Types of Strategic Land Use Plans
Strategic land-use planning for Crown lands in British Columbia has taken many forms over the years. These processes vary according to scale (regional, sub-regional, watershed-based, etc.), process and purpose.
Historic Types of Strategic Planning
The following land use planning processes are some that the B.C. Government has initiated over the years. While the government is not creating any more of these types of plans, the existing plans can still help inform government decisions:
- Integrated Watershed Management Plans (IWMP) – IWMPs were supposed to direct the planning and management of Crown land at a watershed level, with priority given to the protection of water supplies. See the Guide Page on Community Watershed Planning for more information.
- Local Resource Use Plans (LRUPs) – LRUPs were the smallest scale of strategic planning, usually used for areas comprising watersheds or valleys. They were only conducted in “hot spot” areas that had complex and competing resource issues. Because they were local in scale, LRUPs provided relatively specific management direction for forestry and range operations, although these were usually simply considered by the Ministry of Forests in making decisions. Sustainable Resource Management Planning will replace this planning process.
- Coordinated Resource Management Plans (CRMPs) – CRMPs were developed in British Columbia from the mid 1970s to 1980s. There are 87 in the province, mostly in the Kootenays and Okanagan, where the compatibility of forestry, livestock, grazing, wildlife, hunting and outdoor recreation was an issue. The authority for CRMPs was a 1976 Memorandum of Understanding between the agencies responsible for forests, environment, lands and parks, and agriculture. They were developed by the agencies, landowners, resource licensees, and public users of the planning areas. An inter-agency task group assumed joint responsibility for implementation of CRMPs.
- Regional Land Use Plans – Landscape Unit Plans are detailed documents that consider multiple land and resource values at a regional level. They provide goals and strategies for the allocation and use of those lands and resources. An arms-length government facilitator known as the Commissioner On Resources and the Environment (CORE) helped stakeholders develop these plans. There are only four regional land use plans in British Columbia: the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan, the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan, the West Kootenay-Boundary Land Use Plan, and the East Kootenay Land Use Plan. The CORE process was replaced by Land and Resource Management Plans (discussed below), which focus on a smaller scale and are facilitated by the Ministry of Forests, rather than by an arms-length body.
Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP)
Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP) is a sub-regional planning process used to provide management direction for all Crown land including Provincial forests and Crown aquatic land (except for land covered by Regional Land Use Plans). The Resource Management Division of the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management facilitates the development of LRMPs. Private land is not dealt with in LRMPs, unless it is managed as part of a timber tenure such as a tree farm licence. LRMPs are intended to establish direction for land use and specify broad resource management objectives and strategies for Crown land for up to 10 years. The boundaries for LRMPs were largely based on Provincial forest districts.
As of January 2003, a total of 22 LRMPs were either completed or underway in British Columbia. Lillooet, Morice, North Coast, Central Coast, Queen Charlottes – Haida Gwaii, and Sea-to-Sky areas were currently undertaking LRMP processes. The Provincial government is apparently not initiating any new LRMPs at this point, but may be willing to provide support if a community wishes to initiate a LRMP process.
LRMP have received mixed reviews. Dovetail Consultants (1999) found that,
… it is doubtful that the general management objectives or directions outlined in most LRMP plans will result in enhanced fisheries protection, over and above that which is mandatory under the Forest Practices Code. Most general management direction statements contained in LRMPs are vague or ambiguous and are subject to further interpretation at each subsequent (lower) level in the planning hierarchy… As a result, the strategy to achieve higher levels of fish habitat protection across the land base through general management direction statements contained in LRMPs may not be very effective.
Many people involved with the LRMP process also felt that Ministry of Forests and forest interests dominated the LRMP process, excluding other interests.
Landscape Level Planning
Landscape level planning is a key part of planning on crown land. It sets objectives for the use of particular areas of Crown land. Landscape level plans can be legally implemented in the forestry contect through Landscape Units, a tool created under the Forest Practices Code. Landscape units are usually 50,000 to 100,000 hectares in size and set legally enforceable objectives for resource management activities. However, landscape level planning is now being defined through Sustainable Resource Management Planning.
Related Guide Pages:
For more information about types of Strategic Land Use Planning:
- Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. What are Land Use Plans and Agreements.