This Land is Their Land - An Audit of the Regulation of the Oil and Gas Industry in BC. Sierra Legal Defence Fund (now EcoJustice BC), June 2005. 81 pages.


Quote from the Executive Summary:

This boom is no accident. Fuelled by skyrocketing crude oil and natural gas prices, oil and gas companies are posting record profits, and investing heavily in increased exploration and production. And the BC government has an explicit policy of facilitating industry expansion, rolling out the welcome mat in the form of transportation infrastructure subsidies, streamlined regulatory requirements, summer drilling incentives and a host of other policies all designed to quickly ramp up production.

What this Audit report spotlights, however, is the government’s failure to protect the interests of other stakeholders and the environment in its headlong rush for a piece of Alberta’s action. Prepared by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, This Land is Their Land is the first comprehensive, independent examination of the adequacy of BC’s oil and gas laws. It scrutinizes the government’s performance in five key areas – protection of landowner rights, ensuring a strong regulatory agency, protecting the environment, respecting First Nations treaty and aboriginal rights, and sound management of revenues – and highlights some troubling shortcomings
Population Health and Oil and Gas Activities. A Preliminary Assessment of the Situation in North Eastern BC. A Report from the Medical Health Officer to the Board of Northern Health.
(From the Northern Health site:

Quote from the Preface:

This study was initiated in early 2005 and was designed to identify potential health impacts on the local population from oil and gas exploration. As far as possible, the report utilizes an evidence-based approach to support recommendations promoting health and safety in a resource extraction setting. It calls for the following: a review of legislation to ensure health considerations are included when determining setback distances; an enhanced planning process for emergency response and emergency awareness zones; and research and recommendations that will address the social consequences of large influxes of workers on small communities, including health system impacts. If implemented, all these recommendations will be helpful.

This report did not, however, explicitly consider the global, as opposed to local, health impacts of increased oil and natural gas production and the urgent need to respond to climate change. This includes the recognition that the economy, an important component of a healthy community, is dependent on a healthy environment. It also recognizes that burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of climate change.

Fort Nelson Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP). October, 1997.


Website Link to all BC LRMPs (strategic land plans):

Quotes from 1.0, Introduction:

This report reflects the consensus management direction for the Fort Nelson Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP), a subregional land use plan, covering 9.8 million hectares of north eastern British Columbia (see Figure 1). This LRMP is the result of several years work by a table of public stakeholders and government representatives. Their consensus based negotiating process considered all interests and values on the provincial Crown land base, presented by the stakeholders, interest groups, local government, the public and information provided by government agencies.

The Fort Nelson LRMP is one part of British Columbia’s Land Use Strategy, and will direct themanagement of all provincial Crown land in the plan area for the next ten years.

As many of the objectives and strategies are innovative, this plan will be subject to monitoring and review as it is implemented. Annual and biennial reviews by the LRMP Working Group will take place , and the major public involvement process to review and revise this plan will start in the year 8, to be completed by year 10.

Part of the LRMP may be declared a higher level plan under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act. Those portions of the plan approved as a higher level plan under the Code will provide strategic direction for forest resource management activities incorporated into operational or local level forest plans such as FiveYear Development plans, Range Use plans and Coordinated Access Management Plans, among others.

The LRMP is primarily organized by four categories of Resource Management Zones (RMZs). After identifying the resource values, management objectives and  strategy statements were developed and incorporated into the plan to manage for these identified values. These statements provide strategic direction for resource uses like forest management, oil and gas exploration and development, mining, recreation and agriculture. These also account for environmental values (e.g. fish, wildlife habitat, biodiversity and water) and highlight management objectives and strategies that provide for these values.

The management direction, and the process used to develop them, are consistent with provincial government policy for land use planning, as well as all other government policies, as described in the Provincial Land Use Charter (1992) and the Principals and Process of LRMP (1993).

Fort St. John Land and Resource Management (LRMP). October, 1997.


Quotes from the Introduction:

The Fort St. John LRMP area covers over 46,000 square kilometers of land. It is only slightly smaller than the Province of Nova Scotia, and about 1.5 times the size of Vancouver Island. This is one of the largest LRMIP areas in the province.

The planning area boundaries follow the Fort St. John Forest District boundaries in northeastern British Columbia. The area is bounded on the east by Alberta, on the south by the Peace River, to the west by the height of land of the Rocky Mountains and to the north by the Fort Nelson planning area at about the 58th parallel.

The Fort St. John LRMP process dates back to June 1993, when a public workshop was held in Fort St. John describing the process, identifying the sectors and inviting all interested parties to join. A Working Group of about 30 core members continued to meet over the next three years to draft the land use plan. This group formed the LRMP Table.

The Terms of Reference was produced by the Table and adopted in October 1994. The document outlines the vision, objectives, principles for public participation, general planning sequence, organizational structure (membership), decision making (consensus) and the approval processes.
Dawson Creek Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP). March, 1999.


Quotes from the opening chapter:

The Dawson Creek LRMP planning area is approximately 2.9 million hectares and consists of all Crown land within the boundaries of the Dawson Creek Forest District. The District is bounded to the north by the Peace River and to the east by the Alberta border. To the south and west, the planning area boundary is the Rocky Mountains. A map showing the planning area is attached to this report.

The overall goal of the Dawson Creek LRMP is to provide: a stable strategic plan balanced between (1) resource development industries with continued access to natural resources outside of Protected Areas, and (2) the protection of environmental and recreational resource values. This goal is achieved through the development and implementation of objectives and strategies to manage and sustain these values over the planning area.
A Primer for Understanding Canadian Shale Gas - Energy Briefing Note. National Energy Board. November, 2009.


Quote from the Executive Summary:

In a relatively new development over just the past few years, shale formations are being targeted for natural gas production. Based on initial results, there may be significant potential for shale gas production in various regions of Canada, including traditional areas of conventional production like Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, and non-traditional areas like Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. However, there is much uncertainty because most Canadian shale gas production is currently in experimental or early developmental stages.

There are some environmental concerns with the specialized techniques used to exploit shale gas. There is potential for a heavy draw on freshwater resources because of the large quantities required for hydraulic fracturing fluid. The land-use footprint of shale gas development is not expected to be much more than the footprint of conventional operations, despite higher well densities, because advances in horizontal drilling technology allow for up to ten or more wells to be drilled and produced from the same wellsite. Finally, there is potential for a high carbon footprint through emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a natural impurity in some shale gas. Proposals have been made for carbon capture and storage as a remedy.
Conventional Natural Gas Play Atlas - Northeast British Columbia. National Energy Board, January, 2006.

This 156 page document (120 megabytes) provides numerous maps and illustrations of natural gas "plays" in northeastern British Columbia.


The Resource Development and Geoscience Branch of the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines and Petroleuem Resources (MEMPR) in partnership with the National Energy Board (NEB) have undertaken an assessment of British Columbia's undiscovered resources.