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The Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP) was launched in response to the intense pressure the lakes are experiencing as a result of increased development, waste water discharge and conflicting demands on recreational resources. These challenges are set against a complicated regulatory environment where public agencies from multiple levels of government have legal jurisdiction over some aspect of the region. In early 2007, government agency representatives began to explore the viability of a multi-agency strategic planning process to address these challenges. Fundamental to the approach has been the involvement of elected officials, First Nations and the public.
Technical Teams were established and challenged with finding solutions to issues with foreshore development, water quality and waste management, and recreation management. Each team was comprised of public officials and technical experts. The goal of this new project proposal is to build on the success of the 2007/2008 planning and governance process and implement key recommendations developed in the SLIPP Strategic Plan.
This work represents an important turning point in the management of Shuswap and Mara Lakes, and it is critical to success to continue the momentum of the planning process and to begin implementation of the strategies developed. The goal of this new project proposal is to implement key initiatives developed by the process to date.
The project will build on the work completed in the first two years of the Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process to implement best management practices for small scale development and a multi-agency review process for large-scale development and policy for regulation and maintenance of current land and water use in Shuswap and Mara Lakes. It is this proposals main goal to continue working with a multi-agency framework which will have the capacity to deliver and administrate aligned management practices to maintain and improve the health of Shuswap and Mara Lakes salmonid resources, while engaging the public and First Nations.
A strategic framework was created to capture the desired outcome of the SLIPP process. The framework consists of a vision and three goals, which, combined, present a compelling future for the lakes. The goals have supporting strategies that are either aligned to them directly or cut across all three, since inherent links exist between the goals. The strategies identify specific actions that will be undertaken to address the specific issues that have been raised by the public and agency staff throughout the development of this plan.
The strategies, in many cases, are focused on enhancing the working practices of public agencies. This is to be expected given the complex and fragmented jurisdictional structure that exists when all levels of government and so many agencies have an interest in one area. The strategies will improve governance, communication, information sharing and operations across the public agencies. They will also enhance and better utilize the collective resources, capabilities and knowledge of stakeholder groups, First Nations, the public and industry.
The project will focus on initiatives where collaboration and relationship building among organizations and interests lead to effective multi-agency strategic planning processes to benefit salmonid resources.
Priority activities include color-coded foreshore habitat value map for the lakes, developing a model for assessing cumulative impacts, eliminate boat discharge by 2010, meetings with agencies to deal with issues of large scale development and with issues with foreshore development, water quality and recreation management.
The final report for the study is posted in the orange resource box to the upper right.