Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM)
The Fraser Valley Conservancy has been part of many different mapping projects; the most extensive being the Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM) project done in conjunction with the City of Abbotsford. This mapping project was used to identify stream courses and riparian conditions on Sumas Mountain and select areas of Abbotsford. Specifically hundreds of kilometers of streams were mapped using a GPS unit and information was gathered on stream location, wetlands and pond boundaries, riparian conditions and habitat obstructions such as dams or hanging culverts. The importance of consistent standard information provides clarity and certainty in planning for different land uses including conservation and restoration.
Positive Impacts of Mapping:
- Defining human Impact mitigation needs
- Identifying Conservation areas
- Creating Research and Baseline Data sets
- Video: “Sights of Stream Mapping” by Natashia Cox
Restrictive Fisheries Covenants are Section 210 covenants placed on the land along stream corridors and riparian areas to restrict the development and/or disturbance of these areas. These covenants are typically defined and required by the Department Of Fisheries and Oceans during development, put in place by the Province and the local Municipality and then followed by the landowners. However, many of these Restrictive Covenants were placed on the land title and then forgotten about becoming virtually unknown. In 2001, with the help of the Real Estate Foundation of BC and EcoAction Community Funding Program, FVC set out to find and map them for the City of Abbotsford. A GIS shape-file layer and map was produced depicting the found restrictive covenants; a total of 50 covenants amounting to 60 acres of previously unknown protected areas in Abbotsford were discovered and these restrictive covenants are now more easily enforceable because of their known presence.
In addition to mapping these areas, the covenant research allowed special areas with fish bearing streams to be recognized and noted for future consideration in land protection activities.
Supporting Land Stewardship Actions and Protecting Habitat for Salmon in Cultus Lake
The project was to increase riparian and lake ecosystem health while obtaining a commitment from landowners and recreationalists to care for their surroundings while enjoying Cultus Lake.
In achieving these objectives the following results were obtained: we contacted over 300 landowners/residences, of which, 92 landowners were given an information package containing, Caring for Cultus booklet, Species at Risk information specific to the area, and other local brochures. The Caring for Cultus booklet is modeled after the Living by Water program but tailored to Cultus Lake environment. Additional printed copies are available and a PDF version is available for downloading.
- “Caring for Cultus” – a handbook for residents and visitors.