Exploring the Cumulative Effects of Future Land Use in the Dawson Planning Region

Wednesday, February 17, 2016. 1:30-1:40 Poster Presentations

The North Yukon land use plan is the only approved regional plan in Yukon. Its land use designation system is based on different levels of two cumulative effects indicators: direct surface disturbance and linear density. The Dawson Regional Planning Commission wanted to determine: 1) if the concepts used in North Yukon were relevant to the land use situation in the Dawson Planning Region, and 2) if the cumulative effects indicator levels used in North Yukon were relevant to their land uses. To assist the Commission answer these questions, existing and plausible future levels of the two cumulative effects indicators were explored in the Dawson Planning Region. Though many land uses co-exist, four sectors were identified as requiring consideration: forestry, placer mining, quartz (hard rock) mining, and oil and gas activity. Domain experts from these four industries were consulted to develop parameters describing two plausible levels of development (lower and higher) for a 20-year future period. For each sector, domain experts reported anticipated levels of activity and their potential locations. These parameters were used to guide the manual addition of human disturbance features in a GIS to spatially “grow” the expected disturbances created by each industry. For each Landscape Management Unit, the projected future disturbance levels were then compared with existing levels. In addition to examining the potential relevance of the North Yukon indicators, these methods were also found useful to identify areas that could be expected to receive higher levels of future land use.

Co-speaker: Shawn Francis - Principal, S. Francis Consulting Inc