The development of natural resources is central to the province of Alberta's economic growth and prosperity. Most of these resources - conventional oil and gas, oil sands, forests, coal, water - are owned by the province. They are managed under a highly centralized resource management regime that provides relatively few opportunities for local communities to influence decision-making. This is notably the case with respect to Crown forests, 89% of which are owned by the provincial government and allocated under long-term forest tenures to large integrated forest companies. The paper focuses on the situation of Aboriginal communities located within the commercial forest area of the province. It seeks to assess the extent and scope of their access to Crown forest lands.
This paper is a component of a larger research project on Communities and Place-Based Organizations in Natural Resource Management: Issues and Options for Alberta funded by the Alberta Law Foundation.