Reconciliation of issues through land and resource management planning

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Buchko, John Glen-Ward
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Land and resource managers are faced with the difficult dilemma of finding a balance between human needs and environmental integrity. In our society, management goals are directed toward satisfying human needs for resource consumption, while attempting to do so in a sustainable manner. Measuring levels of sustainability often becomes difficult, as many indicators of environmental health and prosperity present themselves at a long-term scale. Human needs, however, are ever-changing and extremely dynamic. A current proposal for a new national park within the Manitoba Lowlands natural region of Canada has created a concern amongst interest groups in the Long Point area of Manitoba. This study provided an alternative management strategy to the development of a national park by proposing land use recommendations for a component area of this proposed national park, through a 5-year and 25-year strategy plan. This plan accommodated both current and envisioned land uses while doing so in an environmentally responsible manner. The accommodation of these uses had been represented at different spatial scales, with design impositions which may act as a template for land and resource use throughout the region. Comparing this model to that of Parks Canada management principles leads to an understanding of whether or not a national park in this area would adequately accommodate stakeholder and environmental requirements. The field of landscape architecture allows us to explore spatial solutions for responsible land use from both a social and ecological perspective, yet the process of comparing use with ecological integrity is a complex process in which collaboration between many professions would be required.