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    Thursday, December 18, 2014

Effective: August 8, 2013

A. Purpose

Provide the methodology for the transition of federally managed community pastures to patron operation.  Current and conditional federal pasture patrons that form a legal entity in order to operate their community pasture are automatically provided with an allocation in their pasture, providing they meet the Pasture Association Grazing Policy.

B.  Lease Term    

  1. Leases will be for a term of up to 15 years.
  2. Leases will be effective the date of transition from the federal government: December 1, 2013 for the first five pastures, and April 1, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 for the remaining pastures, as per the agreed upon transition schedule.

C.  Decision Making    

  1. Major decisions, such as establishment of a transition committee and confirming the type of entity, require a 50% + 1 majority vote of the current patrons and conditional patrons of the pasture.
  2. A transition committee must be established to lead the development of the new entity and to communicate with the Ministry.
  3. Documentation on the establishment of the transition committee as well as all major decision items of the committee must be provided to the Ministry.

D.  Improvements

The Ministry will value improvements during the transition year using depreciated replacement cost as outlined in the Valuing Community Pasture Infrastructure Guidelines. The improvements will be re-valued at lease renewal or at time of purchase if it is after the transition year.

  1. Pasture improvements - fences, dugouts, corrals, wells, etc. (excluding yardsites)

(a) Patron groups who lease the land will be entitled to use the improvements at no cost during the term of their lease provided they can demonstrate that the improvements are being adequately maintained.

Adequate maintenance requires that the improvements are maintained in the same condition as when the lessees received them. An Improvement Maintenance Form which details the location and schedule of all maintenance is to be completed annually.  This will be monitored through one or all of the following: 

i. An audited Maintenance Expenditures Statement for fixed assets to be summited with receipts.

ii. Documentation of an improvement account which has been set up by the association to maintain the fixed assets.

iii. Improvements may be inspected by the Ministry at any time to insure that maintenance is being kept up.

If improvements are not kept to the standard that they were at the start of the lease then this will be a violation of the terms of the lease.  A Lease Utilization Plan will be developed to bring the maintenance up to standard.   

(b) Patron groups who lease the land can purchase the improvements at any point during the term of their lease. The annual purchase payment will be interest free and the amortization period may be up to the balance of the term of their lease. The value of the improvements will be determined by the Ministry using the Valuing Community Pasture Infrastructure Guidelines.

(c) New improvements may be added to the pasture with the prior permission of the Ministry. New improvements added to the pasture will be owned by the lessees. If infrastructure is replaced, (such as an old fence completely replaced with a new fence), the lessees will own the new infrastructure. Upon surrender of the lease the Ministry will purchase the improvements at a depreciated replacement cost.  

  1. Yardsites

(a) Patron organizations will have three options if they wish to retain the yardsites:

i. Patron organizations will be allowed to use the yardsites at no cost provided they demonstrate adequate investment in maintenance of the improvements. This will be monitored as per D.1 (a).

ii. Patron groups who lease the land can purchase the improvements at any point during the term of their lease. The annual purchase payment will be interest free and the amortization period may be up to the balance of the term of their lease. The value of the improvements will be determined by the Ministry using the Valuing Community Pasture Infrastructure Guidelines.

iii. Patron organizations that purchase the yardsite and the associated land must purchase the improvements associated with the yardsite. Where the land and improvements associated with the yardsite are purchased, the Ministry will provide a 30 per cent discount off the appraised value of the improvements if purchased in the first year. The discount will decline by 2% per year thereafter until the end of the lease term.

(b) In the event a patron group does not want the improvements associated with a yardsite, the Ministry will move towards the sale of the quarter section with the yardsite (home quarter). The Ministry may consider offering additional land for lease or sale in order to make the sale of the home quarter attractive to purchasers.

(c) Where possible, and at the recommendation of the pasture patron entity, the Ministry may consider providing the current pasture manager with the first opportunity to purchase the home quarter without an option to lease or purchase any additional land. Financing will not be available through the Ministry.

E.   Reporting

1. The following reports will be required to be submitted by December 31 annually:

a. Detailed grazing report

b. Invasive species report

c.  List of members                                                                     

d. Livestock grazing allocations

e. Schedule of maintenance and additions to infrastructure (Improvement Maintenance Form)

F.   Monitoring 

  1. Utilization and/or range health surveys may be conducted at any time during the grazing season to monitor stocking and management of the pasture.
  2. Ministry staff may enter onto the pasture at any time to monitor maintenance of improvements, compliance with lease conditions, and appropriate management of the pasture.

G.  Additional Information

      Additional information is available by contacting your local Regional Office, listed below:

 

Northeast (Tisdale)

Regional Office

PO Box 1480

1105-99th St.

Tisdale  S0E 1T0

306-878-8813

Northwest (North Battleford)

Regional Office

1192- 102nd St. 

North Battleford  S9A 1E9

306-446-7449

South (Swift Current)

Regional Office

PO Box 5000

350 Cheadle St.

Swift Current  S9H 4G3

306-778-8300



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