Land Use Plans

Land use planning can increase certainty regarding resource conservation and use, and form the foundation for balanced solutions that meet economic, environmental, and social needs.  AME BC has taken a direct role in a number of specific government land use Planning initiatives and land use decisions. Below is a summary of recent cases.

Atlin Taku Land Use Plan
Flathead River Watershed
Dease Liard Sustainable Resource Management Plan

Atlin Taku Land Use Plan

AME BC first became engaged in the Atlin Taku Land Use Plan in November 22, 2008 by participating in a workshop in Atlin. Staff expressed the key requirements from the mineral exploration sector including ensuring sufficient access to land base to explore for minerals; access corridors for moving people and equipment; security of tenure and clear permit conditions; community support for responsible development based on clear principles/performance expectations; and human resources at all stages of exploration and mining.

For background information on the area and the planning process, please visit

The Integrated Land Management Bureau and Taku River Tlingit First Nation released the Atlin Taku Final Draft Plan on October 15, 2010. The Atlin Taku Land Use Plan has been developed through a collaborative government-to-government process between the Province of British Columbia and the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, and in consultation with neighboring First Nations, the local community and stakeholders.

In April 2011 the Taku River Tlingit First Nation approved the final draft plan, which was implemented in 2012.

Below are supporting documents relating to the development of the final plan:

Flathead River Watershed

At the 33rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Seville, Spain, the Committee issued the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Decision: 33 COM 7B.22 regarding lands bordering Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in an area of southeastern British Columbia known as the Flathead.  The decision specifically called for Canada to invite a “joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission to take place as soon as possible to evaluate and provide recommendations on the requirements for ensuring the protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value…”.  The decision furthermore requires that a report be filed with the World Heritage Centre by February 2010, “including status of all mining and energy development proposals in the Flathead Valley…”.

The decision by the World Heritage Committee was made based on evidence submitted by a limited number of non-governmental organizations. No information or evidence was requested from people living and working in the region or any other stakeholder. Nor was information sought from the local Aboriginal people, the Ktunaxa.

It must be clarified that British Columbia’s East Kootenays, the region in which the Flathead is located, presently has over 16% of its land base in protected areas. An additional 11.3% of the land base is designated “special resource management zone” where industrial development or natural resource extraction is extremely limited, if at all tolerated.

The September 2009 the World Heritage Report was released which concluded that industrial activity in the Flathead is not compatible with protecting the values of the adjacent Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.  In the spring of 2010 the provincial government issued two orders; the first order prevented any further acquisition of subsurface tenure, while the second order stopped all review of new or extensions of further mineral exploration work applications. 

At the time of the orders there were 53 mineral claims held by eight owners along with 13 coal licences held by three owners. The government also announced that it would seek resolution of the current coal and mineral tenures via compensation based on sunk costs, however no definition or explanation of ‘sunk costs’ has been provided by government.  As of May 2011, no resolution of the mineral claims has been achieved, though government does continue to acknowledge the issue of the outstanding tenures.

Below are supporting documents relating to the developments with the Flathead area:

 Dease Liard Sustainable Resource Management Plan

The provincial government approved the first phase of the Dease Liard Sustainable Resource Management Plan (SRMP) in November 2004.  AME BC became actively involved with this process in 2008 and has made submissions to the joint planning table.

In August 2010 the Plan was released for review.  AME BC made a submission to government in March 24, 2011 that expressed overall support for the Plan, which was implemented in 2012.