Draft Moose Lake Management Zone Plan released
The province is seeking feedback on a draft plan for the Moose Lake 10-km management zone, recognizing the significance of these traditional lands to the First Nation and Metis people of Fort McKay.
The Moose Lake 10-km management zone (10KMZ) is about 100 km northwest of Fort McMurray. The area has been identified as an area of significant importance by the Fort McKay First Nation and the last piece of relatively undisturbed land on which to practise Treaty rights and traditional uses.
“We are moving forward in collaboration with the Fort McKay First Nation to protect their traditional lands, while ensuring responsible development near their community. By working jointly with Indigenous peoples and industry, we have made a lot of progress and I look forward to refining the plan after careful consultation.”
A final plan for managing the zone would protect Fort McKay First Nation’s ability to continue to exercise Treaty rights and traditional practices, while maintaining opportunities for well-managed, controlled resource development, ecosystem function and biodiversity.
Recommendations in the draft plan include
- Improved air-quality management and monitoring for the 10KMZ and facilities developed within two km of the 10KMZ.
- Water allocation amounts within the 10KMZ will be subject to volumes that protect Fort McKay First Nation’s drinking water supply.
- Sustainable and healthy wildlife populations through plans that include Treaty rights as a fundamental component.
The Alberta government will continue to work collaboratively with Fort McKay First Nation to consider solutions that are sensitive to the needs of both Indigenous peoples and industry.
Now that the draft plan has been released, Albertans have the opportunity to review it and provide their feedback. Starting today, Albertans can go to https://talkaep.alberta.ca/moose-lake-10-km-management-zone to look at the draft plan and provide their comments. The government will then review the feedback and use the information provided to finalize the plan.
Fort McKay First Nation is located along the banks of the Athabasca River in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Moose Lake and Buffalo Lake are also referred to as Gardiner Lake and Namur Lake; they are about 50 km northwest of Fort McKay.
- In April, 2014, a letter of intent by former premier Jim Prentice provided assurance to Fort McKay First Nation of action to support the protection of land near Moose Lake.
- On Jan. 14, 2016, a Renewed Collaboration Agreement was signed by Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips and Fort McKay Chief Jim Boucher to use a process involving lead contacts to resolve obstacles in previous planning efforts.
- In July 2016, through consultation with stakeholders and Indigenous groups, co-leads representing Fort McKay First Nation and the Government of Alberta produced a report with 45 recommendations for management direction within the proposed 10KM Moose Lake Management Zone (10KMZ).
- Government is completing the 10KMZ plan to provide much-needed direction to regulators and land users regarding development and land-use activities near Fort McKay First Nation’s reserves.
- Government is seeking feedback from Indigenous groups, industry and the general public on the proposed 10KMZ before finalizing the plan.
- The 10KMZ plan is a part of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan and Alberta’s land-use planning as a whole. Once complete, it will be a major step forward for cumulative effects management in Alberta.