The Grey Agricultural Service Centre announced today the launch of the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) conservation program into Grey and Bruce Counties. A coalition of agricultural and conservation organizations, local and provincial governments and interested farmers will introduce a pilot project into the region during the summer of 2012.
The Grey-Bruce ALUS initiative is the latest addition to a conservation program that is going through a period of unprecedented growth. ALUS is now established in four provinces: Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario.
Developed more than ten years ago by Delta Waterfowl Foundation and Manitoba's Keystone Agricultural Producers, ALUS is a community-led, farmer-delivered incentive program that recognizes the unique role farmers and ranchers play not only in producing food, but in enhancing the healthy environment we all enjoy. ALUS creates a healthy, working landscape that simultaneously sustains agriculture, wildlife and the protection of natural spaces. Under ALUS, participating farmers receive payments to deliver a variety of environmental services such as reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and enhancing wildlife habitat.
"We're very excited to see this program finally come to Grey-Bruce. Getting demonstration sites and projects onto farms will prove the importance of this conservation initiative for the region's environmental health," says Grey-Bruce ALUS Chair and dairy farmer, Simon DeBoer.
The growth of ALUS into Grey and Bruce Counties was made possible by major grants through The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario. A partnership between the Grey Agricultural Service Centre, Delta Waterfowl, and Ontario Nature will help facilitate the growth of this initiative.
The funds will be used to adopt the ALUS model into Grey and Bruce. This model was first introduced into Ontario in Norfolk County in 2008. ALUS recognizes the ecological and operational value of converting selected parcels of farmland into natural habitat. This improves the overall health and success of the farm and also provides environmental benefits that all Canadians can enjoy beyond the farm gate.
Delta Waterfowl Foundation is a leading North American conservation organization, tracing its origins to the birth of the wildlife conservation movement in 1911. The Foundation supports research, provides leadership and offers science-based solutions to efficiently conserve waterfowl and secure the future of waterfowl hunting. Delta Waterfowl is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Bismarck, N.D.
Keith Reid, Grey-Bruce ALUS Regional Coordinator
Phone: 519-986-3756 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Reid, ALUS Transfer Facilitator 519-426-8856.
Joshua Wise, ALUS Alliance Coordinator, Ontario Nature, 416-444-8419 ext 273
Ray Robertson, Executive Director/President Grey Agricultural Services, 519-986-3756