Wednesday, February 17

 3:30pm - 5:00pm

Planning for Change – Planning to Protect Specific Values

Land use planning and decision making for divergent values: recreation, access and a wetland management framework for the North.

Venue: Library

Moderator: Simon Lapointe RPP MCIP - Founder and Owner 3 Pikas and Civicly

Wednesday, February 17, 3:30 - 4:00

Outdoor recreation planning – a wicked problem – a novel approach

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Post- devolution in 2014, the GNWT Department of Lands began the development of a Recreational Land Management Framework (RLMF), to guide its response to demand for recreational land use opportunities on territorial and Commissioner’s land in the Northwest Territories.

Recreational use of public lands in the Northwest Territories is becoming an increasingly pressing land management challenge. The issue is particularly acute close to the large communities, where the growing demand by residents for a variety of recreational experiences is met with public concerns that popular lakes may be ‘at capacity’ for recreational use, and access to new areas is limited.  

Additional public land management issues include:  providing for a diversity of recreational uses while meeting the demand for recreational cabin leases, addressing unauthorized occupancy, recognizing traditional uses, integrating recreation use with other commercial or industry uses, and reconciling the land administration regimes for Commissioner’s land and recently devolved lands.
 
As part of the development of the RLMF, Lands is evaluating the use of recreation resource methodologies to help inform the administration, planning and management of public lands for recreational use. These methods include the Water and Land Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (WALROS), the Recreation Resource Identification, Assessment & Mapping (R2IAM), and a recreational carrying capacity methodology. While the field of recreation management planning is well developed in the South, new approaches must be taken to recreation management planning in the North. In this presentation an update on the development of the RLMF will be provided and the opportunity and challenge of applying recreation resource methodologies in the North will be explored.

Co-speaker: Daniel Grant – Environmental Resource Planning Specialist, The Government of Northwest Territories, Department of Lands

Wednesday, February 17, 4:00 - 4:30

Canada’s boreal forest wetlands: an approach for conservation and sustainable development

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Wetlands are among the most important habitats across the North.  The value wetlands provide people through ecological goods and services are many and include wildlife habitat, subsistence harvest opportunities, water filtration, water storage, carbon storage, spiritual and cultural needs, and aesthetic values.  The importance of wetlands can be seen in the number of protected areas across the North that centre on wetlands (e.g. Old Crow Flats in the Yukon). 

Since it is not feasible for all wetlands to be included in protected areas, wetlands are at risk of being negatively impacted by development and the subsequent loss of values affecting local people. A management framework for wetlands is necessary to help guide how proponents design developments and to provide a standard for regulators to assess the performance of a proposed development.  While regional land use planning can decrease this risk to wetlands by limiting the amount of development and highlighting the importance of wetlands in the region, further augmentation of the direction provided by regional land use plans is usually necessary.  A management framework is even more important in areas that have yet to undergo regional land use planning.  Across much of the North, a wetland management framework either does not exist or current regulations and legislation are inadequate at sustaining wetlands in the face of increasing development.  We will describe what a wetlands management framework should incorporate as well as the steps required to achieve and implement this directive.

Wednesday, February 17, 4:30 - 5:00

Unlocking the Potential of Canada’s North: The Future of Sustainability Planning

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In looking to a future of emerging development throughout Canada’s North, new approaches and fresh thinking will be required to realize the tremendous potential in the resource wealth of the vast landscape of our largely untapped northern frontier. The change will need to understand the North as a storehouse of natural resources that can extend shared value to not only the North, but indeed across Canada.

It will need to be open in the perception of and dialogue around development to embrace sustainability perspectives, attract investment and enable opportunities that enhance economic, social and environmental outcomes. It will need to consider a new way of doing business in the new North. Underlying this change will be innovation in planning that can better balance competing land uses.

The presentation will question what the North, the role of planning and sustainability means in light of the kind of change that can drive new approaches to dealing with past challenges. It will outline elements, constraints and opportunities associated with developing a new paradigm for development. Among these will be governance, planning and regulatory instruments that can more effectively address public, First Nations, conservation and industry interests.

Speaker:
Ronald Morrison
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