The Southern Foothills region of Alberta provides important ecological benefits to local people and to Albertans as a whole due to its rich diversity of plants and animals, its watershed quality, and its ecologically intact landscape. Development pressures from multiple activities threaten to compromise the relatively pristine status of this area. While economic activity provides benefits to Albertans, so does this landscape provide ecosystem goods and services that are important assets to be sustained for current and future generations.
The information base and local engagement process established through the Southern Foothills Study (see the report: The Changing Landscape of the Southern Alberta Foothills, June, 2007) provide a solid foundation for launching this project. The findings described the current ecological health conditions, key trends and cumulative impacts of human use activities in the region. Using the Southern Foothills Study as a starting point, this project has expanded north to Highway 22X.
The Pekisko Group and the Chinook Institute for Community Stewardship are partnering to deliver the project which will engage landowners, local community leaders and residents, land managers, land trusts and other stakeholders in a collaborative process that will address the critical next steps of:
Identifying and building understanding about desired ecological values and conditions through collaborative engagement of communities and stakeholders.
Determining principles, priorities and strategies to effectively maintain and enhance those desired conditions for the long term.
The outcome will be a set of recommendations for a) governments, b) municipalities, and c)non-government organizations, containing proposed direction and strategies for land use planning and management of Alberta’s Southern Foothills region that reflects the perspectives, values and experience of the citizens in that area.