Alternative Land Services (ALUS) is a program that pays farmers and ranchers to produce, enhance and maintain ecosystem services on their lands. ALUS provides funding for projects that produce cleaner air, cleaner water, and more biodiversity.
In 2021, the demand for ALUS funding exceeded the amount of funds available. As the popularity of ALUS continues to grow, the same demand is expected for 2022. As such, March 31, 2022, has been set as the deadline for 2022 ALUS funding applications.
Below are some examples of projects that can be covered by ALUS funding:
- RIPARIAN & FOREST MANAGEMENT FENCING: An ALUS riparian management fence helps you control how livestock use your riparian forest area, by helping you manage both grazing and recovery timing and duration. A riparian or forest management fence does not have to completely exclude livestock from your riparian area or forest. If you build the fence yourself, ALUS Red Deer County can cover 100% of the cost of materials. This can include a fence energizer. If you hire out the construction of the fence, up to 85% of the cost of materials, labor and equipment are eligible for coverage.
- CONVERT MARGINAL CROPLAND TO PERMANENT COVER: Converting marginal cropland to permanent cover helps to increase buffer zones between productive cropland and permanent waterbodies. This type of project provides vegetative cover in seasonal or temporary wetlands and streams and can include native or non-native perennial grasses or other forages. ALUS Red Deer County will cover up to 85% of the costs of these projects, up to a maximum of $100 per acre.
- ALTERNATIVE LIVESTOCK WATERING SYSTEMS: These projects provide your livestock with an alternative drinking water source, rather than drinking directly from a stream, river, wetland, or lake. Watering systems can be portable or permanent structures that are used year-round or seasonally. They can be powered by solar, wind, grid or by the cows themselves. ALUS Red Deer County can cover up to 85% of the associated costs, which can include the creation of a new water source (i.e.. dugout or well) if required.
- ALTERNATIVE LIVESTOCK SHELTER: These projects keep livestock from sheltering in forested areas or riparian zones next to water bodies. Typically, these shelters are portable and moved regularly, allowing the spread of valuable nutrients from livestock around your land. Shelters can be used for livestock wintering and grazing. Up to 90% of the costs associated with these projects is eligible for coverage through ALUS.
OTHER PROJECT EXAMPLES INCLUDE:
- Waterbody crossings
- Tree & shrub planting
- Native pollinator plantings
For more information or to talk about an ALUS project for your property, call ALUS Red Deer County Coordinator Ken Lewis at 403.505.9038 or visit www.rdcounty.ca/ALUS.