West Cranbrook Recreation Management Strategy (RMS)
The RMS plan area totals more than 800,000 ha and comprises the west side of the former Cranbrook Forest District. Only non-park Provincial Crown land is included; i.e. there are no Federal lands, private lands or protected areas considered in the plan. It encompasses 24 Landscape Units, the municipalities of Cranbrook and Kimberley, sections of the Kootenay, Bull, Moyie and St. Mary’s Rivers and their tributaries east of the Purcells. It lies immediately west and adjacent to the Southern Rocky Mountain Management Plan area, a landscape-level sustainable resource management plan approved by government in 2003.
The high scenic, conservation and recreation values of the land and water within the plan area contribute to the quality of life for residents and are spurring a dramatic growth in tourism-related industries. With the diversity of recreation opportunities, there is also an increasing demand on the land base from both commercial and public recreation users; as a result, there are conflicts between and among them. Impacts on other resource values are also becoming a concern. To help address impacts and conflicts, protect resource values, provide increased certainty to the commercial recreation sector, and to complete recreation planning in the Cranbrook Landscape Units, this area was given priority for strategic recreation access planning.
A total of 40 recreation groups/stakeholders were involved in the planning process over a period of two and a half years. Input to the plan came from intensive consultative workshops with stakeholders over the planning period and an Open House and 21-day public review and comment period.
On March 5, 2005, stakeholders provided consensus
recommendations for 99% of the plan to the Minister of Sustainable
Resource Management and requested that government provide decisions on two
points of disagreement, i.e. access to Mause Creek and access within the
mid-elevation grasslands. The final plan is consistent with the
stakeholder recommendations. The plan was signed by 34 local stakeholders
and government. A few Stakeholders represented in the process who did not
sign the March 5th recommendations indicated that they could not support
the plan because of the limitations to off-road use in some areas in the
The Cranbrook West RMS outlines the strategic direction for summer and winter recreation access. This document will assist government agencies by providing landscape level strategic direction for recreation management within the plan area. The RMS contains key management direction for recreation access and environmental stewardship.