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Document Version Control

A substantive revision of the Principles, Procedures and Operational Guidelines was approved by the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board in October 2016.

It is anticipated that corrections or amendments may be required from time to time. The following chart provides a record of adjustments to the document. Using this approach, we can more easily keep the PPOG up to date. The Technical Planning Committee chair may confirm administrative amendments and the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board or Executive Board will confirm changes to program policies or items that have significant impacts on the program implementation.

Document Tracker

Date Version Page Section Nature of the Change Confirmed by
Oct 21/16 2016-01     Substantive and administrative updates throughout to governance, recognition of Indigenous Peoples and monitoring CHRB motion
May 8/17 2017-01 32 3.1 Annual Monitoring Reports to add “to be submitted on or before March 31 each year”.

CHRB motion, March 6, 2017 meeting

  2017-01 43 Appendix B Added a section in “Guidelines on Financial Assistance” to note that higher amounts can be considered for projects

CHRB motion, April 26, 2017 meeting

July 17/19 2017-05 6 Foreword Updated Rivers Email Address

CHRB motion, October 5, 2019 AGM

July 17/19 2017-05 25 2.5.2 Updated links to PDFs of natural/cultural heritage from CHRS website

CHRB motion, October 5, 2019 AGM

August 21/19 2017-05 13 1.5.3 Terminology correction “Parks Canada Secretariat function”

CHRB motion, October 5, 2019 AGM

August 21/19 2017-05 36 4.4

“The use by one jurisdiction of the intellectual property of another jurisdiction shall be set out through a written arrangement.” Added to principle 5.

CHRB motion, October 5, 2019 AGM
October 1/19 2017-05 6 Foreword Typo with the website there were two .ca’s, remove one

CHRB motion, October 5, 2019 AGM

 


Table of Contents

Foreword
Glossary
1. Introduction

2. Planning, Selecting and Designating Canadian Heritage Rivers

3. Monitoring and Managing Canadian Heritage Rivers

4. River Stewardship

5. Appendices

6. Schedules

Foreword

The Policies, Procedures and Operational Guidelines is a foundational document for the Canadian Heritage Rivers Program. It is a key reference document for river managers responsible for Canadian Heritage Rivers, for proponents wishing to nominate their river to the System, and for the planners across the country who work within the federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions participating in the program. The document details the overarching principles of the program, its governance structure, the nomination and designation process, and its monitoring regime. It includes useful tools such as suggested tables of content for designation documents and templates to facilitate the production of annual and ten-year monitoring reports. A new addition in this version is a table in the ten-year monitoring report template that will help river managers articulate the benefits of designation to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

The Policies, Procedures and Operational Guidelines were first written in 1984, then revised in 2001, 2013, and 2016. It is revised on an occasional basis and users should consult the www.chrs.ca website to ensure they have the most current version. This 2016 version supersedes the 2013 version, and all previous documents containing the policies and guidelines of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

Should you have any questions about this document, I encourage you to contact Parks Canada’s Canadian Heritage Rivers System Advisor. Contact information for the Advisor, as well as for provincial, territorial and federal Canadian Heritage Rivers Board members can be found at www.chrs.ca.

Bob McEachern
Chair, Canadian Heritage River Board 2015-2016
Executive Director, Parks Management Services
Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport

Dan Paleczny
Chair, Canadian Heritage River Board 2016-2017
Director, Parks Branch
Yukon Department of Environment

Glossary

The Canadian Heritage Rivers Board: The organization that is responsible for the administration and management of the Canadian Heritage Rivers program. It is composed of members appointed by the federal, provincial and territorial governments participating in the program.

Designation document: A document that describes what actions the managing body will take to ensure the long-term management of the river and its associated resources according to the objectives of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. These are often referred to as heritage strategies and sometimes addressed in a jurisdiction’s management plan for the river. See Schedule 3. For consistency in this guideline, the term designation document is used.

Jurisdiction: The federal, provincial or territorial government that is generally responsible for CHRS activities within their government and/or geographic area of authority.

Managing body: The government agency, non-government organization or other body that has management authority or responsibility for a heritage river. This could be a federal, provincial or territorial government, but may also be a municipality, conservation authority, nongovernment organization, or other type of organization. Where Heritage Rivers pass through more than a single jurisdiction, managing bodies will share information and work cooperatively.

River manager: The individual(s) identified by the managing body as the person or organizational unit with oversight and day-to-day management responsibilities.

Secretariat function: A function maintained within Parks Canada to provide support to the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board in carrying out its responsibilities, and to coordinate certain CHRS program elements such as national communications and promotion of the CHRS at a national level. The Canadian Heritage Rivers Advisor is the primary point of contact for these Secretariat services.


1.  Introduction

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) is Canada's national program for recognizing Canada’s important rivers. It is a cooperative initiative of the federal, provincial and territorial governments in conjunction with local communities and citizens, who play a key role in the program. The objectives of the Canadian Heritage Rivers program are to give national recognition to Canada's outstanding rivers as part of a comprehensive and representative system and to encourage long-term management that will conserve their natural, cultural and recreational values for the benefit and enjoyment of Canadians, now and in the future.

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System is a model of stewardship, cooperation and participation; one that engages society in valuing the natural and cultural heritage of rivers and river communities as essential to the identity, health and quality of life of Canadians.

As of 2016, forty-two rivers have been nominated to the system, totaling almost 12,000 kilometres. Thirty-nine of these have been designated as Canadian Heritage Rivers, which signifies that a designation document (management plan or heritage strategy) has been tabled with the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board (CHRB) providing direction on how heritage values associated with the river will be conserved and communicated. Designation also signifies that the Minister responsible for Parks Canada has approved the designation, on the advice of the CHRB and the recommendation and Ministerial approval of the province(s) or territory(s) in which the river is located.

1.1 The Canadian Heritage Rivers System Charter

The Canadian Heritage Rivers program is guided by a Charter. It provides the vision, purpose statement, principles and description of the program and defines the role of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board and its mandate to oversee the development and administration of the System. The Charter, approved by Ministers of participating jurisdictions, is included as Appendix A.

1.2 Strategic Plan 2008-2018

An aerial photo of the land adjacent to the Kazan River with small ponds and overlapping caribou trails that are part of the Fall Caribou Crossing National Historic Site.

In 2007 the Canadian Parks Council meeting of Ministers approved the Canadian Heritage Rivers System 2008-2018 Strategic Plan. The ten-year Strategic Plan and accompanying work plan sets the vision and over-arching priorities for the program and serves as the blueprint for the future of the system. It is a working document for the Board and the jurisdictional members of the program. The plan is also intended to serve as a catalyst for governments, communities, and local residents to take action to promote and sustain river conservation and stewardship. The 2008-2018 Strategic Plan reaffirms the program's core values of recognition, respect, voluntary participation, collaboration and partnership, integrity, and sustainability, and identifies four key strategic directions. The first priority focuses on building a comprehensive and representative system, with an emphasis on the addition of rivers to the CHRS that have the best potential to address geographic or thematic gaps to enable completion of a representative system. A second priority is to conserve the cultural and recreational values and integrity of designated rivers. The third and fourth Strategic Plan priorities include enhancing efforts to engage partners to maximize the full range of benefits associated with the Canadian Heritage Rivers program, and fostering excellence in river management.

At the August 2015 joint Canadian Heritage Rivers Board-Technical Planning Committee Meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon, it was recognized that as additional rivers are designated, the Strategic Plan’s first priority of building a comprehensive system that represents Canada’s river heritage is nearing completion. With this it was acknowledged that a greater focus is needed on the subsequent priorities of engaging and supporting the river manager community in their work to conserve, promote and monitor Canadian Heritage Rivers, while not losing sight of the need to maintain the integrity of a national system of designated heritage rivers, including attracting the remaining outstanding rivers that will complete the System. This shift in focus on program priorities will be a key consideration for the Board in its decision-making for the program going forward.

1.3 Purpose and Function of the Principles, Procedures and Operational Guidelines

The Principles, Procedures and Operational Guidelines (PPOG) describes the CHRS program’s organizational structure, mandate, objectives and policies as agreed upon by participating jurisdictions and explains the procedures that the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board will follow to implement and manage the program.

The document is a consolidation and updating of the earlier versions of the Principles, Procedures and Operational Guidelines and takes into account direction-setting documents that provide guidance for the CHRS program. These include the Strategic Plan 2008- 2018 and the 2010 Gap Analysis (titled Building a Comprehensive and Representative Canadian Heritage Rivers System). Parks Canada’s and the Board’s experience in administering the CHRS program over its history is also reflected in this document.

The Principles, Procedures and Operational Guidelines provide guidance on the administrative and operational procedures and program requirements for the selection, nomination, designation and management of Canadian Heritage Rivers. As such, it is a key reference tool for jurisdictions, managing bodies and river managers. The document will be revised and updated regularly.

1.4 How the Canadian Heritage Rivers System Works

Established in 1984, the Canadian Heritage Rivers System is Canada's national river conservation program. This joint federal-provincial-territorial initiative gives national recognition to Canadian rivers of extraordinary natural, cultural and/or recreational significance. It promotes, conserves and enhances Canada's river heritage, and ensures that Canada's leading rivers are managed in a sustainable manner and that their values are communicated to residents and visitors.

Establishing a Canadian Heritage River is a process that includes the following steps:

  • Preparing a pre-screening report;
  • Undertaking a background study to inventory the river’s cultural, natural and
  • recreational values; and
  • Preparing nomination and designation documents, which are submitted to the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board.

This Board, comprised of members appointed by federal, provincial and territorial governments, administers the CHRS and follows clear guidelines to determine whether candidate rivers meet the selection and integrity criteria proper to the System. To be considered for nomination, rivers must have outstanding natural or cultural values, supplemented with important recreational values and a high level of public support. Designation requires that sufficient management measures are put in place to ensure that the values for which rivers were nominated to the System will be maintained over the long term.

The CHRS operates on a program policy basis, rather than through legislation, and does not intrude on private property rights. Governments retain their traditional jurisdictional powers and management responsibilities throughout this process. Local communities, Indigenous peoples1 , landowners, and other stakeholders have their existing rights and concerns respected when rivers are included as part of the system.

1.5 Governance

Federal, provincial and territorial governments participate equally and voluntarily in the administration of the System. The program is managed by a Canadian Heritage Rivers Board comprised of members appointed by the federal government and each of the provincial and territorial governments participating in the program. The work of the Board is supported by a Technical Planning Committee and the Secretariat services delivered by Parks Canada. Jurisdictions pay their own costs associated with attendance at meetings of the Board.

1.5.1  Composition of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board

  • Each of the 14 federal, provincial, and territorial government departments that are signatory to the Canadian Heritage Rivers Charter shall have a seat on the Board.
  • Board members shall be appointed by the federal, provincial, and territorial departments responsible for the CHRS program. Appointees may be senior managers in the departments responsible for the CHRS program, or may be river managers, members of river stewardship groups, or private citizens associated with or familiar with the CHRS.
  • Board membership may be assigned at the prerogative of the Minister, Deputy Minister or other members of senior management of each participating jurisdiction.
  • Board members shall participate as representatives of their jurisdictions and shall contribute to the collective in the spirit of the national program.
  • The Board shall establish an Executive Committee, which shall consist of:
    • the Chair of the Board;
    • the Vice Chair;
    • the Parks Canada Board Member; and
    • two Members at Large.
  • With the exception of the Parks Canada position, which is permanent, each of these positions is for a term of one year. Parks Canada shall keep a record of the members of the Executive. Incoming Members at Large shall be chosen in chronological order by jurisdiction from this list and will be expected to cycle into the Vice Chair and the Chair role. Board members reserve the right to defer participation on the Executive due to operational needs or conflicting priorities. In such cases, there remains an expectation that the jurisdiction will take up its role on the Executive as soon as practical.
  • One Board member shall be named Liaison to the Technical Planning Committee. The intent of this rotating, one-year position, which can be drawn either from within the Executive or from the greater Board, is to identify a Board member with responsibility for advising and providing direction to the Technical Planning Committee.
  • The Chair of the Technical Planning Committee shall attend and participate in all Board meetings (unless otherwise determined by the CHRB Chair). This participation in the Board is in an advisory capacity with no voting privileges.
  • Additional participants may be invited to participate in Board meetings as advisors or observers for reasons including but not limited to the provision of advice or expertise related to a program priority.

