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Public Lands

Under the Special Areas Act,the Special Areas Board is responsible for the administration of approximately 2.6 million acres of public land within the area. These lands consist of 1.6 million acres of Crown land and 1 million acres of Tax Recovery land. The Special Areas Board leases these lands to local farmers and ranchers for grazing and cultivation purposes. As well the Special Area Board also issues leases to oil and gas producers for the development and production of natural gas and oil reserves.

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What's New in the Special Areas?

Upcoming Events and Information 

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Minister McQueen and Special Areas Board offer condolences following fatal motor vehicle accident

    Hanna… Municipal Affairs Minister Diana McQueen and Special Areas Board Chair Jay Slemp have issued a joint statement on the sudden death of a Special Areas employee on December 11, 2014 in a motor vehicle accident. Hanna RCMP are investing the incident.

The employee was travelling on Highway 9 between Youngstown and Hanna when the fatal accident occurred at approximately 11:20 a.m.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about this tragedy,” said Minister McQueen. “My heart goes out to the family in this difficult time.”

 “On behalf of the Special Areas Board, I want to express our deepest sympathies and condolences,” said Special Areas Board Chair Jay Slemp. “May the family and friends find comfort from friends and loved ones to help carry them through this difficult time.”

The Special Areas is a rural municipality in southeastern Alberta. Its boundaries outline over five million acres of land and are home to almost 5,000 residents. The Special Areas is a unique type of municipality, administered by a Board of three members appointed by Lieutenant Governor in Council. In addition to the Board, an advisory council of 13 is elected in accordance with the Local Authorities Election Act and represents the residents of the three Special Areas.

Media inquiries may be directed to:                                                                                                 

Jerry Ward, Communications

Alberta Municipal Affairs



 To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310-0000

After over 40 years of service, Jay Slemp has announced he will be retiring as Chairman of the Special Areas Board. This will become effective as of January 2015. “There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but he believes now is the right time,” proclaims Slemp. The Advisory Council will be putting forward a recommendation to the Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs. The Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs will then work with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Special Areas Advisory Council to ensure the right individual is appointed as Chairman.
Slemp announced, “It has been my pleasure to work for the Special Areas for over 40 years, beginning in Consort as Office Manager – eventually leading to my appointment as Chairman of the Board.” He is honored to have been the Chairman of Special Areas, to have had the opportunity to serve the great people of the Special Areas and to have been supported by such a talented and dedicated group of individuals. We have continued to grow and change while focusing on our true strength – the people of the Special Areas.
“Where People Make the Difference”

You are invited to attend Jay's Retirement Party on Jan. 17, 2015.
It will be held at the Hanna Community Centre.
Cocktails at 5:00 PM.
Dinner at 6:00 PM.
Tickets are $25 a person (Includes meal & gift donation).
RSVP is needed by Jan. 7, 2015.
Email: Shyanne.jones@specialareas.ab.ca or call 403-854-5601

We want your help in going down memory lane with pictures or stories for a Memory Book.
Email Shyanne.Jones@specialareas.ab.ca of fax:403-854-5627 by December 31, 2014.

ROAD CLOSURE starting on December 2, 2014 on Range Road 12-1 from Township Road 22-3 to Township Road 22-3.5 near Wardlow. The road is being closed for gravel crushing for approximately one month. Alternate routes to avoid this closure are Highway 876 and Range Road 11-3. If you have any concerns contact the Youngstown Service Centre. (Road Closure is highlighted in yellow on this map of the area in the link below)

Detailed Map of Road Closure

 Big Country Waste Management Commission would like to remind everyone the Hanna Transfer Station will have different hours over the holidays.

 Dec. 24, 25, 26  CLOSED
 Dec. 27   OPEN
 Dec. 28, 29   CLOSED
 Dec. 30, 31   OPEN
 Jan. 1   CLOSED



 Elevated Fluoride in the Hamlet of Monitor Water Supply

Please see informational letter from Alberta Health Services 


Please slow down when traveling through construction zones; it may cost you only a minute but it may cost us a life!


The Special Areas Board now offers an app to iPad and iPhone users.  The app shows current local weather status as well as where recent snowplow activity has taken place in rural roads.  We are very excited to have this app available for free on the iTunes App store and can be downloaded by searching for "Special Areas" or by following the provided link:   https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/special-areas/id797758500?ls=1&mt=8

ALSO, we’re offering the same information that our iOS app has on the www.sabmaps.com website.   This site requires a Silverlight capable browser.


Visit our employment page for more information.