ALUS Little Saskatchewan River

The ALUS concept was created in Manitoba. In fact, Canada’s first-ever ALUS pilot project took place from 2006 to 2009 in Blanshard Municipality, within the Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District, Manitoba.

 

 

 

In 2014, the ALUS program was relaunched in Manitoba as a partnership between ALUS Canada and the Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District. The “ALUS Little Saskatchewan River” program includes the original Blanchard pilot project, plus a much-expanded area around it: the Conservation District covers a territory of about one million acres, or 4,000 square kilometres, with a population of 10,000 people including the town of Minnedosa.

In its initial year of operation in 2015, ALUS Little Saskatchewan River enrolled a full 1,300 acres into the ALUS program, and signed agreements with ten landowners, who receive invaluable support as well as annual payments through ALUS Canada. Today, ALUS Program Coordinator Colleen Cuvelier reports that the program is on track to reach 2,000 acres and 20 landowners by the end of this second year of the program.

Typical projects in this ALUS community include seeding permanent cover on marginal croplands, as well as building riparian fencing to keep livestock out of waterways, often with the installation of offsite watering systems, in order to meet livestock’s water needs while also protecting water quality within the watershed.

“The ALUS program is a great tool in our toolbox at the Conservation District,” says Cuvelier. “It is helping us to achieve the five goals of our integrated watershed plan, which is focused on safe drinking water, surface water management, surface water quality, groundwater quality and quantity, and the maintenance and restoration of natural areas—wetlands primarily, but also bush and forested areas.”

All these natural areas are important for producing clean air, habitat, clean water, groundwater recharge and flood prevention, she says, “as preserving the natural areas that already exist helps prevent flooding. Wetlands are nature’s kidneys!”

“The majority of our drinking water comes from the ground,“ Cuvelier says, “so we don’t want to pollute it, and we want to be sure to allow for the recharge of our underground aquifers. ALUS helps us accomplish this.”

“The Conservation District already utilizes beneficial management practices such as offsite watering systems and seeding down marginal land, but ALUS brings it to the next level,” Cuvelier says. “For ALUS to pay for the ecosystem services produced by these projects helps us to reach people that we couldn’t have reached otherwise.”

ALUS is also helping the community adapt to climate change. “Things have changed. We’ve had wet conditions for ten years in Manitoba, and areas that used to be cropped annually are now too wet to be cropped. So now what do we do? Rather than let those areas become a weed patch, we can seed it down with perennial seed–alfalfa and grasses, or a mixture that suits the landowner’s goals. This area will then produce forage that can be cut for livestock feed, or it can be left for birds and waterfowl to use as nesting cover, or for habitat for deer and other wildlife. It’s a great solution.”

ALUS Projects in Little Saskatchewan River

(Video) Meet an ALUS Producer – Kevin Pederson, Manitoba

In this video, ALUS Little Saskatchewan River participant Kevin Pederson shows how his family is incorporating ALUS projects into their farming practices.
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Early ALUS participants in Manitoba, Charles and Meriel Tavernor

Cattle producers Charles and Meriel Tavernor are among the first ALUS participants in Manitoba.
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News & Events in Little Saskatchewan River

Plenty of Interest in ALUS at Manitoba AgDays!

Posted January 17, 2017 in Manitoba

ALUS fielded a flood of questions from visitors to the 40th annual Manitoba AgDays on January 17, 2017.
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National Launch of ALUS Canada, a Weston Family Initiative

Posted November 4, 2016 in Saskatchewan

ALUS Canada and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation announce $5M grant to launch a groundbreaking environmental initiative now known as ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative, along with its New Acre™ Project.
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ALUS Manitoba Selects Initial Projects

Posted March 23, 2015 in Manitoba

The Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District has embraced ALUS and has set up a Partnership Advisory Committee (PAC) made up of local producers, councillors, LSRCD staff and conservation groups.
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Environment Canada Staff Visit ALUS Site in Manitoba

Posted October 16, 2014 in Manitoba

Environment Canada staff visit ALUS site in the Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District in Manitoba.
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Supporters

ALUS Canada
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
Environment Canada’s Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund (not foundation!)
The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation
NCP

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