The eight local municipalities of the Sylvan Lake Management Committee (SLMC) administer land within the boundary of the Sylvan Lake Watershed under the powers of the Municipal Government Act. The SLMC has no statutory authority but functions as a point of contact for common inter-municipal issues. The SLWSS and some regulatory agencies like Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) have been observer-members, attending quarterly board meetings and contributing to SLMC working committees for several years.
The case for disassociation is explained in our letter to the chairman and members of that committee. To make a long story short, the SLWSS is a stewardship organization that serves the interests of our community of watershed members. We are an independent registered Society dedicated to monitoring, protecting and conserving the natural values of the Sylvan Lake watershed in the interst of our members.
The main justification for the SLMC has been to implement the Sylvan Lake Management Plan 2000 (SLMP 2000), a document that displaced an Inter-Municipal Development Plan drafted by the watershed community in 1999. The intention was to set common standards for, and to control land development within, the watershed boundary. Subsequently Lacombe County’s Sylvan Lake Area Structure Plan, a statutory municipal document, regulated property within about one mile of the shore of the lake within Lacombe County.
The SLMC exists to implement the SLMP 2000. The following Wordle word cloud version of the document text illustrates its priorities:
We have found that our SLWSS watershed stewardship goals and priorities occasionally conflict with municipal land development objectives. Our slogan, engraved on our lighthouse brick: “Protecting the lake’s natural values and assets through vigilance and science” captures our Society mission. Where we find common ground, for example on monitoring and reporting on cumulative effects of changes within the watershed boundary, we will continue to cooperate on projects with mutual value.