The Canadian Heritage Rivers System
(CHRS) is a cooperative venture among federal, provincial and territorial governments. The program was established in 1984 to:
- conserve and protect the best examples of Canada's river heritage;
- provide national, international and local recognition to outstanding rivers in Canada that demonstrate exceptional examples of Canadian natural, cultural and recreational values; and
- ensure the long-term management of these rivers so that their unique values will be conserved for all Canadians and visitors into the future.
A Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) designation:
- is an "honorary" title reserved for rivers deemed worthy of inclusion;
- does not have legislative or regulatory authority;
- encourages cooperation among river users to optimize their river use without unduly compromising the river's values; and
- is meant to increase the awareness of a river's cultural/historical, natural, recreational and economic values.
Canadian Heritage Rivers in Alberta
Alberta became a member of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board in February 1994.
Alberta has three rivers that have all achieved Canadian Heritage River status
The governments of Canada and Alberta officially accept the nomination of the Alberta section of the North Saskatchewan River as a Canadian Heritage River.
North Saskatchewan River.
Nominating and Designating a River
- Parks Division coordinates and guides the Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) nomination and designation process in Alberta.
- Local stakeholders have the opportunity to nominate a river for CHRS designation.
- For information on developing a nomination document for an outstanding river in Alberta, contact John.Tchir@gov.ab.ca.
- Once a river nomination is accepted, local stakeholders prepare a management plan for the river's potential CHRS designation.
- Parks Division provides the stakeholder group with:
- may provide technical support for the CHRS nomination process if capacity permits.
- Development and implementation of the management plan is driven by stakeholders, not government.
- Management actions must be developed and implemented by local stakeholders in cooperation and partnership with public, industry and government.
- The management plan provides a valuable framework of recommendations and guidelines. Public, industry, government and other agencies can consider these recommendations in planning development and activities that affect river users and values.
- The management planning process is meant to foster interaction and cooperation among recreation, industry and government stakeholders that value the river.
Currently the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta is in the nomination process.
Alberta's CHRS Management Plans