The Sea to Sky Sensitive Habitat Atlas was developed in anticipation of regional urban development in the Sea to Sky corridor hastened by the coming 2010 Winter Olympics. The atlas integrates a variety of information important to local land use planning throughout the region including: streams, roads, trails, land parcels, fish and wildlife habitat, parks and protected areas, watershed boundaries, and aerial photographs. This atlas will continue to be updated as new information about sensitive habitats in the corridor becomes available.
Human population growth and resource development pressures are overwhelming the ability of communities to conserve and protect sensitive habitats. Development proposals are often received too late in the planning process to effectively mitigate environmental impacts or development proposals are often reviewed with inadequate knowledge of the location or value of sensitive resources. This has resulted in loss or degradation of habitats that once supported fisheries, wildlife and sensitive ecosystems. The Sea to Sky Sensitive Habitat Atlas will provide information for planners, developers, federal, provincial and local governments, First Nations, community organizations and local businesses, to facilitate planning for sustainable communities.
The Atlas is intended to be used as a long-term planning resource, as an overview of sensitive habitats and does not include all the information available on these habitats such as riparian vegetation. More detailed information is often available from local governments and further assessments may be required for rezoning and the development application process, so that appropriate habitat measures can be determined and protective steps established prior to development decisions.
Currently (2018) work is proceeding on a UNESCO proposal for a Howe Sound Bioregion Initiative (HSBRI). To illustrate how information in this atlas and the functions of the Commuity Mapping Network can be used to further this proposal there is a presentation document available in the Atlas Documents section below.