Jasper National Park of Canada
Marmot Basin Ski Area Site Guidelines for Development and Use
8.0 Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
Environmental considerations shaped the Ski Area Management Guidelines and the Marmot Basin Development and Use Site Guidelines . Parks Canada undertook a strategic environmental assessment of the Site Guidelines to examine their implications and help decision-makers understand their potential consequences. Because of the scale of the ski areas operation and the complexity of the potential issues, the SEA was undertaken at a significant level of detail and rigour and subjected to thorough scientific peer review. Key aspects of the SEA have been incorporated into the Site Guidelines. The SEA is neither the first nor the last step in the environmental analysis of the ski hill. It falls between a very broad overview and specific assessments for projects brought forward in the long-range plan.
The SEA concluded that ski area development that proceeds according to the Marmot Basin Site Guidelines and addresses the planning and information requirements identified in the Strategic Environmental Assessment is expected to achieve the desired outcomes for ecological integrity, visitor experience and infrastructure capacity.
During the public review of the draft Site Guidelines and draft SEA, some environmental organizations suggested that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act should be triggered by the site guidelines. This is not the case as there are no proposals or physical works being advanced at this time and the site guidelines do not commit Parks Canada to specific development permits or approvals. The Site Guideline document is a ski area planning tool, based on a precautionary approach that provides policy clarity to guide the preparation of future Long-Range Plans by Marmot Basin. Specific future development proposals will be advanced through Long-Range Plans and will at that time trigger the application of the CEAA.
The SEA identifies a number of specific information gaps related to some of the types of future development proposals that Marmot Basin may choose to advance in the future. The SEA identifies specific requirements that must be addressed in future Long-Range Plan proposals and environmental assessments.
A summary of the SEA is included as Appendix 3. The complete report is available from Parks Canada upon request.
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