Fall 2019

Newsletter Archive


PLUZ's and PNT's: Not Just Another Pretty Acronym

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Two 'conservation' tools often offered up as possible "conservation" designations are Public Land Use Zones (PLUZ's) and Protective Notations (PNT's). However, the suggestion is usually tempered by a feeling of not knowing how or if they work in that regard. Miistakis recently completed a report, PLUZ's and PNT's: Opportunities and Limitations for Nature Conservation aimed at providing basic descriptions of PLUZ's and PNT's, and then providing guidance as to their use in support of ecological conservation in Alberta.

The key to wielding these tools in support of ecological conservation is for the conservation community to better understand how they provide limits and triggers for land use activities, that they are mechanisms internal to the Government of Alberta, that they are not a conservation panacea, that they occupy a unique niche in the land use policy mosaic, and how to make use of their intangible benefits.

PLUZ's are established via the Public Lands Administration Regulation and provide general restrictions for the otherwise unlimited recreational access to public lands. In terms of conservation they have several limitations, but can be an important tool based on their ability to provide limits.

PNTs are annotations attached to public land parcels that speak to a feature of that parcel that is worth protecting. They are part of a system whose function is to internally track Government of Alberta goals and decisions for publicly-owned parcels. They have no legislative force to compel protective action, but can be important due to their ability to trigger formal consideration of ecological features when assessing a disposition request.

The report concludes with recommendations for ensuring a PLUZ can work for conservation, a PNT can work for conservation, and effective management plans are in place, and for protecting transfers of land to government agencies that become subject to a PLUZ and/or PNT.

While not the top-tier conservation devices in Alberta, PLUZ's and PNT's can play a vital role for nature conservation on multi-use public lands, so long as conservationists understand them and deploy them thoughtfully.

Download the report from our website.