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GoA releases South Saskatchewan Regional Plan

Posted July 24, 2014 by LSC

Following three phases of consultation from November 2009 to February 2014, the Government of Alberta has released the final version of the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP). The SSRP is a forward-looking and comprehensive blueprint to ensure our continued success over the next 50 years.

You may view and download the SSRP at Some of the highlights of the SSRP include:

  • Eight new and expanded Conservation Areas on provincial Crown land including the 54,588 hectare Castle Wildland Provincial Park and the 34,356 Pekisko Heritage Rangeland.
  • An increase in tenure terms from 10 to 20 years for leaseholders with high-level stewardship management practices throughout any region where protection of intact native grasslands is needed.
  • Air and surface water quality management frameworks to help ensure negative trends are identified and assessed, and the environment remains healthy for residents and ecosystems.
  • Commitment to a Biodiversity Management Framework to support cumulative effects management of important elements of biodiversity that are affected by land uses in the region.
  • Regional trail system plan that will identify and designate winter and summer motorized, non-motorized and mixed-use land and water-based trails, routes, and areas that link communities, neighbourhoods, destinations and tourism areas.
  • Development of approaches to address the climate variability found in the region supporting flood risk management and drought management.
  • Endorsement of the Efficient Use of Land Principles and the release of the Efficient Use of Land Tools Compendium to encourage municipalities to minimize the amount of land taken up by the built environment.

Once effective, a regional plan is implemented as part of a larger integrated resource management system. All regional plans are reviewed every five and 10 years to evaluate its ongoing effectiveness and relevance to the region.

Phase 1 of NSRP Consultation Under Way

Posted May 20, 2014 by LSC

The first phase of public consultation for the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan (NSRP) is now underway. You are invited to attend the upcoming daytime or afternoon/evening sessions to learn more about the region as well as share your thoughts on the issues and strategies contained in the Terms of Reference for Developing the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan.

The Terms of Reference, Profile of the North Saskatchewan Region and Workbook to share your feedback are available on the website at

For a complete listing of public consultation locations and times, visit the Public and Stakeholder Consultations webpage.

Public Consultations for the NSRP to Start Soon

Posted May 1, 2014 by LSC

This month the first phase of public consultation is being organized for the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan. You are invited you to attend the upcoming daytime or evening sessions to learn more about the region as well as share your thoughts on the issues and strategies contained in the Terms of Reference for Developing the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan. See the dates and locations below, which are subject to change.

The North Saskatchewan Region is located in central Alberta and has approximately 85,780 square kilometres, or just under 13 per cent of Alberta’s total land base. The region is bordered by Saskatchewan to the east, British Columbia to the west, the Upper Athabasca and the Lower Athabasca regions to the north and the South Saskatchewan and Red Deer regions to the south.

The purpose of regional planning is to support the numerous policies and strategies that guide natural resource development, support economic growth and protect our environment. Regional plans will integrate these policies and strategies at the regional level and provide the policy direction and clarity for decision makers at the federal, provincial and local levels.

Daytime and afternoon/evening sessions are being planned for the following communities. Stay tuned for more information about how you can RSVP to one of these workshops.

  • May 27 – Rocky Mountain House, Lloydminster
  • May 28 – Drayton Valley, St. Paul
  • May 29 – Spruce Grove, Fort Saskatchewan
  • June 3 – Banff
  • June 4 – Caroline
  • June 5 – Wetaskiwin
  • June 10 – Smokey Lake, Wainwright
  • June 11 – St. Albert, Vegreville
  • June 12 – Leduc, Sherwood Park
  • June 17 – Provost
  • June 18 – Killam
  • June 19 – Camrose
  • June 24 – Calgary
  • June 25 – Red Deer
  • June 26 – Edmonton

For more information, contact the Land Use Secretariat at

Help Build the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan

Posted March 27, 2014 by LSC

The Government of Alberta is looking for individuals who live, work, play and have an interest in the North Saskatchewan region to become members of the Regional Advisory Council.

Members of the Regional Advisory Council provide strategic advice in the development of the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan. Those interested are asked to submit a completed North Saskatchewan Regional Plan Regional Advisory Council Application Form, a resume and a biography to the Land Use Secretariat by April 23, 2014.

For more information and to download an application form, visit the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Land Use Framework website >>

The ABCs of TDCs

Posted June 28, 2012 by LSC

So what’s a TDC anyhow?

Traditionally, municipalities have relied on zoning to achieve land use objectives. Transfer of Development Credits (TDC) programs support zoning by allowing landowners in areas designated for conservation to sell credits to developers in areas targeted for growth.

Landowners receive the financial benefit of development for their conserved land while growth is accommodated in target areas. Since TDC programs are completely voluntary, their success depends on ensuring that the price for credits is high enough to make it worthwhile for landowners in the sending areas to forgo development while at the same time ensuring that developers are willing to pay for development.

