Resort Municipality of Whistler

Ecosystems Monitoring

Applying freshwater and terrestrial expertise to improve study design, focus conservation efforts, and inform land development decisions

Protection and maintenance of Whistler’s natural environment and biodiversity through environmental stewardship is a key responsibility for the Resort Municipality of Whistler. The Ecosystems Monitoring program guides planning and operational activities with the aim of protecting the health and biodiversity of the local environment.

In 2016, PECG was retained by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) to provide aquatic and terrestrial technical expertise in support of the ongoing RMOW Ecosystems Monitoring Program. The Monitoring Program was initiated in 2013 to help understand and monitor the health of RMOW’s ecosystems, and, equipped with this understanding, inform decisions on land development and planning.

PECG reviewed previous monitoring reports, identified critical data gaps, proposed improvements to the study design. Data collection efforts focused on ecosystem components that would provide the necessary information within the budget constraints. PECG teamed with local field biologists to complement our in-house terrestrial and aquatic experts with local knowledge of the species and habitats in the study area.

The monitoring program covered fisheries and aquatics, and wildlife (riparian and terrestrial species). The 2016 and 2017 annual monitoring reports met the objectives of the program, were prepared on time and within budget, and received positive feedback from RMOW.

In 2017, the PECG team was asked to expand its scope to develop species and habitat matrices and conduct spatial data analysis, and to identify key areas for environmental protection in the RMOW area that could be included in the Official Community Plan for Whistler.