Crown Land Gravel Location

Res #: 20-03M
Number: 20
Year: 2003
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Environment

Resolution 20-03M

WHEREAS, it is getting increasingly difficult for rural municipalities to locate and develop suitable gravel commodities to maintain their municipal road infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, Saskatchewan Environment protects many parcels of Crown pasture land from gravel investigation or development by registering interests against the said lands stating it is "environmentally sensitive" or "critical wildlife habitat exists", thereby making it very difficult to get permission to test for gravel on any of these pasture lands; and

WHEREAS, it is believed that rural municipalities would be very sensitive to the environment and the wildlife in such gravel investigation and development on these lands;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that rural municipalities be exempt from the environmental and wildlife protection interests registered against these Crown pasture lands which would allow rural municipalities to investigate and develop gravel stockpiles, if suitable gravel is located on these lands, with a much greater ease.

Response from Honourable David Forbes, Minister of Saskatchewan Environment:

The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act (WHPA) was enacted to protect natural landscapes and wildlife habitat as well as wildlife, particularly species at risk on Crown land considered important to wildlife. Saskatchewan Environment will continue to work with rural municipalities to determine appropriate areas and conditions for the exploration and development of gravel on WHPA lands, which will not jeopardize species at risk, environmentally sensitive landscapes or important wildife habitat.

WHPA prevents government from selling these designated Crown lands and proponents (e.g., oil and gas companies) and lessees require permission from Saskatchewan Environment before most habitat alteration occurs. The philosophy of WHPA is to conserve wildlife habitat while enabling traditional and compatible uses to co-exist. Environmental reviews of development activities on these lands are required to ensure that other values are not compromised by development activities.