ALTERNATIVE LAND USE SERVICES (ALUS) PROGRAM
The Alternative Land Use Services Program or ALUS is a voluntary, community-led, farmer-delivered program that recognizes the unique role farmers and ranchers play not only in producing food, but the healthy environment we all enjoy.
ALUS was designed by farmers and ranchers, for farmers and ranchers to address growing environmental concerns by assisting them with the design and delivery of ecological projects on selected parcels of farmland. Through the implementation of diverse and locally relevant projects, the ALUS program helps to improve the environment while providing farmers and ranchers fair market value to maintain the services they provide.
Since the Program's start in 2007, the Norfolk ALUS Project team has been building relationships with the farmers of Norfolk County to create healthy and sustainable farm lands while rebuilding the natural environment. The Long Point Region Conservation Authority provides technical advice and support to help implement a variety of habitat restoration projects throughout Norfolk County.
Visit www.alus.ca for more information about projects in Norfolk County.
The ALUS initiative expanded to the Municipality of Bayham in 2012 with the launch of the 3-year pilot project. Under ALUS, farmers receive payments to deliver a variety of environmental services such as reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and enhancing wildlife habitat.
Farmers in the Municipality of Bayham are eligible for financial assistance to help them carry out projects aimed at restoring marginal farm lands and reducing erosion to benefit the entire watershed. Examples of this include wetland creation and restoration, planting windbreaks, establishing riparian buffers and creating pollinator habitat.
The program is delivered by farmers to farmers with assistance from the Bayham ALUS Coordinator and a local Partnership Advisory Committee. Partners include Ontario Nature, Delta Waterfowl, Municipality of Bayham, Elgin Federation of Agriculture, Long Point Region Conservation Authority and interested citizens.
The Bayham ALUS initiative is funded by a leading grant from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation together with the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Municipality of Bayham. The project will establish 4 to 6 demonstration sites on working farms that will serve as focal points for demonstrating the project and help to grow ALUS in the Municipality.