Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

An integrated assessment of the cumulative impacts of climate change and industrial development on salmon in Western British Columbia - Year One

Project Reference Number: 2011-18

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Don Morgan, Bulkley Valley Research Centre and BC Ministry of Environment, Smithers, BC

Funder: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The provincial government is currently considering an expansion of industrial development including, mining, and hydroelectric development triggered by the extension of electrical power into the northwest. There is an urgent need to synthesize the existing science on salmon, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, wildlife, climate change and industrial development, and to integrate this information into current decision making in north western BC.

The project has two main objectives. The first is related to resource management operations, at the watershed scale, and it will conduct an assessment of the cumulative effects of a set of ecological and industrial scenarios on aquatic, and their dependent terrestrial, ecosystems in two study areas. The second is strategic, at the provincial scale, and is focused on methods for government/non-government collaboration on decision making and longer term environmental monitoring.

The project has two high level outcomes, each with a series of objectives:

1. Technical assessment of cumulative effects of two study areas in Northwest British Columbia

a. Organizing existing knowledge of the current and historic system dynamics;
b. Models of social, economic and ecological metrics;
c. Cataloging potential future system dynamics; and
d. Developing scenarios of possible futures.

2. Integrating independent science into government decision making in British Columbia

a. Alternative institutional mechanisms for government/non-government collaboration on cumulative effects assessments and decision making; and
b. Evaluating risk and trade-offs from cumulative effects;
c. Project extension.


Workshop on the Cumulative Impacts on Salmon - February 17, 2012

Workshop Summary

For more information on the outcomes of this project, please visit the Integrated Systems Reserach Program website.