BadgerWay is back for 2017
By Top Crop Manager
The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association’s BadgerWay program is now accepting applications for projects that support on-farm habitat for the province’s endangered badgers.
The American badger – a highly nomadic species – can travel as many as 14 kilometres per day and may have a home range that spans hundreds of square kilometres. Badgers make use of field edges, old fencerows, buffer strips, windbreaks, and other grassy areas on farms as habitat and travel corridors.
The BadgerWay program offers financial support to farmers in southwestern Ontario who wish to implement three best management practices that create new or connect existing on-farm habitat: tree and shrub planting for windbreaks and buffer strips; establishment of perennial contour cropping or other in-field perennial grass strips; and native grassland restoration.
“With only about 200 badgers remaining in the province, farmers have a critical role to play in the creation and conservation of habitat for this species at risk,” said Mack Emiry, president of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). “In southwestern Ontario, badgers call our farms home. Enriching our farm habitat through programs like BadgerWay is critical to helping badgers and other species at risk.”
The BadgerWay program includes a noteworthy aspect that is unique to the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) initiative: Conservation agreements between funded producers and Environment and Climate Change Canada provide habitat protection for American badger habitat for five years. With up to 75 per cent cost-share to support project implementation, producers can access up to $20,000 per farm business through BadgerWay.
Projects initiated on or after April 1 may be eligible for funding. The program will remain open until Feb. 1, 2018. To apply, visit the OSCIA website at www.ontariosoilcrop.org/oscia-programs/sarpal/badgerway.
Funding for the BadgerWay program is provided through SARPAL, an Environment and Climate Change Canada initiative that encourages priority conservation actions to support the conservation of species at risk on agricultural land.