Southern Conservation Land Management Strategy
The Southern Conservation Land Management Strategy is a new land management initiative that balances economic growth with responsible land management and the preservation of ecological values. The strategy:
The amended Acts and new Regulations to support the strategy, including changes to The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act (WHPA), came into force on May 12, 2014. All WHPA-designated lands have been brought together into one list in the regulations, improving clarity and efficiency.
Highlights of the Strategy
Important ecological values will be protected, through continued Crown ownership and WHPA designation, or through Crown conservation easements, a new class of easement that the Crown may grant to itself prior to sale.
All WHPA-designated land has been evaluated using a science-based Crown Land Ecological Assessment Tool and has been classified into three categories:
Vacant Crown lands in southern Saskatchewan will also be assessed and added into WHPA where appropriate.
Seven per cent of the proceeds from the sale of WHPA lands will go to the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund to support conservation and habitat protection projects.
The legislation provides new compliance tools, including stop-work orders, equipment seizures, injunctions and fines. Penalties for contraventions to Crown conservation easements and WHPA lands will be up to $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations.
Amended Legislation/New Regulations
The amendments to The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act will:
New regulations, called The Wildlife Habitat and Ecological Land Designation Regulations, have been adopted. These regulations bring together all WHPA-designated land into one list, making management simpler and more efficient. The listing was formerly scattered among several different sets of regulations and within WHPA itself.
The amendments to The Conservation Easements Act:
Crown Land Ecological Assessment Tool
The review of lands designated under WHPA uses a newly-developed Crown Land Ecological Assessment Tool, or CLEAT. The CLEAT is science-based and allows government to categorize lands based on their ecological value and risk of development. Agrologists, biologists and ecologists from government and conservation agencies worked together to develop the tool. The CLEAT supports implementation of the Southern Conservation Land Management Strategy and its goal of maintaining appropriate protection based on land’s ecological values. The tool considers a variety of factors, including:
The assessment provided by the CLEAT is considered, during the review of the potentially salable parcel, to determine whether land may be sold.