+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 4-14S

Species at Risk Act (SARA)

March 26, 2014
Expiry Date:
April 1, 2017
Active Status:
Mackenzie County
4 - Northern
Intent Not Met
Vote Results:

WHEREAS the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and embedded habitat protection legislation will have long lasting negative effects on rural municipalities in Alberta by limiting the ability of people and our province to grow and prosper; and

WHEREAS the spirit and intent of the SARA legislation is desirable;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties and the Government of Alberta lobby the federal government to repeal the current Species at Risk Act and rebuild it in a way that better respects the socio-economic reality, seeking a balanced approach (economic, environmental, social).

Member Background:
  • The Species at Risk Act (SARA) is important but the current wording and application limits the ability of communities (people) to grow and prosper.
  • Will not do what is intended to do
  • Repeal current SARA provisions and rebuild it in such a way that better respects the reality on the ground
  • Habitat protection position of the Species at Risk Act is a problem 
  • Socio-economic factors are not taken into consideration
  • 171 townships out of Mackenzie County have been preliminarily identified as a protection zone
  • Effects: 40 year moratorium – seismic lines, 400 m buffer
  • Negative effect on future growth – industrial, resource, wood, oil and gas
  • The spirit and the intent of SARA can be achieved by repealing current SARA provisions and rebuilding the legislation in a way that better respects the reality of the socio-economic consequences that will be imposed by the enforcement of the legislation.
RMA Background:

The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

Government Response:

No response received to date. 


The response received from Environment Canada outlined the Ministry’s recovery strategy and supporting action planning process for endangered and threatened species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The action planning stage includes evaluating the social and economic costs and benefits of actions and the integration of provincial management plans. Though this process works towards the request of this resolution, a recovery strategy is not a regulatory document and as such, it lacks enforcement. Based on this information, the AAMDC assigns this resolution a status oft Intent Not Met and will continue to advocate to the federal government and assess Environment Canada’s process to seek a balanced approach to enforcement and implementation related to SARA.

Provincial Ministries:
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Federal Ministries and Bodies:
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