1.5.2  Role of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board

The Canadian Heritage Rivers Board has overall responsibility, subject to direction by Ministers, for the administration and management of the Canadian Heritage Rivers program, consistent with the approved CHRS Charter, the Strategic Plan, and the Principles, Procedures and Operational Guidelines. The Board's functions include but are not limited to the following:

  • Implementing the approved CHRS Charter and the Canadian Heritage Rivers System Strategic Plan 2008-2018;
  • Reviewing requests made by jurisdictions to have rivers nominated to the System for their outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values;
  • Recommending to the Minister of the nominating jurisdiction and to the Minister responsible for Parks Canada that a river be accepted as a candidate Canadian Heritage River (nominated river) if, in the Board's judgment it meets the "Guidelines for the Selection of Canadian Heritage Rivers", set out in the relevant sections of this document;
  • Receiving designation documents which demonstrate the commitment of managing bodies to the future conservation and management of candidate rivers as Canadian Heritage Rivers and to recommend, to Ministers, rivers for designation as part of the System;
  • Recommending removal from the System of any river that no longer meets the selection guidelines;
  • Approving the annual workplan of the Technical Planning Committee and for Parks Canada’s Secretariat function;
  • Receiving ten-year monitoring reports for designated rivers;
  • Fostering public awareness and appreciation of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System;
  • Periodically reviewing the procedures and guidelines for operation of the System and make changes as required.
An aerial view of the Columbia Glacier.

 

1.5.3  Role of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall act on behalf of the Board between Board meetings and shall respond to matters in a timely manner when the involvement of the full Board is not feasible or not required. The Committee’s functions include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Dealing with business matters and policies at a national level that are deemed to not require the involvement of the full Board;
  • Developing presentations for Board meetings and/or determining and presenting a position to the Board for discussion and final decision;
  • Preparing a budget, with the support of Parks Canada’s Secretariat function and the Parks Canada Board member, for the consideration and decision of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board at its spring meeting;
  • Monitoring the budget and expenditures and deciding on any re-allocation of funds or variances in budget allocations, as described in Appendix B;
  • Providing guidance on the activities and workplans of Parks Canada’s Secretariat function and the Technical Planning Committee and on the implementation of Board decisions.

The Executive Committee shall develop procedures to guide its operations as necessary to enable it to make operational decisions and to implement decisions of the Board. The approval of the Board or of members shall be sought where its procedures or decisions have consequences for jurisdictions.

1.5.4  Chair and Vice Chair

One member of the Board shall serve as Chair of the Board and Chair of the Executive Committee and shall be responsible for the tasks listed below:

  • Chairing Board and Executive Committee meetings;
  • Serving as the Board’s key point of contact for Parks Canada’s Secretariat function;
  • Communicating to Parks Canada’s Secretariat function the priorities established by the Board;
  • Identifying, developing, reviewing and providing advice to Parks Canada’s Secretariat function on agenda and information items for Board and Executive Committee meetings;
  • Representing the Board in meetings with government and non-governmental organizations, and speaking publicly on behalf of the Board.

The Vice-Chair shall serve as a replacement for the Chair and will normally succeed the Chair after completion of his/her term. The Chair and Vice Chair may choose to collaborate on the above-listed tasks.

1.5.5  Role of CHRS Jurisdictional Board Members

Board members have several key roles within their jurisdictions, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Fostering relationships with river managers within their jurisdiction;
  • Reviewing river nomination requests to ensure the rivers meet the criteria established by the Board for consideration in the CHRS;
  • Liaising with the jurisdiction’s member of the Technical Planning Committee on matters relating to the delivery of the CHRS program in the jurisdiction;
  • Making a recommendation to the Board with respect to the continued designation of the river, upon submission of the ten-year monitoring report.

The Parks Canada Board member shall have additional roles in relation to the budget provided by Parks Canada for the support of its Secretariat function and the implementation of CHRS related studies and projects. These shall include, but are not limited to:

  • Liaising with the member representing Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada on matters concerning rivers located within Nunavut;
  • Serving as a permanent member of the Executive Committee;
  • Serving as a member of the quorum for the Executive Committee.

1.5.6  Operation of the Board

Board meetings shall be held quarterly, divided into meetings of the Board and of the Executive Committee as follows:

  • One Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the whole Board. This shall be a face-to-face meeting preferentially scheduled during the two days immediately prior or subsequent to the Canadian Parks Council’s AGM (currently held in late summer or early fall). This shall be the point at which Executive terms expire.
  • A first teleconference of the Board Executive, to be scheduled approximately three months after the AGM. The Executive shall determine internal roles and responsibilities for subcommittees, etc. during its first meeting.
  • A mid-year teleconference of the whole Board, to be scheduled approximately six months after the AGM.
  • A second teleconference call of the Board Executive, to be scheduled approximately three months after the mid-year teleconference of the whole Board.

Based on the current late summer/early fall schedule of the AGM, the following meeting schedule shall be established:

Schedule of meetings Type of meeting Participants
August/September AGM, in person Full Board
November Teleconference Executive Committee
November Teleconference Full Board
November Teleconference Executive Committee

 

Additional meetings of the whole, the Executive, or of any sub-committee shall be called as necessary.

A quorum for the formal conduct of Board business in meetings of the whole Board shall consist of two-thirds of the filled positions on the Board. A quorum for the formal conduct of Board business of meetings of the Executive Committee shall consist of three of the five members of the Executive Committee and must include the Parks Canada member and one of the Chair and Vice Chair. Each participating government shall have one vote. The vote of the Government of Canada shall be exercised by the Parks Canada member in consultation with the member representing Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada on matters concerning rivers located within Nunavut.

As part of its Secretariat function, Parks Canada shall prepare briefing materials   for the use of Board members and minutes of Board meetings.

1.5.7  Program Status Reports

Occasional program status reports shall be prepared through Parks Canada’s Secretariat function at the request of the Board for submission to the federal government and participating provincial and territorial governments and for public distribution. Program status reports may provide information on Board proceedings, record additions to the System, highlight achievements and present a status report on the System as a whole. Information in the program status reports on individual Canadian Heritage Rivers shall be based on reports provided to Parks Canada’s Secretariat function by managing bodies.

1.5.8  Language Policy of the Board

The language policy of the Board shall respect the equal status of French and English as the official languages of Canada.

  • Written and oral submissions to the Board or Parks Canada’s Secretariat function may be made in either or both of the official languages and, where necessary, documents and summaries shall be translated by Parks Canada’s Secretariat function.
  • Translations of documents and simultaneous translation of Board meetings into either French or English shall be provided when required.
  • Official publications of the Board, such as the annual report, shall be provided in both official languages.
  • Where it is the policy of a participating government to provide services in another language, that government shall provide translation services for and on behalf of the Board.

1.5.9  Secretariat Function

A Secretariat function shall be maintained within Parks Canada to assist the Board in carrying out its responsibilities, and to coordinate certain program elements such as communications and promotion of the CHRS at a national level. The Canadian Heritage Rivers Advisor is the primary point of contact for these Secretariat services.

The responsibilities and scope of work of the Secretariat function shall be as follows:

  • The preparation of briefing material and minutes for all Board and Executive meetings.
  • Tabling final documents with the Board.
  • Information management/inventory of program files, primarily nomination and designation documents, annual and ten-year monitoring reports, minutes and decision points from Board meetings.
  • Maintaining up-to-date contact information for Board members, Technical Planning Committee members, and river manager and river stewardship groups.
  • Provision of advice to the Board and Executive as necessary on policies, precedents and files that are pertinent to its decisions.
  • The preparation of contracts, contribution agreements and other financial documents and mechanisms.
  • Leadership for the day-to-day management of national program communications projects and products, including the www.chrs.ca website, social media, exhibits, newsletters, or any other project or product assigned by the Board or required for a designation ceremony.
  • Participating in Technical Planning Committee meetings in an advisory capacity as required.

An annual workplan for the Secretariat function shall be presented to the Board for its approval during the first meeting of each fiscal year.

1.5.10 Composition of the Technical Planning Committee

  • Each jurisdiction participating in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System shall name at least one member to the Technical Planning Committee.
  • All jurisdictions are expected to maintain an active participation in this committee. Each Technical Planning Committee member is encouraged to identify an alternate who can participate in meetings in case of absence.
  • Jurisdictions may choose to name a river manager or other appropriate representative to the committee; however, it is expected that this member shall represent the interests of the jurisdiction as a whole, rather than one particular river.
  • The Parks Canada member on the Technical Planning Committee shall be appointed from a Field Unit with responsibility for one of the Agency’s six Canadian Heritage Rivers. This person shall undertake the normal scope of duties expected of the members of this committee, shall represent the interests of the Agency as a whole, and shall liaise with river managers within the Agency.
  • A Chair and a Secretary shall be appointed to the Technical Planning Committee by the Board and with the approval of the Board member responsible for the incumbent in each position. Each of these positions is for a term of one year, and shall be based on an alphabetical rotation through the jurisdictions, commencing with Alberta in 2015-2016.

Jurisdictions have the right to defer an appointment to the Chair for one year for operational reasons.

  • The Chair of the Technical Planning Committee shall participate in all Board meetings in an advisory capacity.
  • The Chair shall be responsible for the internal communications of the committee, including sharing relevant information from Board meetings with the committee, and sharing relevant information from Technical Planning Committee meetings with the Board.
  • The Chair shall present an annual workplan for the Technical Planning Committee to the Board at the first meeting of each fiscal year.
  • The Secretary shall be responsible for preparing minutes of meetings, which shall be submitted to and distributed by the Chair.
  • The Chair and Secretary shall maintain a history of the incumbents in these two executive positions, and shall develop a three to five-year schedule identifying incoming Chairs (to be reviewed annually).

As noted in 1.5.1 and 1.5.9 above, respectively, a member of the Board shall be appointed annually to the position of Technical Planning Committee Liaison (one-year term), and the Canadian Heritage Rivers Advisor may participate in Technical Planning Committee meetings in an advisory capacity.

1.5.11 Roles and Responsibilities of the Technical Planning Committee

The Technical Planning Committee provides technical support to the Board  in the development and management of the Canadian Heritage Rivers program by reviewing documents and developing policies and strategies. This technical support role includes the following responsibilities:

  • The provision of support and advice to the Board on nominations, designations and the monitoring of Canadian Heritage Rivers. The objective of this responsibility is to maintain the integrity of the System.
  • The development of policies, strategies, tools and other products to support program objectives. The objective of this responsibility is to ensure the efficient and effective management of Canadian Heritage Rivers.
  • The continuing development and implementation of the River Stewardship Groups Engagement Strategy. The objective of this responsibility is to strengthen and support the program’s vision, as described in the Canadian Heritage Rivers Charter.
  • Each member will be responsible for reviewing their jurisdiction’s ten-year monitoring reports, to ensure that the content is complete and accurate, and for briefing their jurisdictional Board member on whether the respective heritage river still meets the designation criteria and deserves its status.

1.5.12 Operation of the Technical Planning Committee

  • Technical Planning Committee meetings (meetings of the whole) shall be held quarterly.
  • An annual workplan for the Technical Planning Committee shall be submitted to the Board for its approval.
  • Subcommittees shall be formed for projects including, but not limited to, document reviews, the development of tools for river managers, and the development of program policies and strategies. The frequency and scheduling of subcommittee meetings shall be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • A subcommittee lead shall be identified for each project. The role of each lead shall include:
    • setting project timelines and scheduling meetings (in consultation with other subcommittee members);
    • providing regular updates on the progress of each project to the Chair of the Technical Planning Committee; and
    • serving as spokesperson for the project in meetings.
  • When or if the Board directs the Technical Planning Committee to undertake a project that exceeds its capacity, the Chair shall work with the Board Liaison to identify alternative options to complete the work, including: creating internal developmental assignments, requesting support from the river manager community, and/or requesting funding/contracted support from Parks Canada.
  • Final versions of Technical Planning Committee documents shall be submitted to Parks Canada’s Canadian Heritage Rivers Advisor for tabling with the Board.

1.5.13 Financial Administration

Funding responsibilities for the CHRS will be shared as follows:

A wooden bridge, part of the 66 Mile Trestle, above the Cowichan River.
  • Parks Canada will provide a budget to be to provide Secretariat services, to provide financial assistance for the preparation of documents, and to carry out CHRS related studies and projects. The projects eligible for financial assistance and amounts available are outlined in Appendix B.
  • The Canadian Heritage Rivers Board Executive Committee shall oversee the Canadian Heritage Rivers program budget and shall advise and work with Parks Canada to determine program expenditures.
  • Provinces and territories represented on the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board are eligible to apply for and receive funding assistance for CHRS related studies and projects. Nongovernmental organizations and government departments with a mandate related to the conservation and management of a Canadian Heritage River may also be eligible to receive financial assistance for CHRS related projects, on the recommendation of the Board. Parks Canada is also eligible to receive funds to undertake studies and prepare documents for rivers in its own jurisdiction.
  • The relevant managing body responsible for a designated river will assume the costs associated with the implementation of projects and management actions provided for in document(s) prepared for and approved as part of the designation process.

Appendix B provides a more detailed description of the types of projects eligible for financial assistance, the process for allocating funds, the amount of funding that may be provided and procedures for applying for, claiming and accounting for funds provided to support CHRS initiatives.

