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Peggy Holroyd, MEDes – Senior Land Use Planner, The Government of Northwest Territories, Department of Lands & Daniel Grant – Environmental Resource Planning Specialist, The Government of Northwest Territories, Department of Lands

Post- devolution in 2014, the GNWT Department of Lands began the development of a Recreational Land Management Framework (RLMF), to guide its response to demand for recreational land use opportunities on territorial and Commissioner’s land in the Northwest Territories.

Recreational use of public lands in the Northwest Territories is becoming an increasingly pressing land management challenge. The issue is particularly acute close to the large communities, where the growing demand by residents for a variety of recreational experiences is met with public concerns that popular lakes may be ‘at capacity’ for recreational use, and access to new areas is limited.  

Additional public land management issues include:  providing for a diversity of recreational uses while meeting the demand for recreational cabin leases, addressing unauthorized occupancy, recognizing traditional uses, integrating recreation use with other commercial or industry uses, and reconciling the land administration regimes for Commissioner’s land and recently devolved lands.
As part of the development of the RLMF, Lands is evaluating the use of recreation resource methodologies to help inform the administration, planning and management of public lands for recreational use. These methods include the Water and Land Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (WALROS), the Recreation Resource Identification, Assessment & Mapping (R2IAM), and a recreational carrying capacity methodology. While the field of recreation management planning is well developed in the South, new approaches must be taken to recreation management planning in the North. In this presentation an update on the development of the RLMF will be provided and the opportunity and challenge of applying recreation resource methodologies in the North will be explored.