Plenty of Interest in ALUS at Manitoba AgDays! - ALUS Canada
ALUS fielded a flood of questions from visitors to the 40th annual Manitoba AgDays on January 17, 2017. More than 35,000 people attend this three-day agricultural expo, held at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, Manitoba.
“There was a lot of interest in ALUS amongst the Manitoba ag community,” said ALUS Little Saskatchewan River Program Coordinator Colleen Cuvelier. “I had the opportunity to talk to a steady stream of people and explain where we operate, what kind of projects we pay for, and how important new projects are for producing ecosystem services on the land.”
According to Cuvelier, the ALUS Little Saskatchewan River program is on track to enroll 2,000 acres into ALUS by the end of this year, all of which are actively producing valuable ecosystem services, such as cleaner water, cleaner air and more biodiversity, that benefit the wider community.
Launched in 2014 as a partnership between ALUS Canada and the Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District, this ALUS program covers a vast territory, including the site of the first ALUS pilot project in Blanshard Municipality—where the ALUS concept was born.
Today, there are 20 ALUS communities in six provinces. Each of these ALUS programs provides farmers and ranchers with expertise and annual payments to support environmentally friendly projects on their land.
In this part of Manitoba, a typical ALUS project might involve building a riparian fence to keep livestock out of a local waterway, and installing offsite watering systems instead. This helps improve water quality, protect wetlands and create wildlife habitat, ecosystem services that are important for local farms, for nature and for society at large.
The ALUS Little Saskatchewan River program is also helping local agricultural communities 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. ALUS is a great solution,” says Cuvelier.
ALUS Canada is grateful to the Manitoba Conservation District Association and the Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District for sharing their AgDays booth with the ALUS Little Saskatchewan River Program.