Foreshore Integrated Management Planning

Foreshore Integrated Management Planning
Foreshore Integrated Management Planning (FIMP — previously known as Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping or SHIM) maps shoreline habitats, assesses habitat value and establishes Shoreline Development Guidelines to conserve ecosystems, support climate resiliency and protect species of conservation concern

Foreshore Integrated Management Planning


Key Takeaways:

  1. Foreshore Integrated Management Planning (FIMP — previously known as Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping or SHIM) is a methodology that maps shoreline habitats, assesses habitat value and establishes Shoreline Development Guidelines to conserve ecosystems, support climate resiliency and protect species of conservation concern.
  2. The overarching goal of Living Lakes Canada's current FIMP Project in the Upper Columbia Basin is to improve the quality and quantity of information about lake foreshore habitat integrity and species at risk including Kootenay River White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi), and Shorthead Sculpin (Cottus confusus).
  3. Living Lakes Canada is also developing the FIMP Indigenous Knowledge and Values Framework pilot project in partnership with the Upper Nicola Band and Sustainability Scholars from the University of British Columbia to identify opportunities within the lake survey protocol to better acknowledge Indigenous knowledge and cultural values.

CURRENT PROJECT

FIMP for Aquatic Species at Risk in the Columbia Basin

In 2019, Living Lakes Canada entered a four-year Contribution Agreement with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and their Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk Program. The overarching goal of this Living Lakes Canada Project is to improve the quality and quantity of information about lake foreshore habitat integrity and species at risk in the Upper Columbia Basin. Species at Risk targeted throughout this project include, Kootenay River White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi), and Shorthead Sculpin (Cottus confusus).

The Project has reviewed and revised the FIMP methodology and is in the process of mapping (or re-mapping) 6-8 lakes in the Columbia Basin to assess the rate of change in ecological and urban development parameters. Thus far, surveyed lakes include: 

  • Lake Windermere
  • Moyie Lake
  • Whitetail Lake
  • Whiteswan Lake
  • Kootenay Lake
  • Columbia Lake
  • Slocan Lake

Priority Lakes for 2022

The following lakes are being surveyed this (2022) summer:

  • Arrow Lakes
  • Trout Lake
  • St. Mary's Lake 

Information collected over the project timeline has and will continue to be shared with government, First Nations, consultants, developers, and other stakeholders to support evidence-based, land-use decision making.

Living Lakes Canada also gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Real Estate Foundation of BC, and Alberta Ecotrust for their contribution to the Foreshore Integrated Management Planning Program.

FIMP Indigenous Knowledge and Values Framework

In 2021, Living Lakes Canada launched the FIMP Indigenous Knowledge and Values Framework pilot project in partnership with the Upper Nicola Band and Sustainability Scholars from the University of British Columbia. The goal of this project is to identify opportunities within the lake survey protocol to better acknowledge Indigenous knowledge and cultural values, informing decision making and promoting more balanced, sustainable, and ethical development as the growing climate crisis continues to threaten the health of freshwater. This project is currently being developed on Nicola Lake, in the South Central Interior of British Columbia, and is expected to be completed early 2023. 

See below for more details on this project.


COLUMBIA BASIN CANDIDATE LAKES

A list of Candidate Lakes was created based on the geographic location of a lake, stakeholder interest, and professional judgement and experience of the LLC FIMP Project Team. Professional judgement includes the use of information obtained during the FIMP Technical Workshops (held in early 2020) and past discussions between FIMP Project Team members and government representatives, qualified environmental professionals (QEPs) and other stakeholders.

The Candidate Lake list is a carefully curated list of potential lakes that were assessed and prioritized according to key criteria.

VIEW THE LIST OF CANDIDATE LAKES & PRIORITIZATION CRITERIA


METHODOLOGY

Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping or SHIM was first created by DFO in 2001 in order to survey streams and rivers in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. In 2004, the Regional District of Central Okanagan applied it to a lake for the first time (Lake Okanagan) which led Ecoscape Environmental Consultants Ltd. (ongoing FIMP contractors) to write the methodology for lakes, transitioning SHIM to FIM (Foreshore Inventory Mapping).
Lakes in the Columbia Basin started getting surveyed in 2006 through Living Lakes Canada (the majority of past and present surveyed lakes are located in the Columbia region). As part of Living Lakes Canada's current project, the methodology was overhauled as of March 31, 2020 and is explained in detail in Schleppe et al. (2020) and the name transitioned from FIM to Foreshore Integrated Management Planning (FIMP).

