MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s agricultural services board has approved a number of ecological enhancement and environmental protection projects under the ALUS and REEP programs.
The approvals came by way of motions at the board’s recent regularly scheduled meeting, held in person and on Zoom.
The board approved one project under the ALUS program for 75 per cent of funding of materials, to a maximum of $679.50 for a riparian fencing project and 25 per cent of materials for a solar watering system to a maximum of $1,962.50.
The property involved is located in the Red Deer River watershed at NE 01-32-06-W5.
The project involves 184 metres of new riparian fencing on 5.1 acres of wetlands and 7.5 acres of native uplands.
As well at the project materials funding, the board approved $817 to annual payments for the maintenance of the projects from the 2022 ALUS budget.
A second approved ALUS project was for 100 per cent of materials, to a maximum of $546 for a riparian fencing project and 25 per cent of the materials for a solar watering system to a maximum of $1,1245 on the SW 15-32-02-W5.
The board also approved $465 to annual payments for the maintenance of these projects from the 2022 ALUS budget.
The property involved is located on the Rosebud River and involves 111 metres of new riparian fencing.
During the board meeting, Lorelee Grattidge, sustainable agricultural specialist, told members that an additional $30,000 in funding from the sustainable development technology Canada grant through the ALUS program. The funding will be used for project costs was well as for program delivery and administration, she said.
So far in 2022, 10 local producers have been approved for ALUS projects, impacting 360 acres of wetland, riparian and upland areas.
Applications for funding are scored using a project rating form and funding recommendations are based on the rating.
The board approved one project under the REEP (riparian and ecological enhancement program).
It is is a dugout fencing project on SW 06-31-26-W4 for 100 per cent of material costs to a maximum of $435, and 25 per cent of the material costs for the solar watering system project to a total of $1,568.75.
As well, the board approved 100 per cent of costs for grass seed mix to a maximum of 4275 from the 2022 REEP budget.
The project is located on a tributary of the Lonepine Creek and involves 235 metres of new electric fencing.
During the Sept. 19 board meeting, Kellie Jackson, strategic evaluation specialist with Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development, appeared as a delegation.
Jackson outlined plans for the upcoming agricultural services board grant audit, which is required by the provincial auditor general every five years.
The audit ensures that grant dollars allocated to agricultural services board project are supporting activities related to enforcement of delegated legislation and resource management extension activities, she said.
“We want to spend the majority of our time in the field looking at examples of your programs and accomplishments,” she said. “We want to see examples of your inspection and control programs, environmental projects and anything that you do that is unique in your municipality.”
The results of the audit will be reported back to the agricultural services board.
The agricultural services board is made up of county council members and appointed members from the agriculture community in the municipality.