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Regional Mapping and Planning in Redberry Lake
The Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, along with Prairie Wild Consulting Co., is working on a long-term sustainable Regional Plan for the Biosphere Reserve and area. This document is being created as a community planning pilot program for the North West Enterprise Region Inc. (NWER). Through a community mapping exercise, participants (local elected and non-elected leaders and stakeholders) from within the region shared information regarding potential future development within and amongst their local communities and respective municipalities. A key outcome of this exercise is a draft future land use concept plan. Together the map and contents are intended to help inform any future planning – land use, economic, social, cultural and/or environmental.
Building on the good work members of the community have been involved with, during 2012 the members of the Redberry Lake Biosphere Regional Planning Initiative, have been continuing to work together with the locally grown planning firm to develop the final drafts of a comprehensive planning framework to guide growth and development over the next 25+ years. This includes the development of a volunteer district planning commission, comprehensive District Plan, and respective Official Community Plans, Zoning Bylaws and reference maps for each of the participating member municipalities. This initiative includes the Towns of Hafford and Radisson, Villages of Maymont and Borden and the RMs of Meeting Lake, Douglas and Great Bend. Matched funding was provided by the Provincial Planning for Growth Fund.
In 2013 a series of community open houses will be held to include local wisdom and experience into the planning framework.
The Science and Technology Branch of Agriculture Canada (formerly known as Agri-Environment Services Branch (AESB) or "PFRA") developed the Land and Infrastructure Resiliency Assessment (LIRA). It is a tool that municipalities can use to develop proactive plans and strategies which will cost-effectively mitigate the effects of extreme rain events.
Extreme rainfall events can cause flooding which, in turn, can cause significant damage to both the agricultural landscape and rural infrastructure and therefore have major economic and environmental consequences – today and in the future. Climate change may increase the magnitude and frequency of such events and therefore cause greater damage in the future. This raises some important questions: Is it possible to be proactive and 'adapt' a local landscape to mitigate flood-related damage while at the same time increasing a region’s economic development opportunities? And would the benefits outweigh the costs of implementation? LIRA was designed to provide decision makers with a methodology that will help answer these types of questions, through the development of a standardized cost/benefit assessment tool applicable in any region of the country.
Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve is pilot site for LIRA
The Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve region is one of the proposed pilot areas for LIRA. The flood modeling tools and maps that will be developed through LIRA will be incorporated into the district planning framework to help guide where best to place development to mitigate flooding potentials. LIRA is a five phase process. Phase four (testing the methodology within a rural setting) has been started in January 2011 and is the focus of this proposal.
The next step is helping farmers with the adaptation and mitigation measures that may have to be done on the landscape for prevention from extreme flood events.
One additional thought is that the adaptation measures for flooding will be a way for farmers to also prepare for the opposite extreme – drought. This will have a natural tie-in to an Ecological Goods and Services project in the next few years.
Download the LIRA Summary Report for the Redberry Lake Region Pilot Study.
Download the Community Mapping Report as well as the Land Use and Infrastructure Data Collection and Cataloguing (LUIDC) Project.