Foreshore Integrated Management Planning projects rely heavily on the suite of biological methods that were developed in 2004. These methods were designed to map shoreline habitats, assesses habitat value and establishes Foreshore Development Guidelines (FDG) to conserve ecosystems, support climate resiliency, and protect species of conservation concern. The methodology has three main components:

  • Foreshore Inventory and Mapping (FIM) is a biological methodology developed by consulting biologists in partnership with DFO. The FIM methodology was derived by adapting an existing stream mapping protocol, called Sensitive Habitat Inventory and Mapping (SHIM), for use on lakes. As the name implies, FIM is used to delineate, inventory, and map lake foreshore habitats.
  • Foreshore Habitat Sensitivity Index (FHSI) is a quantitative analysis that relies on simple mathematics to help account for, and then reduce multiple biological variables into an intuitive, easy to interpret index. The index consists of five Ecological Ranks (e.g., Very Low, Low, Medium, High, and Very High) that describe the existing habitat value and sensitivity to urban development activities.
  • Foreshore Development Guidelines (FDG) is a report that summarizes the technical analysis (i.e., the FHSI) and recommends development guidelines to help protect high-value and sensitive habitats located along the lake foreshore.

FIMP INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND VALUES FRAMEWORK

We acknowledge this project is taking place on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Nlaka’pamux and Syilx people. 

In 2021, Living Lakes Canada launched the FIMP Indigenous Knowledge and Values Framework pilot project in partnership with the Upper Nicola Band and Sustainability Scholars from the University of British Columbia and with primary funding being provided by the Real Estate Foundation of BC. The goal of this project is to identify opportunities within the lake survey protocol to better acknowledge Indigenous knowledge and cultural values, informing decision making and promoting more balanced, sustainable, and ethical development as the growing climate crisis continues to threaten the health of freshwater. 

This project is currently being developed on Nicola Lake, in the South Central Interior of British Columbia, and is expected to be completed early 2023. Upon completion, the FIMP Indigenous Knowledge and Values Framework will be applied and assessed for its effectiveness during a FIMP re-survey of Nicola Lake in the summer of 2023. The results of this test will be shared with partners and community members, and if successful, Living Lakes Canada will begin looking at ways to use this Framework as a template for all future surveyed lakes. The final Framework will present a formal set of guiding principles and a structured strategy for meaningful and ongoing Indigenous inclusion, at all levels of future FIMP surveys.

Living Lakes Canada looks to our Indigenous partners — whose values and knowledge of water and the interconnection between land and species have formed over generations of living symbiotically — to help support the current FIMP surveys. The FIMP Indigenous Knowledge and Values Framework will provide practical, actionable direction to structure this process. The ultimate intention is to gain a better understanding of foreshore-related impacts and the importance of holistic lake management while building on our connection to local communities. 

This project will serve as an example of how applied Indigenous knowledge may be revered as an essential aspect of environmental conservation initiatives. Highlighting the importance of recognizing Indigenous knowledge and values is also a progressive step towards Reconciliation with B.C. First Nations as supported by the BC United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act (2019).


MORE BACKGROUND

FIMP has been applied to 15 lakes across the Columbia Basin since 2006:

  • Lake Windermere
  • Columbia Lake
  • Wasa Lake
  • Moyie Lake
  • Monroe Lake
  • Jimsmith Lake
  • Tie Lake
  • Rosen Lake
  • St Mary Lake
  • Lake Koocanusa (transboundary reservoir)
  • Kootenay Lake
  • Slocan Lake
  • Brilliant Headpond
  • Whitetail Lake
  • Whiteswan Lake

Notably, Kootenay Lake is the first project that has incorporated archaeological and Ktunaxa Nation cultural values within its Shoreline Guidance Document, setting a precedent to meaningfully recognize and protect Indigenous values in the area. Out of this project, the Kootenay Lake Partnership (KLP) was formed in 2010 as a multi-agency initiative to support management approaches for a productive and healthy Kootenay Lake ecosystem.

You can access the lake reports for all the above-listed lakes on the Columbia Basin Water Hub.

Living Lakes Canada has also expanded FIMP work beyond British Columbia, leading projects for Lac la Biche in Alberta and the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg.


CONTACT

Living Lakes Canada FIMP Program Manager, Georgia Peck: georgia@livinglakescanada.ca

See Georgia's profile.

Foreshore Integrated Management Planning

Status - Active


Categories


Water Bodies
Lakes
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AlbertaBritish ColumbiaColumbia BasinNational
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AcademiaCommunity groupsCommunity groups (FOKLSS)First NationsGovernment – FederalGovernment – ProvincialMunicipalityRegional District
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AssessmentMonitoringPolicyProtocol DevelopmentSHIM

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Funders & Contributors


Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program Alberta EcoTrust
Real Estate Foundation