11/15/2012 04:05 EST | Updated 01/15/2013 05:12 EST

Saskatchewan, Ottawa, fund program to help producers control federal pastures

REGINA - The Saskatchewan and federal governments will spend up to $7.2 million to help livestock producers assume control of 60 community pastures in the province.

The federal government has controlled these lands since the 1930s, but wants to start shifting responsibility for these pastures to the province starting next year.

Under the program the two governments will pay up to 75 per cent of the costs of helping producers set up business plans to take over the land.

If everyone eligible in Saskatchewan takes full take advantage of the program, it would cost the two governments $7.2 million.

More than 3,000 producers pay fees to graze about 220,000 cattle on 900,000 hectares of federally-controlled pastures in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

There is no immediate word on whether a similar deal is in the workers for Manitoba producers.