Putting TDCs to work

Along with land-use zoning, a TDC program encourages development in desirable areas while formally protecting land important for agriculture or environmental services. Landowners in areas designated for conservation sell credits to developers in areas targeted for growth. Brian’s presentation describes TDC principles, the five main steps of TDC approach and anticipated outcomes.

Recently, at the 49th Alberta Soil Science Workshop, Brian Ilnicki, Executive Director of Land Stewardship Centre, provided an overview of the work the Beaver Hills Initiative and its partners are doing east of Edmonton to assess and evaluate the potential for TDCs to be used in land use and conservation planning.

Watch Brian’s presentation on YouTube >>

Learn more about the Beaver Hills Initiative and their TDC project >>

Funding Available to Alberta Land Trust Organizations

Posted August 10, 2011 by LSC

New grant program benefits land conservation in Alberta

Edmonton, August 10, 2011 – A new provincial grant program will help further the conservation and protection of ecologically important lands in the province.

The Alberta Land Trust Grant Program will make grants available to land trust organizations for the purchase of conservation easements on private land and to manage land administered under trusts. Conservation easements are legally binding voluntary agreements between a landowner and a land trust. When placed on the land title, an easement restricts future surface development but current activities, like grazing, continue. The landowner retains title.

“Whether we are maintaining large areas of native landscape or conserving corridors for biodiversity, the Alberta Land Trust Grant Program will help us achieve long-term conservation goals,” said Sustainable Resource Development Minister Mel Knight. “Land trusts are worthy partners and a good resource to help identify and protect high-value conservation lands.”

A land trust is a not-for-profit, non-government organization established to promote biodiversity conservation on private land. Any land trust currently operating in Alberta is eligible to apply for grant funding but must provide other funding and demonstrate that their project aligns with the government’s overall conservation objectives. The grant and matching funds must go towards a specific project. A total of $5 million will be available for 2011–12. The Alberta Land Stewardship Fund was established following changes in 2010 to the Public Lands Act, resulting from the Alberta Land Stewardship Act.

The application deadline is September 26. For information or to obtain an application package, please visit the Alberta Land Trust Grant Program webpage.

The Alberta government is working to build a better Alberta by fostering economic growth, strengthening our health and education systems, investing in infrastructure, supporting safe and strong communities and ensuring a clean and healthy environment.

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Neal Watson
Sustainable Resource Development
P 780–427-8636
To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310–0000.

South Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Council's Advice Released

Posted March 25, 2011 by LSC

Today the South Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Council’s Advice to the Government of Alberta for the South Saskatchewan Region was released.

It is important to note that this is advice from the Advisory Council; it is not the government’s draft plan. You can find the advice document online at

In late April, there will be a workbook available on this site so you can provide feedback on the Council’s advice. Consultation sessions on the Advisory Council’s advice are planned for the fall. We will keep you informed regarding the dates the workbook will be available and when the consultations will begin.

The Council’s advice and the feedback from these consultations will be considered as government develops the draft regional plan. Albertans will have another opportunity to provide feedback when the draft regional plan is released.

You are encouraged to read the Council’s advice and then fill out the workbook once it is available.

For more information contact:

Morris Seiferling
Stewardship Commissioner
Land Use Secretariat
9th Floor, Centre West Building
10035–108 Street

Share Your Views on a Plan for the Lower Athabasca Region

Posted October 6, 2010 by LSC

Alberta’s Land-Use Framework

The Land-use Framework is the government’s response to growth pressures in a changing Alberta. The framework establishes seven new land-use regions and the requirement to develop a regional plan for each.

With these regional plans, Alberta will achieve a better balance between the economic development that creates opportunity and the environmental and social values of Albertans.

Work has begun for the first two regions, Lower Athabasca and South Saskatchewan, with regional advisory councils appointed for each. Public consultations about the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan ran throughout September 2010.

Share Your Views

There is still time to provide your input. If you haven’t already sent in your thoughts on the Lower Athabasca Regional Advisory Council’s advice to the government regarding the north-east area of the province, we urge you to do so now. You only have until October 8, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.

Please visit the Land-use Framework website to read the Council’s advice to the Government of Alberta Regarding a Vision for the Lower Athabasca Region, and tell us what you think of the conservation areas, multi-use corridors, recreation areas and so much more by filling out the online workbook.

This is a chance to have your voice heard about the future of the province. If you have any questions, please contact

It's National Soil Conservation Week!

Posted April 18, 2010 by LSC

April 18 to 24, 2010, is National Soil Conservation Week.

Soil is a precious resource, and no one knows that better than farmers. National Soil Conservation Week emphasizes how important it is for people to recognize the extraordinary efforts of our dedicated farmers who, as stewards of the land, have implemented soil conservation and soil improvement strategies as part of their agri-business.

You can also learn more from the Soil Conservation Council of Canada.