2006 Submission

Stephen Platt

Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications

1. Background
Since January I have been working on a Preliminary Bear Hazard Assessment in the South Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District. The South Okanagan-Similkameen Stewardship Program is working on a pilot Bear Smart for this area and the maps I have produced will be used to identify existing and potential human-bear conflict hazards and help in providing recommendations for reducing the frequency and risk of these conflicts. I am submitting 3 examples of the maps that I produced for this preliminary bear hazard assessment. One is an example of the bear call density, human use sites, and moderate or greater bear habitat map. The other two are examples of the call locations (by species) and moderate or greater bear habitat map; one map for the northern portion of the study area and one for the southern portion of the study area.

2. Map Creation
The maps I have submitted were created with ArcMap and exported to a PDF format. The maps I submitted are ANSI E size (33in x 44in) which allowed my to maintain a relatively large scale, maintaining some detail, but it also allowed me to fit the entire study area on only two mapsheets.

3. Data Used
Incident Calls: The incident calls are point locations of human-bear and human-cougar conflicts that were reported to the conservation office of BC (please note that cougar incident call locations were only mapped and not used for any analysis, like call density). The points are symbolized by the species involved (black bear, grizzly bear, or cougar) and they represent a single incident.

Moderate to High Quality Bear Habitat: This layer shows areas that have at least a moderate bear habitat quality rating. This layer was created from bear habitat models that were created specifically for the preliminary bear hazard assessment. There were 3 different habitat models created; one for each feeding season (spring, summer, and fall). This posed a problem since I could not show all three of these models on the same mapsheet, therefore I would have to create a separate mapsheet for each model, and this was not an acceptable option. In order to show all three models on one mapsheet, I decided to pull out only moderate or greater habitat and symbolize it by feeding season combinations. For example, an area that has moderate or greater habitat in spring, summer and fall is symbolized differently than an area that has moderate or greater habitat in only spring and summer.

Call Density: This is simply a layer that depicts the number of bear incident calls per square kilometer. It is a visually pleasing and simple way to identify areas that are having human-bear conflict problems.

Human Use Sites: These are represented by both point locations (that represent schools, parks, and campgrounds) and lines (that represent popular recreational trails). These locations and trails are uniquely symbolized and labeled allowing for quick identification of human use areas and how they relate to the incident call density.

4. Design Considerations
The maps data is clipped with what was generally considered to be the study area for this project. The actual clip was made with the base data (Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping) that was used to create the Bear Habitat Model. The problem was that this data didn’t cover the entire study area. Therefore there were areas that fell outside of the clipped area. This forced me to use a number of inset maps in order to include these areas on the final maps.

There were also a number of histograms that complemented the Bear Incident Call Data that needed to be shown visually. These histograms were also put on the final maps.

Lastly, a brief description of the data used on the maps also needed to be included to help explain what was being shown and how it was derived.

Finding a place for all of this information and still maintaining a sense of balance was a difficult task, but I believe that I managed to do this fairly well.

Thank-you for your consideration.