On May 1st, 2014 Spray Lake Sawmills held a Collaborative Planning Session to develop preliminary harvest designs for the B-9 compartment. 13 people participated primarily landowners and residents from the rural residential area surrounding Benchlands, the Richards Road, the Jamieson Road and the village of Waiparous. SLS explained the planning and permit regulatory requirements administered by the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources Development. The planning hierarchy requirements, including submissions of the Detailed Forest Management Plan (DFMP), the General Development Plan (GDP), the Forest Harvest Plans (FHP) and the Annual Operating Plan (AOP) were shared with participants in a PowerPoint presentation. Detailed GIS maps with orthophotography, wet areas mapping, Lidar, and potential High Conservation Value Forest areas were shared with participants. The maps included preliminary harvest and road locations. Participants were asked what types of maps would be most helpful for them to best understand the proposed harvest plans. Participants were invited to delineate points of interest or site specific recommendations on the maps.
SLS made the following commitments to stakeholders at the session:
1) If specific concerns are raised during the session, SLS will arrange a field tour with stakeholders to address specific concerns on the ground and make any needed mitigations etc. prior to any field work or harvest plan submission.
2) SLS will listen to stakeholder concerns and follow-up with participants showing how the collaborative planning work will be used to develop draft final harvest plans. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to comment on the draft plans prior to harvest plan submission. SLS will then follow up with stakeholders and write the final harvest plan and submit it to the government.
Below, we have listed the participant comments and questions and have given them careful consideration. Our next steps are to keep participants informed regarding management plan development and to continue to receive and carefully consider feedback while working toward a final management plan.