1.6 Meetings of the Ministers

Ministers whose mandates include matters related to heritage rivers meet periodically (via the Canadian Council of Ministers responsible for Forests, Wildlife, Endangered Species, and Fisheries and Aquaculture and Parks, or the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment) to receive information and provide direction. Such meetings serve an important accountability function and provide an opportunity for Ministers to consider recommendations from the Board, endorse collective actions and provide strategic direction to Deputy Ministers and government representatives on matters of multi-jurisdictional interest and concern related to the Canadian Heritage Rivers program.


2.  Planning, Selecting and Designating Canadian Heritage Rivers

2.1 Introduction

The Canadian Heritage Rivers program, through its 2008-2018 Strategic Plan, is evolving to focus on system completion and enhancing, promoting and monitoring the management of rivers that are currently part of the Canadian Heritage River System. Additional nominations will focus on those rivers best able to address gaps in the system. This will require the consistent use of the national theme-based frameworks for natural and cultural heritage values, careful consideration of the results of the Gap Analysis which identifies priority rivers for possible inclusion in the system, and appropriate consideration of the interests of the public and each nominating jurisdiction.

The steps in the pre-screening, background study, nomination and designation process for CHRS are shown in Figure 2, at the end of this section.

2.2 Overview and Context

Through the CHRS Strategic Plan 2008-2018, which was approved by Ministers in 2007, the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board has articulated the goal of building a comprehensive and representative system that recognizes Canada’s river heritage. The Strategic Plan describes this goal as follows:

“By 2018, there will be a comprehensive system of Canadian Heritage Rivers representing a full range of natural, cultural and recreational values of importance to Canadians.”

In 2008 the Board asked for advice on which river nominations would be the most efficient means of building this comprehensive system to fully reflect the spectrum of Canada’s river heritage. The Canadian Heritage River System is nearing a stage of maturity, and the Board’s focus is on a select number of new nominations that can be shown to be the most beneficial in terms of addressing gaps and building a comprehensive system. In considering new nominations, the Board will also recognize the need to give appropriate consideration to the interests of citizens, non-government organizations and nominating jurisdictions.

To assist with the future management of the CHRS and in-line with the 2008 to 2018 Strategic Plan, a Gap Analysis was completed in 2010 (Building a Comprehensive and Representative Canadian Heritage Rivers System). The Gap Analysis is based on the natural and cultural frameworks adopted by the Board in 2001. These frameworks are summarized in Appendix C. The hierarchy of themes, sub-themes and elements in each framework has allowed for the orderly identification of values and features on Canadian rivers and all recent nominations and other CHRS documents have used this structure. The Gap Analysis applies the framework structure, taking into account the location and thematic focus of existing Canadian Heritage Rivers. It identifies the rivers that should receive future priority consideration for possible nomination as a Canadian heritage river, with a view towards representing themes, features, resources and watersheds that are currently unrepresented or inadequately represented within the existing system. The Gap Analysis serves the function that previously was filled by Provincial and Territorial River Systems studies during the initial stages of the Canadian Heritage Rivers program. Appendix D provides a summary of the Gap Analysis.

Rivers being advanced for possible consideration as a Canadian heritage river by jurisdictions will be considered against the Gap Analysis as well as the CHRS selection and integrity guidelines for natural, cultural and recreational values.

However, it is important to note that the cultural and natural frameworks which form the basis of nominations to the CHRS are outdated. In particular, the frameworks do not adequately or appropriately capture Indigenous values. The CHRB is reviewing the options for addressing the shortcomings in the frameworks.

2.3 Pre-screening

The first listed priority of the CHRS Strategic Plan 2008-2018 is to build a comprehensive and representative system that recognizes Canada’s river heritage. To implement this priority direction as approved by Ministers in 2007, new nominations will need to be focused on select rivers that provide the greatest potential to address gaps in the existing system either in terms of natural or cultural themes or with respect to geographic coverage. This will be assessed through a pre-screening process.

The purpose of pre-screening is to assess the appropriateness and suitability of a proposed nomination prior to a significant amount of work being done as part of the CHRS nomination process. Some rivers that may have potential to make significant contributions towards addressing thematic and geographic gaps may have challenges in meeting the integrity criteria for inclusion in the system. Pre-screening can be valuable in these situations by enabling the jurisdiction responsible for the river to assess whether a nomination is or is not feasible, or, for instance, if there are certain conditions that need to be rectified prior to moving forward with the nomination process. The pre-screening will help ensure that rivers subsequently submitted to the Board will have the greatest likelihood of being successfully nominated.

A pre-screening report may be prepared by the proponent interested in nominating the river, or by the prospective managing body. The proponent should contact the jurisdictional Board member and request guidance on whether or not a pre-screening report is required. The Board member shall consider this request and provide the proponent with one of the following responses:

  1. No pre-screening report is required. Based on an assessment of the Gap Analysis and other factors, the jurisdiction is not prepared to consider the river for nomination to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.
  2. A pre-screening report is required in order to determine the feasibility of the proposed nomination.
  3. No pre-screening report is required. The river has been identified as a priority candidate for the Canadian Heritage Rivers System and the proponent has the jurisdiction’s approval to proceed with a background study.
Peche Island, a small spit of land, peaks out of the blue waters of the Detroit River.

If a pre-screening is deemed necessary by the Board member, the proponent should prepare and submit a concise and focused pre-screening report to the jurisdictional Board member that includes the following information:

  • Background information on, and the capacity of, the organization or proponent advocating for the river nomination to the CHRS;
  • A description of any previous CHRS studies related to the river;
  • Information on whether the river is referenced in the Gap Analysis as a priority for inclusion in the CHRS to address geographic or thematic gaps;
  • An overview of the river’s cultural, natural, and recreational heritage values;
  • A summary statement vis-a-vis the CHRS Integrity Guidelines and any integrity-related challenges for the river in question;
  • A summary of known public or Indigenous interest in river conservation and stewardship in the region;
  • A summary of the unique role of the river in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, if the river were to be successfully designated; and
  • A clear statement of rationale for including the river as part of the Canadian Heritage River System.

Upon receipt of the pre-screening report, the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board member shall provide a copy to the Parks Canada’s Secretariat function, and may make a decision on the river’s merit, or may forward the report to the Chair of the Technical Planning Committee for review and analysis. Following this review and analysis, the Chair of the Technical Planning Committee shall provide a response to the Board member clearly describing the merits and limitations of the proposed river, as well as a recommendation of whether the river should proceed to the nomination process through the preparation of a detailed background study.

The Board member shall consider the pre-screening report, the Technical Planning Committee analysis and recommendation, advice from Parks Canada’s Secretariat function, and other information as appropriate, and shall subsequently inform the proponent whether the jurisdiction considers the river to have merit as a potential Canadian Heritage River and qualifies for funding for a background study, or if the river does not meet the criteria for further consideration.

2.4 Background Studies

Background Studies are documents prepared to describe in detail the features and values of a river being considered as a candidate for nomination as a Heritage River. The Background Study provides an assessment of how the river compares to the selection and integrity guidelines for the CHRS program and builds on earlier research and analyses which may have been carried out as part of pre-screening.

Indigenous peoples may have important and unique information to share regarding a river’s cultural and/or natural values. Engaging Indigenous groups in the background study will ensure a more comprehensive understanding and documentation of the river’s values.

The primary functions of a background study are to:

  • inventory and describe a river’s natural, cultural and recreational values;
  • analyze the degree to which the river, in terms of its features and values would meet the Canadian Heritage River System selection and integrity guidelines;
  • identify how the river under study compares to the recommendations of the 2010 Gap Analysis;
  • identify any known management issues;
  • identify stakeholders and summarize their roles and interests to assist in determining the level of public interest in moving a river towards nomination as a Canadian Heritage River;
  • identify and summarize Indigenous roles and interests to assist in determining the level of Indigenous interest in moving a river towards nomination as a Canadian Heritage River;
  • provide an initial assessment of the national significance of the river;
  • develop options and recommendations for ensuring public and stakeholder involvement, should subsequent nomination and designation steps be undertaken; and
  • recommend whether the river should be considered for nomination as a Canadian Heritage River.

The results of the Background Study shall be used to determine whether the river under consideration has merit as a Heritage River, the level of public and Indigenous interest and support and if the candidate river should be advanced through subsequent steps in the CHRS process.

A copy of the Background Study shall be provided to Parks Canada’s Secretariat function for archival purposes. On request of the jurisdiction or the Board, the Technical Planning Committee may provide advice or undertake a review of a Background Study.

Background studies shall be prepared to a professional standard and include text, tables, maps, images and other content as necessary to describe the features and values of the river and provide an initial assessment of its suitability for nomination to the CHRS. Funding amounts and formula are described in Appendix B.

2.5       Nomination of Canadian Heritage Rivers

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System provides for the recognition, conservation and management of rivers or sections of rivers deemed to be of outstanding Canadian heritage value such that:

  • the natural heritage which they represent is conserved and interpreted;
  • the cultural heritage which they represent is conserved and interpreted;
  • the opportunities they possess for recreation and heritage appreciation are realized for the benefit of all Canadians, and
  • the integrity guidelines for Canadian Heritage Rivers are met and sustained.

Outstanding Canadian heritage value is obtained when it has been determined that a river is an outstanding representative of, or is unique in Canada or a province or territory. By the inclusion of such rivers in a single national system, they become representative of Canada’s river heritage as a whole, thus reflecting a “Canadian value”.

2.5.1  Selection Criteria

The outstanding value of Canadian Heritage Rivers shall be determined according to three sets of "Selection Guidelines" (Appendix E):

  • selection guidelines for natural heritage values;
  • selection guidelines for cultural values; and
  • selection guidelines for recreational values.

In addition to meeting specific heritage value guidelines, a river and its immediate environment must also meet Integrity Guidelines for in order to be nominated as a Canadian Heritage River. Appendix F includes the guidelines for Natural Integrity Values, Cultural Integrity Values and Recreational Integrity Values.

The river proposed for nomination shall also be considered in the context of the recommendations of the 2010 Gap Analysis (Building a Comprehensive and Representative Canadian Heritage Rivers System).

A nominated river shall be included in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System based on a recommendation of the CHRB and decision by Ministers if it meets the natural or cultural values selection guidelines and the integrity guidelines. Recreational value will be recognized when a river and its immediate environment possess a combination of river-related recreational opportunities and associated natural and/or cultural values that together provide capability for an outstanding recreational experience.

2.5.2  Nomination Process

The nomination of Canadian Heritage Rivers will follow the process outlined below.

  1. At least six months in advance of a Board meeting, the nominating jurisdiction shall notify the Board Chair of its intent to nominate a specific river.
  2. Nominating jurisdictions or prospective managing bodies shall seek the views of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with a nomination. The engagement processes, feedback and outcomes should be described in the nomination document.
  3. Nominating jurisdictions or prospective managing bodies shall seek the views of local communities, non-government organizations and other stakeholders before proceeding with a nomination. The engagement processes, feedback and outcomes should be described in the nomination document.
  4. Indigenous engagement should begin as early as possible in the nomination process. Jurisdictions may follow their existing processes for involving Indigenous peoples. Indigenous engagement opportunities are typically offered separately from, and in parallel to, other public or key stakeholder participation processes. Consultation in provinces or territories where there are modern treaties (e.g. Northwest Territories, Nunavut) will comply with and meet the requirements of applicable land claims agreements. In places where land claims are unresolved or under negotiation, jurisdictions should seek legal advice before embarking on a nomination process and/or follow applicable consultation protocols for that jurisdiction.
  5. Jurisdictions shall consult with each other on nominations for rivers crossing or abutting provincial and/or territorial boundaries.
  6. When the nomination of the Canadian portion of a river comprising or crossing an international border is being considered, appropriate consultations with U.S. agencies shall take place to ensure the nomination process takes into account the jurisdictional issues associated with the river’s status as part of an international border and to contribute to integrated river management.
  7. Jurisdictions, river conservation organizations and prospective managing bodies shall work collaboratively to determine roles and responsibilities for the preparation of the nomination document, taking into account the scale and nature of the work, organizational resources and capacity, the availability of information, timing and scheduling considerations and other relevant factors. Roles and responsibilities should be agreed through an exchange of correspondence, a project charter or terms of reference.
  8. The nomination submission shall include all information necessary to demonstrate that the river is of "outstanding Canadian value", as defined by the Selection Guidelines described in Appendix E. The nomination shall also demonstrate that the river, if nominated, would provide representation of a number of distinct cultural and/or natural heritage themes not currently represented in the System, consistent with the recommendations of the 2010 Gap Analysis. Rivers can be nominated on the basis of natural and/or cultural values as defined though the cultural and natural frameworks for Canadian Heritage Rivers. The nomination document should also illustrate how the river will represent other values, even if it is not being nominated on the basis of these secondary values, and its ability to generate and sustain recreational activities consistent with the CHRS selection and integrity guidelines for recreational values. Schedule 2 provides an illustrative Table of Contents for nomination documents.
  9. At the request of the Board, a jurisdiction or prospective managing body, the Technical Planning Committee may provide a preliminary assessment of a draft nomination document to evaluate how it relates to the recommendations of the Gap Analysis and assess the degree to which the river meets selection and integrity guidelines. The templates for assessing nomination documents (Schedule 1) shall be used as a basis for this pre-screening process.
  10. At least three months in advance of a Board meeting, the nominating jurisdiction(s) shall submit to the Technical Planning Committee a draft nomination and supporting documentation.
  11. The Technical Planning Committee, on the basis of the Nomination Review Templates, (Schedule 1) shall review and assess the draft and provide comments. The prospective managing body shall make changes as recommended by the Technical Planning Committee as appropriate, obtain signatures or statements demonstrating support for the nomination, and prepare a final nomination document.
  12. At least one month in advance of the Board meeting, the nominating jurisdiction shall provide copies of the final nomination document to Parks Canada’s Secretariat function for distribution to all Board members.
  13. At its meeting, the Board shall receive a presentation from the nominating jurisdiction and consider the nomination document and supporting materials to determine if the river proposed for nomination meets selection guidelines. A determination made by the Board shall be recorded by simple majority vote.
  14. The Board Chair shall recommend to the Minister of the nominating jurisdiction that the nomination be accepted, deferred or rejected. If accepted, and the Minister of the nominating jurisdiction concurs and officially approves the nomination, it shall be referred to the Minister responsible for Parks Canada for approval. In the case of a river whose nomination is deferred by the Board, the Board shall provide clear reasons for this decision to the nominating jurisdiction. The jurisdiction may then consider whether to resubmit a revised nomination, but until such time as the nomination is accepted by the Board, the river shall have no official status in the System.
  15. Once the appropriate provincial or territorial Minister and the Minister responsible for Parks Canada have approved a nomination, a news release shall be issued by, or on behalf of the Ministers to declare the river nominated to the Canadian Heritage River System. An official copy of the nomination document shall be retained and archived by Parks Canada as part of its Secretariat function.

