The Draft Interim Dehcho Land Use Plan has been under development since 2002. An initial draft plan was completed in 2006 and submitted to the Dehcho First Nations, Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and Government of Canada for approval. It was approved by the Dehcho First Nations at the 2006 Annual Assembly, but not by the GNWT or Canada. The three Parties have been negotiating revisions to the plan ever since.
The 2006 Plan addressed five key land use activities through zoning: agriculture, commercial timber development, tourism, mining and oil/gas.
Activities exempt from this plan are:
- traditional land uses,
- existing authorized land use activities,
- clean-up and remediation of contaminated sites, and
- activities carried out in response to an emergency.
Activities that do not constitute land uses and are not subject to this plan are:
- scientific research activities that require only a scientific authorization;
- any water use and waste disposal below water licence criteria in the NWT Waters Act;
- any use of timber authorized by a free timber cutting permit;
- resident and non-resident hunting; and
- anything that does not require an authorization such as travel and recreational activities.
The Plan addresses cumulative effects by setting thresholds for linear development, stream crossings and fragmentation of large habitat patches to limit the amount of human activity allowed in a given area.
The 2006 Draft has not been approved. The contents continue to be revised.