Stavely and Onefour research substations continue to conduct research relating to sustainable rangeland management and prairie conservation.

The agreement between the government and the university means they'll maintain rangeland and native grassland and continue to provide opportunities for agricultural research.

In addition, important wildlife habitat will be protected while also providing grazing opportunities for local ranchers.

In a statement, Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks says “The Onefour and Stavely research ranches have played a pivotal role in developing rangeland management as we know it in Western Canada. The recent memorandum of understanding between the Government of Alberta and the university will help ensure more important work will come from these sites in the future.”

The research ranch model was developed by working with the university and livestock industry representatives.

It uses grazing stewards to maintain the important grazing infrastructure and provides sustainable grazing opportunities on the sites which are important for maintaining these grassland ecosystems.

The Stavely Agricultural Research Station, established in 1949, is a 980-acre (388-hectares) site west of Stavely on the eastern edge of the Porcupine Hills.

Through good stewardship practices, it's conserved valuable foothills fescue grasslands while supporting wildlife habitat.

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