A Case-study Analysis of the Alternative Land Use Services Program (ALUS)
Agricultural landscapes provide vital ecological goods and services (EG&S) such as wildlife habitat, biodiversity and water resource protection. Traditionally, there has been no monetary value for non-agricultural EG&S that benefit society and thus no financial incentive to private landowners to help justify the production of EG&S. The Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) concept is a Canadian grass-roots approach to compensate farmers for delivering EG&S. Using a case-study methodology, nine ALUS programs across Canada were researched with data consisting of site visits, review of in-house reports, and conversations with administrators, stake-holders and participating farmers. Findings indicate that ALUS, despite lacking definitive data on products in terms of environmental improvements, has been successful in the process of engaging farmers at the grass-roots level. These findings indicate that future ALUS programs should build upon these successes while establishing better environmental monitoring to attract program participating and funding.