GFM Network News

The 100th meridian west (solid line) has long been considered the divide between the relatively moist eastern United States, and the more arid West. Climate change may already have started shifting the divide eastward 
(dotted line).

Where the Great Plains began?

The 100th meridian may not mark the start of the Prairies much longer

It’s always been a point of pride in Manitoba that the Prairies begin here, at the 100th meridian. That north-south line cleaves North America in two from Mexico to Manitoba, as first noted in 1978 by explorer John Wesley Powell, who called it the boundary between the humid East and the arid West. Now scientists

A detailed look at Prairie heat and rainfall

It has been hot and dry across much of the region, but there’s variation within that trend

There have been more and more news stories coming out about the hot and dry conditions across the Prairies so far this summer, especially across Alberta and Saskatchewan. I figured we should take a little time to look at what has been happening weather-wise across the agricultural Prairies to see just what’s been going on.

History preservation awards on offer

The provincial efforts aim to recognize individuals who preserve provincial heritage

If you know anyone who’s put in the time and effort to save or promote Manitoba’s history, now’s the time to nominate them for a provincial award. The province, in consultation with the Manitoba Historical Society, wants to recognize prolonged and meritorious service for heritage preservation Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon says. “As we celebrate 150 years

The new Escarpment Habitat Protection Program is seeking landowners along the Manitoba Escarpment between the border and Riding Mountain National Park to voluntarily preserve their property, or parts of it, in its natural state in return for a one-time payment or tax receipt. The following participated in the program’s announcement July 8 at Alexander Ridge Park on the escarpment west of Miami, Man.: Tatiana Moroz (l), Manitoba Forestry Association, Kristen Malec, Manitoba Forestry Association, Tim Sopuck, CEO, Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, Murray Seymour, chair, Pembina Valley Conservation District, Candice Bergen, MP Portage Lisgar and minister of state for social development, Roy Wood, chair, La Salle Redboine Conservation District, Justin Reid, manager, La Salle Redboine Conservation District and Cliff Greenfield, manager Pembina Valley Conservation District.

VIDEO: New voluntary program to protect Manitoba Escarpment

Participating landowners can still pasture livestock, produce hay, cut firewood and hunt, 
but they can’t burn, break or drain the land

A new voluntary program will offer financial incentives to encourage landowners to protect and restore the Manitoba Escarpment’s natural cover in perpetuity. The goal is not only to conserve flora and fauna providing esthetic benefits, but improve downstream water quality and reduce flooding and costly damage to infrastructure, Cliff Greenfield, manager of the Pembina Valley

Property owners affected by Lake Manitoba flooding appeal for public support.

New outlets could begin operating prior to completion

Farmers and residents around Lake Manitoba say flood mitigation is needed immediately 
and the province says it’s on its way

Construction of a second Lake Manitoba outlet to ease flooding for landowners around the lake could begin in less than two years, Manitoba’s minister of emergency measures said last week. “If we see things move ahead fairly smoothly, you could see construction as early as 2016,” said Steve Ashton, who is also Manitoba’s minister of

Dry soil a concern for some on the Prairies

Dry soil conditions heading into winter could cause problems next spring. “There are some concerns with pasture recovery and just starting up the season next year,” said Trevor Hadwen, agro-climate specialist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “In terms of native pasture, the dry fall doesn’t allow the recharge of the soil moisture, which doesn’t allow

Municipalities need 3,000 people to prosper

Municipalities need at least 3,000 residents and a hefty tax base in order to prosper, according to a new study by Brandon University’s Rural Development Institute. The study used census data from Manitoba to look at factors such as population gain, an expanding tax base, favourable demographics (such as a rising percentage of females aged

Flood review makes recommendations but assigns no blame

Lake Manitoba flooding might have occurred without the use 
of the Portage Diversion, according to the authors 
of a report on the 2011 flood

Those looking for a clear answer on what caused flooding around Lake Manitoba in 2011 won’t find it in the newly released Manitoba 2011 Flood Review. Completed in conjunction with a regulation review of Lake St. Martin and Lake Manitoba, the report makes 126 recommendations, including the construction of a second permanent outlet structure for

Ice breaking top priority in flood fight

Dry soil and low river and lake levels will help — but a quick melt and more precipitation are the big worries now

The provincial government says flooding shouldn’t be as bad as in 2011, but in many areas it may come down to the effectiveness of its ice-breaking efforts. “We could be into a very rapid melt during which that American water, or water in our tributaries, could meet up against solid ice,” said Steve Topping, director