The project goal was to further populate the Sustainable Forest Management Strategy (SFMS) with another 33 life requisites models of plants and wildlife from the Nicola Tribal Association; 9 life requisites submitted by Lower Nicola Indian Band and the remaining 8 life requisites were from the Upper Nicola Indian Band to aid in the management of protecting and enhancing forest practices, along with voicing First Nations community interests regarding natural resources. The Merritt Timber Supply Area (TSA) covers 1.16 million hectares in the southern interior of British Columbia. There are 12 landscape units within the Merritt TSA. The ratings tables for the 50 plant and wildlife species were used in conjunction with the Ecosystem-Based Resource Mapping Ratings Table Tool (ERM tool) to create an amalgamated functional spatial (shapefile) and an aspatial (database) GIS layer. Each species included in this project had an associated shapefile, and an aspatial database. These models include ecological suitability and capability for plant vegetation and wildlife habitat. A four-coloured rating scheme was used that represented the ratings for each Predictive Ecosystem Mapping (PEM) polygon based on the respective models they were run through. Colours do not indicate a priority for management or an importance of the species; they only represent the calculation of that site for use by that plant or animal. The incorporation of the 33 plant and wildlife species models by Nicola Tribal Association in this SFMS project has resulted in a vast dataset that was saved to an external hard-drive due to the size of the final product. The First Nations chose to minimize storage requirements, these tables were exported in multiple packages, including Microsoft Access and Adobe - Pdf plots. Analysis of the database started in Microsoft Access 2000 but Microsoft Access 2000 had some limitations regarding large file sizes and complex queries that complicated this process. Subsequently, the shapefiles were run in ArcView 3.2 using the ERM mapping tool then exported to csv, then imported into Access. Within each species model, a summary table was created which showed the total area within each Biogeoclimatic variant and site series for each species and each landscape unit. Areas calculated for matrices were summarized by biogeoclimatic variant to calculate the relative abundance of habitat by area within each landscape unit and within the Merritt TSA as a whole.
Prepared by Nklosm Resource Management, Tmixw Research Department, and Nicola Tribal Association.