The Saskatchewan government has outlined a three-year plan to transfer the management of community pastures to local producer groups.
Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart says the groups could include municipalities, environmental agencies or First Nations and will be offered 15-year leases.
Farmers say government not forthcoming about community pastures
Sask. groups want former federal community pastures left out in the open
READ MORE: FSIN say First Nations considering legal action to stop Sask. Crown lands sale
He says 13 community pastures in the northwest will be handed over next year, another 19 in the northeast and the northwest in 2019 and the remaining 18 pastures by 2020.
Cattle farmers have traditionally used the pastures set up in the 1920s as grazing land for their animals.
The phaseout was announced in the March provincial budget.
READ MORE: Previously protected Crown land to be sold to Saskatchewan farmers
One lobby group has raised concern that privatization of prairie grasslands could result in poor management and erosion of important wildlife habitat.
Trevor Herriot with Public Pastures-Public Interest has said community pastures are also important for research projects and carbon sequestration.
The province held consultations with ranchers before crafting its transition plan.
In 2013, the previous Conservative government in Ottawa announced its plan to transfer control of 900,000 hectares of community pastureland to Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.