Grasslands (Saskatchewan) on the map. National Park Grasslands ( Saskatchewan ) on the map of Canada

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Grasslands (Saskatchewan) on the map. National Park Grasslands  ( Saskatchewan ) on the map of Canada

Above right, top: Grasslands is populated with numerous black-tailed prairie dogs. These social creatures live in colonies along the Frenchman River Valley.

Above right, middle: The burrowing owl makes its home in the prairies of Grasslands National Park.

Right: The gently rolling hills of Grasslands are one of the few remaining areas of mixed grass prairie in North America.

Facing page, top: The sage grouse is almost always found wherever there is sagebrush.

Facing page, bottom: Pronghorns are the fastest land animals in North America. In short bursts of speed, they can reach up to 60 miles per hour.

Grasslands, Saskatchewan

Established: 1988   Acreage: 224,071

In September 1988, the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan signed an agreement establishing Grasslands National Park, an area on the Canadian-US border that contains one of the last remnants of native, mixed grass prairie in North America. The mixed prairie vegetation supports a wide variety of wildlife, including pronghorn antelope, ferruginous hawks, prairie rattlesnake and sage grouse. Black-tailed prairie dogs build their colonies along the Frenchman River Valley, the only place where this little creature can be seen in its natural habitat. The rare and endangered prairie falcon can also be seen in Grasslands.

The weathered landforms of the Killdeer Badlands dot the rolling plains. Here Sir George Mercier Dawson, geologist and naturalist to Her Majesty's North American Boundary Commission, discovered dinosaur remains in 1874. Grasslands also contains 'Sinking Hill,' a fault-like formation 66 yards wide and 11 yards deep, which is sinking roughly six and a half feet a year.

Tepee rings, projectile points and other artifacts reveal a colorful human history. Plains Indians once roamed here in search of bison, and the area was a favorite hunting ground for the nomadic Metis during the early days of the Red River Settlement. After the battle of the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull and his Sioux followers took refuge in the Grasslands area. A few homesteaders briefly settled in the region, but moved on when they found the land ill-suited for farming. In their wake came ranchers, who established a flourishing industry that continues to this day.

Because the park is in the early stages of development, visitor facilities are not yet available, and the roads there are primarily for access by local ranchers. Thus visitors to the park will find a wilderness, much as it was when the bison and Indians roamed the plains.

 

Grasslands (Saskatchewan) on the map. National Park Grasslands  ( Saskatchewan ) on the map of Canada