Coming to a Slough Near You!
The Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association (AWSA) in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association (SaskFSA) officially announced on April 14, 2015 the launch of the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) conservation program into its entire watershed areaThe Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association (AWSA) in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association (SaskFSA) officially announced on April 14, 2015 the launch of the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) conservation program into its entire watershed area. AWSA is the non-profit source water protection agency established to implement the source water protection plan for the Assiniboine Watershed in Saskatchewan. The announcement was made during a Presentation by the Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association’s President, David Zerr at the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds Conference held in Melfort, Saskatchewan April 13-15, 2015.
The ALUS Saskatchewan’s Assiniboine Project (ASAP) is the latest addition to a conservation program that is going through a period of unprecedented growth. ALUS is now established in five provinces: Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba. Only last week ALUS Saskatchewan announced that they will be available to all producers within the Wascana Upper Qu’Appelle Watershed. With the Assiniboine Watershed on board the ALUS Program will be available to a total of 65 rural municipalities in Saskatchewan.
Developed more than ten years ago by Delta Waterfowl Foundation and Manitoba’s Keystone Agricultural Producers‘, ALUS is a community-developed, farmer-delivered program. Under ALUS, participating agricultural producers receive payments to deliver a variety of environmental services such as reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and enhancing wildlife habitat. By recognizing the unique role farmers and ranchers play in producing food as well as in enhancing the healthy environment that we all enjoy, ALUS creates a healthy, working landscape that simultaneously sustains agriculture, wildlife and the protection of natural spaces.
“The Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association is extremely excited about the new partnership developed with the Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association and Delta Waterfowl for the delivery of the ASAP – ALUS program in the Assiniboine River watershed,” says manager of the Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association, Aron Hershmiller. “Producers and landowners will now have the option to be compensated for enhancing the ecosystem services that their natural habitat lands are providing in our watershed, which presents an alternative to converting the land into agricultural production. These natural areas include wetlands and uplands that are vital for overall watershed health.”
The new ALUS Saskatchewan community builds on a pilot project initiated by Delta Waterfowl, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, and the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds.
For more information on ALUS in the Assiniboine Watershed, please contact:
Jesse Nielsen, ALUS Saskatchewan-Assiniboine Project Coordinator