Highlight on ALUS Canada
“The South Central Ontario Region is fortunate to be home to three ALUS communities: ALUS Middlesex, ALUS Elgin and ALUS Norfolk, the longest continuously running ALUS program in Canada. Over the years, we have seen clear evidence that the ALUS program benefits our residents and regional stakeholders by producing cleaner air, cleaner water and better wildlife habitat from which we all benefit,” says Stephen Molnar, Chair, South Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation
ALUS Canada is a national charitable organization that supports the delivery of the ALUS program across the country. ALUS was originally an acronym for “Alternative Land Use Services,” reflecting the concept that farmers and ranchers can use their land in an alternative way to produce ecosystem services that benefit Canadians.
Active in six provinces to date, the ALUS program works with farmers and ranchers to produce valuable ecological services on Canadian farmland. These ecological services focus on cleaner air, cleaner water, flood mitigation, climate adaptation, carbon sequestration, species at risk habitat and support for our native bees and pollinators.
Specifically, ALUS helps farmers and ranchers restore wetlands, reforest, plant windbreaks, install riparian buffers, manage sustainable drainage systems, create pollinator habitat and establish other ecologically beneficial projects on their properties.
What’s more, ALUS provides annual payments to ensure the ongoing stewardship of each ALUS project.
What kind of projects does ALUS fund?
ALUS helps farmers and ranchers restore wetlands, reforest, plant windbreaks, install riparian buffers, manage sustainable drainage systems, create pollinator habitat and establish other ecologically beneficial projects on their properties.
Here are a few examples of the kind of projects ALUS funds, with the kind of ecosystem services they provide:
Projects for expanded riparian buffer zones that provide critical wildlife habitat and improve water quality.
Projects for new, enhanced or restored wetlands that improve water quality and can protect communities against spring flooding and offset the impact of droughts.
Projects for new, enhanced or restored native prairie that enhances natural grazing, haying options, and critical habitat for species at risk.
Projects for pollinator hedgerows that provide habitat for native bees which in turn pollinate our agricultural crops and wild plants.
Many other types of projects that produce valuable ecosystem services.
How do farmers and ranchers get involved?
Farmers and ranchers in ALUS communities who are interested in enrolling some of their land in the ALUS program should submit an expression of interest, which provides basic details on their operation. Site visits follow to determine what areas of the farm are best suited for an ALUS project. Participants sign a term agreement. They can opt-out at any time, and annual payments are adjusted accordingly.
ALUS Communities in SCOR EDC