Council Discretion on Conservation Projects
Res #: 8-03A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations
WHEREAS, wildlife, nature and conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited, through the purchasing and leasing of lands, have created many concerns for rural municipalities; and
WHEREAS, rural municipalities need to ensure these groups meet local land use goals that will lead to agriculture growth and contribute to the economy;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to require wildlife, nature and conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited to have RM Council input and approval for all conservation projects before they are implemented.
Response from the Honourable Ron Osika, Minister of Government Relations:
There is a provincial interest both in agricultural development and in the conservation of land important to the tourism industry. However, the interests of agriculture and conservation do not naturally reconcile where land is left idle. The Planning and Development Act, 1983 (the Act) permits a council to adopt land use planning bylaws establishing goals, policies, and regulations on the land use and development projects (i.e. building of structures, material change in land use or excavation of land). However, the Act does not regulate the acquisition of titled land by conservation groups.
The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act applies to the purchase of agricultural land, which regulates the ownership, and operation of Saskatchewan farmland by non-residents and non-Canadian entities. The Farmland Security Board is aware of rural municipal concerns and is reviewing the current process. It is understood that the Farmland Security Board recently initiated stakeholder consultations including rural municipalities and SARM. These stakeholder consultations may lead to options and recommendations for a new conservation land acquisition process that will meet municipal and community interests.