Agricultural Uses

Key Contact Information

Our agricultural community is critical to the success of the Special Areas and we do everything we can to support it. This includes making public land available for various uses.

 

The Special Areas Board has the delegated authority from the Minister of Municipal Affairs, through the Special Areas Act, to manage approximately 2.5 million acres of public land. We manage these lands through long-term, secure agricultural dispositions for grazing, haying, and cultivation.

 

Special Areas has always emphasized preservation of native rangelands while maintaining industrial development. Grassland is an important resource with intrinsic value, used for agriculture, industrial, commercial, and recreational purposes. This land also provides habitat to many wildlife and plant species, many of which are classified as Species at Risk.

 

Special Areas issues and administers surface dispositions related to agricultural development on public lands located in the Special Areas. These include:

  • Grazing leases and permits
  • Cultivation leases and permits
  • Miscellaneous leases

 

Special Areas manages requests related to agricultural use of public lands, including:

  • Regrassing permits
  • Haying permits
  • Feed permits

 

Contact us today to learn more.

 

KEY CONTACT

Trent Caskey, Director of Property Administration
403-854-5614
trent.caskey@specialareas.ab.ca

Grazing Dispositions

Grazing leases and permits are issued by the Special Areas Board under the Public Lands Act and the Special Areas Disposition Regulation. Approximately 2.1 million acres of public lands in the Special Areas are managed through grazing leases and permits.

 

Rates are set each year and are based on a market-based formula that fluctuates directly with cattle markets.

 

Average Price x Average Weight Gain x Forage Value = Annual Per Acre Rent

Carrying Capacity

 

Subletting requests are managed using Policy 05-01 – Optional Uses of Grazing Leases, which sets the provisions for a lessee to sublet land. Application for sublets are governed under the Public Lands Act and Special Areas Disposition Regulation. Contact any district office for more information on subletting requests.

Cultivation Dispositions

Cultivation leases and permits are issued by the Special Areas Board under the Public Lands Act and Special Areas Disposition Regulation.  Approximately 65,000 acres of public lands in the Special Areas are managed through cultivation leases and permits.

 

Rates are set based on increases to private cultivation rental rates in the Special Areas and surrounding municipalities. Rates may remain the same year-to-year unless an increase to private cultivation rental rates warrants an increase to cultivation lease rental rates.

 

Regrassing permits are managed using Policy 05-02 – Regrassing Permits, which sets out provisions for regrassing permits, expired regrassing permits, and unauthorized cultivation. Application for regrassing permits are governed under the Special Areas Act and Special Areas Disposition Regulation. Contact any district office for more information on regrassing permits.

Agricultural Disposition Rates

Current Approved Rates
Grazing leases Annual per acre rent = 43.705011
Cultivation leases Assessment x 0.0714 = annual rent
Misc. agricultural leases Calculation based on usage of lands