David Bissett - ALUS Canada

How David and Leslie Bissett help ALUS make a difference on the ground

Alberta philanthropist David Bissett is a long-time ALUS supporter.

“It’s all very well to promote conservation, but we can’t regulate farmers into providing ecosystem services; we have to work with them, and provide the resources to encourage them to produce these valuable services. That’s why ALUS is a great way to go,” he said.

In August 2017, ALUS Canada announced a new $500,000 donation from David and Leslie Bissett. This gift was used to create “The Bissett Action Fund” to support environmental projects on farms and ranches in southern Alberta.

The Bissett Action Fund is now helping 39 farmers and ranchers maintain 186 ALUS projects between the County of Vermilion River to the east and Lac Ste. Anne County and Parkland County to the west. Specifically, 958 acres of marginal, ecologically sensitive farmland are being deployed by the landowners to produce cleaner air, cleaner water, increased wildlife habitat and other ecosystem services

By funding ALUS’ work on privately owned parcels of agricultural land, the Bissett Action Fund will increase ecosystem services beneficial to all Albertans.

Following the announcement, ALUS unveiled new signage for Alberta wild rose and sweetgrass plants donated to the Indigenous Plant Species Biome garden at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). For ALUS, this urban meadow is an important demonstration to SAIT’s students, as future technical experts of Alberta’s agriculture sector, that even small pieces of marginal land can be useful for producing valuable ecosystem services.

ALUS Canada supporter David Bissett (left) inspects an Indigenous Plant Species Biome garden in Calgary on August 29, 2017, when nearly 50 guests joined ALUS on the grounds of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) to announce the Bissett Action Fund.