Key Questions and Answers for Producers on the Emergency Protection Order

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Does the Emergency Protection Order apply on private lands?No. The Emergency Protection Order’s prohibitions only apply on the federal and provincial Crown lands identified in Schedule 1 of the Order.
Are there any plans to expand the scope of the Emergency Protection Order?No. There are no plans to expand the scope of the Emergency Protection Order. An amendment would be required to change the Emergency Protection Order.
Will I be able to keep my current stocking rates?Yes. The Emergency Protection Order does not regulate grazing. As such, it does not restrict, limit or affect grazing levels and stocking rates.
Can I cut hay on provincial leased lands?Yes. Producers can cut hay as per their provincial lease conditions for grazing, as this does not kill sagebrush, native grasses or native forbs.
Can I construct watering facilities for cattle?Yes. When constructing a watering facility for cattle, producers must ensure that its overall footprint is less than 30 m2. This means that they may have to find an alternative to constructing a dugout or apply for a permit. Also, any pumps or other equipment used in a new watering system must be in compliance with the chronic noise prohibition (noise exceeding 45 dB(a), lasting for at least 60 minutes a day and occurring at least 10 days in a given month).
Do I need to take down or replace my fences?No.  Existing fences do not need to be modified or replaced to comply with the standards outlined in Schedule 2 of the Emergency Protection Order. Those standards only apply to new fences built within legal subdivisions affected by the Emergency Protection Order and located outside the 100 m buffer surrounding agricultural buildings. There is no requirement to use fence post perching deterrents or wire markers on existing fences or when repairing/replacing existing fences.
Can I put up a new fence?Yes. But new fences outside the 100 m buffer surrounding agricultural buildings within legal subdivisions affected by the Emergency Protection Order must meet the standards for Sage-Grouse-friendly fences found in Schedule 2 of the Emergency Protection Order.
Do I need to remove existing buildings, structures, machines or poles?No. Existing buildings, structures, machines or poles do not need to be removed or demolished.
Am I allowed to repair, replace or reconstruct buildings, structures, machines or poles?Yes. As long as the buildings, structures, machines or poles are no taller or larger and noise level no higher than the original buildings, structures, machines or poles.
Can I build or install new buildings, structures, machines or poles?Yes. You can build or install any type of new structure if it is within 100 m of a residential or agricultural structure that existed before February 18, 2014. There are restrictions for tall buildings or noisy machines that are more than 100 m from an existing structure.
Can I drive my truck or operate agricultural machinery?Yes. Exemptions have been provided for residential and agricultural traffic during any month of the year.
Does the Emergency protection Order apply in the case of an emergency?No. The prohibitions do not apply to any person engaging in activities related to public safety (for example, ambulances).
Would the breeding season noise restrictions prevent people from visiting me for business or personal reasons?No.  The breeding season noise restriction (April and May) does not apply to a person operating a motor vehicle going to or from a residential building, to or from an area where they are conducting an agricultural operation, or to visit a person who is conducting an agricultural operation.
Can I get a permit to undertake an activity that is prohibited in the Emergency Protection Order?You may be eligible for a permit under section 73 of Species at Risk Act (SARA) if you are planning to undertake activities that are prohibited by the Emergency Protection Order.  Certain pre-conditions would need to be met. You can get more information on SARA permits by visiting the Species at Risk Public Registry.
Will I need to ask for a permit to continue agricultural activities?In most situations, agricultural activities will still be allowed without requiring the issuance of a permit. Please contact Environment Canada for information on your situation.
Are funds available to assist in making my fences Sage-Grouse friendly and for other stewardship actions?Yes. Funding for stewardship measures, such as the installation of Sage-Grouse-friendly fences, can be sought through funding programs such as the Habitat Stewardship Program (HPS). This program provides funding for projects that conserve and protect species at risk and their habitats and measures the results achieved. The HSP continues to be available to assist individuals and groups seeking to implement actions for the conservation and protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse. For more information on species at risk, actions our government is taking and opportunities for you to get involved, visit the Species at Risk Public Registry.

* This factsheet does not replace the Emergency Protection Order. For more details, refer to the Order. If you have questions about your situation, contact Environment Canada.