Grazing lease rental rates and assignment fees in Alberta have been frozen since 1994 following concerns raised by both government and the beef industry about how grazing disposition rental rates and assignment fees were calculated. The fees were frozen until a review could be completed. In April 2009, beef industry stakeholders worked together and submitted a proposal to government to update the grazing lease rates. This report was shelved and never acted upon. Since then, WSGA has requested of government to revisit this proposal.
In late 2013 Alberta Environment and Parks made the decision to undertake a review of the grazing lease rental rate and assignment system with the intent to implement a new framework. A working group consisting of representatives from Western Stock Growers' Association, Alberta Grazing Leaseholders Association, the Alberta Beef Producers and the Northern Alberta Grazing Leaseholders Association met several times to consult with government on the creation of a new framework for rental rates and assignment fees. Two things came of this consultation; 1) a new third party lease cost survey would be initiated to better understand the current costs of running a lease and, 2) a new proposal for rental rates and assignment fees would be drawn up and submitted to government.
The lease cost survey was conducted by MNP in spring 2016. It was designed to determine the actual and in-kind costs of holding grazing leases, specifically to identify the "in-kind" part of the fees paid by the industry for grazing cattle on public lands. The final report was just submitted. Now that the lease cost study is complete, Alberta Environment and Parks will proceed with submitting the new proposal to government and get the ball rolling on these changes. It will not be a quick process given that there has to be legislative changes.
The basic components of the proposed new Royalty Rate are:
To view the full proposal, click on the link below.