March 7, 2018 1:00 pm
Heritage Inn Hotel and Conference Centre, 1217 – 2nd Street W, Brooks, Alberta.
Several ranchers in the Milk River Watershed who have been using the water on their ranches for generations have received letters from Alberta Environment and Parks cancelling their historic water rights applications without citing any real reason to do so. What the letter doesn't inform them is that they have 30 days in which to appeal or they have lost the application and can't get their historic water rights recognized by Alberta law. It would appear the underlying agenda is that government is trying to claw back some water allocations on the almost fully allocated Milk River by targeting rural home and agricultural use. This would represent a blatant disregard for the rights of these ranchers.
The link below is the appeal letter filed by Keith Wilson, legal representative for Aaron Brower and Brower Ranching Company who received such a letter from the Department on December 27, 2017 which cancelled his water applications dating back to 2001. It's worth the read.
AGLA Update from the past year.
While we are so fortunate to have had James in our corner, we are deeply saddened his time with us has been cut short. James was a great man. His energy and passion for our industry and the grasslands are eclipsed only by his love for his family. He will be forever missed.
"Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones."
Industry along with government has been working on a new framework for grazing lease rental rates that is defensible and reflective of the costs incurred by leaseholder after having rates frozen since 1998. Part of this work included a lease cost survey done by MNP to capture a more accurate picture of leaseholder costs. Use the links below to check out the proposed framework.
AGLA Update from the past year.
AGLA chairman James Hargrave, along with leaseholders Aaron Brower and Dr. Bill Newton, toured Alberta Environment and Parks minister Shannon Phillips, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry minister Oneil Carlier and MLA Bob Wanner as well as some of their staff through Hargrave Ranch on September 12. Click here to read more.
With the carbon sequestration and storage in agricultural lands (includes both crop and pasture) not given value in the market, farmers could pay despite the net carbon footprint of the industry being on the side of overall sequestration. Click here to read more.
The value of grasslands goes far beyond the grass itself. This article from the Alberta Farmer Express talks about the science behind this, and the value of the rancher stewarding the land. Click here to read more.
Both the Action Surface Rights group and the Farmers' Advocate Office of Alberta are advising farmers not to give in to pressure from oil and gas companies. Click here to read more.
Recently the AGLA has received some calls and e-mails from some grazing leaseholders about a grazing lease cost survey being conducted by MNP. Leaseholders have had questions about the purpose of the study as well as concerns about whether their information will be kept private. For more information on the survey and the reasons behind the survey, click on the link below.
Temple Grandin writes on the habitat services provided by ranchers. This is why wildlife are found on managed grazing ecosystems - because it is good habitat as a result of the stewardship of the rancher. Click here to read more.
The AGM serves as an important opportunity to inform our members about the recent activities of the AGLA about the various provincial policy issues impacting leaseholders across the province and to hear the concerns from members about to best manage their grazing leases. Over 100 grazing leaseholders were in the Lethbridge and the strong turnout reflects both the significant issues our industry is facing but also the value that leaseholders see in being a member of the AGLA.
February 4, 2016
AGLA presented to the Public Accounts Committee in a review of the July 2015 Auditor General report. Click on the title link above to view the presentation.
January 27, 2016
AGLA update from the last year
January 25, 2016
"The crop and livestock sectors came together in a historic collaboration, unified by a common goal to represent the agriculture industry with a single voice as it relates to Bill 6," says meeting co-chair Page Stuart.
January 15, 2016
ALI recently completed a research project involving a look at compensation for industrial activity on grazing lease lands. AGLA was pleased to see that the final paper reflects some of the input from us on the role of grazing leases in meeting Alberta's land stewardship goals as well as the reasons for leaseholder compensation and the statutory process to determine compensation. However, the paper is contradictory on some points and unfortunately vague in others.
November 9, 2015 – Edmonton Journal
With Alberta's census population of more than 3.6 million in 2011, modern-day conflict over the land base has multiplied. From energy extraction to transportation and personal travel, from off-road vehicles to the desire to farm and ranch, to reasonable calls to conserve and enjoy Alberta's natural surroundings, there are no shortages of potential land-use skirmishes. So a useful question to ask is how to manage conflicts? What can occasionally be forgotten in such policy disputes is that those closest to a problem have the best chance of solving it. In short, those closest to the land know what it could - and could not - provide. They know from close observation, from empirical reality, how best to manage the natural environment. Thus, any evidence-based discussions should always start there.
November 3, 2015
Land management in Alberta and much of Western Canada can be enhanced if policies ensure that property rights are well-defined and transferable, finds a new book released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank. The book, Ranching Realities in the 21st Century, spotlights the successes and limitations of various land management policies from Alberta, Saskatchewan, the United States and Australia.
Held in Calgary, representatives from the grazing lease community had a meeting with Environment and Parks (EAP) Minister Shannon Phillips.
AGLA will again be busy defending the rights of grazing leaseholders, their way of life and the health of the landscape under lease. We may need some help from all leaseholders to help educate all involved.
Amid the current focus on provincial red ink, one issue has slipped off the public radar screen in Alberta: Property rights. – Calgary Herald
The ESRD presentation on the recently completed grazing lease rate review.
The summary of the proposal as presented to government following industry consultation.