2.6       Designation Process

Designation is the formal proclamation of a nominated river to the CHRS based on an approved designation document. Recommendations on designation shall be made by the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board, and jointly approved by the Minister(s) of the jurisdiction(s) and by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada.

The following steps shall be followed for preparation and submission of the designation document to the Board and the formal designation of the river to the Canadian Heritage River System by Ministers. Jurisdictions, river conservation organizations and prospective managing bodies shall work collaboratively to determine roles and responsibilities for the preparation of the designation document.

  1. As soon as feasible and preferably within three years of a river becoming a nominated Canadian Heritage River, the prospective managing body shall prepare and endorse a designation document for submission to the CHRB. The designation document shall set forth a shared vision and strategic direction for river management and shall include measures that demonstrate a commitment to managing the river's outstanding Canadian values according to CHRS objectives. Appropriate engagement with stakeholders, Indigenous peoples, political representatives and local communities shall be carried out as part of the preparation of the designation document. The scope and form of such engagement shall meet any requirements of the nominating jurisdiction. The engagement processes, feedback and outcomes shall be described in the designation document.
    The specific contents of the designation document shall be the prerogative of the prospective managing body, however, the document must be of professional quality in terms of form and content and sufficient to demonstrate a clear commitment to managing the river's outstanding Canadian values according to CHRS objectives. The Board may decline to recommend a designation if, in the Board’s judgment, the document does not meet CHRS requirements.
    Schedule 3 provides guidance on suggested content for a designation document to be tabled with the Board as a basis for a designation recommendation, however, the characteristics and values of the river being designated, whether the river is located within or adjacent a protected area, management issues to be addressed and other factors will determine the actual form, nature and content of the designation document. In those situations where a river being considered for designation is located within a park or protected area, the management plan for the protected area may be adequate to serve as the designation document. This shall be determined through an assessment carried out by the Technical Planning Committee on behalf of the CHRB and discussions between the Committee and the prospective managing body.
  2. Prior to tabling a designation document with the Board, the jurisdiction shall obtain a review of the document by the Technical Planning Committee to confirm that it meets Board requirements. Schedule 5 includes the templates that shall be used by the Committee to assess the quality and completeness of designation documents.
  3. At least one month prior to a Board meeting, the jurisdiction shall provide copies of the designation document to Parks Canada’s Secretariat function for distribution to Board members.
  4. The Board shall receive a presentation on the proposed designation and consider the designation document, taking into account any comments by the Technical Planning Committee, to determine if the designation document fully meets requirements and constitutes an appropriate commitment to manage the river’s values according to CHRS objectives.
  5. If the Board recommends approval, the Chair shall notify the Minister(s) of the jurisdiction, and subsequently the Minister responsible for Parks Canada to seek their joint approval to formally designate the river to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. If the Board determines that the document does not constitute an appropriate commitment or is otherwise deficient, the designation document shall be returned to the jurisdiction for revision and re-tabling with the CHRB.
  6. Once a designation is approved, a joint public announcement shall be made by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada and Minister of the jurisdiction responsible for conservation and management of the river as a Canadian Heritage River, or in whose jurisdiction the river is located.
  7. A commemorative plaque shall be unveiled by the Ministers or their representatives at a public ceremony to be held in the vicinity of the river, to publicly announce its designation as a Canadian Heritage River. A CHRS registry book shall be signed by the Ministers at this event.

2.7       Supplementary Nominations

Where sections of rivers being considered for nomination are located in the same watershed as rivers or river sections already nominated or designated as part of the System, the nominating jurisdiction shall seek direction from the Board as to whether the nomination should follow normal nomination procedures or be considered as a supplementary nomination.

2.7.1  Classification as a Supplementary Nomination

The North Bay River is wild but accessible, making it ideal for paddle sports enthusiasts looking for a wilderness experience.

At least six months in advance of a nomination document being tabled, a jurisdiction wishing to nominate a river in the same watershed or a river section additional to one already included as part of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System shall inform Parks Canada’s Secretariat function and the Board of its intention. The jurisdiction shall seek a Board decision on whether the proposed nomination will be classified as a standard, or a supplementary nomination. Prior to this, the jurisdiction may seek the advice of Parks Canada’s Canadian Heritage Rivers System Advisor on how the nomination should be classified. To facilitate a Board decision, the jurisdiction shall provide appropriate background information on the river/section being proposed for nomination.

2.7.2  Selection Criteria

A river section shall be recommended to Ministers as a supplementary nomination to a Canadian Heritage River when it is judged, by the Board, to meet both of the following criteria:

Complementary Values: The river or river section proposed as a supplementary nomination contains heritage and recreational values which complement those of the originally nominated/designated section by augmenting the values of the original nomination or by adding a new dimension to the values/themes of the original nomination.

Increased Integrity: The river or river section being considered as a supplementary nomination has its own integrity and/or adds to the integrity of the originally nominated section through a significant increase in the size of the existing nominated area, or through increased natural, cultural or recreational integrity.

2.7.3  Information Requirements

There is no standardized format or information requirement for supplementary nominations, but documentation should include:

  • A description of the natural, cultural, recreational and integrity values of the river/section being proposed for nomination, how these values complement those of the existing nominated/designated river and how the supplementary nomination would advance the recommendations of the 2010 Gap Analysis.
  • An assessment of how the nominated river section meets any additional CHRS selection guidelines.
  • A description of public and Indigenous views and perspectives on the proposed supplementary nomination.

2.7.4  Recommendation to Ministers

If the Board accepts the proposed supplementary nomination, the Board Chair shall recommend to appropriate Ministers that the supplementary nomination be approved. The Board shall provide guidance to the managing body on what actions are to be taken to revise or update designation documents to address the river, or river section(s) accepted as part of a supplementary nomination.

2.7.5  Funding Assistance

Funding assistance provided for studies leading to supplementary nominations and for completion of nomination and designation documents shall be determined by the Board on a case-by-case basis, as part of the financial category of special studies.

2.8       Updating of Designation Documents

Where a jurisdiction or managing body wishes to make minor changes to the boundary of the management area of a designated river (either increase or decrease) it shall provide appropriate information to the Board on the rationale for, and the implications of, the proposed adjustment, including the effect on integrity and the values for which the river was nominated. The Board shall consider the request and information tabled by the jurisdiction/managing body and shall provide direction on the action to be taken to formalize and manage the boundary adjustment. Options to be considered by the Board include, but are not limited to:

  1. Updating and re-tabling the designation document and amending public information about the river (Fact Sheet) to reflect the new boundary;
  2. Reporting the change as part of an annual report or through the ten year monitoring report, particularly if the change would have positive implications for the river and its management;
  3. Recommending the jurisdiction or managing body classify the adjustment as a supplementary nomination due to the scale and nature of the boundary change;
  4. Recommending against the proposed change.

To contribute to effective management of Canadian Heritage Rivers, jurisdictions or managing bodies, at their discretion, may table revised and updated designation documents with the Board for information. New designation documents tabled with the Board to replace an earlier outdated version must meet all the current requirements for designation documents and contribute to improved management of the river as part of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. The jurisdiction must provide the revised documents to Parks Canada’s Secretariat function at least one month prior to a Board meeting for distribution to Board members.

Fact sheets should also be updated from time-to-time to ensure information is accurate and current and should be posted on line to contribute to public awareness of Canadian Heritage Rivers.

Figure 2. Pre-screening, nomination and designation sequence.

Designation process
Text Version

STEP 1: PRE-SCREENING

  • Assessment of river by prominent/managing body.
  • Analysis taking into consideration 2012 Gap Analysis, river’s   heritage values and CHRS integrity guidelines.
  • Assessment by Technical Planning Committee (optional).
  • Decision by CHRB member.

STEP 2: BACKGROUND STUDY

  • Prepare by jurisdiction(s) to describe features/values of    candidate river.
  • Formal evaluation against CHRS selection and integrity    guidelines.
  • Purpose: to determine merit as a potential Canadian     Heritage River.

STEP 3: NOMINATION

  • Proponent prepares draft nomination document demonstrating    outstanding Canadian value as per CHRS Selection/Integrity    Guidelines.
  • Reviewed by Technical Planning Committee.
  • Submitted to CHRB for consideration and recommendation on    nomination to System.

STEP 4: DESIGNATION

  • Proponent prepares designation document demonstrating commitment to managing nominated river to meet CHRS objectives.
  • Reviewed by Technical Planning Committee.
  • Submitted to CHRB for consideration and recommendation on    nomination to Ministers. 
  • Submitted to provinicial/territorial Minister and Environment    Canada Minister for endorsement.
  • Designation as a Canadian Heritage River through ministerial    signatures.
  • Public announcement by Ministers.

3. Monitoring and Managing Canadian Heritage Rivers

The Canadian Heritage Rivers Board shall periodically review the status of rivers within the System to ensure that rivers continue to possess the heritage and integrity values for which they were originally designated. Monitoring shall be carried out in the manner described below.

3.1 Annual Monitoring Reports

Yearly assessments of Canadian Heritage Rivers shall be conducted by managing bodies and documented through the preparation of a framework-based checklist to identify activities related to the values for which the river was nominated. These annual (calendar-year) reports shall be maintained by the jurisdictions to assist in the compilation of Ten-year monitoring reports. The Annual Monitoring Report Template, which outlines basic information requirements, is included in Schedule 6. To facilitate reporting, a request for the reports shall be sent to jurisdictions from Parks Canada’s Secretariat function each January. The jurisdictions shall then either prepare the reports or compile them from individual managing bodies prior to submitting them to Parks Canada on or before March 31 each year.

3.2 Ten-year Monitoring Reports

3.2.1  Information Requirements

Every ten years, or otherwise as approved by the Board, jurisdictions or managing bodies shall compile a report summarizing:

  • a chronology of significant events, actions and research that have occurred since the designation of the river;
  • any positive or negative changes or threats to the state or condition of the values for which the river was originally designated (natural, cultural, recreational or integrity values);
  • the status of actions and management measures called for in the designation document tabled with the Board;
  • a list of river conservation, stewardship, economic, and cultural benefits resulting from designation;
  • an overall statement assessing the river’s ability to meet the criteria outlined in the designation document for continued designation as a Canadian Heritage River; and
  • A recommendation that the river maintains its Canadian Heritage River designation, or that it be de-designated.

Schedule 7 includes the templates that serve as the framework for the ten-year monitoring reports. The templates outline the basic scale of detail and information required for such reports.

At least one month in advance of the Board meeting, the nominating jurisdiction shall provide copies of the final Ten-year monitoring report to the Parks Canada’s Secretariat function for distribution to all Board members. Jurisdictions and managing bodies are encouraged to post web versions of Ten-year monitoring reports as a means to facilitate public access to CHRS related publications.

