Stage One – Informal facilitation

Steps involved in the agricultural public land dispute resolution process.


Disputes may arise over miscommunications, or when public land disposition holders and recreational users do not have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities. By talking first to local rangeland staff, leaseholders and recreational users may be able to resolve the issue immediately.

At this informal stage, local rangeland staff cannot impose a binding decision regarding access. Although facilitation with local rangeland staff is a voluntary process, it is highly encouraged as many disputes can be prevented or resolved through discussion and education.

Step 1. Contact local rangeland staff

Before moving to the formal stages of dispute resolution at the Local Settlement Officer (LSO) level, the parties in dispute are encouraged to first contact their local Rangeland Agrologist staff. These staff members are trained to answer questions concerning recreational access and to facilitate discussion that will help them resolve their differences.

Contact information can be found by region at: Land Management – Contacts.

Any dispute applications must be submitted for LSO review within 7 days from the date that the dispute first occurred.

Step 2. Discussion between disputing parties

At this stage, local rangeland staff will work with both of the disputing parties. The staff will facilitate a discussion between the two parties to come to an agreement on recreational access for the land in question.

Step 3. Submit application for LSO Review (optional)

Since the initiation of the LSO review is time sensitive, local Rangeland staff will suggest the option to submit an application for LSO Review within seven days of the date the dispute occurred. This ensures that the application is registered if facilitation does not result in an agreement.

Step 4. Agreement for recreational access

If the parties come to a facilitated agreement, then the matter is considered settled. If an LSO Dispute Review application was completed, it will be withdrawn.

Next stage

For information on the next stage in the dispute resolution process, see: Stage Two – Local Settlement Officer review.


To connect with one of our rangeland agrologists for further information about recreational access on agricultural public land in alberta, see the contact list at: Land Management - Contacts.

If you have questions about access to agricultural public land for recreation, contact 310-LAND (5263).