Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Committee Guiding Principles
- The committee is an advisory committee that works in good faith to create recommendations for a lasting and robust land management plan, with the best interests of the wider ecological and residential communities in mind, setting aside personal agendas or misgivings about the associated TCH construction project during the time of our work.
- All information pertinent to the five land parcels or other parcels discussed for strategic purchase must be disclosed to the committee unless it breaches legal confidentiality agreements.
- Decision-making is conducted on a consensus basis unless it is clear that consensus cannot be achieved. In the latter instance, a vote will be taken; the TIR chair does not have a vote except to break a tie and each organization/government department is allowed one vote each.
- Committee meetings will not be open to the public, but regular updates will be made available online in a timely fashion to the wider community.
- The committee will seek input from the public at the draft report stage and all input will be made available to the public.
- During the work of the committee, an agreed upon non-government spokesperson [co-chair Todd Dupuis] will speak for the committee and other committee members will not conduct formal interviews on the work. Any public relations announcements about the committee from government departments must seek input from the committee through the chair(s) before release. The same courtesy will be extended to TIR should the committee wish to deliver a press release.
- The committee will operate for a period of one year (October 2012-October 2013), or until the report to the Minister has been acted on. The committee may remain in place following this time to work on mutually agreed upon goals including implementing the long term management plans identified in the report to the Minister.
Land Management Principles
- Land management should consider relevant broader, existing strategies and policies such as the Provincial Climate Change Strategy and the West River Watershed Management Plan.
- Conservation of existing areas with high geological, ecological or heritage values is of primary importance.
- Strategic acquisition (through purchase or trade) or restoration of other areas is important where there is a positive impact on habitat connectivity or other broad management goals such as erosion control, active living or protection of viewscapes.
- Preservation of lands should be considered for the most special/most sensitive areas.
- Allowable resource uses should be based first on minimizing ecological risks and second on promoting active, outdoor, sustainable living.
- Given the topography of the Bonshaw Hills region and the propensity of Island soils for erosion, long-term management plans should reflect a commitment to minimizing our chronic land use problems associated with soil erosion and excessive nutrient enrichment of groundwater.
- Active management (e.g. tree cutting, pruning, planting) may be allowed to enhance natural features or public access. Any funds generated (from tree cutting for example) will be reinvested in the properties.
- Education and nature interpretation values should be built into the initial framework, to promote wise use of natural resources.
- Land management should consider broader strategies for provincial parklands and other public lands in the vicinity, to maximize the public benefit and natural capital values.
- Public access will be allowed unless there is a conservation or safety reason not to.
- Management will accommodate multiple uses such as hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, low-impact camping, education, training and research within the context of Principle #10.
- Traditional consumptive uses of hunting, fishing, trapping and berry-picking will be allowed within the context of Principle #10.
- No motorized vehicle access will be allowed (with the exception of wheelchairs), unless it is for management purposes.
December 1, 2016