3.2.2  Financial Assistance

Jurisdictions or river managers may obtain financial assistance to complete Ten-year monitoring reports. (Appendix B and Schedule 7)

3.2.3  Review by the Technical Planning Committee

The responsible jurisdictional TPC member ensures that content is accurate and complete, and assesses whether the criteria are being met and if the designation should continue. He or she may consult with the TPC if desired.

3.2.4  Review by CHRS Board

The jurisdictional Board member for the river will table the ten-year monitoring report with the Board. In cases where the values for which the river was designated are intact, the jurisdictional member will recommend that the Board accept the report.

3.2.5  Notice to Jurisdiction Regarding Loss of Canadian Heritage River Values

The Board Chair, at the direction of the Board, shall convey any concerns regarding loss of Canadian Heritage River values to the Minister of the responsible jurisdiction and the Minister responsible for Parks Canada.

3.3 De-Designation of Canadian Heritage Rivers

A Canadian Heritage River may be de-designated from the Canadian Heritage Rivers System in the following situations:

  • When the jurisdiction formally requests in writing to the Minister responsible for Parks Canada that the river be de-designated; or
  • The river has deteriorated to a point, as documented though monitoring reports or other scientific information, that it no longer meets the Guidelines for the Selection of Canadian Heritage Rivers.

In cases where a jurisdiction makes formal notification to the Minister responsible for Parks Canada of its intention to remove a river from the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, the Minister responsible for Parks Canada shall duly inform the Board.

Water levels can vary on the Main River; it can climb up to two meters in 24 hours

Where the Board receives information that a Canadian Heritage River is threatened or no longer appears to possess the values and integrity for which it was designated and no longer meets CHRS selection guidelines, the Board shall conduct an investigation, in conjunction with the responsible jurisdiction. A qualified independent reviewer may be retained to assist the Board with the investigation.

Based on the results of the investigation, the Board may recommend to the Minister of the jurisdiction and the Minister responsible for Parks Canada that the river be removed from the Canadian Heritage River System or that corrective action be taken to safeguard the river’s heritage values and integrity. The Ministers shall duly inform the Board of their decision.

A river formally removed from the Canadian Heritage River System (de-designated) for reasons noted above may be subsequently proposed for re-designation when one of the two following criteria have been met:

  • The conditions and circumstances that initially caused the river to no longer meet the selection guidelines have been fully addressed to the Board’s satisfaction, such that the river could re-qualify under the selection guidelines; or
  • The responsible jurisdiction formally requests to the Board that the river be considered for re-designation.

The process to propose a previously designated river for re-designation shall include but not be limited to submitting a new designation document that clearly describes how the river’s values will be protected over time. This new designation document must address how the threats or factors that led to the river’s de-designation will be addressed.


4.  River Stewardship

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System strives to inform, inspire, and serve as a catalyst for Canadians to connect with their river heritage and share in its safe-keeping. Education, awareness, and cooperative action are essential to successful river stewardship and wise management. The vision for the CHRS described in the 2008-2018 Strategic Plan is of a system of Canadian Heritage Rivers that serves as a model of stewardship – one that engages society in valuing the heritage of rivers and river communities as essential to identity, health and quality of life.

4.1 Partnerships, River Based Organizations and Citizen Involvement

The Canadian Heritage Rivers program emphasizes community involvement and voluntary participation. It is a cooperative program with the federal government playing a key role in tandem with provincial and territorial governments. Canadian Heritage Rivers are nominated by participating governments but private citizens, municipal governments, community groups, Indigenous peoples and organizations interested in river conservation are instrumental in initiating, preparing and supporting nominations. The public also is involved in developing a designation document for each river that outlines the management measures that will be implemented to ensure the heritage and integrity values of the river are maintained. Nomination, designation and other documents prepared by jurisdictions, managing bodies and river conservation organizations since the CHRS program was initiated in 1984 exemplify cooperative, partnership based approaches to planning and commemorating Heritage Rivers, and serve as a useful and instructive body of literature on cooperative citizen involvement in river conservation.

4.2 Canadian River Heritage Conference

The Canadian River Heritage Conference provides a forum for sharing experiences, ideas and best practices in the areas of river heritage conservation, restoration, science and education. The conference is normally held every three years and is attended by professional river managers, researchers, Indigenous peoples, industry spokespeople, scientists, and government partners from Canada and other countries.

The conference is organized by a CHRS jurisdiction, selected through an expression of interest process. Support for the conference shall be sought from a range of partners and sponsors from government, corporate and non-government sectors. The host jurisdiction may apply for and receive financial support from the CHRB to assist in planning and convening the conference.

The conference program is the responsibility of the host jurisdiction but typically will include themed plenary sessions, interactive workshops, panel discussions, field trips and a range of special events and activities. Proceedings or a conference report shall be published to communicate outcomes. Marketing and outreach activities associated with the conference will raise awareness of the Canadian Heritage Rivers program and encourage public interest in river conservation and stewardship.

The conference also provides a venue for awarding the National River Conservation Awards of Merit and the Bill Mason National River Conservation Award. These recognize outstanding contributions to river conservation in Canada and promote and honour citizen involvement in river stewardship.

4.3 Canadian Heritage River Managers’ Forum

As the Canadian Heritage Rivers System evolves and matures, an increasing range of organizations is involved in the nomination and designation process and in managing Canadian Heritage Rivers. To respond to this emerging trend and to provide an opportunity for river managers to exchange information and share best practices, a River Managers Forum may be organized in conjunction with the Canadian Heritage Rivers Conference. The Forum program would focus on planning, research, monitoring and communications from a river manager’s perspective. The agenda and program would be based on topics and areas of interest submitted by river managers involved with CHRS, or topics identified by the CHRS Board. The Forum would serve as a catalyst to help facilitate the shift to a greater focus on river management and stewardship, consistent with the 2008-2018 CHRS Strategic Plan.

The Forum would be open to individuals involved in various aspects of river management, with a particular focus on non-government organizations. Parks Canada’s Canadian Heritage Rivers System Advisor and representatives of the Technical Planning Committee and the Board would attend to facilitate communication between government and non-government sectors involved in river management in Canada.

The CHRS would serve as the forum sponsor to reflect the focus on Canadian Heritage Rivers and ensure a national scope. The forum would nonetheless be responsive to the needs of river managers. Responsibilities for planning the agenda and program, financial arrangements and other organizational matters will be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the capacity of the host jurisdiction, current and emerging issues in river management and other factors.

4.4 Communications, Website and Information Sharing

Parks Canada’s Secretariat function shall provide leadership for the day-to-day management of national CHRS program communications projects and products that will help to build awareness for river conservation and the activities of the CHRS. This may include the www.chrs.ca website, social media, exhibits, newsletters, or any other project or product assigned by the Board or required for a designation ceremony. These communication activities shall be managed in accordance with the following principles:

  1. National communication and outreach materials intended for a general public audience shall be provided in a bilingual format.
  2. A consistent “look and feel” shall be implemented to effectively communicate the CHRS brand.
  3. Partnerships and cooperative arrangements shall be used wherever feasible in design, production and distribution of communication materials and services to extend reach and lever the CHRS program budget and jurisdictional expenditures.
  4. Communication products, techniques and approaches shall be evaluated regularly to assess efficiency and effectiveness and identify opportunities for new communication initiatives to enhance public awareness.
  5. Intellectual property related to publications and communication products shall be held by the jurisdiction responsible for creating the content. The use by one jurisdiction of the intellectual property of another jurisdiction shall be set out through a written arrangement.
  6. All projects and products shall be approved by the Executive or whole Board prior to publication or launch.

4.5 Guidelines for Commemorative Plaques

Canadian Heritage River plaques serve an important function in building public awareness of the program and are a primary means of communicating the values for which each heritage river was designated to the system. The guidelines below provide direction for the design, placement, administration and maintenance of commemorative plaques.

4.5.1 Design and Location

Plaque Design

Plaques shall be 30” (76 cm) in height and 35” (89 cm) wide with rounded corners. In exceptional circumstances the height may be reduced or increased to accommodate a particular text or additional languages. The plaques shall be made of cast bronze, and the CHRS logo and lettering will be set against a dark blue background. Text lettering shall be ½” gothic type-face.

Mounting

The plaque should be mounted on a freestanding monument, plaque stand, cairn, rock surface or pole. However, provided that the site is appropriate, as discussed below, it may be affixed to an existing building or structure. In all cases, the type and design of the structure to be used for mounting shall be left to the discretion of the jurisdiction or managing body.

Location

Plaques should be located at the most frequently used access point to the river. Where this is not feasible, plaques should be located within view of the river. Additional plaques may be located at the discretion of the managing body.

4.5.2 Plaque Text

Languages

Plaques shall be produced in both official languages (English and French). The two texts shall be arranged one above the other on the plaque. The first text shall be in the language predominant in the region where the plaque is located. Inclusion of an applicable Indigenous language shall also be considered where appropriate. Additional languages may be considered when demand warrants and the plaque size enlarged accordingly. The translation of the plaque text into an additional language shall be the responsibility of the managing body in consultation with the jurisdiction.

The date on the plaque shall reflect the year the river was designated.

Translation

Parks Canada shall, through its Secretariat function, be responsible for providing a French or English translation of the original language text as approved by the jurisdiction.

Length

The total length of the text shall not normally exceed 600 characters (including spaces) in English and 700 characters in French.

Approval Procedure

The community level proponents of the heritage river designation shall be responsible for preparing a draft plaque text. The draft shall be reviewed by the prospective managing body and jurisdiction in which the river is located, amended as necessary, and forwarded to Parks Canada’s Secretariat function for review to ensure it meets national guidelines. The final wording of the plaque text is the prerogative of the jurisdiction. The reasons for which the river was designated to the CHRS shall be included in all CHRS plaques.

4.5.3 Funding

Plaques

Parks Canada shall provide funds through its Secretariat function to fabricate the plaque and for shipment to the location designated by the managing body. If more than one copy of the plaque is required, the additional costs shall be borne by the managing body.

Monuments

The costs of constructing a monument or other structure and mounting the plaque shall be the responsibility of the managing body.

Plaque Unveiling Ceremony

The costs of a public ceremony to unveil the plaque shall be the responsibility of the managing body. Parks Canada shall assist in the organization and staging of the event by coordinating the attendance of the Parks Canada Minister or other federal representative(s), creating and distributing national media products and providing the CHRS Registry book for ceremonial signatures. Costs for Parks Canada’s Canadian Heritage Rivers Advisor or other staff member to attend the event shall be borne by the Parks Canada.

Maintenance

The costs of maintaining the plaque, monument and site shall be the responsibility of the managing body. If the plaque is damaged or lost due to vandalism or theft, funds provided Parks Canada may be used toward the cost of repairs or replacement.

4.5.4 Inspection of Plaques

Plaque for Boundary Waters-Voyageur Waterway Photo

Inspection of Plaques

CHRS plaques serve as a primary means of communicating the values for which each Canadian Heritage River was designated to the System. To ensure that plaques remain in good repair and to address issues of damage or vandalism, plaques shall be inspected by jurisdictions on an occasional basis.

Inventory

Each managing body shall be responsible for keeping records of the plaques for which they are responsible. These records, in the form of a Plaque Inventory (Schedule 8), shall be forwarded to the Parks Canada’s Secretariat function, which will keep these records as part of a national inventory.

Costs of Refurbishment, Repair and Replacement

Should a plaque be significantly damaged or destroyed, the managing body shall take steps to ensure its prompt repair or replacement. Managing bodies are responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing plaques experiencing normal wear and tear. An application for up to $500 may be made to Parks Canada’s Secretariat function to assist with replacement, in instances of significant vandalism or theft.

Refurbishment, Repair and Replacement

Damaged plaques should be repaired or refurbished, if possible, rather than being replaced. To aid in the repair and refurbishment process, Parks Canada’s Secretariat function shall provide managing bodies with copies of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada’s publication Plaques Management: A Guide to Best Practices. This publication describes methods of plaque refurbishment and provides a step-by-step guide to common repairs, including lists of necessary equipment and supplies. To further assist managing bodies in the repair and refurbishment process, Parks Canada’s Secretariat function shall coordinate communications with the manufacturer of CHRS plaques, who can provide expert advice and supplies for repair work.

4.5.5 Plaque Replacement

Review of plaque text and relocation of plaques

In instances when a plaque is damaged beyond repair and a replacement is required, the managing body and Parks Canada’s Secretariat function shall review the original plaque text to ensure it meets current CHRS communication needs and those of the jurisdiction and stakeholders who were involved in the creation of the original plaque text. A new updated text may be prepared, based on results of the review.

