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Peter Law

    LAND DEVELOPMENT AND WATERSHED PROTECTION CAN BE COMPATIBLE: “1997, a presentation on the science of land use change by Kim Stephens and Bill Derry helped an inter-ministry working group realize that we needed more than a setback to protect aquatic habitat. The science shows that communities also need to tackle what is happening on the land that drains to streams,” stated Peter Law, Chair of the former Guidebook Steering Committee, on the 20th anniversary of Guidebook publication (June 2022)


    “I found the opportunity to ‘look beyond the stream’ and address poor water quality from drainage runoff in the Waste Management Act. The opportunity resided in the non-point source provision for Liquid Waste Management Plans. The term non-point source pollution was used by my colleagues in the Waste Management Branch to highlight poor quality of runoff from developed and/or developing lands. But this provision was not being applied to the issue of how land is developed. So, I asked my colleagues, why not use this mechanism to connect the dots between changes to the land and impacts on streams,” stated Peter Law.

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    A KEY TAKEAWAY FROM APPLICATION OF ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS TO SHELLY CREEK VALUATION: “Over decades of disturbance, ‘riparian ecosystems’ have become reduced to ‘riparian zones’ as shown on the maps of today,” stated Peter Law, President of the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society, in commenting on how ecological systems and services are compromised by land development


    “An alternative term, riparian network, could also be used to describe a system composed of a physical stream channel and adjacent riparian (vegetated) corridor. This system provides a critical ecological function in linking terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in a watershed or creekshed. A common history of land uses on the east coast of Vancouver Island and other regions in BC has been the fragmentation of the riparian network in both rural and urbanizing landscapes. Over decades of disturbance, a landscape’s ecological links/services decline as it’s economic (land use) linkages increase,” stated Peter Law.

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