Accessing Public land for Emergency Hay, Grazing or Water

AB Environment and Parks Rangeland initiatives

On Friday Aug 6, 2021 the Government of Alberta announced initiatives to support the livestock sector. $136 million is being made available by the province for their portion of the Agri-Recovery program, to be matched by the federal government once approved. Money received from the program can be used to purchase feed, water and fencing. Details on the funding announced can be found on the Alberta.ca media release.

In the meantime Alberta Environment and Parks department staff have been instructed to work with producers to allow access to unused public grazing, water, and potential hayland. Producers who were unable to fill their lease dispositions will be permitted to sub lease those lands to neighbors. Producers with unused dispositions or interested in accessing public land for water, grazing or hay are encouraged to call the Ag-Info Centre at 301-FARM and ask to be connected to their local Environment and Parks Agrologist. Anyone aware of public land that could be used for emergency feed or water is encouraged to call and bring it to the attention of the AEP Agrologists.

Below is the announcement of the “Rangeland Initiatives” from last weeks announcement:

“Alberta Environment and Parks will now accept applications from existing grazing disposition holders, including leases, licences and permits, with additional grazing capacity to allow livestock from other producers who are in need of additional feed. Grazing disposition holders are encouraged to work with their neighbours and community to support each other where they can.   Applications for temporary grazing or haying are also available on vacant public lands. Alberta Environment and Parks will also permit grazers in the forest reserve to extend the time for grazing where there is sufficient forage to do so.

Minister Nixon has signed off on the creation of a new temporary streamlined program to allow the quick provision of water to livestock and poultry producers in drought areas.

Environment and Parks agrologists are available to meet with producers and to help provide more region-specific information about available support and best management practices, including how they can access potential water and feed sources.

Livestock producers interested in looking at these measures are encouraged to reach out to their local agrologist. Producers can call 310-FARM (3276) to be connected with a local agrologist and discuss options to support them during these tough drought conditions.”

In addition to the Rangeland Initiatives, Minister Nixon stated in his meeting with the Committee on Aug 10, 2021 that he has directed department staff to reach out to conservation partners to encourage them to follow suit and make conservation lands available for emergency use for hay, grazing or water.