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Classification of BC's Grasslands

pastprojectsDespite the significance of BC’s grasslands as an endangered ecosystem, the province lacks a comprehensive classification system for grasslands and grassland associated habitats. Site-specific grassland classification initiatives have been undertaken across the province for the dominant valley grasslands, yet many gaps still remain in sizable grassland areas. These classifications have focused primarily on late-successional grasslands and the large proportion of seral or disturbed grasslands have not been adequately classified.

In response to this need, the GCC developed a proposal to work with government and other groups to undertake this initiative, which includes a complete site- and vegetation-based classification of BC’s late seral grasslands with an accompanying seral stage classification.

Grassland classification is crucial for government (provincial, national and international), ranchers, non-government organizations and conservation groups involved in the management of grasslands. Baseline information on the distinct grassland zones and communities that exist across the province is vital if these groups are to effectively plan for sustainable land management practices and manage for grasslands conservation.

The end result of the project is the book Grasslands of British Columbia by Brian and Sandra Wikeem. To order a print version or a PDF file on CD, click here.

Photo: Rabbit brush, open grasslands at Kamloops Lake: Larry Halverson.