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Coronach SK
Hart Butte

The Rural Municipality of Hart Butte #11 is located in the Poplar River Basin, in the very south-central part of Saskatchewan. The southern townships of Hart Butte #11 border the international boundary between Canada and the United States. The community of Coronach is situated within the boundaries of the R.M. of Hart Butte.

Although the Province of Saskatchewan was formed in 1905, there were no settlements occurring in the Hart Butte area until 1908. The lands along the main lines of CP Rail became settled and it was deemed necessary to spread out to untapped lands. This is the time when settlements to this area began to take place.

 In 1913, the area was incorporated as the Rural Municipality of Hart Butte. Four hamlets were surveyed for settlement in 1929. As many as 16 schools were established, which served a population of 1800 people. Today, the community of Coronach has the only school serving the rural residents.

 By the summer of 1925, Canadian Pacific Railway has commenced building a railroad thru the municipality. This same railway is still operational today.

 In the early 1900's, lignite coal was an important discovery within the Hart Butte area. Even for the early pioneers, strip mining was a choice, only they used picks, shovels, wagons and a good strong back. Today, area's surface mining of lignite coal takes place with huge drag-lines which remove the surface burden and uncover the coal strip. This coal is then loaded into coal-haulers by a much smaller shovel, and hauled by rail to the Power Plant.

The roadways within the municipality consist of Highways #18 and #36 as well as a combined network of primary grids and surfaced roads. The railway is owned by CP Rail. An airstrip, owned by the municipality, has been built on the reclaimed coal mining lands in the southwest township.

Land Use
Land use within the municipality is dominated by ranching and grain farming.  The municipality's unique terrain creates a real challenge for both. Coal mining has also played a very important role since the early 1900's. Since 1980, the Poplar River Power Station and Poplar River Coal Mine has employed an average of 300 persons, and has contributed a great deal to the economic growth within the region.

Economic Base
There are 272 residents in the R.M.of Hart Butte #11. This does not include the Coronach community population which is 770 residents.

The Poplar River Power Station, Poplar River Mine and Agriculture are the primary industries within the boundaries of the R.M. of Hart Butte #11.

The power production industry has brought over 300 employees to the area. With the increase in tax base, the municipality has been able to provide better and improved services for the entire community. With the establishment of the Power and Mining project, the whole area has been given a chance to thrive.

Agricultural practices have changed dramatically in the past 30 years. The size of individual farming operations has increased dramatically. The same land usage still exists, but with fewer farm sites, the population has decreased. Land previously used for coal mining has been reclaimed to its original landscape and can again be used for agricultural purposes.

The unparalleled landscape of the area contributes to vast tourism opportunities. Native grasslands shelter the abundance of wildlife including unique species of mammals and birds. The municipality is an untapped reserve for the nature lover as well as historian.

Numerous opportunities exist for the development of businesses within the area. Traditionally, small rural communities have the opportunity to build on the agricultural sector. Residents within the R.M. of Hart Butte #11 and the community of Coronach have numerous options to build on any one of our industries.

Other Information
The R.M. of Hart Butte #11 works very closely with the Town of Coronach.  These two municipalities have chosen to share the funding on important issues that contribute to the sustainability of the area. Recreation, Medical, Emergency, Tourism & Culture are just a few of these shared services.

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