CREATING A CONSERVATION BLUEPRINT FOR LAND USE PLANNING IN NORTHERN ALBERTACategory: 2013, Completed, Grant, Land Use, Major Project
Canada Parks and Wilderness Society - Northern Alberta
The purpose of this project is to develop a Conservation Blueprint for Northwest Alberta. The Blueprint is a set of maps identifying areas and corridors of high conservation value that CPAWS NAB can utilize as a part of engaging in the upcoming provincial land use planning processes in the Lower Peace, Upper Peace, and Upper Athabasca regions in Alberta as well as in their negotiations with forestry industry.
Current knowledge of the landscape in this area of the province is either out of date or lacking. The Conservation Blueprint will compile existing, and current, research from a variety of sources and combine them into a complete dataset which can be used to assess the conservation value of lands in the area. CPAWS NAB will also integrate this data with traditional ecological and cultural knowledge obtained from First Nations communities in the region. Finally, GIS and Marxan software will be used to analyze the data and overlay it onto maps. Potential layers may include, but are not limited to, watersheds, landscape fragmentation, biodiversity, species habit and forest stand age and type.
CPAWS NAB intends to build their own capacity, and the capacity of others, to participate more effectively in the government’s regional planning processes and other discussions had with industry and government about land protection and planning. They have learned that having a consistent message and information presented from a variety of stakeholders, and reinforcing messages of each other is more effective in getting conservation values and principles onto the discussions and negotiation agenda.
The long term impact is that there will begin to be a common voice speaking on conservation values and particular areas prioritized for protection in Northern Alberta. And consequently, their hope is that there will be more public lands protected in Alberta.