Stewarding ranching landscapes in the Calgary area : a land-use planning analysis

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Benoit, Aimee Deanne
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography
In recent years, ranching landscapes west of Calgary, Alberta, have experienced intensifying land-use pressures related to urban growth and development in the region. The purpose of this thesis is to better understand how people who live in two rural municipalities surrounding Calgary perceive and value ranching landscapes, as the basis for land-use planning approaches to improve private land stewardship. Based on a qualitative comparative case study, the thesis identifies several categories of landscape values and pressures, which interact to inform place meanings and ultimately land management decisions. Several policy gaps are identified in each municipality through an assessment of the local land-use planning frameworks. Overall the study reveals that not all landscape values are currently recognized in the land-use planning process. It suggests a framework for land stewardship based on five elements: a working landscape approach, fair compensation, integrated landscape assessment, social learning opportunities, and coordinated, multi-scale solutions.
landscape values , land stewardship , land-use planning , land-use pressures , ranching landscapes , urban growth