Land use planning is an ecosystem-based tool that can link the environment, the community, and the economy in ways that help ensure the sustainability of resources. Planning is an easy idea to understand, but the process quickly becomes complex because it is expected to: integrate environmental, social and economic values, resolve all conflict, build common land use objectives, ensure openness and inclusiveness, as well as adapt to global, national and local needs and preferences.
Saskatchewan's Crown lands, Provincial Forests for example, require comprehensive land use planning that recognizes and integrates the needs and interests of a modern and evolving society. Saskatchewan's land use decisions, in the past, were driven by economic development pressures. Seemingly limitless natural resources have provided needed benefits to the province. Allocation of land, timber, fish, wildlife and secondary products has, to date been ad hoc in nature, leading to resource use pressures. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to meet demands without triggering conflict. Existing policy is less able to address and help reconcile competing values and multiple use demands.
Land use planning works with people who are involved with and have a stake in the environment. The traditional and local knowledge of these people is invaluable to the planning process. The collection and sharing of knowledge is one way of ensuring that planning processes are understood and endorsed by the public. More detailed information is available on the following: