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Friday, October 31, 2014
Saskatchewan

NEW DITCH MOWING PILOT PROJECT LAUNCHED

Highways and Infrastructure Minister Wayne Elhard announced today a new ditch mowing pilot project starting June 7 that is intended to help reduce collisions between wildlife and vehicles.

"Mowing a portion of provincial highway ditches earlier in the year is expected to improve drivers' sight lines so they have more time to react to wildlife crossing a road," Elhard said. "That extra split second could make all the difference."

Contractors will mow a four-metre wide strip in all provincial ditches along the edge of the highway shoulder throughout the month of June. Remaining ditch vegetation will be untouched by mowers involved in this pilot project.

"We are very pleased to see the ministry taking this proactive action that assists motorists in identifying potential accidents with wildlife," Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation Executive Director Darrell Crabbe said.

Producers should also remember this year's annual hay salvage deadline. Starting on July 8, anyone may cut and bale the hay or grass in a highway ditch without contacting or getting the permission of the nearby landowner, lessee or designate, providing a harvest hasn't started already. Before that, a landowner or lessee nearest to a highway ditch has the first option to cut or bale this material.

"Farmers and ranchers will still be able to salvage hay from public land for free later in the summer, usually around July," Elhard said.

Following the pilot project in June and the annual hay salvage deadline in July, regular ditch maintenance mowing will start July 15 and run until Oct. 15. This trio of mowing activities will help control weeds and enhance aesthetics in tourism areas.

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For more information, contact:

Dan Palmer
Highways and Infrastructure
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4805

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