What is our vision for the Valley?
This is page 4 of 5 in PLANNING OUR FUTURE — a broad perspective of planning in the Bulkley Valley.
What special characteristics do Valley residents want their community and home region to have a generation from now?
Answering this question is true visioning — not just five-year goal-setting.
Many trends occur in a community due to collective human actions in the absence of collective intention – think of crime, smoky air, reduced viability of small-scale farming, Telkwa becoming a bedroom suburb of Smithers. Some trends, however, are susceptible to beneficial change if the community first becomes conscious of what it wants. In the Bulkley Valley, agriculture has received strong support from the community and the resulting farms and ranches might be contributing more to the Valley than would have occurred from economic forces alone. What do you think? Comment on this or suggest other possible examples of community vision.
A community vision for the Valley’s future does not have to be developed from scratch. There have been many efforts in the past to identify community values, goals and visions. Some are documented in current plans as exceprted below. Other historical documents and reports exist and need to be added to Valley Vision if and when readers let us know about them.
Valley Vision is gathering exisiting vision statements and soliciting input from residents to build a comprehensive vision for the future of the Bulkley Valley. Such a vision statement will allow a more focussed and coordinated approach to land use planning and should result in benefical changes to development trends.
Please read the current vision statements and then contribute your knowledge and vision.
Vision Statements in Current Plans
The Morice Land and Resource Managment Plan, prepared by Integrated Land Management Bureau, used the following vision statement to provide context for the development of zones and management direction for the plan area.
The Morice LRMP planning table envisions a future with a plan area that will continue to have outstanding natural features, including spectacular mountain ranges, large river and lake systems, extensive forest lands, grasslands and wilderness areas. The management of this environment will help to sustain healthy communities and a diverse and prosperous economy. The people of the Morice will continue to regard the land with a sense of pride that embraces a healthy balance between First Nations, environmental, economic, and social values.
This two-page PDF file contains the Morice LRMP’s Part 2: Vision, Goals and Principles: Morice_LRMP_Vision.pdf
The Bulkley Land and Resource Management Plan does not have a vision statement in the plan document. However, the Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board that was established in 1991 to complete the LRMP was guided by the Hilltop Agreement, which starts with the following:
It is agreed that good decisions about the use and management of the resources of the Bulkley Forest District will be reached through processes which genuinely reflect the wishes of the residents. Such decisions should reflect fully all cultural, economic, ecological and spiritual values which members of the community attach to alternative ways such resources might be managed and used, and the course of action adopted should optimize values to the community and the Province.
Smithers OCP 2000
The Smithers Official Community Plan, approved by the Mayor and Council of Smithers in 2000, states the following community goals and guiding objectives:
- Maintain a Small Town Atmosphere
- Support a Vibrant, Attractive Downtown
- Encourage a Diversified, Local Economy
- Protect the Natural Environment
- Meet the Housing Needs of all Residents and Future Residents
- Support Heritage Conservation
- Promote the Safe Movement of Pedestrians and Cyclists While Maintaining Efficient Vehicle Circulation
- Maintain and Enhance Park, Recreational and Community Facilities for all Smithers Residents
Telkwa OCP 2002
The Telkwa Official Community Plan, approved by the Mayor and Council of Telkwa in 2002, identifies community values and then lists the following community goals and objectives:
- Maintain a small Village atmosphere and rural character
- Revitalize and beautify the downtown core
- Develop a balanced local economy, supporting commercial and industrial opportunities
- Design with nature in mind and focus on retaining natural landscape features as a part of good development
- Design and plan for an expanded population base, including new residential neighbourhoods, and broadening the housing options in the village
- Support Heritage Conservation
- Promote the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists while providing an efficient road network for vehicular traffic
- Provide safe and plentiful drinking water to all village residences
- Maintain and enhance the community trail network, and other recreational and community facilities.
Smithers Telkwa Rural OCP 2007
The following is from Section 2 – Plan Goals in the Smithers Telkwa Rural Official Community Plan, (adopted August 23, 2007).
The area encompassed by the Smithers Telkwa Rural Official Community Plan includes a number of characteristics that are recognized by the community as being important to the long-term vitality of the Region. The Plan area’s natural beauty, social environment and economic opportunities attract a diversity of people, business and industry, and these attributes need to be protected and enhanced. The Plan strives to meet the needs of the present without compromising the area’s natural, social and economic attributes, and without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In this effort the Smithers Telkwa Rural Official Community Plan pursues the following goals.
- Land use patterns and economic activities which do not compromise the rural character of the Plan area.
- Land use patterns that maintain the rural character of the Plan area and that reflect a diversity of lifestyles, and economic and recreational activities.
- Recognition of the unique natural characteristics of the Plan area and their protection from incompatible forms of development.
- Protection and stewardship of environmentally sensitive attributes (including fish, riparian and wildlife habitat; and quality and quantity of ground and surface water).
- Preservation of land with agricultural potential.
- Maintenance of a balance between the regulation of land use to protect community values and the desire of local residents for a lifestyle with a high degree of self expression respecting use of their property.
- Appropriate and orderly rural growth with urban type development directed to the municipalities of Smithers and Telkwa.
- Provision of opportunities for light industrial land uses where appropriate.
- Provision of neighbourhood commercial uses throughout the Plan area where appropriate, with large scale commercial development directed to the municipalities of Smithers and Telkwa.