The location of the plaque shall also be reviewed, firstly, to ensure the security of the plaque and safety of the viewing public, and secondly, to ensure the plaque is placed in an optimal location. For example, a new visitor centre or other facility may have been built near the river since the installation of the original plaque. In this circumstance, it may be preferable to relocate the replacement plaque to the visitor centre where it would have higher visibility, be less likely to be vandalized and better located as a public outreach and education tool, than reinstall the plaque in its original location.

Production of Replacement Plaques

Parks Canada’s Secretariat function shall provide technical assistance and shall work with the manufacturer to coordinate production of replacement plaques.


5.  Appendices

Appendix A: The Canadian Heritage Rivers System Charter

WHEREAS freshwater is essential to life on earth and Canada is blessed with a vast supply of freshwater, approximately one-fifth of the world’s total; and

WHEREAS rivers are a priceless and enduring part of Canada’s national heritage and identity; and

WHEREAS rivers are central to the overall health and well-being of Canadians; and

WHEREAS participating governments on the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board have agreed to renew and strengthen their participation in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System by administering the program through a strategic plan, which serves as the principal operating document for the Board;

THEREFORE, IT IS UNDERSTOOD that the federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, do, by this Charter, reaffirm their governments’ commitment to the System, and, by this Charter, describe its main principles of operation, vision, and governance, as follows:

I. VISION

This Charter affirms the vision of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board that:

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System is a model of stewardship, cooperation and participation; one that engages society in valuing the natural and cultural heritage of rivers and river communities as essential to the identity, health and quality of life of Canadians.

II. PURPOSE OF THE CANADIAN HERITAGE RIVERS SYSTEM CHARTER

This Charter sets out a framework for cooperation between Canada and the participating Provinces and Territories (hereinafter together referred to as “the Participants”) to recognize, conserve and manage, in a sustainable manner, Canada’s designated Heritage Rivers and their natural qualities, cultural/historical heritage, and recreational values. The Charter provides a tangible public expression by governments in Canada of their support for and participation in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System and acknowledges the operation of the program through a strategic plan.

III. PRINCIPLES OF THE CANADIAN HERITAGE RIVERS SYSTEM

This Charter serves to emphasize the following principles, which form part of a strategic plan of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board:

  • Participation in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System is voluntary.
  • The Participants retain their jurisdictional powers over rivers in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, including ownership of land, the choice to nominate a river, and the right to continue to operate and manage designated rivers in accordance with the goals of the System.
  • The Canadian Heritage Rivers System respects Aboriginal peoples, community, landowner and individual rights and interests in the nomination, designation and management of Heritage Rivers.
  • Rivers, or sections of rivers, included in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System will meet the spirit of the heritage and recreational value selection guidelines as set out by the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board.
  • River nominations and designations will be jointly approved, on the recommendation of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board, by the Minister(s) of the nominating jurisdiction(s) and the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency.
  • The Parks Canada Agency will continue to be the lead federal agency for the Canadian Heritage Rivers System and will, through a Secretariat function operated on behalf of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board, provide technical and financial support for the nomination and designation of rivers to the System, for promotion of the System both nationally and internationally, and for co-ordination of the ongoing monitoring of designated rivers.
  • River nominations and designations in Northwest Territories and Nunavut must be jointly approved by the Minister responsible for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the responsible territorial minister. This approval is to be obtained by the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board prior to a final recommendation going forward to the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency.
  • Should territorial devolution occur in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, as it has in Yukon, the federal authorities for the management of land, waters, and natural resources would be transferred to territorial governments. This Charter recognizes final devolution agreements between Canada and the territorial governments.
  • Provincial and territorial governments will continue their commitment to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, assuming the long-term operations and management of rivers within their jurisdictions designated to the System.

IV. THE CANADIAN HERITAGE RIVERS BOARD

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System is administered by the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board, which is composed of members from the government, public, not for profit or private sector who are appointed by the Participants. The Board administers the Canadian Heritage Rivers System for the benefit of the people of Canada and is accountable to the signatories of the Charter for the effective management of resources and processes that conserve and present Heritage Rivers.

V. DURATION OF TERM

Unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the Participants, the cooperation contemplated in this Charter shall be for a period of twenty years, commencing on April 1, 2011, and ending on April 1, 2031.

VI. SCOPE OF THIS CHARTER

  • Nothing in this Charter is to be interpreted as establishing a partnership, joint venture, agency relationship or commercial association between the Participants.
  • Each Participant shall retain exclusive responsibility for its undertakings.
  • This Charter shall not be interpreted to create any legal right or obligation between the Participants.

VII. MODIFICATIONS

It is understood that this Charter may be modified at any time by written agreement of all Participants.

Sample:

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Participants hereto have executed this Charter by their Ministers’ signatures, signed in counterpart, as of the day and year written below.

Minister of:
Date:
Witness:
Department:
Province/Territory:

Appendix B. Guidelines on Financial Assistance

Eligible Recipients

Provinces and territories represented on the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board are eligible to receive financial assistance for approved CHRS related projects and studies. Non-government entities such as river conservation or management organizations, as recommended by CHRB member jurisdictions, are also eligible to apply for and receive financial assistance. Parks Canada is also be eligible for funding related to rivers within its jurisdiction. Funding for CHRS purposes is provided by the Parks Canada Agency as part of its responsibilities as the lead federal agency for the Canadian Heritage Rivers program.

Eligible Studies and Projects

The following will be eligible for financial assistance:

  1. Background Studies
  2. Nomination Documents
  3. Designation Documents
  4. Ten-year Monitoring Reports of Designated Rivers
  5. Special Studies or Projects

Financial Assistance Amounts

Generally, the maximum contributions for each of these study types shall be:

  1. Background Studies                      $20,000
  2. Nomination Documents                 $ 5,000*
  3. Designation Documents                $45,000
  4. Ten-year Monitoring Reports         $ 5,000**
  5. Special Studies or Projects           $10,000***

*Jurisdictions may apply for combined funding for background studies and nomination documents. The maximum contribution of $25,000 may then be applied to these two documents in a manner that best matches the jurisdiction’s needs.

** Higher amounts may be considered for ten-year monitoring reports on a case-by-case basis where exceptional costs have been demonstrated and itemized.

***Higher amounts may be considered for projects on a case-by-case basis.

Parks Canada, from its CHRS budget, shall provide up to a maximum of 50% of the total costs of approved projects and studies within the limits described above. For example, a background study with a cost of $30,000 in total would be eligible for $15,000, even though the maximum for this type of study is $20,000.

Procedure for Allocation of Funds

Funds shall be allocated to recipients according to the following procedure:

Parks Canada shall, through its Secretariat function, invite jurisdictions/managing jurisdictions to submit written funding requests for projects they propose to undertake for the upcoming fiscal year. The requests shall identify:

  1. The type of study or project proposed;
  2. The river or section of river;
  3. The amount requested; and
  4. The financial or in-kind contribution made by the requesting jurisdiction or managing body.

An overall budget forecast with itemized estimates must also be included in the request for funding. Based on the requests received, the available budget, CHRS priority and scheduling considerations and other relevant factors, Parks Canada’s Secretariat function, in conjunction with the Executive Committee, shall propose a budget allocation for the consideration and decision of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board at its spring meeting.

Following a decision of the Board on the allocation of the budget, Parks Canada shall use financial mechanisms such as contribution agreements to transfer funds to jurisdictions or managing authorities, consistent with the Board’s decision(s).

When the total amount of funds requested exceeds the budget available, the Executive Committee shall advise the Board on the most appropriate allocation of funds, consistent with the following guidelines:

  1. Nomination documents shall be funded in full;
  2. Studies of rivers which would make the greatest system-wide contribution to the CHRS shall receive priority consideration as reflected by the Gap Analysis and direction of the Board,
  3. Studies proposed by jurisdictions which have received less funding assistance in the past shall be favoured; or
  4. Funding shall be reduced equally among all requests on a pro-rated basis, except those included in (1) and (2) above.

Funds which remain unallocated following the annual Canadian Heritage Rivers Board meeting, or which become available through cancelled or deferred studies or projects, shall be reallocated through mutual agreement of the Executive Committee and Parks Canada.

Variances

Jurisdictions and managing bodies are expected to use approved funding for the specific study or project consistent with the Board’s funding allocation decision. If, due to changed circumstances or revised priorities, the jurisdiction or managing body is unable to utilize the funding for the approved purpose or wishes to use the funds for a different study or project, the jurisdiction/managing body shall seek the written concurrence of the Executive Committee and Parks Canada.

Appendix C. Summary of Cultural and Natural Frameworks2

A Cultural Framework for Canadian Heritage Rivers

The Cultural Framework for Canadian Heritage Rivers classifies the historic connections between rivers and human activity in Canada. It identifies five themes, fifteen sub-themes and sixty elements. The intent is to represent each element of the framework by cultural resources located on or closely associated with Canadian Heritage Rivers. (Cultural Values Framework PDF)

The themes, sub-themes and elements outlined in the Framework are intended to provide a structure that can be used to classify all manageable river heritage in Canada. The cultural themes and sub-themes are as follows:

1. Resource Harvesting

Fishing
Shoreline Resource Harvesting
Extraction of Water 

2. Water Transport

Commercial Transportation
Transportation Services
Exploration and Surveying 

3. Riparian Settlement

Siting of Dwellings
River-based Communities
River-influenced Transportation 

4. Culture + Recreation

Spiritual Associations
Cultural Expression
Early Recreation

5. Jurisdictional Use

Conflict and Military Associations
Boundaries 

Environmental regulation

The framework is built around the concepts of human use of rivers and the influence of rivers on human activities. It distinguishes these from other human activity that is not river-related.

The framework offers a common vocabulary and approach to the cultural dimensions of Canada’s river heritage, and may be used to classify the aspects of that heritage that are effectively commemorated by rivers that are already in the System, or may be nominated to it in the future. The framework also offers definitions and distinctions that managing bodies and river managers can use to prepare inventories, evaluate resources, and develop appropriate management tools for the sites and in situ artifacts that represent a river's importance to the lives of people over time. Applying the framework to individual rivers will help to illuminate the river's role in Canadian history, clarify the role of the river in the CHRS, and assist in setting management priorities.

Representations of a river's human heritage are “cultural resources”. Some are large and substantial, like weirs and buildings; others are less substantial, such as pictographs. All are in their original locations or in situ. Each Canadian heritage river is itself a cultural resource, since designation recognizes its cultural meaning and value to all Canadians, particularly to people who have used it.

A Framework for the Natural Values of Canadian Heritage Rivers

The Framework for Natural Values of Canadian Heritage Rivers is a companion document to the Cultural Framework. It identifies six themes and eighteen sub- themes that can be used to define the natural components of Canada’s river heritage in a rational and comprehensive manner. (Natural Values Framework PDF)

The concept underlying the themes of the framework is the hydrologic cycle. The framework classifies abiotic and biotic features associated with rivers that result from the interaction of land and water in this cycle.

Similar to the Cultural Framework, The Framework for the Natural Values of Canadian Heritage Rivers adopts a hierarchical thematic approach. The hierarchy adopted is parallel to the cultural framework in comprising themes, sub-themes and elements. Sub-themes and elements are classifications of features that arise from processes associated with each of the themes. The values and features represented through this framework are listed as elements of each subtheme. The themes and sub-themes in the Natural Values Framework are as follows:

Theme 1: Hydrology

Sub-theme 1: Drainage Basins
Sub-theme 2: Seasonal Variation
Sub-theme 3: Water Content
Sub-theme 4: River Size 

Theme 2: Physiography

Sub-theme 1: Physiographic Region
Sub-theme 2: Geological Processes
Sub-theme 3: Hydrogeology
Sub-theme 4: Topography

Theme 3: River Morphology

Sub-theme 1: Valley Types
Sub-theme 2: Channel Patterns
Sub-theme 3: Channel Profile
Sub-theme 4: Fluvial Landforms

Theme 4: Biotic Environments

Sub-theme 1: Aquatic Ecosystems
Sub-theme 2: Terrestrial Ecosystems 

Theme 5: Vegetation

Sub-theme 1: Significant Plant Communities
Sub-theme 2: Rare Plant Species

Theme 6: Fauna

Sub-theme 1: Significant Animal Populations
Sub-theme 2: Rare Animal Species 

Appendix D. Summary of CHRS Gap Analysis: Building a Comprehensive and Representative Canadian Heritage Rivers System

The Canadian Heritage Rivers Board, through the 2008-2018 Strategic Plan, adopted by Ministers in 2007, has the stated goal of building a comprehensive and representative system that recognizes Canada’s river heritage. The Strategic Plan states the goal as follows; “By 2018, there will be a comprehensive system of Canadian Heritage Rivers representing a full range of natural, cultural and recreational values of importance to Canadians.”

In 2009, the Board commissioned a Gap Analysis as part of its efforts to   implement the Strategic Plan and to focus program efforts on a select number of new nominations that would be the most beneficial in terms of creating a comprehensive and representative Canadian Heritage River System. The full title of this Gap Analysis is Building a Comprehensive and Representative Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

Middle Falls flowing over a small vertical drop with colourful autumn trees lining the shore.

