|In the mid-1990's, the government of British Columbia put in place a system of multi-party land use planning for 23 large regions throughout the province.
The process was referred to as Land and Resource Management Planning or LRMPs. The LRMPs involved the participation of local communities, First Nations, business interests and resource users in developing consensus around land use and resource management objectives. The purpose was to produce recommendations for consideration by the provincial government.
This multi-party planning process made recommendations for the establishment of protected areas and resource management activities in more than 80 percent of the province. For more information on the government's land use planning process, click here and on the links below, to be transferred to the appropriate sections of the government’s web site.
On April 4, 2001, the British Columbia government announced an Interim Land Use Plan for the 4.8 million hectare Central Coast and a General Protocol Agreement with First Nations.
The Interim Plan for the Central Coast identified 20 new Protection Areas that were officially designated in May 2002. In the Protection Areas, encompassing 441,000 hectares, industrial development is strictly prohibited. With the addition of these new areas, a total of 20 percent of the Central Coast was set aside from development.
In order to maintain options for completion of planning and the implementation of ecosystem-based management, a further 17 areas encompassing 534,000 hectares were designated Option Areas. In these landscapes, development was put on hold pending completion of land use planning and development of the ecosystem-based management framework.
Three years later, in April 2004, consensus recommendations were delivered to the provincial government by the Central Coast LRMP. The recommendations included an increase in protected areas and a proposal to implement ecosystem-based management to guide future resource development in the region.
The North Coast LRMP began in February 2002 reaching a consensus agreement in February 2005. The North Coast planning table included the provincial government, various economic and public interest sectors, and eight First Nations: the Gitga'at, Haisla; Kitkatla; Kitselas; Kitsumkalum; Lax Kwaalams, Metlakatla, and Nisga'a. As with the Central Coast process, the North Coast recommendations included an increase in protected areas and a proposal to implement ecosystem-based management in the region.
The consensus recommendations of the Central and North Coast LRMPs were subject to government-to-government negotiations involving the province and coastal First Nations. An innovative system of collaborative governance has been instituted to oversee implementation of the land use decision, including EBM.