Identifying grasslands of high ecological value. Providing scientific basis for planning and decision-making. Helping to ensure that no more of BC’s high priority grasslands are lost.
The Priority Grasslands Initiative was launched in 2006 due to clear recognition that the lack of knowledge, data, and access to grassland information poses a significant threat to BC grasslands. Often, grasslands were being lost to development or alternate land uses simply because their values were unknown, undefined, or unavailable. This is still the case.
Using the GIS grassland layer developed for the BC Grasslands Mapping Project (2004) in conjunction with a variety of provincial government inventory data and the expertise of regional committees, the project identified high-value, priority grassland conservation areas in each of the major regions across BC:
- East Kootenay
- Nicola Valley
- Okanagan Basin
- Thompson Basin
- Vancouver Island-Gulf Islands
Progress to Date
While some high-level information exists, much detailed analysis and reporting remain to be done.
The GCC is producing a collection of regional priority grassland strategy documents that will include stewardship recommendations for private, Crown, and First Nations lands, supported by maps, data, and other information. The first “grassland portfolio,” the Thompson Basin Ecosection document, is available.