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   Volume 81 - Issue 35 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"(The Thunder Challenge) is a chance for kids to see some of the future stars of the WHL, and even the NHL"
- Rory Snider  
   
   

 

 
In a response to landowners, user groups and resource developers to update the management tools for public land, the Government of Alberta has announced it has assembled a new set of rules which improve management and encourage stewardship.
The new Public Lands Administration Regulation (PLAR) includes new rules to deal with those who abuse the land, provides a new appeals process, and allows companies to be more effective by streamlining application processes.
“These regulations will make things much, much more efficient,” said Minister of Sustainable Resource Development Mel Knight during a press conference.
“It gives us an opportunity as government to do a better job of managing and conserving public land and ensuring it is there for future generations to enjoy.”
The regulation streamlines industry applications from 27 processes down to three, and by reducing some of the administrative work at the front end, Knight said staff will be able to focus more on the sustainable use of public land.
For example, under the new process, a stop-work order could be issued to prevent loss or damage to the land, or restrictions could be set to protect fish and wildlife, Knight said.
“At the same time, it maintains the ‘teeth’ in the regulation that we need to be sure that we’re protecting public land,” said Knight.
The regulation also consolidates four regulations – the Disposition and Fees regulation, Unauthorized use of Public Land and Recovery of Penalty regulation, Forest Recreation regulation, and Castle Special Management Area regulation) to create a more efficient regulatory system.
 

The Province engaged consultation from First Nations, stakeholders, land user groups and Albertans from May to September 2010, which played a key role in developing the PLAR.
“From what I’ve heard back from Albertans, they’re very much in support of it,” said Morton.
During the consultation, government heard the importance of ensuring that recreationists can continue to enjoy public land by minimizing potential impacts.
Included in the PLAR are tools to support long-term health of the land, including identifying circumstances when it may be necessary to temporarily restrict access to public land.
For example, off-highway vehicles may not be permitted in extremely wet areas to prevent ruts and damage by spinning tires, or in very hot, dry areas which could be prone to wildfires.
“There were some questions particularly from the OHV community,” said Morton. “Once we had some good discussion around the reason for these regulations, I would suggest 100 per cent of the responsible ATV and OHV users have no problem with this.”
The regulation also outlines responsive enforcement options available to deal with offenders.
The PLAR comes into effect on Monday, September 12th.
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