A partnership between the Seine Rat River Conservation District and ALUS Canada, the ALUS Seine Rat River program launched in July, 2019.
The ALUS Seine Rat River program, which operates under the motto of “Farm the best and leave the rest,” aims to address important local environmental issues, particularly the protection and enhancement of surface water and groundwater in southeastern Manitoba.
To accomplish this, the ALUS Seine Rat River Partnership Advisory Committee (PAC), made up of farmers and stakeholders, prioritizes projects that remove sensitive, marginal sections of croplands and forage lands from agricultural production, to establish, restore and enhance wetlands, floodplains and other water-retention areas.
“It is really encouraging to see ALUS Canada welcome the SRRCD into this national effort,” said SRRCD Manager Jodi Goerzen. “Right now, there is a lot of local anticipation around how incentivizing alternative land use practices in our agricultural community will become the catalyst to better water quality in Manitoba, while increasing understanding of the benefits of ecological goods and services that some producers already provide.”
The Board of Seine Rat River Conservation District is also enthusiastic about what the ALUS Seine Rat River program can do to benefit the area.
“This is the bold move towards protecting and sustaining the management of our land and water resources that southeastern Manitoba has been waiting years to embark on,” commented SRRCD Board Chair Cornie Goertzen.
Like all ALUS programs, ALUS Seine Rat River is completely voluntary for local agricultural producers and landowners, and is overseen by a Partnership Advisory Committee (PAC).
“We are excited to demonstrate the good work farmers are accomplishing and to showcase how we can all be part of a sustainable tomorrow through participation in alternative land use programs like ALUS Seine Rat River,” said the PAC’s Vice-Chair, Harold Janzen, who is also an ALUS Seine Rat River demonstration farmer.
The ALUS Seine Rat River program is located in the Seine Rat River Conservation District, which covers approximately 6,700 square kilometres in southeastern Manitoba. The area is roughly triangular in shape, with its tip at Winnipeg and its base along the U.S. border, extending from the Red River all the way to the southeast corner of the province.
The District is comprised of three sub-watersheds including the Seine River, Rat-Marsh River and Roseau River with all of their respective drains and tributaries, such as the Manning Canal, Seine River Diversion, Tourond Creek, Joubert Creek, Angle Drain and Jordan Creek.
It includes the iconic geography of the fertile Red River Valley in the west, and the scenic Sandilands Escarpment in the east, which is more heavily forested with some localized rangelands.
The SRRCD is home to 70,000 residents, residing in 16 municipalities including the third-largest City in Manitoba, Steinbach.
Through their ALUS projects, ALUS Seine Rat River participants will help to produce cleaner water, cleaner air and more biodiversity, including pollinator habitat, for the benefit of everyone in these communities.
Together, ALUS Canada and the Seine Rat River Conservation District are working towards sustaining agriculture, wildlife and natural space for all residents – one acre at a time.
For more information and for application forms, please contact ALUS Seine Rat River’s program coordinators.
The Conservation Trust (Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation)