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Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

Freelance Filmmaker, Story Brokers Media House

Sarah Wray

Sarah Wray

Film Director, Story Brokers Media House

Everyone has heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy. But did you know there’re another group of guardians — who do more chewing than shooting — protecting the Canadian grasslands?

Guardians Of The Grasslands is a short documentary exploring the current state of one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems, the Great Plains grasslands, and the role that cattle play in its survival. The film, produced by a group of dedicated Canadian filmmakers, featuring passionate conservationists, and ranchers, reveals important truths we must face about humanity’s relationship with the land and our food as we reach new critical levels in the loss of these iconic landscapes.

Grasslands are nature’s carbon sink

“The Canadian grasslands are really cool not just because of their incredible diversity of species, but because they collect carbon from the atmosphere and store it in both the plants and the roots,” says Ben Wilson, one of the filmmakers.

“The grasslands act as a natural and extremely stable carbon sink,” continues Sarah Wray, the film’s director. “The carbon will remain there as long as the land is never tilled. It’s really a special thing.”

Cattle an essential element of a healthy prairie

Coming from a cattle ranching family, Wray was familiar with the connection between beef farming and the grasslands before starting the project. But for Wilson, coming from a background in aerospace engineering, it was a real eye-opener.

“What was really special for me was that I grew up in this industry and had always known the role played by cattle in protecting our valuable grasslands, but had never known how endangered they were,” says Wray.

Working together towards a common goal

“A rainforest being cut down is a very visual thing, but what’s happening in the grasslands is harder to grasp,” says Wilson. “Thankfully, ranchers and conservationists are working together to achieve the shared and urgent goal of preserving what little is left of Canada’s grasslands.”

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