Developing a regional plan is a multi-step process and involves three phases of consultations with Albertans. Established a Regional Advisory Council in December 2008 In the spring of 2009, we undertook Phase 1 consultations and spoke with Albertans, stakeholders, municipalities and First Nations and Métis communities in the region and gathered input on issues important in the region We also released the Profile of the Region – highlighted the current status of the region and the Terms of Reference for Developing the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan. The Terms of Reference for Developing the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan guided the Regional Advisory Council in its work and areas of advice. RAC concluded its work in the spring of 2010 and in the summer of 2010, Government released the RAC Advice. Based on RAC’s advice and the feedback we received in Phase 2, Government developed the first Draft LARP which was released in April 2011. April, May and early June, Government consulted on the Draft Plan. Throughout the development of the LARP, government has been consulting with Aboriginal peoples as per our policy. From December 19, 2008 through June 6, 2011, the Government of Alberta consulted with 21 First Nations and engaged with 9 Métis groups on the draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan. There were a total of 107 meetings with these aboriginal groups. Some of these meetings were joint meetings with more than one group. Most input was received at the end of Phase 2 (consultation on the Regional Advisory Council (RAC) Vision Document) and at the end of Phase 3 (consultation on the draft regional plan).
Land Use Framework
The Land Use Framework - Regional Planning
Purpose of Regional PlansDefine regional outcomes (economic, environmental and social) and a broad plan for land and natural resource use for public and private landsAlign provincial strategies and policies at the regional levelDetermine specific trade-offs and appropriate land and natural resource management for specific landscapes within a regionDefine the cumulative effects management approach for the region and identify targets and thresholds
Alberta Land Stewardship Act The Alberta Land Stewardship Act was proclaimed to ensure that we have responsible, coordinated, long-term planning in the province. 3
Alberta Land Stewardship Act Proclaimed October 1, 2009 Amendment of 27 Provincial Acts Lieutenant Governor in Council has authority to: Align planning, policy and decision making with that direction Requires officials under other Acts to follow direction in regional plans and implement under their legislation eg. provincial departments, municipalities, boards (eg. ERCB, NRCB, MGB) Amended May 2011: Re Confirm Protection of Property Rights
The Lower Athabasca Regional plan LARP is the first regional plan to be developed under the Land- use Framework. Draft released August 2011 5
LARP structure Strategic and Implementation Plan: Strategies and Actions that will be undertaken to support achieving the Vision and Outcomes and includes indicators to measure and evaluate progress. (Policy Direction - must be considered by decision makers but not binding) Regulatory Details Plan: Enables the achieving the strategic direction and strategies and actions. (Is binding on decision makers) 9
Conservation areas Six per cent of region conserved today – Wildland Parks. New conservations areas would legislatively protect ~22 per cent or two million hectares. Have minimal existing disturbance. Managed to achieve the long-term conservation of biological diversity and ecosystem processes. 10
Provincial recreation areas 9 new provincial recreation areas to be included in the provincial parks system. Generally small parcels of land surrounding lakes or rivers. Will help address growing demand for recreational opportunities in the region. Will allow for future growth in the region and provide recreation opportunities such as: - campgrounds and boat launches; - motorized staging areas and trails; 11 - private sector lodges and cabins.
Public land areas for recreation and tourism Five areas chosen because of their unique features or settings for recreation and tourism sectors. On a case-by-case basis, minimize negative impacts to recreation/tourism values (e.g., features, recreation/tourism leases and recreational settings). Up-front planning and design could create better long-term opportunities for future recreation. 12
Management Frameworks Management Frameworks Complete: Air Quality Management Framework for the Lower Athabasca Region; Surface Water Quality Management Framework for Lower Athabasca River. Approved approach with triggers and limits to be developed: Groundwater Management Framework for the Lower Athabasca Region. Approved for development: Updated Surface water quantity management framework for the Lower Athabasca River by 2012; Biodiversity Management Framework and Land Disturbance Plan by 2013 (green area). 13
Bending the Curve Potential trend – no actionAmbient Concentrations threshold (limit) trigger(s) Potential trend – application of strategic actions target Time 14
Concept of a Binding Management Framework in LARP Levels Condition Risk Management Most sensitive Degradation of Management Plan water use may no Natural Likely Effects Implementedlonger be protected ConditionsAmbient Water Quality Limit Investigation of Early warning Shift Away Cause and Risk; system from Natural Possible Effects Development of Conditions Management OptionsAmbient WaterQuality Trigger Approvals Natural Implemented; No Effects All Water, Conditions Wastewater and Aquatic Ecosystem Policies Apply 15
Provincial and Municipal Alignment Once Regional Plan is approved: Provincial Government Departments must review and align their local planning and decision making within 2 years Within 5-years municipalities must review and if required align their local plans 22