Consideration of historic resources is important when planning any type of development project in Alberta.

Most types of development activities are required to obtain formal approval under the HRA prior to the onset of activities. In some instances, a ­Historic Resource Impact Assessment is required before approval can be issued.

The need to preserve and study historic resources has long been recognized and is officially reflected in the Historical Resources Act (HRA).

Projects that need HRA approval

One of the primary tools for determining if there may be a historic resource concern in a proposed project area is the listing of historic resources.

The Listing identifies lands that have been assigned a Historic Resource Value (HRV) based on the presence of a known historic resource or the potential to contain one. For some project types – those that have a small footprint and/or result in a relatively low level of impact – referring to the Listing is the only step required to determine if Historical Resources Act (HRA) approval is required.

All lands in Alberta have not yet been assigned a HRV, though, so larger, more intensive projects may require approval regardless of Listing information.

A series of Land Use Procedures bulletins have been developed to help in determining if HRA approval is required for specific project types.

Project types not covered by a Land Use Procedures bulletin always require Historical Resources Act approval.

Apply for Historical Resources Act approval

If it is determined that HRA approval is required for a project, a Historic Resources Application must be submitted through the Online Permitting and Clearance (OPaC) system.

User guides and help buttons within the application form can assist with completing an application.

Finding resource during construction

Even after HRA approval has been issued for a project, if a historic find is encountered during the course of development activities, it must be reported immediately.

All activities that may impact the resource are to cease while it is being evaluated.

See the following document for more information:


To connect with the Historic Resources Management Branch:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-431-2300
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-427-3956
Email: martina.purdon@gov.ab.ca

8820 112 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6G 2P8