The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation will host their 91st annual convention in Weyburn this year from Thursday to Saturday, Feb. 20-22, at the Cugnet Centre.
The Wildlife Federation has over 33,000 members in 130 branches across the province. The 2020 convention will revolve around the theme of “Ensuring Our Outdoor Heritage Legacy”.
Registration will begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday, with the opening ceremonies set for 1 p.m. Local piper Shantel Kohonick Seitz will play, with Gerald Alexander to sing O Canada.
After a minute of silence for wildlife federation members who have passed on, there will be greetings from the province, Mayor Marcel Roy and Weyburn Wildlife Federation president Tim Kerslake, along with Saskatchewan president Clark Schultz.
Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA and Environment minister Dustin Duncan will be the guest speaker on Thursday afternoon before the convention then gets underway.
The convention draws conservationists of all walks of life together to discuss conservation issues, participate in workshops, debate resolutions, develop policy, review SWF program updates, and attend presentations on wildlife, fisheries and enforcement.
“Our annual convention is the SWF’s premier opportunity to bring together a diverse cross-section of members from all across this great province to engage in discussion and raise concerns around our wildlife and fisheries resources, as well as all outdoor activities that all Saskatchewan residents have the privilege to enjoy,” said Clark Schultz, SWF president.
Topics to be discussed on Thursday will include the youth conservation leadership initiative, advancing women in conservation initiative, and information about the National Archery in the Schools program.
The agenda on Friday will open with information about Ministry of the Environment enforcement, the U of R sport fish tagging program, sport fish movement in the Qu’Appelle system, an update on the Saskatchewan Bird Atlas, a series of reports on fishing, a presentation on the impact of oil spills on the ecosystem on the Prairies, and in the evening, Roughrider player Brendon LaBatte will co-emcee a fundraising banquet, with an auction conducted by Kevin and Cindy Paslawski.
On Saturday, Environment’s Wildlife branch will provide a series of updates on hunting and hunting issues, followed by a workshop on habitat trust lands access and signage, donations to Sask. Wildlife programs, Henry Kelsey big game records, an update on firearms legislation, results of resolution votes, and then presentation of Sask. Wildlife Federation awards.
The SWF will conduct a fundraising event and two awards banquets to recognize member and branch achievements and milestones over the three evenings.
The convention will wrap up with music by the Steep Hill Ramblers.