Waterfowl habitat delivery through ALUS in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 2014-15
Goals and Objectives
Delta continues to advance agricultural policy through the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS). Working with local communities, ALUS is evolving and adapting over time to deliver wildlife friendly policy with farmers and ranchers. We are seeing several examples of advances in how the communities are using ALUS to deliver environmental services on privately owned farmland. Some examples of this include one ALUS county being named the only wetland mitigation agency in Alberta, and this same county demonstrating watershed enhancements for the province. Another county has begun collecting donations and issuing tax receipts for environmental improvements on local farms. By empowering these communities in delivering ALUS, we are seeing them embrace environmental stewardship for the betterment of their ratepayers (and our ducks).
Through support from a variety of sources, ALUS continues to expand in the Canadian Prairies and we currently have projects in the County of Vermilion River, Parkland County, and Red Deer County in Alberta and in four adjacent Rural Municipalities in Saskatchewan. Through working collaboratively with these communities and the agricultural producers, we will enhance and conserve some 500 acres of wetland and 1,100 acres of upland habitat. We will also work with producers to install 50-75 Hen Houses, the most cost effective tool we have in enhancing mallard productivity. We’ve lengthened the conservation agreements to 5-10 years to provide more security and longevity.
Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management
ALUS will have direct and indirect benefits. It will directly restore and protect wetland and upland waterfowl breeding habitat. The indirect influences will be related to outreach and communication efforts that will lead to the expansion of ALUS over time to ultimately be a provincial and national program. Once it reaches this ultimate goal we will have created a dramatic influence on habitat conservation on a landscape level.
Alberta: County of Vermilion River, Parkland County, Red Deer County.
Saskatchewan: Lajord, Indian Head, South Qu’Appelle, Francis
Landscape type: Prairie Pothole region
For more information on this project, please contact Jim Fisher, Director of Conservation Policy, Delta Waterfowl Foundation, Winnipeg (MB).