Implication of Results

The intersected map of criteria 1 and 2 indicates sites that are both likely to succeed and would be most efficient in a restoration project. Some of these polygons are in close proximity to waterbodies (Map 6) creating an opportunity for restoration of riparian corridors, which are important for preserving water quality, providing food and habitat to aquatic and terrestrial species, protecting stream banks from erosion, providing storage area for flood waters etc. (County of Santa Cruz, n.d.).

It is important to look at Aboriginal lands within project areas for implementing projects. As  Emery (2000) suggests in his report for ‘best practice principles’ Aboriginal communities should be provided with the chance to give ‘free, prior and informed consent’ or FPIC for any kind of project. FPIC is defined as “the right or desire of Aboriginal people to offer or withhold consent to developments that may have an impact on their territories or resources” (Gibson et al., 2016, p.162). That said, as we see in Map 7, prioritized restorable polygons intersect with Aboriginal Lands only in a few occasions.

Additionally, it is important to look at polygons that fall under Agricultural Land Reserves (ALR). ALRs are administered by the Agriculture Land Commission (ALC) in British Columbia and agriculture is recognized as the priority in these areas (ALC, n.d.). Therefore, implementing restoration projects in ALRs may not be practicable. Looking at Map 8, a significant portion of the prioritized restorable polygons are in ALR lands and these areas should not be prioritized for restoration projects.

Further Studies

There are many ways that further research could be added to this research. Some of these include:

  • Looking at private and public ownership within the prioritized restorable polygons. Private lands might not be as efficient to target for this project.
  • Looking at native and invasive plant communities within prioritized restorable polygons as invasive plant communities may hinder plant growth. Additionally, buffering and enhancing native plant communities could help protect them.
  • For implementation of an actual project, identify sites that have the potential to increase ecological value (Lane et al., 2008). For example using Island Biogeography Theory (IBT) to find polygons with largest areas and least edges for higher probability of success in projects.

Limitations / Challenges

Here are some limitations and challenges I faced while working on my project:

  • Date of data: Sometimes data layers were too old making me question their truthfulness. Additionally, in more than one occasion the dates of different layers did not match and had large gaps between them.
  • Cell size: For a relatively small area like Hope it was difficult to find a DEM with high resolution (small cell sizes). I had to create DEM from contours I found in GeoGratis. Even then, resolution was still not ideal.
  • Chosen criteria: It was difficult to connect literature review criteria to metadata available. Nonetheless, I went through every type of each class in all shapefiles to make sure they all make sense for this project and omitted the ones that didn’t.