Come see Dee Patriquin & Jenet Dooley March 1st 3:00PM @ CLRA (Palmero Room)
For their talk on navigating conflict: Early use of scalable mapping to gain multi-stakeholder consensus
Traditionally, resource development projects have generalized impacts to a landscape level for ease of screening, particularly for complicated, large scale projects. This introduces the risk of ignoring more localized impacts, and thus increasingly leads to challenges by stakeholders. For example, traditional land use necessarily requires site specific evaluation for potential impacts, but can be diluted in landscape level analysis used in EIA. Similarly, the Alberta Wetland Policy (2013) promotes wetland compensation and restoration within regional watersheds, which may deplete local abundance where development is intense. These problems need wholistic, landscape scale solutions that can scale up localized impacts, without losing site specific detail. Comprehensive ecological mapping and inventories can better inform land management, but have been a costly solution. Through newly developed cost-effective digital methods, we have created fine resolution ecological inventories that can inform land management at local to landscape scale. Using LiDAR, SPOT imagery and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) modeling approaches, we have accurately mapped wetlands and land cover within large landscapes to Alberta’s ‘fine-scale’ resolution standard. In recent projects, high resolution, accurate wetland mapping was central to identifying environmental sensitivities and recommending land management, at a scale suitable for various collaborators including municipalities and First Nations. Detailed mapping highlighted key ecological assets and constraints, and facilitated planning scalable from fine to landscape scale, by identifying relevant, localized effects early in the process. From our first project, the role of such inventories in facilitating consensus among multi-stakeholder groups was obvious. Our talk will highlight these and other benefits of environmental sensitivities mapping for project planning to demonstrate how newly developed technology can help mitigate stakeholder challenges as the project develops.