PRESS RELEASE | Eastend, July 15 2020 | Announcing the new ALUS SODCAP program
Launched in June 2020, the ALUS SODCAP program will help boost biodiversity on the working landscape.
ALUS Canada is thrilled to welcome a new ALUS community in Saskatchewan, in partnership with the South of the Divide Conservation Action Program (SODCAP) Inc., an environmental non-government organization active in Saskatchewan’s Milk River Watershed.
“We are so pleased to be partnering with SODCAP to deliver the ALUS program in southwestern Saskatchewan,” said Paige Englot, ALUS Canada’s Prairie Hub Manager. “SODCAP and ALUS share a grassroots approach that empowers agricultural producers to be positive change-makers on the prairie landscape, and we look forward to working together to make a positive difference on the ground.”
ALUS and SODCAP are natural allies. SODCAP already cooperates with ranchers in southwestern Saskatchewan to protect native prairie habitat, while ALUS provides a unique way to support ranchers as they manage ALUS projects to produce more biodiversity and many other ecosystem services that benefit the community at large.
“This is an excellent new opportunity to help protect our grassland birds and other species-at-risk,” said Lorne Scott, Chairperson of SODCAP Inc. “SODCAP’s mission is to provide habitat for species-at-risk on a working landscape, recognizing that land managers on the ground are the key to success for maintaining this habitat. ALUS Canada has very similar goals, so we see lots of potential in this partnership.”
As with all 27 ALUS programs across Canada, the ALUS SODCAP program will be led by a local ALUS Partnership Advisory Committee (PAC), consisting of local producers and environmental advisors. The ALUS SODCAP team, led by Tom Harrison (Executive Director of SODCAP Inc.), will work with local ranchers to help establish ALUS projects on marginal or ecologically sensitive areas of their land.
These ALUS projects aim to help address several important environmental issues. For example, ALUS SODCAP participants manage native grasslands to produce environmental outcomes and habitat for multiple species at risk.
They will also convert cropland to native prairie grassland, thereby creating wildlife corridors to connect existing areas of native prairie. This work will produce habitat for many species-at-risk, including the Greater sage grouse, Swift fox, Sprague’s pipit and Chestnut collared longspur.
ALUS SODCAP participants receive annual, per-acre payments for the management and maintenance of their ALUS projects. Funding will also be available to help cover the cost of native seeding projects, given that seeding cropland to native grass is a slow and intricate process.
For more information, visit: https://alus.ca/alus_community/alus-sodcap/ and contact the ALUS SODCAP Program Coordinator, Tom Harrison (Executive Director, SODCAP Inc.), at 306-530-1385 [email protected] .
ABOUT SODCAP Inc.
Initiated in 2014, the South of the Divide Conservation Action Program Inc. (SODCAP Inc.) is a partnership between multiple stakeholders and government, with a goal of cooperatively implementing actions relating to the South of the Divide Multi-Species Action Plan, focusing on a combination of 13 different species listed as “At Risk”, Threatened”, or “Endangered” in the Species at Risk Act. SODCAP Inc. believes biodiversity is important to the economic well-being of Saskatchewan and that a healthy ecosystem is a sustainable one for everyone involved: wildlife, birds, native plants, species at risk, livestock, and humans. For more information, visit www.sodcap.com and follow @SODCAPinc on Twitter Instagram Facebook
ABOUT ALUS CANADA
ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative, is a national program helping farmers and ranchers produce cleaner air, cleaner water, more biodiversity and other ecosystem services in their communities. Through the New Acre™ Project, ALUS Canada empowers caring Canadian corporations to produce lasting benefits for the regions and communities they serve. ALUS Canada has disbursed nearly $10M in funding to 27 ALUS communities, an investment that is multiplied by farmers, ranchers and communities on the ground. There are now nearly 27,000 acres enrolled in the ALUS program, thanks to 900 participants in six provinces. For more information, visit ALUS.ca and follow @ALUSCanada on Twitter Instagram Facebook YouTube
Tom Harrison, Executive Director, SODCAP Inc. — 306-530-1385 [email protected]
Bridget Wayland, Director of Communications, ALUS Canada— 514-770-3001 [email protected]