Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping in Kelowna

Posted May 2006

Sensitive Habitat Inventory and Mapping (SHIM) is a standard for fish and aquatic habitat mapping in urban and rural watersheds in British Columbia. SHIM attempts to ensure the collection and mapping of reliable, high quality, current, and spatially accurate information about local freshwater habitats, watercourses, and associated riparian communities.

SHIM is designed as a land-planning, computer-generated, interactive GIS tool that identifies sensitive aquatic and terrestrial habitats. It is intended to provide community and stewardship groups, individuals, regional districts, and municipalities with an effective low-cost delivery system for information on these local habitats and associated land uses.

SHIM has numerous applications and can:

  • Provide current information not previously available to urban planners, to allow more informed planning decisions and provide inventory information for Official Community Plans;
  • Assist in the design of stormwater/runoff management plans;
  • Monitor for changes in habitat resulting from known disturbance;
  • Identify and map potential point sources of pollution;
  • Help guide management decisions and priorities with respect to habitat restoration and enhancement projects;
  • Assist in determining setbacks and fish/wildlife-sensitive zones;
  • Identify sensitive habitats for fish and wildlife along watercourses;
  • Provide a means of highlighting areas that may have problems with channel stability or water quality, and require more detailed study;
  • Provide baseline mapping data for future monitoring activities; and
  • Map and identify the extent of riparian vegetation available and used by wildlife and fisheries resources.

Ecoscape Environmental Consultants was retained by the City of Kelowna to complete Sensitive Habitat Inventory and Mapping (SHIM) on Mill Creek and Bellevue Creek occurring within the city limits. This information will be available for use on the Community Mapping Network ( If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kyle Hawes at (250) 469-3474 or email