ALUS is a national charitable organization, active in six provinces to the end of 2018: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island.
The County of Vermilion River brought ALUS to Alberta in 2010. Through their leadership, the program has expanded to 13 municipalities in Alberta to the end of 2018. In 2018, ALUS expanded into the Calgary region, welcoming the communities of ALUS Wheatland and ALUS Rocky View into the family.
As of March 31, 2018, ecosystem services like cleaner water, cleaner air, carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, and wildlife habitat have been enhanced on 9,176 acres of agricultural land in Alberta. ALUS has rewarded the efforts of 188 farmers or ranchers who have undertaken projects on behalf of society.ALUS Canada is a registered charity that supports the delivery of the ALUS program across Canada. ALUS is an innovative, community-developed and farmer-delivered program that engages rural communities and agricultural producers in conservation and environmental stewardship. ALUS builds on the existing expertise and stewardship ethic of farmers by providing resources and programmatic support to farmers and rural communities for the enhancement, management and ongoing maintenance of environmental restoration projects.
ALUS helps farmers restore wetlands, install riparian buffers, manage sustainable drainage systems, reforest and establish other ecologically beneficial projects on their properties. ALUS focuses on the agricultural landscape by establishing conservation projects on marginal or environmentally sensitive areas of farmland, while leaving the most productive land for food production. In doing this, ALUS turns marginal farmland into healthy ecosystems.
Resources provided through ALUS include i) cost-sharing for project establishment ii) technical expertise on project design, implementation and maintenance iii) annual per-acre payments for the management and maintenance of projects, and iv) outreach and extension services to educate landowners, community partners and the general public.
In Alberta, ALUS Canada currently partners with 13 municipalities to deliver the ALUS program at the community level. With support and guidance from ALUS Canada, each ALUS community establishes a Partnership Advisory Committee (PAC) made up of agricultural producers and local stakeholders such as municipal staff and conservation groups. Each PAC operates within the framework of ALUS principles and is supported by ALUS Canada’s national team who contribute programming, project, policy and funding expertise. This allows each community program to target specific local environmental concerns, while also addressing provincial, regional and national environmental priorities.There are many opportunities to get involved with ALUS Canada or community-developed ALUS programs.