This release was issued under a previous government.

Public feedback will help the Alberta government develop the final North Saskatchewan Regional Plan (NSRP), which will ensure government policies guide natural resource development, support local economic growth, enhance recreation opportunities, respect traditional Indigenous land use and protect the environment.

“The North Saskatchewan Region is home to about 1.5 million Albertans, as well as Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, some of the best farmland in the world, foothills and mountains with immense recreation opportunities, and prized headwaters that supply drinking water to many communities. It is important that Albertans are engaged in building a plan for the region that is good for the environment, good for the economy and good for Albertans.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks

NSRP will be the third regional plan developed under Alberta’s Land-use Framework.

To help develop the draft plan, a regional advisory council made up of 27 Albertans was appointed in 2014 to provide independent, strategic advice, analysis and options to government. The council provided 69 recommendations to government in six topic areas.

Council recommendation areas

  • Managing wetlands and lakes as part of watershed management.
  • Supporting biodiversity in the region.
  • Inclusion of Indigenous peoples in land-use planning.
  • Community growth and community land-use planning.
  • Management of outdoor recreation.
  • Economic development.

The council’s report and recommendations provide important perspectives for Albertans to consider. The government encourages all interested parties, including Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the public, to provide their input and ideas for development of this plan.

The consultation period runs from March 7 to May 4, 2018. To read the North Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Council’s recommendations and provide feedback online, please visit:

Quick facts

  • The North Saskatchewan Region covers about 85,780 square kilometres of central Alberta – 13 per cent of the total land base of Alberta.
  • About 38 per cent of the provincial population of four million people lives in the region.
  • The North Saskatchewan Region is home to prized headwaters that supply the drinking water to the City of Edmonton and surrounding communities, such as Red Deer.
  • Banff is included in the North Saskatchewan Region to ensure that the key headwaters for the region are within the geographical boundary. The regional boundaries were based on major watersheds and adjusted to align with municipal boundaries.
  • Rapid population growth in the North Saskatchewan Region, particularly in the Capital Region, has created pressures on regional transportation routes and recreation areas.
  • From 2000 to 2013, the North Saskatchewan Region observed a 3.1 per cent annual growth rate in GDP, largely due to the Capital Region becoming a dispatch hub for goods shipped south to export markets or north for further natural resource development.