The federal NDP is urging the Liberal government to hold on to the last of its pastures in Saskatchewan, rather than proceed with a plan to transfer them to the province.

"Conservative and Liberal governments have handed off responsibility for Saskatchewan's environmentally critical grasslands without any concern for their future protection," Kootenay-Columbia MP and National Parks critic Wayne Stetski said during question period Wednesday.

"As we come close to losing the last three pastures in the southwest corner of the province, will the minister of the environment commit today to creating a new National Wildlife Area to preserve them for future generations?" Steski asked.

It was in 2012 that the Conservative government made the decision to hand over 61 federal pastures by 2018.

A release from the federal NDP said the province "continues to lease this land to ranchers, but at higher rates and with fewer support services." It also spoke of a need to protect the "integrity of these grasslands."

"The clock is ticking," Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir said in the written release. "If we want to keep these pastures, we must act now."

The federal Community Pasture Program was created in the 1930s to reclaim land that was badly eroded during the drought in the Prairies.