The Gap Analysis project was based on the Natural and Cultural Frameworks adopted by the Board in 2001. The hierarchy of themes, sub-themes and elements in the frameworks has allowed for the orderly identification of values and features associated with Canadian rivers. Since 2001, all nominations and other CHRS documents have used this approach. The Gap Analysis used this structure to identify and assess values and features that are represented in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System and determine those, which are currently absent or under-represented. Based on this analysis, the report recommends which rivers have the best potential to fill gaps in the system or represent values and features that, at present, are not well represented. The results of the analysis are indicative only and the views and perspectives of jurisdictions and stakeholders will also need to be taken into account when the Board considers potential additions to the system.

With respect to natural framework elements, the analysis concluded there were significant geographical gaps in several regions of Canada. Three areas were found to be underrepresented in terms of two elements – the northern part of the Boreal Cordillera (Yukon Drainage Basin and Boreal Cordillera ecozone), where the Peace-Slave lowlands physiographic region overlaps with the Boreal Plains ecozone; and the overlap of the Mackenzie Lowlands physiographic region and Arctic Ocean seaboard drainage area. Rivers representing these regions include the Yukon and its tributaries (Stewart, Peel, Teslin), and the Peace, Athabasca, Slave, Hay, Hornaday and Anderson.

Among aquatic ecosystems, four types were considered under-represented in the existing system: eutrophic lakes, and swamps, which were found on only 12 of the existing Heritage Rivers; and salt-marshes and sub-tidal zones which, even taking into consideration that thirteen designated flow into salt-water, were nevertheless uncommon in the existing Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

In contrast to the first four priority natural elements, it was possible to identify specific rivers rather than regions where rare fish might be represented. About half of fish species recognized as rare in Canada are actually found on existing Canadian Heritage Rivers. Outside of the CHRS, there are five rivers that support several rare fish species: the St. Lawrence, Columbia, Kootenay, Milk and Shubenacadie. Two of these rivers – the St. Lawrence and the Shubenacadie – are currently being considered for CHRS nomination, and if accepted as nominated rivers, would contribute to representing the rare fish theme.

With respect to the analysis of Cultural Framework Elements, the report determined that the eight most under-represented themes were: Agricultural Extraction, Architectural Responses to River Locations, Human Consumption, Indigenous-European Conflict, Interprovincial–Territorial Boundaries, Trans-boundary Rivers, Collection of Shellfish, and Land-based Tourism.

For these latter elements, further investigation of existing nominations, particularly for rivers that were nominated in the early years of CHRS might reveal more and better representations. Rivers, which appear to hold the most opportunities in this regard, are the Grand, Fraser, Red, St. John and Ottawa.

For some under-represented elements, the Gap Analysis identified rivers that could represent more than one of the under-represented elements. These include the Milk, Souris and Qu’Appelle rivers.

The Gap Analysis concludes that there are a number of rivers which could effectively fill several gaps in the existing Heritage Rivers System and many which could fill individual gaps. Decisions on whether to put forward these rivers forward for possible nomination as Canadian Heritage Rivers must be determined by jurisdictions, prospective managing bodies, river conservation organizations, local communities and Indigenous peoples.

Appendix E. Selection Guidelines

Natural Heritage Values

Outstanding Canadian natural heritage value will be recognized when a river and its immediate environment:

  • is an outstanding example of river environments as they are affected by the major stages and processes in the earth's evolutionary history as represented in Canada; or
  • contains outstanding representations of significant ongoing fluvial, geomorphological and biological processes; or
  • contains along its course unique, rare or outstanding examples of biotic and abiotic natural phenomena, formations or features; or
  • contains along its course habitats of rare or endangered species of plants and animals, including outstanding concentrations of plants and animals of Canadian interest and significance.

Cultural Values

Outstanding Canadian cultural value will be recognized when a river and its immediate environment:

  • is of outstanding importance owing to its influence, over a period of time, on the historical development of Canada through a major impact upon the region in which it is located or beyond; or
  • is strongly associated with persons, events or beliefs of national significance; or
  • contains historical or archaeological structures, works or sites which are unique, rare or of great antiquity; or
  • contains concentrations of historical or archaeological structures, works or sites which are representative of major themes in Canadian history.

Recreational Values

Outstanding Canadian recreational value will be recognized when a river and its immediate environment possess a combination of river-related recreational opportunities and related natural and/or cultural values that together provide capability for an outstanding recreational experience.

Recreational opportunities include water-based activities such as canoeing and other forms of boating, swimming and angling, and other activities such as camping, hiking, wildlife viewing, and natural and cultural appreciation that may be part of a river-touring experience. Natural values include natural visual aesthetics, and physical assets such as sufficient flow, navigability, rapids, accessibility and suitable shoreline.

Appendix F. Integrity Guidelines

In addition to meeting specific heritage value guidelines (Appendix E), a river and its immediate environment must meet the Integrity Guidelines in order to be nominated to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

Natural Integrity Values

In addition to meeting one or more of the above natural heritage value guidelines, for a river to be judged to have outstanding Canadian natural heritage value, it must meet all of the following natural integrity guidelines:

  • The nominated section is of sufficient size to include significant representations of all of the natural processes, features, or other phenomena which give the river its outstanding natural value;
  • The nominated section includes those ecosystem components which contribute significantly to the provision of habitat for species in need of protection;
  • There are no human-made impoundments within the nominated section;
  • All key elements and ecosystem components are unaffected by impoundments located outside the nominated section;
  • The water in the nominated section is uncontaminated to the extent that its natural aquatic ecosystem is intact; and
  • The natural aesthetic character of the nominated section is free of, or not adversely affected by, human developments.

Cultural Integrity Values

In addition to meeting one or more of the above cultural value guidelines, for a river to be judged to have outstanding Canadian cultural value, it must meet all of the following cultural integrity guidelines:

  • The nominated section is of sufficient size to include significant representations of all of the features, activities or other phenomena which give the river its outstanding cultural value;
  • The visual character of the nominated section enables uninterrupted appreciation of at least one of the periods of the river's historical importance;
  • The key artifacts and sites comprising the cultural values for which the river is nominated are unimpaired by impoundments and human land uses; and
  • The water quality of the nominated section does not detract from the visual character or the cultural experience provided by its cultural values.

Recreational Integrity Values

In addition to meeting both of the recreational value guidelines, for a river to be judged to have outstanding Canadian recreational value it must meet all of the following recreational integrity guidelines:

  • The river possesses water of a quality suitable for contact recreational activities, including those recreational opportunities for which it is nominated;
  • The river’s visual appearance is capable of providing river travelers with a continuous natural experience, or a combined natural and cultural experience, without significant interruption by modern human intrusions; and
  • The river is capable of supporting recreational uses without significant loss of, or impact on, its natural and cultural values or its visual character.

Appendix G: List of Natural, Cultural and Recreation Values and Themes

Natural

Hydrology

  • Drainage Basins
  • Seasonal Variation
  • Water Content
  • River Size

Physiography

  • Physiographic Regions
  • Geological Processes
  • Hydrogeology
  • Topography

River Morphology

  • Valley Types
  • Channel Types
  • Channel Profile
  • Fluvial Landforms

 

Biotic Environments

  • Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Terrestrial Ecosystems

Vegetation

  • Significant plant communities
  • Rare Plant Species

Fauna

  • Significant Animal Populations
  • Rare Animal Species

 

Cultural

Resource Harvesting

  • Fishing
  • Shoreline Resource Harvesting
  • Extraction of Water

Water Transport

  • Commercial Transportation
  • Transportation Services
  • Exploration & Surveying

Riparian Settlement

  • Siting of Dwellings
  • River-based Communities
  • River-influenced Transportation

Culture & Recreation

  • Spiritual Associations
  • Cultural Expression
  • Early Recreation

Jurisdictional Uses

  • Conflict & Military Associations
  • Boundaries
  • Environmental Regulation

 

 

Recreation

Boating

  • White-water Canoe, Kayak & Raft
  • Extended Canoe Tripping (motor & nonmotor)
  • Day Paddling & Rowing
  • High Speed Boating
  • Motorized Pleasure Cruising / Houseboats
  • Commercial Tour Boats
  • Sailing

Angling

  • Day Angling
  • Weekend Angling
  • Extended Angling Vacation
  • Fly Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Specific Fish Species

Water Contact / Content

  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Snorkel/Scuba

Water-associated Activities

  • Trail Use (hiking, walking, cycling)
  • Camping
  • Hunting

Winter Activities

  • Snowmobiling/Dog Sledding
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Skating

Natural Heritage Appreciation

  • Wildlife
  • Vegetation
  • Vistas/Scenic Quality
  • Geological Features / Water Features

Human Heritage Appreciation

  • Historic Sites
  • Cultural Landscapes
  • Sporting Events / Activities
  • Cultural Events / Activities

 

Appendix H: Examples of Benefits

Environmental Benefits

  • Improved water quality
  • Improved habitat
  • Increases in fish / animal / plant populations

Cultural Benefits

  • Improved appreciation of river, watershed, aboriginal or other history of river use
  • Increased identification and protection of culturally significant sites

Recreational Benefits

  • Increased or decreased use of river
  • Changes in use of river
  • Improved access to river

Improved Knowledge

  • Increased understanding of river wildlife, vegetation, history or traditional knowledge

Monetary Benefits

  • Increased access to funding
  • Increased revenue

Stewardship

  • Increased involvement in stewardship activities
  • Increased number of stewardship activities and events

Community Engagement and Collaboration

  • Increased dialogue with community and other partners and stakeholders
  • Increased participation in river management discussions
  • Increased involvement in river activities

Education

  • Development of educational programs related to the health of the river or watershed, or use of the river
  • Development of communications products such as signage, exhibits, photo contests, social media and web to communicate the designation and its benefits

6.  Schedules

Schedule 1. CHRS Nomination Review Template 

Download PDF

Schedule 2. Nomination Document7 Illustrative Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Executive Summary (English and French)

Background information on the organization preparing/sponsoring the nomination document or the prospective managing body, as applicable

Description of process used to prepare the nomination document: use of consultants, general public and Indigenous input opportunities, more intensive stakeholder participation (e.g. dialogue with political representatives, including Indigenous rights holders), collaboration with other jurisdictions, involvement of the TPC and Parks Canada’s CHRS Secretariat function in reviewing drafts, etc. This section should include a summary of the feedback received and a brief discussion of how any concerns were addressed.

Overview of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System

Location and description of the river or river section proposed for nomination

Description of previous CHRS studies related to the river (i.e. provincial/territorial system study, background study, pre-screening assessment, relationship of the river proposed for nomination relative to the recommendation of the Gap Analysis, etc.)

Contribution of the river, if nominated, to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System

Overview of the river’s cultural, natural, and recreational heritage values

Statement of support for the nomination by the responsible jurisdiction(s)

Next steps including commitment to prepare designation document

2. Cultural Heritage Values8

Description and analysis of cultural heritage values the nominated river would contribute to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System based on and organized according to the heritage value themes of the Cultural Framework for Canadian Heritage Rivers (CHRS 2000).

Assessment of cultural heritage values to demonstrate that the river proposed for nomination satisfies the requirements of the Selection Guidelines for Cultural Values and Cultural Value Integrity Guidelines (CHRS, 2001).

Suggested headings as follows:

Description of Cultural Heritage Values
Resource Harvesting
Water Transport
Riparian Settlement
Culture and Recreation
Jurisdictional Use 

Assessment of Cultural Heritage Values
Selection Guidelines: Cultural Heritage Values
Integrity Guidelines: Cultural Integrity Values 

3. Natural Heritage Values

Description of natural heritage values and features that the river proposed for nomination would contribute to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, organized according to the heritage value themes of the Framework for the Natural Values of Canadian Heritage Rivers (CHRS 2001)

Assessment of natural heritage values to demonstrate that the river proposed for nomination satisfies or addresses the requirements of the Selection Guidelines for Natural Heritage Values and Integrity Guidelines for Natural Heritage Values.

Suggested headings as follows:

Description of Natural Heritage Values
Hydrology
Physiography
River Morphology
Biotic Environments
Vegetation
Fauna 

Assessment of Natural Heritage Values
Selection Guidelines: Natural Heritage Values
Integrity Guidelines: Natural Integrity Values

4. Recreational Heritage Values

This section should provide a description and assessment of the recreational values that the river proposed for nomination would contribute to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System based on the Selection Guidelines for Recreational Heritage Values and Recreational Value Integrity Guidelines.

