In this magnificently beautiful place of remote wilderness, small communities, and industrial resource use, impacts and planning decisions are happening without complete information, and partial ecosystem data that exists is not presented in a way that non-professionals can understand. Stewarding this area’s unique and valuable natural resources requires identifying and quantifying what is here – and making the information accessible to everyone.
The Discovery Islands Ecosystem Mapping (DIEM) Project is creating ecosystem maps to provide a comprehensive visual reference that local communities, governments, and land managers can use to better understand the area and enlighten discussions about resources and development.
The DIEM Project area is the Discovery Islands watershed: Quadra, Cortes, Read, Maurelle, Sonora, Stuart, Raza, East Redonda, West Redonda, the Rendezvous Islands, and the Pacific coast range surrounding Bute and Toba Inlets. Two methods have been used to map terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and geological features of this area. “Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory” (SEI) identifies ecosystems which are rare or sensitive to development. “Enduring Features” maps biophysical features to provide a big-picture view of what is sustaining the area’s ecosystems. Both methods are recognized by the Provincial Government as legitimate components in development planning
DIEM is a community-based mapping project that has been initiated by residents of Read and Cortes Islands. The project is receiving support from scientists, government, citizens, and community organizations. All of the area’s small communities and First Nations for whom this is traditional territory will benefit from the maps and spatial data produced.
The project maps are being posted online in an interactive and accessible website. The information can be used by individuals and groups for any purpose within the local community, as well as for regional, provincial and national planning purposes. The DIEM Project base maps will be used for additional community mapping in many areas of interest.
DIEM is a community inspired project funded through grants and local fundraising.