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