Ministry of Environment

Environmental Stewardship Division

SEI Update

A publication of the Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory Project No. 5
February 2000

Inventorying the Islands

The Islands Trust Fund makes extensive use of two inventories – the Environmental Information Management System (EIMS) and the Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory (SEI).

"EIMS is an inventory of inventories," explains Carolyn Stewart, Co-ordinator for the Islands Trust Fund. "It is based on a summary of information and reports that the Islands Trust has gathered over the past 25 years that indicate areas and features of significance in the Islands Trust Area."

Where these reports have identified natural values on a property, this information is mapped on the Islands Trusts’ GIS system. Some of the information is dated, and not all ecologically important areas have been included, but it is still a very useful tool to identify sites that have conservation value.

The Trust Fund uses both EIMS and SEI information as a "first cut" in assessing potential conservation projects. For example, when a landowner approaches the Trust Fund with an offer to covenant land, the first place Carolyn checks is the EIMS and SEI maps. If either inventory identifies areas of potential, she knows it is worth going into a more detailed assessment.

These inventories are also being used in the development of a "Public Land Strategy" for the Islands Trust Area. The Islands Trust Council and Trust Fund Board are working with other provincial agencies and looking at the conservation, resource and community needs values of vacant Crown lands in the Trust area, so that they can provide advice on the best use of these properties. EIMS and SEI are being used along with tourism and other data as part of this assessment.

Carolyn finds that EIMS and the SEI complement one another. Sometimes the SEI will identify sites that are not included in EIMS, and vice versa. Both are a useful starting point in identifying sites with conservation value, but both require field verification to make sure that information is complete and up-to-date.

For further information contact Carolyn Stewart, Trust Fund Co-ordinator, Islands Trust Fund at (250) 405-5151.

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