The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for the stewardship and development of the province's natural resources through the Mines and Energy Branches and the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency.
The mandate of the Mines and Energy Branches includes supervision, control and direction of all matters relating to promotion, exploration and development of mineral and energy resources and related industry developments including:
The Mines and Energy Branches value an environment that facilitates a high degree of personal responsibility and initiative. Employee excellence is the key to achieve all goals as individuals and as team members. Employees are guided in their work by the following core values or guiding principles:
The Mines and Energy Branches are ultimately accountable to the residents of the province.
Other primary clients include:
Working closely with key stakeholders, the Mines and Energy Branches develop resource policy, and coordinate and facilitate sustainable development and management. Based on these frameworks, the Mines and Energy Branches directly and indirectly develop, monitor and/or initiate supporting regulatory and benefits optimization activities.
In the onshore area of the province, the Mines and Energy Branches are solely responsible for ensuring industries follow appropriate resource management practices and comply with relevant regulations. The Branches facilitate well-planned, responsible resource management activities and are responsible for monitoring almost all aspects of these activities. Mineral and petroleum resource management activities also include title allocation, administration and ensuring compliance with site development and rehabilitation requirements.
In the offshore area, the Energy Branch discharges its operational management and administration functions for offshore petroleum activity under a federal-provincial joint regime administered by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.
In the electricity resource area, involvement in resource management is indirect and implemented through the Public Utilities Board and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.
Through the Energy Branch, the Department is also responsible for royalty development and administration for onshore and offshore petroleum royalties.
This includes all those activities that precede resource development, including the gathering, interpretation and dissemination of Geoscience data and the provision of exploration incentives. The activities of the Mines and Energy Branches in this area are designed to support and encourage exploration, investment decisions, permitting and development opportunities.
Resource development builds on exploration and resource assessment. Resource development projects generally tend to be long term and capital intensive and as such generate significant economic and employment benefits. These projects can be important economic catalysts, particularly for rural area growth as well as industrial infrastructure and supply and service capabilities. A number of activities are specifically directed to promoting and facilitating well planned, responsible mineral and energy development and their associated business and employment opportunities.
The mandate of the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency includes the supervision, control and direction of all matters relating to:
The Forestry and Agrifoods Agency values an environment that facilitates a high degree of personal responsibility and initiative. Employee excellence is the key to achievement of all activities as individuals and as team members. During the 2008-11 planning period, the Agency's employees will be guided in their work by the following core values or guiding principles:
Working closely with key stakeholders, the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency develops policy and programs, and provides support functions to the forestry, agriculture and agrifoods industries. Programs and services are specifically directed to promoting and facilitating well-planned, sustainable growth and development and associated economic and employment opportunities.
The Agency has 8 main program and service areas:
Through the Agency's headquarters in Corner Brook, and offices in St. John's, the Agency is responsible for policy, legislation, programs and forest management planning that enable the residents of the province to benefit from the services that ecosystems provide while ensuring their sustainability and health.
These programs include silviculture, resource roads construction, forest inventory, forest fire suppression, forest insect control, forest management planning, enforcement/compliance and industry development.
The policy and programs associated with sustainable forest management, health and services are implemented through a regional/district structure. Regional Services is responsible for the delivery of the silviculture, resource roads, forest fire suppression, and enforcement/compliance programs. In addition, Regional Services is responsible for dealing with wildlife issues related to public safety (road kills, injured animals, etc,) public awareness programs (presentations to schools, service clubs, etc,) addressing public concerns on other forest resource management issues and the development of district sustainable forest management plans.
The Agency's responsibility for enforcement of the province's Forestry and Wildlife Acts is delivered through the Regional Services structure. In addition, the Agency collaborates with other government departments and agencies in enforcement of the federal Fisheries Act (Inland Fish), All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Regulations and the Migratory Birds Convention Act. The Agency is responsible for monitoring timber harvesting operations as well as patrolling hunting areas for compliance with the regulations under the various Acts noted above.
The Agency's regional and district offices issue licenses and permits for:
The Agency offers a wide range of programs and services aimed at maximizing production and market development at the primary and secondary levels. These programs and services include: professional and technical support, pest control training, research and development, market development, market intelligence, on-farm food safety, off-farm food safety, and marketing and promotion.
The Agency delivers a wide range of business development services, including: AgriInsurance, Provincial Agrifoods Assistance Program, Fruit and Vegetable Storage Assistance Program, and the Agriculture and Agrifoods Development Fund; Grants and Subsidies for the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture, 4-H Program, and the Provincial Training Program; and Professional Advisory Services through 9 agricultural representatives and 3 farm management specialists.
The Agency's land management program includes: the Land Use Program involving the Real Property Tax Exemption Program, Land Consolidation Program, and Environmental Farm Planning Program; Agricultural Limestone Program; Soil Survey Program; geographic information system development; field mapping/database development; Agricultural Drainage Program; Agricultural Access Roads and Electrical Service Program; and the Soil Fertility and Laboratory Services Program.
Animal health services generally involve any aspect of animal health that is justifiably in the public interest and within those budgetary limits set by the provincial government, including: farm animal veterinary services (livestock and poultry); laboratory analyses (veterinary diagnostic and food safety); control of food quality (milk and meat); monitoring and control of animal diseases of economic or public health interest; professional witnesses in cruelty to animals complaints; assistance to police & wildlife officials; and control of Heritage Animals.