Glossary and Acronyms


ALRAgricultural Land Reserve.  A provincial land–use zoning initiative established in 1974 to protect the province's agricultural land base.

Biogeoclimatic Classification System a hierarchical classification system of ecosystems that integrates regional, local and chronological factors and combines climatic, vegetation and site factors.

Biogeoclimatic Zone – A geographical unit having similar patterns of energy flow, vegetation and soils as a result of a broadly homogeneous macroclimate.


Biomass – The dry weight of all organic matter in a given ecosystem

Capability Mapping – A habitat interpretation for a species which describes the greatest potential of a habitat to support that species. Habitat potential may not be reflected by the present habitat condition or successional stage.

Carrying Capacity – The average number of livestock and/or wildlife that can be sustained on a management unit, compatible with management objectives for the unit. It is a function of site characteristics, management goals, and management intensity.


Classified Areas – Areas based on provincial criteria and classification systems which will be identified and mapped according to the Regulations and Field Guides of the Forest Practices Code: riparian management areas, lakeshore management areas, and wildlife habitat areas. These areas, established by a district manager in consultation with a designated B.C. Environment official, guide operations on a site–specific basis and require a combination of forest practices.


Coarse Filter Approach – An approach to maintaining biodiversity that involves maintaining a diversity of structures within stands and a diversity of ecosystems across the landscape. The intent is to meet most of the habitat requirements of most of the native species.


Critical Wildlife Habitat – Habitat that is vital to the health and maintenance of one or a variety of species based on habitat features such as nesting sites, denning sites, food sources, breeding grounds ect. 

Ecosystem – A unit or portion of the landscape consisting of all the biotic or living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in a given area, as well as the abiotic or non–living components (physical and chemical factors) of their environment, linked together through nutrient cycling and energy flow.  An ecosystem can be of any size, i.e., a log, pond, field, forest or even the earth's biosphere. 


Ecosystem Management – The use of an ecological approach to achieve productive resource management by blending social, physical, economic and biological needs and values to provide healthy ecosystems.

Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) – Areas requiring special management attention to protect important scenic values, fish and wildlife resources, historical and cultural values, and other natural systems or processes. ESAs for forestry include potentially fragile, unstable soils that may deteriorate unacceptably after forest harvesting, and areas of high value to non–timber resources such as fisheries, wildlife, water, and recreation.


Forest Development Plan – An operational plan guided by the principles of integrated resource management (the consideration of timber and non–timber resource values), which details the logistics of timber harvesting usually over a period of five years.  Methods, schedules, and responsibilities accessing, harvesting, renewing and protecting forest resources are set out to enable site–specific operations to proceed.

Forest Practices Code – The Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (1995) Regulations, and guidebooks that govern forest practices in British Columbia.


Fine Filter Approach –  An approach to maintaining biodiversity that is directed toward particular habitats or individual species that might fall through the coarse filter. These habitats may be critical in some way and the species threatened or endangered.


Fragmentation –The process of transforming large continuous forest patches into one or more smaller patches surrounded by disturbed areas. This occurs naturally through such agents as fire, landslides, windthrow and insect attack. In managed forests timber harvesting and related activities have been the dominant disturbance agents.

GISGeographical Information Systems.  Software for creating and managing spatial data.


GPS– Global Positioning System. A "constellation" of 24 well–spaced satellites that orbit the Earth and make it possible for people with ground receivers to pinpoint their geographic location. The location accuracy is anywhere from 100 to 10 meters for most equipment. Accuracy can be pinpointed to within one (1) meter with special military–approved equipment.

LRMPLand & Resource Management Plan.  A strategic level Crown Land plan. The plan covers all of the Crown Land and resources, including the foreshores of lakes and rivers within the plan area. In a provincial context, this plan is an integral part of a land use strategy for British Columbia.


MOFRMinistry of Forests and Range

Provincial List Status All rare entities tracked by the B.C. Conservation Data Centre have been assigned provincial and global rarity ranks. Most entities also have a designation on the Ministry of Environment's Red or Blue list. Definitions of the Ministry's Red and Blue lists, and the relationship between list status and the CDC provincial rarity rank ("S" rank) are explained below.

Red List – Includes any indigenous species or subspecies (taxa) considered to be Extirpated, Endangered, or Threatened in British Columbia. Extirpated taxa no longer exist in the wild in British Columbia, but do occur elsewhere. Endangered taxa are facing imminent extirpation or extinction. Threatened taxa are likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed. Red–listed taxa include those that have been, or are being, evaluated for these designations.

Blue List – Includes any indigenous species or subspecies (taxa) considered to be Vulnerable in British Columbia. Vulnerable taxa are of special concern because of characteristics that make them particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events. Blue–listed taxa are at risk, but are not Extirpated, Endangered or Threatened.

Yellow List – Any indigenous species or subspecies (taxa) which is not at risk in British Columbia. The CDC tracks some Yellow listed taxa which are vulnerable during times of seasonal concentration (e.g. breeding colonies).


RISCResources Inventory Standards Committee.  Established in 1991, RISC (formerly RIC) is responsible for establishing standards for natural and cultural resources inventories, including collection, storage, analysis, interpretation and reporting of inventory data.  The objective of RISC is to develop a common set of standards and procedures for the provincial resources inventories.


Riparian Area – The land adjacent to the normal high water line in a stream, river or lake, extending to the portion of land that is influenced by the presence of the adjacent ponded or channeled water.  Riparian areas typically exemplify a rich and diverse vegetative mosaic reflecting the influence of available surface water.

Seral Stages – The various communities that together make up a sere – the characteristic sequence of biotic communities that successively occupy and replace each other in a particular environment over time following disturbance of the original community.


Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping – Ecosystem mapping is the stratification of a landscape into map units, according to a combination of ecological features, primarily climate, physiography, surface material, bedrock geology, soil, and vegetation. See terrain mapping for more info.

TRIMTerrain Resource Information Management.  TRIM offers a variety of computerized maps displaying land information about British Columbia.   Including: elevation, rivers, roads, pipelines, powerlines and roads.

UTM – Universal Transverse Mercator grid; a coordinate system present on most topographic maps, used for quantitative descriptions of locations.


Watershed – The natural upstream land drainage area above any point of reference on a stream.

Wildlife Habitat Area (WHA) – Defined in the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act Operational Planning Regulation as a mapped area of land that the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Environment, or a person authorized by that deputy minister, and the chief forester, have determined is necessary to meet the habitat requirements of one or more species of identified wildlife. For more information, see Identified Wildlife Management Strategy WHAs.

Wildlife Trees – Dead, decaying, deteriorating or other designated trees that provide present or future habitat for the maintenance or enhancement of wildlife.

Winter Range – Also called Ungulate Winter Range – a range, usually at lower elevation, used by migratory deer, elk, caribou, moose, etc., during the winter months and typically better defined and smaller than summer range.