(Attendance limited to Full Conference Registrants. Must be pre-registered and capacity is limited, so register early to confirm your seat).
Rural municipalities are experiencing a surge in interest from renewable energy developers seeking to construct, own and operate solar electricity facilities in their regions. In consideration of where these facilities should and should not be sited, the “Least Conflict Lands” approach to land-use planning takes a strong engagement approach and involves numerous stakeholders to determine how best to balance the competing interests of high-valued agricultural and ecological lands, visual impacts to the landscape, economic development and greenhouse gas emissions displacement. There are several opportunities municipalities may realize from documenting land of high ecological importance, such as reducing impacts of flooding, drought, wildlife displacement, and habitat loss. This workshop delivered by Tracy Lee, Senior Project Manager, Miistakis Institute and Kelly Learned, Project Manager, Miistakis Institute will provide an overview of the Least Conflict Lands approach and pilot project with Wheatland County and the County of Newell (Alberta). Attendees will include rural municipalities, utility-scale solar developers, environmental consultants and other interested stakeholders. The Least Conflict Lands process was originally developed by Conservation Biology Institute and University of California Environmental Law, Berkeley.
- Learn about this stakeholder driven process developed to identify lands with the least environmental, political and social conflicts for siting large scale renewable energy developments.
- Hear from municipal decision makers and how they plan to use the Least Conflict Lands tool.
- Explore the tool, potential expansion and application.
- Introduction to Miistakis & the “Least Conflict Lands” Approach.
- Case Study: Key Learnings from the County of Newell & Wheatland County
- Municipal Panel Session: How will municipal decision makers use this tool?
- Breakout Facilitated Discussions & Report Back
- Conclusion, Summary & Next Steps
Tracy Lee, B.Sc., M.Sc., Senior Project Manager, Miistakis Institute
Tracy Lee’s work at Miistakis focuses on conservation issues relating to transportation ecology, connectivity, citizen engagement, conservation planning and human and wildlife coexistence. Tracy has worked with academics, municipal and provincial governments, non-profits on a diversity of programs where she has played multiple roles including project management, research design, literature reviews, spatial analysis (modeling on where wildlife need to move across roads), and development of on-the-ground strategies. Tracy has developed and implemented numerous research programs aimed at addressing connectivity conservation challenges.
Kelly Learned, MEDes RPP MCIP, Project Manager, Miistakis Institute
Kelly Learned is a registered professional with the Canadian Institute of Planners with well over a decade of experience in the planning profession at the municipal, regional and provincial levels. Kelly has been fortunate to work as a parks planner/inspector; long-range planner; the Regional environment, infrastructure and planning lead; private sustainability consultant; and is currently a project manager with the Miistakis Institute. Kelly’s work at Miistakis focuses on the opportunities municipalities have in creating sustainable, resilient communities in the context of a changing climate and increasingly complex regulatory requirements.