Graz­ing lease­hold­ers pro­vide up­wards of $70 mil­lion in value to prov­ince an­nu­ally

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - The Country Bargaineer -

Over­see­ing Crown land for the pur­pose of graz­ing cat­tle re­quires lease­hold­ers to ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and costs re­quired by leg­is­la­tion to ef­fec­tively stew­ard the range re­source.

A new Value Es­ti­mate Re­port com­pleted by Sere­con con­cludes that $69.88 mil­lion in value is pro­vided to the prov­ince of Al­berta on an annual ba­sis by lease­hold­ers man­ag­ing graz­ing on Crown land. This num­ber is fur­ther split into North ($19,170,668) and South ($33,321,483) graz­ing zones and Spe­cial Ar­eas ($17,383,830).

Crown land graz­ing lease­hold­ers op­er­ate on lands with a mul­ti­ple use man­date and are re­quired to main­tain fences, im­prove range­land, de­velop wa­ter­ing sys­tems, man­age recreation and in­dus­trial ac­cess, and en­sure that lands meet stew­ard­ship stan­dards as a leg­is­lated con­di­tion of their dis­po­si­tion.

These ac­tiv­i­ties and re­quire­ments are un­der­taken at the cost of the lease­holder, which is unique to Al­berta al­though Man­i­toba is cur­rently look­ing at adopt­ing this model. The cost data in the re­port il­lus­trates that when the full scope of the costs are con­sid­ered, there is sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic value above and be­yond the graz­ing fee pro­vided by graz­ing lease­hold­ers.

Only the costs that are leg­isla­tively man­dated have been in­cluded in the re­port, which can be found on the Al­berta Graz­ing Lease­hold­ers As­so­ci­a­tion web­site.

The re­port was de­vel­oped as an ob­jec­tive as­sess­ment through care­ful back­ground re­search and stake­holder con­sul­ta­tions with a method­ol­ogy that en­sures the re­sults are sound and repli­ca­ble. “We asked Sere­con as a re­spected and ob­jec­tive com­pany to re­search into as­sign­ing eco­nomic val­ues to the costs borne by lease­hold­ers by their stew­ard­ship on the land,” says AGLA chair Kyle Forbes. “It was a bit of a gam­ble on our part that the re­sults would be in our favour but we felt the in­for­ma­tion was im­por­tant enough to know so we took the risk.”

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