Suggested headings as follows:

Description of Recreational Heritage Values
Water Associated Activities
Boating
Angling
Winter Activities
Natural Heritage Appreciation
Cultural Heritage Appreciation 

Assessment of Recreational Values
Selection Guidelines: Recreational Values
Integrity Guidelines: Recreational Integrity Values 

5. Conclusions

This section could include the following headings:

References

Appendices

Schedule 3. Designation Documents: Requirements and Suggested Content

Standards for Designation Documents

A designation document for a nominated Canadian Heritage River describes what actions the managing body will take to ensure the long-term management of the river and its associated values and resources according to the objectives of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. The document shall comprise at least four components:

  1. The boundaries of a river management area described in text and map form along with mapped information showing the location of natural/cultural heritage and recreational values as applicable, for which the river's nomination was accepted, and the boundaries of managing bodies with responsibility for implementation of the document.
  2. Policies, strategic directions and actions to be implemented to ensure that management, development and use are consistent with the objectives of the System. The document shall also contain management objectives reflecting the unique role of the river in the System, and describe priorities, phasing or sequencing of measures to implement the document;
  3. Strategies and activities to monitor and communicate the CHRS designation and its benefits. The document shall include a communications strategy detailing key messages regarding the designation, as well as an overview of proposed activities and approaches the managing body shall employ to communicate the designation and its associated benefits. As the benefits of the designation will become evident over time, the communications strategy should take a long-term approach to communicating the benefits as they arise. See Appendix H for a list of benefits.
  4. The document shall demonstrate commitment on the part of the managing body to conserve the river's heritage values through appropriate signatures of agency representatives and expressions of support for the document.

Schedule 5 (below) provides the assessment template that shall be used as a basis for reviewing and evaluating designation documents submitted to the Board as part of the designation process.

Responsible Jurisdiction

The designation document shall be prepared by the jurisdiction and/or the managing body and should reflect the views of Indigenous peoples, local communities, non-government organizations, other levels of government and other stakeholders. Proposed designations that enjoy a high level of support from these groups are more likely to be successful.

The designation document is submitted and tabled on behalf of the jurisdiction and managing body, including all departments and agencies that have responsibility for its implementation. Partners in co-operative arrangements should be identified in the document.

Compatibility with CHRS Objectives

The designation document should provide descriptions of proposed management actions for values that provided the basis for the river’s acceptance in the CHRS at the nomination stage. These management actions should, when implemented, achieve CHRS objectives and the maintenance of the river's integrity, including its key elements, ecosystems and water quality.

Form of Designation Documents

The designation document shall consist of narrative text, tables, maps, photographs and graphics as required, and shall be prepared to a high quality professional standard.

Where all or nearly all of a river management area is under the legal authority of single jurisdiction or managing body, the designation document shall describe how the existing legislation, policies and documents will be used to manage the river’s values according to the objectives and requirements of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

The Board, at the request of a managing body, may permit the tabling of a ‘bridging document’ to satisfy the designation document requirement. This type of document would describe and specify how the heritage values presented in the nomination document would be addressed through policies, actions and measures included in a valid approved management plan or heritage strategy for the river or river section being considered for designation.

Where substantial parts of a river management area are owned by private interests, or where the river’s heritage and recreational values are within the primary jurisdiction of local or other government agencies, or where the jurisdiction is not otherwise able to prepare a single designation document, two other types of documents may be prepared:

  1. Where approved local or other government plans for part or all of a management area already describe appropriate management actions for the river’s heritage and recreational values, such as heritage zoning, designations or easements which would ensure appropriate allowed uses, or management actions, the jurisdiction shall prepare a summary document which highlights the relevant measures provided for in the existing plans that would be used as the basis for managing the river as a designated Canadian Heritage River;
  2. Where there are no approved local or other government plans, or where existing documents do not contain appropriate management provisions, the jurisdiction or the managing body shall formulate a designation document which it will use as the basis for securing the involvement of managing agencies, Indigenous peoples, local communities and others on appropriate future river management. The document shall be prepared with the involvement of all concerned government and non-government agencies, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders.

Commitment of Managing Bodies

Managing bodies shall commit to using best practices to implement the designation document. The precise nature of this commitment may vary according to the type of document tabled.

In the case of a single jurisdiction document, commitment shall be demonstrated by the signature of the responsible Minister or his/her designate, or through correspondence. In the case of a designation document based on collaboration and cooperation by a number of agencies and organizations to achieve CHRS management objectives, written indications of support in principle from these organizations and stakeholders should be included in the document, or provided to the Board.

Required Content

Management Area Description

The designation document must define and map the boundaries of the Canadian Heritage River management area and should be delimited by such means as:

  • legal boundaries, such as the protected area boundaries if the river is located within a park or protected area with a legislated boundary;
  • the watershed of the river’s drainage basin;
  • a corridor delineated along the river described in terms of a standard distance from the river’s high water mark; or
  • a corridor described by landmarks and other prominent boundaries.

The approach used would be the one which best encompasses the river’s key values as defined through application of the national frameworks. The description should be in form of text and accompanied by one or more maps at an appropriate scale. The designation document should clearly acknowledge that designation does not infringe upon the rights of Indigenous peoples. The designation document should also clearly acknowledge that the rights of landowners and stakeholders in the management area are fully respected.

Policies and Management Measures

The type and nature of policies and management measures included in designation document are the prerogative of the jurisdiction/managing body, however, at minimum the document should address the following:

Heritage Values, including provisions to address the conservation and interpretation of the natural and cultural heritage values for which the river was nominated.

Integrity. Management measures to maintain the integrity of cultural heritage features/sites and natural heritage features and processes need to be included in the designation document.

Recreation. If recreational values and integrity considerations provided part of the basis for the nomination, the heritage strategy must address how the recreational opportunities will be realized.

Development. The strategy must address the future sustainable development, management and use of the river. While facility and resource development is not precluded as a result of the designation, any such use must be sustainable and not harm the values for which the river was included in the System or its integrity.

Sustainability. In respect of the CHRS Charter, all policies and practices proposed as part of the strategy must reflect sustainable management principles.

Procedural Requirements

Indigenous and Stakeholder Involvement. The strategy must take into account and reflect community, Indigenous, stakeholder and landowner input, achieved through an open and inclusive public engagement process and a separate Indigenous engagement process.

Tabling Procedure. Copies of the designation document shall be tabled with the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board within three years of the nomination decision by Ministers. The Board may grant extensions based on demonstration of reasonable progress towards completion of the document.

Translation. Translation of the designation document or a summary, into the other official language is required.

Recommended Components of the Designation Document

Water Quality Monitoring. The management plan should contain water quality objectives for the river and an indication of how water quality will be monitored.

The parameters and objectives should be based on permissible levels of substances described in the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines of the Canadian Council of Resource and Environment Ministers. Parameters should be selected on the basis of actual pollution problems and perceived threats that will impact the river’s nomination values including, in particular, its integrity values.

Monitoring Checklists. To enable monitoring of the condition of designated river’s nomination values, the designation document should include checklists, based on CHRS Natural and Cultural Thematic Frameworks. These will facilitate preparation of annual reports and ten year monitoring reports.

Desirable Components

These elements, although not specifically required by CHRS policy or guidelines, will serve to enhance the quality, usefulness and effectiveness of a designation document as a management document for a designated river.

Adopting a Watershed-based Approach

The generally accepted best method of ensuring river integrity is to conserve its entire basin by delineating the management area boundary on the basis of the watershed. Designation documents should demonstrate that watershed principles have been taken into account to the degree feasible and practical in determining the management area. For all configurations of management areas, it will be necessary to seek the cooperation of all landowners.

In responding to the watershed principle, designation documents could identify the major landowners within the watershed, and prioritize upstream areas and tributaries in terms of threats and the importance of associated heritage values. The Strategy could also outline steps that will be taken by the managing agency to reach cooperative agreements and describe any existing agreements.

Additional Values

Addressing and providing management measures to safeguard the values for which the river was nominated is the minimum requirement for designation documents. However, most nominated rivers will possess a range of values and represent natural or cultural themes in addition to those that serve as the basis for nomination, or important recreational values. The designation document should address these themes and values and propose appropriate management actions.

Implementation Schedule

An implementation framework should be included as part of the Heritage Strategy. This can take the form of a listing of management measures and the relative time categories in which the actions are to be implemented, a sequencing of measures based on the need to complete steps in a particular order, or a prioritizing of measures based on their relative importance.

Review and Amendment Process

The designation document, once approved, will exist within an evolving environment and circumstances will change over time. It is important that the strategy be updated periodically to reflect changing circumstances, new policies and legislation or changes in the condition of nomination values. A review and amendment procedure for the designation document should be included as part of the document to provide guidance as to how it will be reviewed and updated.

Recognition of Indigenous and Stakeholder Support

Demonstrations of support by local and regional Indigenous peoples, stakeholders and political representatives show the strategy is based on effective public and Indigenous engagement and that there is Indigenous and public awareness of and support for the management measures included in the document. Indigenous and stakeholder support can facilitate approval of the strategy and a timely designation decision and subsequent implementation of the management measures provided for in the strategy.

Letters or signed endorsements for the designation document could be included to demonstrate support. In addition a list of acknowledgements and funding partners would be useful additions to demonstrate citizen, corporate and stakeholder engagement and support.

Desirable Procedures

The following are recommended to facilitate the preparation, review and approval of the designation document:

  • involvement of Parks Canada’s Secretariat function;
  • review of draft(s) by the Technical Planning Committee;
  • early submission of the document to the Board well in advance of the meeting at which it will be considered for approval;
  • early submission of briefing materials, in advance of the Board meeting; and
  • an effective presentation to the Board.

An illustrative table of contents for designation documents (Heritage Strategies) is included in Schedule 4, below.

Schedule 4: Illustrative Heritage Strategy Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1.0 Introduction and Background
1.1 Foreword
1.2 The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS)
1.3 Description of the Nomination and Designation Process
1.4 Role of the River in the Canadian Heritage River System
1.5 Purpose of the Heritage Strategy
1.6 Recognition and Respect for Existing Rights, Land Uses and Activities

2.0 History and Resources of the Nominated River
2.1 Overview
2.2 Natural Heritage; Description and Analysis
2.3 Cultural Heritage; Description and Analysis
2.4 Recreational Values; Description and Analysis
2.5 Summary

3.0 Managing the River as a Canadian Heritage River
3.1 CHRS Integrity Guidelines
3.2 Integrity Considerations and the Nominated River

4.0 The Heritage Strategy
4.1 Managing the River as a Canadian Heritage River
4.2 The Canadian Heritage River Management Area
4.3 Natural Heritage Goals, Objectives, Management Strategies and Actions
4.4 Cultural Heritage Goals, Objectives, Management Strategies and Actions
4.5 Recreational Goals, Objectives, Management Strategies and Actions
4.6 Water Quality Objectives, Management Strategies and Actions
4.7 Management Opportunities and Challenges

5.0 Heritage Strategy Implementation and River Monitoring
5.1 Collaboration and Cooperation
5.2 Strategy to communicate designation and its benefits
5.3 Management Framework/Sequence for Implementation
5.4 Statements of Commitment to Implement
5.5 Monitoring, Review and Reporting
5.6 Monitoring Checklists

References

Appendices (including Statements/Letters of Support)

Schedule 5. CHRS Designation Document Review Template

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Schedule 6. Annual Monitoring Report Template 

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Schedule 7. Ten-year Monitoring Report Template 

Section 1: Chronology of Significant Events, Actions and Research since Designation

Please briefly outline significant events, actions and research that occurred since the designation, in relation to the heritage river that:

  • celebrate the heritage river designation and the heritage values,
  • raise public awareness of the heritage designation and the heritage values,
  • contributes to responsible stewardship of the heritage river,
  • educate the public about the river, health of the river & watershed, and use of the river
  • support community cooperation and participation, or
  • promote health and quality of life of Canadians

Month/Year:
Title of Event / Action / Research:
Brief description:

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Section 2: Changes and Threats to Natural, Cultural and Recreational Values since Designation

Please record changes and threats to the natural, cultural and recreational values that have been observed since the designation, and identify how/if they were addressed. The values should reflect those that were identified in the nomination and designation for the heritage river. For a list of potential values, see Appendix G.

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Section 3: Integrity Guidelines since Designation

By referring to the comprehensive list of integrity values identified in Appendix G, please select and report on the specific integrity values that have experienced changes since the designation.

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Section 4: Designation Document Recommendations and Current Status

By referring to the recommendations and key actions in the designation document, please identify the degree of achievement of each. In the “Comments” column, briefly outline the research, actions or reporting that has been done to date to address the recommendation or key action.

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Section 5: Summary of Benefits and Costs since Designation

From the potential list of benefits in Appendix H, please select the appropriate/relevant benefits and briefly describe how this specific heritage river designation has benefited. Please identify any additional benefits that are not in Appendix H.

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Have there been any downsides to obtaining the designation? (ex. perceived regulatory barriers, etc)

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Section 6: Overall Assessment

The designation as a Canadian Heritage River should


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Schedule 8: CHRS Commemorative Plaque Inventory

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