October 12th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 40
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Discussing footprint management for local landscape
Stakeholders gather to discuss management plan for the Porcupine Hills and Livingstone
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Environment and Parks representative Heather Davis discussing a linear footprint management plan for the Porcupine Hills and Livingstone Range areas with stakeholders in Pincher Creek Community Hall.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
On Oct. 5, about 80 people gathered in the Pincher Creek Community Hall to discuss a linear footprint management plan for the Porcupine Hills and Livingstone Range areas.

In attendance were a number of stakeholders including loggers, ranchers, miners and environmentalists.

The plan calls for limiting the overall amount of road or trail open to motorized access to 0.6 kilometres per square kilometre. Studies have shown that anything above that leads to ecosystem degradation and decreases in biodiversity.
continued below ...
“We’ve got a very busy landscape out there now,” said Heather Sinton, director of Land and Environment Planning South for Environment and Parks. “And so we want to try and manage the public land better to make sure the human footprint is managed in a responsible way so that biodiversity is maintained over time.”

The footprint plan also calls for 100-metre buffers next to watercourses. Any trails or roads that are currently within that buffer that are on highly erodible areas are to be moved, said Sinton.

The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) specifies that some areas will receive more protection than others. Key headwaters, areas of sensitive habitat and other areas important to biodiversity will be subject to the heaviest restrictions.
continued below ...
Critical Management Zones will be the most restrictive followed by Enhanced Management Zones and then Integrated Management Zones.
“This is a working land we’re dealing with,” said Sinton. “We’ll still have energy activity and forestry but we want to do it in a manner that minimizes the footprint.”

Sinton said a draft plan could be completed by the end of November. At that point Environment and Parks will schedule a series of public consultations.

A separate Recreation Management Plan is expected to be completed in early 2017.
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October 12th ~ Vol. 85 No. 40
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