Lac Ste. Anne Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) is a leader in the ALUS Community. Of the five thousand acres enrolled across Canada in 2018, 500 were in Lac Ste. Anne County alone; proof positive that the farmers in this region are devout stewards of the land and caretakes of the soil. To date, ALUS Lac Ste. Anne has helped fund multiple watering systems; fences around dugouts and waterbodies; shelterbelt planting; and beaver-friendly management devices. Any producer interested in protecting natural features on their landscape while supporting their farm operation is encouraged to get involved.
Lac Ste. Anne County is looking for agricultural producers to participate in our Alternative Land Use Services Program which helps sustain agriculture, wildlife, and natural spaces for the benefit of both landowners and the environment. The ALUS program is voluntary and available to residents who are actively using their land for agricultural production. It is not available for acreage owners who aren’t actively producing off their landscape.
We are looking for agricultural producers whose farms will benefit from one or more of the following project types:
- Riparian area enhancements and expansions
- Wetland restoration, creation & enhancement
- fencing around water bodies
- Multi-row shelterbelts/reforestation
- Watering systems
- Nesting structures
- Native prairie establishment
- Pollinator habitat
Our priority is taking marginal, unproductive, inefficient, or environmentally sensitive lands out of agricultural production and putting them into the production of environmental goods and services. Some examples of land suitable for ALUS projects include:
- Riparian areas along watercourses
- Steeply sloped crop land
- Low wet field areas and wetlands
- Highly erodible fields
- Small fields that are not able to efficiently handle farming equipment
Why Participate in ALUS?
ALUS is a voluntary program dedicated to helping you establish your environmental visions for your property. ALUS provides a monetary incentive to eligible landowners for establishing these stewardship projects on their property.
The ALUS annual payments are based on acres taken out of production and are a recognition that implementing stewardship activities costs landowners money. Because the benefits provided, such as clearer water and air, benefit society as a whole we believe landowners should be compensated for some of the costs.
ALUS helps producers in three ways:
- By working with producers to identify stewardship opportunities on their farms, and helping them throughout the ALUS process.
- By sharing establishment costs (for materials and labour) with the land owner or manager.
- By providing an annual payment, based on competitive local land rental rates, for land that is taken out of production.
Success in the Lake Isle Watershed – Alternative Land Use Services Program
In March of 2015 the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program began its debut for Lac Ste. Anne County in the Lake Isle - Sturgeon River Headwaters Sub-watersheds. Since its inception in the sub- watersheds, ALUS Lac Ste. Anne and Parkland County established 10 projects on 7 unique farms positively impacting 160 acres of farmland. Projects included fencing off waterways from livestock, protecting riparian areas, and planting native vegetation on degraded land. The goal of these projects is to improve water quality, enhance wildlife habitat, prevent soil erosion and loss, and increase biodiversity. This program aims to reduce the impacts of flood and drought events on the landscape. ALUS works by implementing Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) and is designed to compliment the current agricultural operations. ALUS works with the farmer to design projects and provide technical and financial support to see the project right through to the end. The Agricultural Watershed Enhancement Program (AWEP) under Growing Forward 2 provided a grant to get ALUS up and running with tremendous help from Parkland County. A second grant through the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program was secured in 2017 to grow ALUS in Lac Ste. Anne County. If you are an active agricultural producer in Lac Ste Anne County looking to do an ALUS project, contact the County office at 1-866-880-5722.