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Lacombe County looking for more ALUS program participants

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law, centre, stands with representatives from ALUS Canada at the County Administration building during the announcement of the partnership between ALUS and the county last January. (Photo submitted)

Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law, centre, stands with representatives from ALUS Canada at the County Administration building during the announcement of the partnership between ALUS and the county last January. (Photo submitted)

Lacombe County is once again calling on producers and landowners to participate in the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program.

A national initiative aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and improving ecosystems on lands owned by area residents, ranchers, farmers and other ag industry producers, the program was first implemented last year.

After a “successful” first year, the county says they’re ready for more participants.

“We are so proud of the relationships and projects we established in 2017, and are putting out a call to producers and landowners in Lacombe County to come on board and help us grow this program even more,” said ALUS Lacombe County Program Coordinator Jalene Makus.

Lacombe County became the 22nd community in Canada and the 10th in Alberta to partner with ALUS to provide a community-developed, farmer-delivered program which financially compensates landowners and agriculture producers for the delivery of ecosystem services. Solar-powered watering stations, seeding grass or perennial crops around ecologically sensitive areas, building hen houses, planting trees or creating a pollinator garden are just some of the projects that can be done through the program.

In its first year, the program saw four landowners participate. A total of five projects were accepted for ALUS funding, 97 acres were enrolled in the program to improve ecosystems and $8,400 in compensation was committed to county landowners for providing ecosystem systems in 2018,2019 and 2020.

“It was a great first year for us and we want to keep the momentum going and to continue protecting sensitive lands and resources for future generations,” said Makus. “Each of these projects will lead to significant environmental impacts for the county as a whole.”

ALUS Canada was a recent Clean50- and Alberta Emerald Award winner, and is recognized as a leader in sustainability.

The Lacombe County ALUS program is completely voluntary for local agricultural producers and landowners. It’s overseen by local agriculture producers through a Partnership Advisory Committee.

For more information on the ALUS Lacombe County program, or to participate, visit www.alus.ca or contact Jalene Makus with Lacombe County at (403)782-8959 or at jmakus@lacombecounty.com.

-BARRETT 



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