News Flash

Red Deer County News

Posted on: November 15, 2018

ALUS in Red Deer County: Showcasing The First Five

First Five (1)

By Ken Lewis, Conservation Coordinator

Way, way back in 2013, Red Deer County started delivering an ALUS Program. ALUS was relatively unknown back in 2013, when we first started seeking farmers and ranchers to participate in it. To top it off, we had a limited budget as we were just dipping our toes into ALUS waters.

Despite that, five brave souls decided to dip their toes in with us, and they became the “First Five” in ALUS Red Deer County.  

These folks signed five-year ALUS Conservation Agreements with us. 2018 is the last year of these agreements. So, the “First Five” also get the distinction of being the first farmers and ranchers who will be given the option of renewing their ALUS Conservation Agreements.  

In 2018, ALUS is delivered in communities across the country, in partnership with ALUS Canada. Now national in scope, renewals with agricultural producers help us show the world, that ALUS Farmers and Ranchers are producing ecosystem services for the long term.

In total, the “First Five” enrolled 125 acres in the ALUS Program and installed over 10,000 feet (three kms) of riparian management fencing. These acres are now producing increased ecosystem services like flood and drought mitigation, water filtration, carbon storage, wildlife habitat, and much more. These ecosystem services have real economic value to society. ALUS transfers some of that economic benefit to the people who are producing these services…in this case, the “First Five.”

A huge thank you goes out to the Johnson, Burns, Poole, Nicholson and Church families for helping get the ALUS Program started in Red Deer County. Quite literally, we could not have done it without you.

  • Tom and Faye Nicholson put up a riparian management fence along Ghostpine Creek. Later, they planted willows around some ponds.
  • Don Church put in a fence to manage a wetland and riparian area in a pasture.
  • Sheldon Burns planted trees in marginal pastures, and shrubs along a stream running through his place. This added to work he’d done a few years earlier, when he put a fence up along that stream and planted trees in another marginal pasture.
  • Keith and Tracy Johnson put up fencing to help them manage their wetlands, riparian areas and woodlands. They also put in a pasture pipeline as an alternative water source for their livestock.
  • Margot and Dave Poole planted native grasses in marginal cropland beside a wetland.

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